Bank Holiday Walk May 2022
We were able to return to our traditional May Bank Holiday walk this year with a fascinating six-and-a-half-mile trip involving industrial heritage in the High Peak of Derbyshire, led by treasurer Chris Hirst. The weather stayed fine.
A party of 16 started at Bugsworth Basin, the head of navigation of the Peak Forest Canal, which was the largest and busiest inland port on Britain’s narrow canal system and is the only one to have survived intact. The canal was built by Benjamin Outram to transport limestone and gritstone from quarries in Derbyshire. It has been restored by volunteers, starting in 1968 and culminating in reopening the canal and basins to navigation in 2005.
The first part was along the canal and the River Goyt to Whaley Bridge, whose population almost trebled during the Industrial Revolution, in which cotton mills become the dominant industry. After negotiating a collapsing stone stile, we climbed 550 ft to the summit of Eccles Pike, from where there was a fine 360-degree panoramic view over the Pennines. The name “pike” means pointed hill, though it is unknown where the “Eccles” comes from.
Then it was downhill for lunch at the Navigation Inn beside the basin. It became an inn more than 200 years ago and still retains its character. It was once owned by Pat Phoenix, who played Elsie Tanner in Coronation Street. Thanks to Chris for such a fascinating walk in a beautiful part of the world.
AGM and Informal Dinner