Bees, Bums And Bridges.1st July

Hill Top Footbridge 20 to Dryhurst Bridge 26

We woke to rain and a layer of cloud hid the view across the valley. I opened up the curtains so that we could hopefully watch the clouds roll away as we had our cuppa in bed.

Someone’s stolen the view!

It really is astonishing that your average towpath user seems to have no idea that people can hear every word inside their boat or that they might be looking out of the window. Yesterday we had two chaps walk past who appreciated Oleanna’s lines and did not stop raving about how gorgeous she was for a good ten minutes, thank you we appreciated your comments and agree with you.

A bum view!

This morning a young lady stopped by the side of us to warm up before going for a run. She stretched and lent over right in front of our window totally oblivious to the two of us catching up on news supping our mugs of tea sat in bed. Even Tilly had to have a closer look. I have chosen the photo very carefully as I know this post will go live at 8am and to retain the ladies modesty! Her running partner soon arrived and off they jogged leaving us with only the cloudy hillside again.

Stay Indoors

Due to having run the dishwasher yesterday evening after 8pm, our batteries were in need of a charge. With little sun around at the moment that meant we’d be needing to run the engine, should we stay put or move whilst it charged the batteries? We decided on the later eating breakfast whilst outside remained dry. Of course as we rolled back the covers it started to drizzle and then it got heavier. We sheltered for a while under the pram cover and as it seemed to be easing we pushed off to creep our way further towards Bugsworth Basin.

Turf Lee Lift Brid

Having had a few days with no obstacles, today we had bridges that would need moving. The first Turf Lee Lift Bridge, operated with a windlass. It took quite a lot of puff to wind it up and not so much to bring it back down again, all the time it rained. I was regretting my choice of trousers over shorts.

Wood End Lift Bridge

Then Wood End Lift Bridge which serves a house and a compound of some sort. A few years ago it was changed from a wind up wind down to an automated bridge. The position of the control panel obscured behind bits and pieces on the towpath, luckily I remembered this and didn’t cross the bridge hunting for it.

Cake tins or drum

An interesting boat sat just before the bridge landing. Two layers of small portholes had what looked a touch like pairs of victoria sponge cake tins welded together which acted as swivelling shutters for the portholes.


Round the next bend to Higgins Clough Swing Bridge, another advertising to turn the key of power 3/4 when a full turn would be a better option! But the bridge was easy to move once the locking mechanism had been released.

So far anywhere we’d thought of stopping had been occupied, so when we came through Disley and saw space alongside another boat with a view we pulled in hoping the depth would be good for us. I say this as we’d spent some of the cruise getting here bumping our way along the bottom ten foot out from the bank.

Spot the bee

There was depth for us, so we tied up sharing the ring at the front with the other boat. Tilly was let out to explore. I tried encouraging her to pose for a photo in front of the view, it never works! As I took photos I realised there was a bee trying to get in through the hatch. Another look and there was another, and another! The hatch doors were closed and I went outside.

And again

A small group of bees were milling around the cabin side, had we disturbed a nest? If so we certainly needed to move for both ourselves and them. Luckily Tilly was just sussing things out, stood on the wall, so a very easy pick up and was deposited back into the boat.

Spelt Bread

The chap from the boat ahead returned and we all decided that the bees obviously had made a nest behind the old shuttering along the canal edge and were a little bit peed at us being so close to their front door. We pulled Oleanna back, still managing to have sufficient depth and tied the bow to what had been the stern spikes. We could now settle down for the rest of the day.

NOt bad inside

During the afternoon we watched Act 1 of Midsummer Nights Dream from The Bridge Theatre. A wonderful example of how ‘Live’ theatre brings the audience and actors together. Theatre is a live experience, a unique performance every time for the audience in the room. In this case the audience playing an extra part as they looked on and at times got in the way of the actors and stage management.

The ever changing stage and audience

If Covid-19 hadn’t arrived, this week you’d have been hearing very little from me as I’d have been busy putting the finishing touches to The Garden at The Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield. Last minute touches of paint, stitches in costumes and helping actors do buttons up and tying laces for those who excel at other things. Tonight would have been the opening performance of the show.

Here’s a link to the Lockdown Edition which will be on line to view from the 14th to 28th July. Tickets are available at:

Tilly has already got her seat booked

0 locks, 2.08 miles, 3 bridges, 60 turns up, 40 turns down, 1 button, 1 push, 1 pair of pants, 1 wet day, 7 bees, 60 ft pull back, 1 tooth, 1 delivery secured, 1 surprisingly good loaf of bread, Act 1, 0 first night, 1 designer missing designing.

6 thoughts on “Bees, Bums And Bridges.1st July

  1. Anonymous

    Pip. How long did it take you to stuff Mick’s tongue back into his mouth? 🙂


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