Monday, 16 September 2013

Bugsworth Basin.

IMG_4330 Confectionary Factory          IMG_4332 Bugsworth Basin

En-route we passed the sweet smelling Swizzle's Matlow Confectionary Factory at New Mills. Two easy swing bridges and two lift bridges later we arrived at Bugsworth where the canal terminates in the basin. We turned and reversed into the lower arm to make our exit easier by cruising out forwards. The whole area has been saved from inappropriate development and thoughtfully restored by the Inland Waterways Protection Society Ltd over the last thirty years. This excellent on site model gives an idea of what was here.

IMG_4344            IMG_4346 lower basin

However the Peak Forest Tramway, which was used to transport the Limestone and Grit-stone on strings of tip-trucks, stretched much further on to the quarries. Before reaching the three arms of the canal the trucks ran onto an inclined plane in order to tip their loads of stone straight into the boats waiting below. There are also many lime kilns around the site where some of the limestone was burnt at very high temperatures to turn it into lime. This was a vital raw material for building, farming, and the booming textile and tanning industries. Oakfield is just visible beyond the sandstone milepost.

IMG_4337 Lime Kiln IMG_4339 Silk Hill Bridge IMG_4335 Lime Store

When the valuable lime was cool it was raked out from the hearth and had to be kept dry until it could be dispatched by boat. The lime warehouses straddled the canal so boats could be undercover whilst being loaded.

We had some sunshine, so I started cleaning the outside of the boat and to my amazement the cabin boy came to help! I also rubbed down all the scrapes we have had along the narrow bits of canal and touched up the green paint. I also did all along the rubbing strake with black as well. Although it is quite cold early mornings and evenings now we have not fired up the squirrel, yet.

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