We are about to embark on another trip on the English narrow canals, this time from near Audlem to Bugsworth Basin, sometimes known as Buxworth or vice versa. I once lived over the hill just outside Whaley Bridge and many a bike ride or walk would find us at the basin. At the time this was a long-standing restoration project with no immediate prospects for completion. Stop locks were in place just beyond the aqueduct and the entire basin dry. It is a delight to be able to take a boat into this complex interchange which was finally reopened in 2005 on completion of the £1.2M British Waterways project.
I don’t expect Caggy Stevens ever operated on this part of the network but he was one of the last commercial operators on the English canals, a breed of men who had worked their entire lives on the narrow waterways. I nearly ‘bumped into him’ on the BCN in early April 1978. Suddenly he was there and just as suddenly he was gone – as can be seen from the wake in the first image, he was not hanging about; he had serious work to be done. It is a pity that no such encounters with the working past will be had on our next trip.
(click on the images to enlarge)
Connection to the Internet will be intermittent at best for the next two weeks so I will not be very active on WordPress. TTFN.