Staying In. 4th July

Bugsworth Basin

Cherries, violins and tarte au citron were the main topics of this mornings Geraghty Zoom. Cherry pitters were demonstrated in Eastbourne, whilst in Helensburgh they were missing out on a tart treat. Hair dressers also cropped up in conversation along with funding for the arts and the latest redundancies at the National Theatre.

Oleanna in the Lower Basin

The rain eased a little so we headed out for a look around. This is I think our fourth visit to Bugsworth Basin which in its day was the largest and busiest inland port on the narrow canal system and it is the only one to remain intact. A tramway was built in 1795 to link the basin to limestone and gritstone quarries in Derbyshire and from the basin the stone could be carried to Manchester or across the Pennines. Next week we’ll be following the route to Manchester. Loads more information can be found on the Bugsworth Basin Heritage Trust site.


We walked up towards The Navigation Inn where we’d watched the clock tick over into 2017. How many motorcaravans? Had these vehicles arrived this morning ready for walking in the nearby hills and then relaxing with a pint and some food at the pub?

Signs at the rear of the pub guided drinkers to the front door, one way traffic today and for the foreseeable future. We walked past, no intention of stopping for a pint, although the lack of queue at the door did make me wonder if they’d be serving chips!


We passed the green door of the cottage where the London Leckenbys had stayed for Christmas. The other holiday cottages in the row are now private houses according to the owners of NB Blue Rebel who had stopped for a chat this morning before heading off on their boat to have her repainted.


We followed part of the tramway walk towards Chinley then saw a track leading over a bridge, so veered off, across the bridge. New apple trees have been planted near to allotments and someone looked like they’d been having a good time on a tractor churning up the paths. We followed these round until we came back to meet Black Brook and then the tramway.

VW gathering

Behind the pub there seemed to be a gathering of VW campervans, all with awnings out. A conversation was being had by a couple of chaps, one had booked a table in the pub, but wasn’t aware that it would be table service only. As much as a good pub meal would be nice, we won’t be partaking for some time yet.

A little bridge

We carried on with our walk around the basin as it started to rain again in earnest, so we headed back to the shelter of Oleanna. During the afternoon we watched boats arrive, five or six. I suspect next weekend it will be busier as the locks onto the Macc and Peak Forest will be open for three days a week from Tuesday.

Before more boats arrived

Time to have a tidy and sweep through. We’re not good at these jobs unless we have the incentive of visitors, but today I got the urge. Whilst Mick cleaned the cooker, all Tilly’s toys were collected up and put in her toy box and everything lifted off the floor. The wine cellar was emptied and dusted down, mats handed out the back for a beating and Mick and Tilly made themselves scarce for a while.

Helping herself!

Once the floor was dry the wine cellar was rearranged to accommodate the soon to arrive delivery. Tilly hadn’t been all that keen on being outside so decided to help herself to her toys again, flinging balls and her shark across the floor.

Right to our door

Shortly before 7pm Mick walked up to the pub to stand and assist the Sainsburys delivery to our location. A jolly chap, his first time delivering to a boat. Our position in the basin meant he could pull up right alongside us and the bags of shopping were deposited onto the stern. Quite a few substitutions today, but there was nothing missing. One slight disappointment with a steak pie for Mick, the rather nice shortcrust option I’d chosen for him hadn’t been available so had been replaced by a standard chip shop type steak pie. Oh well, my gluten free pie looks very tasty!

Shhhh! I got flour!

One great bonus was they had had flour! So I managed to get some bread flour for Mick and a bag of gluten free plain, a rare find. I may have to make a batch of cheese scones to help us down the locks into Manchester.

Here they come

Just as everything was sorted and either stowed or quarantined the blue bow of NB Alton appeared through the narrows of the gauging stop. A blast on their horn announced their fortnightly arrival.

NB Alton

Several boats to top up before reaching us and we were only after a top up of diesel and a bag of coal, just in case the summer has passed us already! Steve and Brian were soon with us, the wind not helping in their manoeuvres. Then after selling some blue to a boat in front they reversed into a space across the way from us, they had brought their own drinks for after work today, a visit to the pub can wait a while longer.

Bloomin Geese

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 more grey day, 1 candle, 12 opening time, 5004 blue, 1 walk, 1 clean and tidy floor again, 1 spotless hob, 1 very bored cat, 4 boxes, 2 bags flour, 22 litres, 20 kg excel, 2 final episodes Killing Eve.

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