The Inland Waterways Protection Society Ltd 

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Newsletter "174" August 2009

Contents

Bugsworth Basin Report - Ian Edgar  
Aerial Photographs of Bugsworth Basin Marple Lime Works, Mineral Mill and Brick Works
Quotes and Comments Digital TV reception for canal boats
Further research into the archives of 'The Reporter' Book Review - 'Moving Manchester'
IWA alarmed at severity of BW budget cuts Ruth gets to the 'root of the matter'
Inquest - February 1841 - Dreadful Accident at Dove Holes The Importance of Walking

Fenders, ropes, boat cruises, day boat hire - Phone/Fax 01663 747808
www.trafalgarmarineservices.co.uk 
The IWPS is not responsible for the content of external websites


This unique view of the Basins was taken by Mark Hatch from the roof of Canal House during repair works to the chimney.
 

BUGSWORTH BASIN REPORT August 2009

By Ian Edgar MBE Chairman IWPS and Hon. Site Manager

In starting this report I had to go back to the last issue of ‘174’ in January 2009 to revise what I had told our members at the time. It is amazing that since then much of the pessimism and disappointment back in January has now been reversed and we are in fact now ‘on a roll’ – at least in some important directions. The lateness of this issue of ‘174’ is mainly due to the fact that the key players in the Bugsworth Project have been very busy on many IWPS matters and have not had the time to write. This has not been helped by the fact that so few people contribute to ‘174’.

We are still engaged in the maintenance of the Basin of which our members are well aware but unfortunately only a few have taken up the call for new volunteers. Our three ‘new’ regular volunteers mentioned back in January are still doing excellent work in many directions and having on-going training. We also welcome Joanne Bamford to our team. Having them with us ‘oldies’ is a super morale booster and we do appreciate the skills they bring with them to our project.

To detail everything happening over the past seven months would perhaps require more space than the Editor is prepared to allow to keep his magazine balanced with non-Bugsworth information so I will be content with a quick summary under separate headings.

NEW INFORMATION CENTRE

The IWPS, in partnership with British Waterways and Architects John McCall, are working on a proposal to build a visitor/information centre at Bugsworth Basin. Pending approval by English Heritage and High Peak Borough Council, the centre, also incorporating facilities for the IWPS, is intended to replace the temporary accommodation presently housed in an unsightly set of transport containers. Further details will be announced as discussions progress.

WATER TAXI SERVICE BETWEEN WHALEY BRIDGE AND BUGSWORTH

This was one of the elements of the EMDA Funding which has fallen by the wayside. The IWPS has not had a lot of engagement with this part of the project but we understand there were insurance and other unforeseen difficulties which could not be overcome by British Waterways and the selected operator in time for there to be an economical operational season to be realised. We do not know whether this project will go ahead next year (it was designed to be a two year trial period) so for the time being we are assuming it will not.

REFURBISHMENT OF BRIDGES 58 & 59

Jacqueline and Roger Barnes arrived in the Basin on their boat ‘ZULU’ just before Easter with the full expectation that they would be running the Water Taxi service. Because of the problems mentioned above and the protracted negotiations between Spalding Water Taxis and British Waterways they both found themselves waiting and waiting. Fortunately for us both found idleness not to their liking so they set to and painted the rest of the steel railings not done last year and also the wooden railings to Bridges 58 & 59.  All this timber work had been replaced and primed by British Waterways last year but time did not permit them to put on the gloss coat over the very extensive length. What Jacqueline and Roger did for us was very much appreciated and our thanks go out to them. They are certainly not the types to sit on their boat doing nothing and we are thankful for that!!

IWPS VOLUNTEERS NOW HAVE CITY AND GUILDS QUALIFICATIONS

Don Baines, Gordon Anderson and myself attended an extended course at Reaseheath Agricultural College near Nantwich to secure a City & Guilds NPTC Certificate of Competence in the Safe Use of Pesticides. All three of us passed. Don and Gordon are now qualified for tractor boom and back pack hand lance spraying and myself just for the latter.  These qualifications are now essential if we are to use weed killer on the non-grass areas like the Bugsworth tramway tracks etc. and are acceptable to the governing body being the Environment Agency.  We are grateful to British Waterways for covering the not inconsiderable cost of the course for the three of us. We can now assist BW should they require any help or supervision.

TOWPATH RESURFACING WHALEY BRIDGE TO BUGSWORTH & NEW MILLS

This work has now been completed and a good job made of it too. The path was levelled first with crushed limestone and then finished with a tar spray with granite chippings. Work proceeds on upgrading the horse tunnel at the junction with the Whaley Bridge Arm but this is proving very difficult for British Waterways as they juggle with the limits imposed by the fact it is a listed structure and on the other hand the steep inclines on each side which are difficult to restore whilst at the same time provide modern H&S standards for pedestrians.

FURTHER INTERPRETATION AT BUGSWORTH BASIN

Another element of the EMDA Funding was the completion of the Interpretation designed by PLB of Malton and now finished by 55 Design and Icehouse (Eliza Botham). The main feature of this new information source is a three dimensional cast aluminium model of the whole Basin as it was in 1903 all suitably painted to emphasise all the old features of the Basin and the village.  Designed and cast by Leander at Dove Holes, this project demanded a high level of supervision as the model makers worked from old maps and photographs as well as the donated model made many years ago from memory by a gentleman after he emigrated to New Zealand. Actually dating the features and deciding how best to cast them to give reasonable accuracy was very difficult but we think the result is quite outstanding. Certainly it is attracting a lot of attention and well worth a visit when next near Bugsworth.

The model is located on a plinth at the head of the Lower Basin Arm. Further interpretation funded by EMDA is for new panels now at the junction with the Whaley Bridge Arm and at Whaley Bridge Basin itself.

NEW PLANT FOR THE BUGSWORTH VOLUNTEERS

Thanks to the generosity of those making donations when visiting the Basin, and to funds secured by our giving talks and tours and to the activity of The Peak Forest Canal Co. Ltd. we have been investing in new equipment and plant. We purchased a new tipping trailer some time ago which replaced our last hand-cranked dumper. This trailer acting as a work station with all H&S requirements like fire extinguisher and First Aid Pack on board is proving far more versatile and efficient when tackling jobs some distance from our containers.

We have also purchased a new surface compactor (commonly known as a ‘whacker plate), and a new motor driven Belle cement mixer, to replace the massive Lister Engine driven mixer which could only be moved round hitched to a Land Rover. Also a further BOSS Heavy Duty Brush Cutter. We shall now dispose of two smaller and unreliable strimmers as redundant.

I am not entirely satisfied that we are most efficiently equipped and am reviewing everything from time to time. Certainly with modern equipment Bugsworth life is made easier, safer and more efficient. Thank goodness we have the funds to finance such expenditure. Our thanks must go to everybody who supports us financially.

THE TRANSPORT TRUST AND THE RED WHEEL SCHEME

We were very pleased to have the Transport Trust approach us last year telling us they wanted to trial the new Red Wheel Scheme in Derbyshire and to honour a site which was in the forefront of Transport Technology. Well, coming to Bugsworth Basin was certainly that. I quote:

‘A vibrant new website is bringing together the best of ‘Our Transport Heritage’ (OTH) and putting each site in its historical and geographical context. Each site will be identified with a ‘Red Wheel’. Some OTH candidates like the Forth Bridge and Channel Tunnel are household names but many more are currently little known and their importance unappreciated. (I am not sure Bugsworth Basin is little known but it is certainly unappreciated by the public at large for its transport heritage – IE).

The OTH website will eventually carry information on some 1000 heritage sites and has recently ‘gone live’ at www.transportheritage.com with the first 400. With its national coverage and links to a wide variety of other sources (like the IWPS Bugsworth Basin website - IE), it is expected rapidly to become the preferred point of reference for students, teachers and those planning a holiday or stimulating days out (like a visit to Bugsworth Basin – IE) – in addition to transport enthusiasts and historians. It is hoped that highlighting the great achievements of our forebears will also encourage future generations to consider engineering, logistics and related careers.

The OTH Scheme and Red Wheel plaques are initially being funded by The Transport Trust and private sponsorship. Additional corporate, trust, private and legacy sponsorship are sought, to facilitate their national roll-out.

Whereas the English Heritage ‘Blue Plaque’ Scheme highlights places associated with famous individuals, Red Wheels will highlight key locations of engineering and transport importance.’

The first ‘Red Wheels’ were unveiled in Derbyshire in time for the start of the 2009 tourist season at Easter by railway author and former Transport Trust Chairman Denis Dunstone at Barrow Hill Round House on 3rd April and by Sir William McAlpine, President of the Transport Trust at the Arch of the Ticknall Tramway over the A514 at Ticknall and then on the same day at Shardlow Heritage Centre to commemorate Shardlow Canal Port.

On the 17th July 2009 at Bugsworth Basin we had the pleasure of having the Chairman of British Waterways Tony Hales unveil the Red Wheels plaque on the abutment to Bridge 58 (after the dog waste bin had been removed first!). Previous to this I had taken our visitors on a short tour of the Basin. Other guests included Tony & Mary Bingham, Mayor and Mayoress of High Peak Borough Council, Tom Levitt MP for High Peak, Hugh Potter (Editor of Narrowboat) and several of our colleagues from British Waterways working on the new developments at Bugsworth Basin. Both the Mayor and the Chairman of BW were astounded at the size and complexity of Bugsworth Basin and that its present restored state was entirely due to the efforts and drive of volunteers supported in later years by British Waterways. The Mayor stated that, although he lived in Chinley, he did not know of the existence of Bugsworth Basin which is absolutely amazing. Needless to say there was a great deal of networking undertaken so that both the Mayor and the Chairman were in the end well behind the IWPS in their plans for Bugsworth Basin and our new Visitor Centre! The volunteers were suitably roundly applauded for their work over so many years.

The party then boarded the ‘Judith Mary’ for the short journey to Whaley Bridge where Andrew Tegg of British Waterways gave a detailed talk on the history of the Transhipment Warehouse there and the complexities of preserving and restoring it and finding an appropriate sustainable use. The party then re-embarked on ‘Judith Mary’ for the journey back to Bugsworth with refreshments provided by the Transport Trust on the way. It was altogether an excellent and enjoyable day with the weather, more or less, remaining kind to us.

THE IWPS PUBLISHES FOUR NEW BOOKS ON THE PEAK FOREST CANAL

Olive Bowyer is a long standing respected elder member of the IWPS who first privately published some widely acknowledged books on the Peak Forest Canal in the 1980s. These went out of print some years ago.  Peter Whitehead and Don Baines, with Olive’s co-operation, have now re-written her original text, brought it up to date and added new information where this has come to light or inconsequence of more recent developments like the completion of the restoration and the re-opening of Bugsworth Canal Basin. Previous editions included drawings and maps etc. but in these later editions many more photos have been added and the general print quality has been much improved.

· The Peak Forest Canal Towpath Guide is in two separate books – Lower Level and Upper Level.

· The Peak Forest Canal, its Construction and Later Development is the third book.

Each  book is £3.25 or all three for £9.00 including postage. .

TYMMS BRICKWORKS AT ROSE HILL MARPLE (A SEQUEL)

Following mention in the last ‘174’ of the important find of an unused Tymm Brick during the clearance of one of the side ponds at Bosley Locks on the Macclesfield Canal Peter Whitehead has done some extensive research and the IWPS has published the result as a short booklet – ‘Marple Lime Works, Mineral Mill and Brick Works’. This is a very interesting read for everybody and not just for the likes of  myself living almost next to what remains of the Marple  Lime Kilns. Priced at £1.75 including postage this is an excellent buy.

GET A BARGAIN AND BUY ALL FOUR BOOKS FOR £10 INC. POSTAGE

ALL PROCEEDS OTHER THAN PRINT COSTS SUPPORT THE IWPS VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT OF BUGSWORTH CANAL BASIN

Please make payment to The Peak Forest Canal Co. Ltd., and order from me, Ian Edgar, Top Lock House, 7Lime Kiln Lane, MARPLE, SK6 BT

PROPOSED HOUSING DEVELOPMENT AT MARPLE WHARF.

British Waterways with the development subsidiary H20 Urban LLP opened to public view and comment proposals to re-develop the site which is no longer required for BW operational requirements. The historic warehouse would be retained but converted to residential use and other outdated buildings cleared away and replaced with a terrace of houses. This has led to substantial local objections to such an extent that the developers have come round to the view that they should work with local people to try to gain some common ground and agree more acceptable solutions. There are several constraints on the site – it is in a Conservation Area, the length between Bridges 1 & 2 on the Macclesfield Canal is in three ownerships, (and therefore an integrated planning approach is impossible without co-operation between those various  owners) and, not least, its importance in the development of Marple as a canal junction and the founding of its prosperity.

I have been requested to comment drawing on my experience at Bugsworth Basin and I have been pleased to do that. One of the main problems is balancing economic necessity and the BW need to gain maximum return from the sale/development of the site for the benefit of the canal system in general.

The Marple Civic Society has done very well in persuading the architects/developers not to engage in brinkmanship or confrontation. This we at the IWPS fully support. The situation at the time of writing (24th August 2009) is that a Joint Statement has been issued:

JOINT STATEMENT ON THE BRITISH WATERWAYS SITE AT MARPLE

Having met with the Marple Civic Society Steering Group, British Waterways and its joint venture partnership H20 Urban LLP have agreed principles for an extended consultation in respect of the British Waterways’ site at Church Street, Marple.

British Waterways wishes to see a sustainable redevelopment of the Marple site which enhances this important canal side location and secures a new and viable  use for the historic warehouse, consistent with its longer term aspirations as recently set out in 2020 ‘A Vision for the Future of our Canals and Rivers’.

British Waterways and H20 Urban LLP are committed to finding a solution which is in the long term interests of the site, the area and the canal network.

In this respect:

No final decision has been taken on the future development of the site;

H20 Urban LLP recognises the concerns of the Marple Civic Society Steering Group and will consult further with them to explore alternative but commercially viable options in more detail within a workshop type environment;

The parties will enter into these discussions in good faith to ensure honesty, openness and mutual respect;

There will be no timescale for the extended consultation period.

I shall report in future issues of ‘174’ how this matter progresses.

CHANGES AT BRITISH WATERWAYS

Much will have been written elsewhere about the changes envisaged. How these will affect the IWPS and Bugsworth Basin are as yet unclear but it will almost certainly be that we will be within a new British Waterways Region. I believe, from talks held with the staff at BW with whom we presently work, there will be little change and we will still work under the existing ‘Memorandum of Agreement’. The re-organisation will remove one layer of management and it is claimed that this will free up ten million pounds of funding to be spent on maintenance. There will be job losses within BW. We are hopeful that the existing team who have been very successful in obtaining third party funding for projects like our new Visitor Centre will remain. BW also state they want to encourage and work more closely with volunteers and eventually move themselves out of  state control in to a new ‘third sector’ or trust organisation within the next 10 years.  It has been suggested  that BW see the National Trust as their role model but I, for one, cannot see how this will work as BW assets, i.e. canals, are open to the public anyway so where is the incentive to be for having a membership funded organisation?

At this point in time it would be pointless to speculate. We shall have to watch developments and comment and/or lobby should we think fit when the proposals become firmer.  In the meantime I have assured BW that this is not the first time we have had a complete change of region. We will work with anybody as long as there is reason, willingness and partnership between BW and the voluntary sector. It’s a case of watch this space. In the meantime we carry on with all the exciting projects we have in hand.

Go to  www.britishwaterways.co.uk/media/documents/twentytwentymap.pdf for further information.

THE WATERWAYS TRUST AND THE DROITWICH BARGE LOCK APPEAL

The IWPS modestly financially supported this appeal. We learned back in December that the Historic Lock had been returned to its former glory. The other good news is that restoration of the whole canal has gone on apace and that there will soon be a connection to the River Severn and the tunnel under the A449 Worcester to Kidderminster Road has been completed.

Once considered by many as a  ‘no hoper’ the success of the Droitwich just goes to show, yet again, that any project volunteer driven over many years will eventually succeed by bringing on board Local Authorities, British Waterways and others. Recently the IWPS Walking Group inspected this whole length down to the Severn and saw how bad it really was. The fact this is now restored is the true reward for years of faith, grit and commitment of all volunteers concerned. Well done! Maybe we’ll take another walk soon!

 Return to Contents


Aerial Photography by Armelle Hatch

Taken during a recent helicopter flight, these are just two examples of more than 30 photographs taken by Armelle who had the opportunity whilst the aircraft did two circuits around the village and canal basins.

Return to Contents


Marple Lime Works, Mineral Mill and Brick Works

by Peter J Whitehead.

Opens Peter Whitehead's website in a new windaw. The IWPS is not responsible for the content of external websites        Click the button to open Peter's excellent article.

Return to Contents


This month’s quote:

'One man's scrap is another man's strategic spares.'

from a report, AGM of the N. Yorks. Moors Railway, 20.06.09

Comment

Can't the 'experts' get anything right these days?

The Pontcysllte Aqueduct and Canal has just been declared to be a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There is just a small problem with the name of the canal. Instead of being called the Llangollen Canal it has been called the Pontcysllte Canal.

Digital TV reception for Canal Boats

An official information fact sheet specifically for canal boats is available at:

http://www.digitaluk.co.uk/propertymanagers/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/11650/DUK_FSheet_CanalBoats.pdf

Return to Contents


Further research into the archives of ‘The Reporter.’

by Keith Holford

Further research into the archives of ‘The Reporter.'
Although my main body of the research was into the development of Chinley together with the early history of St Mary's Church, interesting sidelines were to catch my eye.

February 4th 1911.  The Arches to be removed at Bugsworth?

At a Special Meeting of Chapel-en-le-Frith Rural District Council last week, Mr Partington, the engineer, reported that he had discussions with Mr Morten the owner of the limekilns that obstruct the public highway at Bugsworth. The engineer's report and scheme was adopted by the Council. In all probability Mr Morten will have the arches removed without further delay. This will avoid the recourse to action in the High Court.

April 1st 1911. Thirty two years service on the canal.

With the retirement of Mr Joseph Mellor, 65 years of age, a toll collector and lock keeper at Waterhouses, near Ashton, the Great Central Canal system will lose one of the best known and most highly respected servants. He is a native of Bugsworth and before taking up his present position he was employed at Bugsworth as a foreman for Mr Levi Maiden a lime merchant. Afterwards he worked for the Great Central Rlwy [then the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Rlwy] in their stone quarries at Bugsworth. Mr Mellor has witnessed many changes not only on the canal system but on the staff of the G C Rlwy, where he worked under four canal agents and three general managers. Not along after taking his post at Waterhouses, he saw a 3 year old child struggling in the water, it proved to be the son of Mrs Threlfall of Pinch Farm, Crime Lake, Mellor. He had the pleasure of seeing the child growing up into a young man, when he then emigrated to New Zealand. 12 years ago he went into the canal, near the lock-house, to rescue an old lady who had gone out late at night to get some water for cleaning purposes. Although it was intensely dark he divested himself of clothing, dived into the lock and guided by her cries brought her to terra firma. On another occasion, late at night, he was startled to hear cries for help, only to discover a man had lost his footing on the towpath and he was clinging, almost submerged, to the lock gates.

Bugsworth soldier gets a medal after 45 years.

During the meeting of the Chapel Board of Guardians [The workhouse] on Monday afternoon a pleasant and unusual ceremony took place. There is in the Workhouse a man named James Hartley who in later years was lime drawer at the Bugsworth limekilns. Although born in Manchester Hartley has been connected with Bugsworth since he was 5 years of age. He joined the work on the canal and for many years he was a boatman. In 1857 he enlisted at Bury in the First Battalion of the 7th of Foot, serving for a period of 10 years, taking part in the Fenian raid in Canada in 1866. Some years he had the misfortune to break his leg and he had to go into the Chapel Workhouse. Hartley was brought before the Board and Colonel Hall, the Chairman, said he had a pleasant duty to perform and that to present Private James Hartley, late of the 7th of Foot, with a medal. Accompanying the medal was a short letter from the Adjutant – General outlining Hartley's service. Colonel Hall added that Hartley would soon receive a pension of something like 9 pence a day. With his old age pension, that meant that he could live in comfort for the rest of his day. Hartley with tears in his eyes saluted Colonel Hall and the board, and then retired.

May 13th 1911. Building at Bugsworth?

Mr Arrowsmith of Moseley Hall is about to commence cottages at Weston. These are the first houses to be built in the locality for some time. [Weston now forms part of Western Lane, for those not local, Weston Point was sandwiched between Barren Clough and Moseley Fields, both names now part of Western Lane. [Much later, Mrs Arrowsmith was a passionate campaigner against changing the name of Bugsworth to something more genteel]

The search for a mortuary site in Chinley?

Overseer of the Poor had had some trouble in finding a place for dead bodies. When the fatality occurred recently on Chinley Station the Midland Rlwy had allowed them to keep the body on their premises and from time to time they had been taken to the Princes Hotel. The Chairman said this could not be done in every case, publicans could not be compelled to take them, and the proper place to take them would be the Parish Church. It was pointed out that there was no Parish Church in Chinley. Mr Hudson suggested that they might be able to use the mortuary at the Isolation Hospital [Now used as the High Peak Borough Council Offices]. It was decided that the Overseers of the Poor should endeavour to make some arrangements with the landlord of the Princes Hotel for dead bodies, and people killed, to be stored in his outbuildings and that he be paid for this service.

July 29th 1911. The Peak Pierrots Performance.

That capital troupe of vocal entertainers, the Peak Pierrots, gave a good performance before a large audience in the Bugsworth Schoolroom on Tuesday night. Messrs G. Shepley and C.E. Airey had the management of the concert which gave unbounded satisfaction. All the numbers were received with the heartiest tokens of approval, most of them being encored. Especially well executed were the pianoforte solos by Miss M. Hadfield the violin solos by Mr Owen Evans, the sketch ‘At the ball' by Miss Ninness and Mr Shepley --- the duet ‘Under my umbrella' by Miss Rose Hartley and Mr Shepley. There were monologues --- ‘The Parrot said'--- ‘The Limitations of Youth' --- ‘How We Saved the Barge' --- not to forget the humorous trios and much much more.

[It is a small world. Whilst working on the small Buxworth Welldressing during the 2nd reopening of the Bugsworth Basin in March 2005, David Price from Hope reminisced with me over a monologue ‘How We Saved the Barge' that his father, born in 1899, used to take delight in reciting during family occasions, usually he said, after a small drink. Later, he kindly sent me both a printed copy and a copy on a computer disk. I was researching the High Peak Reporter in February 2009 for these extracts, when I came across this mention of ‘How We Saved the Barge' in the Peak Pierrots performance. It also appears in a Christmas Concert given by a party from Manchester Cathedral at St Mary's Church in December 1911] For your edification ‘How We Saved the Barge' follows.

How We Saved the Barge'

I'm a Captain, that's what I am Sir, a nautical man by trade, though I ain't decked out with a uniform of buttons and golden braid. I ain't a Captain its true Sir of a floating Grand Hotel and it's true I ain't the Skipper of one of them Clacton or Yarmouth Belles.

But I'm the Captain of this 'ere barge Sir, what's known as the Slimy Sal and there ain't a faster boat on the length nor breadth of the whole canal. Though I'll own so far as the breadth's concerned, that ain't much praise, of course, and the number of knots an hour we makes has summat to do with the horse.

Have I ever had any adventures, the same as one meets at sea, I should rather think I have Sir, not one but a dozen may be. If it wasn't as how me throat's so dry as to almost stop me breath, I'd tell yer the way my missus and me was snatched from the jaws of death. Her courage it was too as saved us, her courage what pulled us through or I wouldn't be standing here, thirsty --- Well thank ee, don't mind if I do.

One day some two or three weeks ago, our cargo had all been stowed. We'd eighty odd ton of coal aboard which of course was a fairish load. We'd got a new 'orse that day Sir, too good for the job a lot. He'd once been a Derby winner but his name I've clean forgot. He was standing harnessed to the barge, the missus and me was aboard, when all of a sudden we feels a jerk and he starts of his own accord. Summat or other had startled him, what it was I never could think --- probably he's heard some kind gent like you who offered to buy him a drink.

I flew like flash to the rudder and pushed it hard a lee and the missus had hoisted a flag of distress through the chimbley I could see. We hadn't a fog horn nor a whistle aboard but she yells like two, and the louder she screamed out "Clear the course" the faster the old 'orse flew. He thought he was in the days gone by, a winning some famous race --- twas a race with death for the missus and me at that awful headlong pace.

Houses and trees went a flying by, a mighty splash and a shock and we'd passed right through, without paying too, the closed up gates of a lock. When after we'd whizzed through a tunnel, she called from the lower deck "If that there 'orse ain't pulled up quick, I can see we are in for a wreck. We've only thirty or forty miles till we come to the end of the course. It's a case of which holds out the longest --- the blooming canal or the 'orse."

But before I tells how we was saved, Sir, there's one thing I would like you to know --- my missus was once in a circus as a "Hartist" --- oh, I mean years ago. She used to perform on the tightrope and wonderful tricks she done, but that's all gone and over, her weight being now 17 stone.

She comes on the deck where I stood, Sir, and I sees a gleam come in her eye --- she says "It's a chance in a thousand but it's one I am willing to try. That headlong career of the horse must be stopped --- it's our last and only hope --- there's only one way to get at him --- I must walk to his back on the rope." She gives me one farewell hug Sir, takes an oar for a pole in her hand, then smiling as though in a circus on the tow rope for a second she stands. I closed both my eyes after that Sir, for the sight would have made me unnerved, for a horrible death it would have meant for her if the barge for a moment had swerved. But I opens wide in a moment for I hears a kind of a crack and I sees that there 'orse all collalapsed in a heap for the missus had broken his back. As soon as the crisis was over on the deck in a swoon, Sir, I dropped but the barge went on for a mile and a half on its lonesome before it was stopped.

Why didn't we cut through the rope, Sir, and let the horse loose instead --- just fancy you thinking of that, Sir, --- it never entered my head.

Further research on the internet resulted in the following details. This was monologue was written in 1908 and formed part of the regular repertoire of Bransby Williams.

August 19th 1911. A boat trip to raise funds for a trip to the Empire Festival in London.

St James's Church Choir organised a boat trip to raise funds for their planned trip to visit the Empire Festival in London. The trip was from Bugsworth to Macclesfield, a start was made early on Saturday morning and ample time was given for a good look round this quaint old Cheshire town. It was rather late when the party arrived home, but the sail and the ramble around the town was greatly enjoyed. A fair sum of money was raised towards the trip.

September 2nd 1911 The Arches at Bugsworth.

At Monday's meeting of Chapel R D Council Mr T. A. Hallam asked if anything had been done to the Bugsworth Arches. The matter had been up time and again. The Clerk said nothing at all had been done so far has he could see. He had had a walk there on the previous evening, and the Arches had not been touched. The Council could not do anything at present, because the present owners were given four months in which to remove the Arches. The contract had been won and signed, the matter was in the hands of the Attorney-General, and if something were not done within the specified time there would be trouble. Mr Hallam said that he understood from a source that the Buxton Lime Firms had not given their consent.

September 9th 1911.  Building in Chinley.

There is to be considerable building in the neighbourhood of Lower Lane, Chinley, as either six or eight shops are to be erected. The puzzle is how they are to be maintained once they are built.

September 16th 1911. Echoes from the Peak--- Bugsworth Arches.

Everything comes to those who wait. Bugsworth people have waited long for the removal of an arch over the road at Gnat Hole, and now it is being demolished. It is something to Bugsworth's advantage, but not all that is required, ‘Cannot we have a new road as well ‘said one of the ratepayers last week. The removal of the Arches does not make Bugsworth less of a cul de sac. There is still the steep gradient up the Silk Hill, up which it is impossible to get a load of any weight to Whaley Bridge, and the toll-bar remains on the New Road. Bugsworth people object to paying the highway rate and a toll in addition. What is wanted is a road to Whaley Bridge round by the Arches now being removed. It would be shorter and much easier to travel. Having at last got the Arches out of the way, Bugsworthites may be able to have a new road as suggested if they wait patiently for the one as they have done for the other.

Theft of a crab on Chinley Station.

At a special Court held at Chapel yesterday, a young man by the name of Harry Jones, who said he lived in Chapel-en-le-frith, was charged with stealing a crab, valued at 1 shilling and sixpence, the property of the Midland Rlwy Co, whilst in transit to Stockport. Foreman Martin gave evidence to the effect that at 8-37 that morning he saw the deceased [should be accused], who was travelling from Belper to Ashton- under-Lyne on a platform on Chinley Station. Jones went up to a platform barrow, picked up a crab from a basket and then placed it under his coat. The witness went over to Jones and asked him why he had taken the crab. Jones replied that he had taken it for a lark. The accused pleaded guilty to taking the crab but insisted that he had no intention of stealing it, and had only taken it for a lark. The Magistrates fined Jones 20 shillings, including costs, or in default he would serve fourteen days imprisonment.

The Arches are coming down.

At last! A start has been made in the demolition of the Bugsworth Arches. There is one arch over the roadway, and it formerly formed part of the limekiln communications. For a number of years it has been realised that three old limekilns were dangerous, and there have been several heavy falls of earth, though none on the highway. The question of the Arches has been raised many a time at meeting s of Chapel R D C and ultimately the Council decided to take legal proceedings. An agreement was then reached with the owners to pull the Arches down, but matters got no further, and complaints were made at the Council meeting a fortnight last Monday about the delay in starting the work. Now, the work is in hand and the road will be closed for several weeks and meantime a temporary road has been through the fields. The gas main is being laid along the road to Silk Hill, and all vehicular traffic between Bugsworth and Whaley Bridge is having to use the New Road and pay a toll at the toll-bar at Derby Knowle.

September 30th 1911. More on the Arches.

The work of clearing the Arches over the roadway at Bugsworth is proceeding apace, and it is watched with some interest. On Tuesday morning the men has almost reached the actual stonework. The road is of course still blocked.

October 14th 1911. The Arches are gone.

The Arches over the roadway at Gnat Hole have been removed. A good deal of work remains to be done in removing the adjoining structures while the highway will still be closed for sometime.

Shocking accident at Crist Quarry Bugsworth.

On Wednesday afternoon a shocking accident occurred at Crist Quarry to Mr Edward Wetters, the popular Bugsworth cricketer. He was raising a huge bar to prise up a big block of stone. The stone broke at what the quarrymen call ‘a shack' and with his weight on the bar. Mr Wetters fell forward with his arm under the bar, and the stone on top of the bar. His arm was crushed to a pulp and he sustained other injuries. Mr William Winterbottom rendered first aid, Dr Allan was called from Whaley Bridge, he was rushed to Manchester Infirmary where it is feared he will lose his arm. [A week later it was reported that the arm had been saved]

October 21st 1911. The Peak Forest Canal almost dry.

The canal water level has less water at present than at any time during the last hundred years. The reservoirs supplying the canal are empty and over wide lengths of the waterway canal traffic is suspended. Many works on the banks of the canal have been compelled to close owing either to their lack of water or coal. At Disley the bed of the canal is exposed while at High Lane there are boats aground in 15 inches of water.

October 28th 1911. Farmer and his cart.

Arthur Massey, a farmer, who formerly kept the Rose and Crown Inn, Bugsworth, was charged at Chapel Police Court for using a trap without a licence at Chinley on the 23rd of July. Constable Soper stated that he say the defendant driving a spring cart full of passengers on Buxton Road, Chinley. The constable asked to see his licence and Massey replied that his name and address was on the cart and he didn't realise that he needed one, seeing that he was a farmer. Massey stated that on the day in question he was travelling to Smalldale to view some heifers, a lady in the cart was also going to view heifers at the same place. The case was adjourned for further inquiries to be made.

November 4th 1911. Navigation again possible.

The recent rains have had a welcome effect upon the Peak Forest Canal, and navigation is again possible. This week boats have been able to make trips out of the Bugsworth Basin, something that has not been possible for the last six weeks. The boatmen are naturally pleased to be able to work again.

‘Hunting Extraordinary.' From the Times of the 26th December 1835.

On Friday week a deer and a bear gave no little trouble to some inhabitants of Chapel-en-le Frith and Stoney Middleton. The deer had arrived at Bugsworth Basin per Wheatcroft's boat, and was to be forwarded by their waggon to the owner, Mr Butcher of Sheffield, who intended it for a menagery [sic] now collecting in the Botanical Gardens, Sheffield. He was duly deposited in the conveyance, but at Stoney Middleton the waggoner's needs must have a peep at him, and raised the covering for the purpose; the animal, probably not liking such a tedious mode of travelling, instantly seized the opportunity, sprang out of the wagon and was out of sight in an instance.
He was not seen again until Sunday when he was discovered by a party of men who had been employed to search for him, in a wood close to Middleton. After many efforts they succeeded in enticing him in a sheep pen and rushing in after him, they fully expected to seize him, but with one bound the deer sprung over their heads of five or six of the escort, knocking down the remainder; the chase was, however commenced anew, and with better success, the animal was at last secured and sent to the owner.
On the same day and by the same conveyance, a bear, part of the loading of Messrs Wheatcroft's boat, and which gave the luckless waggoners even more trouble than the deer. The efforts of four or five men were directed to introducing Mr Bruin in a hogshead barrel, for the purpose of placing of him in the waggon., but his violent resistance made it a difficult matter, and in the struggle his collar [to which the chain was attached broke and the bear found himself at liberty, knocked down three of his persecutors and departed at top speed. He luckily ran into Hibberson's warehouse, where a grand hunt was immediately commenced; the doors were closed, lights were brought [for it was dark], and dogs turned in.
Bruin behaved very gallantly, and repeatedly put to rout his human pursuers, to whom he was a formidable object, having no muzzle or chain on him; he was however secured at last, and forwarded to his destination at Sheffield, but not before he had severely scratched, bitten and torn the clothes of his assailants.

Keith Holford.

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BOOK REVIEW by Ian Edgar

‘MOVING MANCHESTER’ (Aspects of the History of Transport in the City and Regions since 1700).

I have had this remarkable book on my coffee table for some time. It is a book which you can pick up and read chapter by chapter. For the historian who wants to know more about the history and the growth of Manchester it is a must.

Published 2004 by the Lancashire & Cheshire Antiquarian Society this hard back has two sections for those interested in North West Canals. Our own Dr. Martin Whalley and Alan Findlow have contributed ‘Bugsworth Basin: Development, Decline and Restoration 1794-2004’ and John Fletcher (just retired National Chairman of the IWA) has contributed ‘Canal Restoration in the North West since the 1970s’. Both chapters are extremely well written and have a particular interest for me but I initially could not generate much enthusiasm for ‘Manchester Airport – from provincial aerodrome to international gateway; a local authority challenge to central government policy 1934-1980’. But for one who regularly uses the airport and who starts to read this paper it is remarkably interesting. Indeed it is hard to put down as most of the other chapters I found just as illuminating. This book is one for the coffee table to pick up from time to time and enjoy.

‘MOVING MANCHESTER’ (Hardback) can be obtained from The Peak Forest Canal Co. Ltd at my address as the front cover. Price £21 plus £3 postage and packing. For contents Google MOVING MANCHESTER DEREK BRUMHEAD.

The Lancashire & Cheshire Antiquarian Society has kindly given permission to the IWPS to reproduce the Chapter by Dr. Martin Whalley and Alan Findlow on Bugsworth Canal Basin in booklet form. This professional booklet is now available from The Peak Forest Canal Co. at my address for £2.50.

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IWA ALARMED AT SEVERITY OF WATERWAYS BUDGET CUTS

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) is alarmed at the depth of the cuts proposed for inland waterways navigation authority budgets following the announcement of British Waterways grant in aid for next year (2010/11). Reports indicate that this year's available grant of £57.448m (1.) will be reduced to just £47.848m, representing an over 16.7% reduction. British Waterways £57.448m grant this year, fails to address an ongoing deficit of between £20-30 million each year just to maintain the system in a steady state of repair. The proposed cuts will exacerbate an already critical situation.

IWA is also concerned that similar cuts may be being planned within the Environment Agency, which also has navigation responsibilities on other inland waterways, and is also carrying a maintenance budget deficit.

Speaking on behalf of IWA, Clive Henderson, national chairman, said:

" This is a very worrying development however you do the maths. These are significant and deep cuts to an already deficient budget. Whilst we appreciate and accept that we are living in hard times, to use the analogy of a householder - in times of austerity, you may not buy new furniture and decoration but, when your house is in serious disrepair you do not skimp on repairing the roof. "

"It is especially disappointing to learn of these cuts at a time when Government is recognising the holistic benefits to society at large of the waterways as a place not just for leisure, but for contributing to health and wellbeing of communities and as an important source of urban and rural regeneration. It is perverse for Government to implement any reduction in budget. They should be looking at realistic budget increases, not a one off boost to fiscal stimulus , to ensure that these public benefits are enshrined for future generations, under secure and sustainable funding arrangements. "

"We will be looking very carefully at the implications of these cuts on British Waterways' operations and fear that major failures on structures may arise at under-maintained locations, even putting the safety of waterway users at risk. We don't want to return to campaigning on the scale that was required to deal with the 2006 Defra instigated Budget cuts;- but if we have to;- we will."

For more information please contact Jo Gilbertson on 01494 783453 Ext 611.  Jo.Gilbertson@waterways.org.uk

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IWPS Member, Ruth Tiddy, gets to the root of the matter

 

A Sheffield housewife had a big surprise when she looked in to her pantry yesterday and found flesh coloured tentacles beckoning to her from out of a carrier bag. Showing remarkable bravery she seized hold of the bag and hurried to her lean-to where she was better able to examine its contents. To her utter amazement she found that some potatoes which had only lain undisturbed for a relatively short period of several months had tried to grow for it.

A day of surprises was crowned for Mrs T who, after the report in our early edition, was delighted and amazed to receive a telephone call from her hero Monty Don who congratulated her on winning the 2009 British and All Comers Indoor Potato Growing Competition.
The Huntley Bugle is proud to add its congratulations to Mrs Tiddy who modestly attributed her potato growing success to a preoccupation with rag and Talbot School.

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From the Derby Mercury - Inquests February 1841

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The Importance of Walking

Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $7000 per month.

My grandpa started walking five miles a day when he was 60. Now he's 97 years old and we don't know where he is.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I'm doing..

I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks. Haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to go there.

Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise', I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

I do have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.

The advantage of exercising every day is so when you die, they'll say, 'Well, she looks good doesn't she.'

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.

I know I got a lot of exercise the last few years,......just getting over the hill.

We all get heavier as we get older, because there's a lot more information in our heads. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

AND

Every time I start thinking too much about how I look, I just find a Happy Hour and by the time I leave, I look just fine.

With thanks to Josie Smith and the Hockney brother who sent it.

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