The Sweet Smell. 2nd July

Dryhurst Bridge 26 to Whaley Bridge

This morning the view consisted of a man picking up after his dog. He pleaded with it not to deposit right next to Oleanna but failed. He also failed to pick it up as Mick discovered when we emptied the yellow water!

Meet the boaters

Not quite a mile away we approached New Mills. The exterior walls of the Swizzles Factory covered in a white powder. We wondered if you licked their windows would it taste of Love Hearts, Refreshers or Parma Violets? Two of the workers turned round and gave us a jolly cheer as we passed by all the time inhaling the very fine sugar that hung in the air.

Is that powered Love Hearts on the walls?

Once under Thornsett Road Bridge the aroma turned to vinegar and chips as a family sat on a bench, a bag steaming in everyone’s hands. Gosh they smelt good!

Giant Hogweed

Round the bend to the winding hole. New signs along the towpath warn of Giant Hogweed. When last we passed it looked like the plant had been sprayed, but after three years it is showing itself again on the off side. For those unaware this plant can give you very bad burns, so it’s best avoided at all costs.


Approaching Carrs Swing Bridge we passed the chap who’d followed us up the locks last week, he’d made it to Bugsworth Basin already where he’d had problems with the bottom being too close to the top. We could have pulled in here but decided to continue on wards.

A chap offered to help with the last swing bridge, but I needed to work off my bacon buttie from breakfast and other than the instructions lying again regarding the position of the key I was fine, I need practice for the obstinate ones on the Leeds Liverpool we’ll be encountering soon.

At last the boat we’d been missing along this stretch showed itself. It’s been hard to miss for sometime due to it’s colour, we once moored right next to it on Lillian creating a yellow glow that could be seen from outer space! In the last few years it has seen some alterations, extensions, additions and has had a Reliant Robin van added to both bow and stern, creating a cratch and pram cover. We’d seen that it had been for sale in the last year. Unique to say the least.

NB Trotters Independent

A possible space to stop with a view showed itself just as two vehicles drove along the small road to reach the water works. To me it was an unsafe cat mooring, appealing trees on the other side of the road and not enough traffic to keep Tilly from crossing it and then being freaked and dashing home just at the wrong moment. We carried on.

The Whaley Bridge version of Swiss Family Robinson

Whaley Bridge Branch Junction. Left or right? There was no space on the Tesco moorings as boats seemed to have set up camp there, so we chose to go right, not wanting to arrive at Bugsworth Basin too soon.

That bilge pump gave a duck a bit of a shock.

Just before the basin at the end there was enough room for us to pull in on the 7 day mooring, we tied up to the rings, avoiding plenty of walkers passing us. The back doors were opened.

What brilliant trees! Wow here was going to be good. Oh except this outside had a fast flowing canal on the other side, that was no good. Then a lady was getting concerned about me, was I lost? LOST!!! No way was I lost. I knew exactly where I was Thank you! Tom put her right before she tried to pick me up and check my cat tag, she wouldn’t have manged it anyway.

NB Quantum Leap

Then Bang! Splutter Bang! What was that?!! I wasn’t worth hanging around to find out what it was. Better to be inside in the outside, safer. I did my best stare all afternoon to try to get them to tie up a different outside, but all they did was sit and watched the wall! I even tried sitting as neatly as possible, but that didn’t impress them enough either. Apparently I wasn’t born with the piercing laser stare that Houdini had, my predecessor. So in the end I gave up and when they had vacated the sofa I took pole position, Tom didn’t light the stove though.

Act 2 of A Midsummer Nights Dream was enjoyed. Swapping Oberon for Titania made for an updated, inclusive and at times hysterical twist to the plot. I studied the play for O level and still really wish the beginning could be trimmed somewhat so that you get to the mechanicals and fairies sooner. I know it’s all about laying out the plot, but it was boring at age 16 and it still is. Thank you Duncan for insisting we watched it.

Laurel and Hardy

0 locks, 3.33 miles, 1 right, 1 swing bridge, 0 help required, 1 yellow car boat vessel, 7 day mooring, 1 backfiring motorbike, 0 lasers, act 2, 1 dark noisy mooring, 1 empty wee tank, 1 clean pooh bucket, 1 unhappy cat.