I Like Big Butts

A place that is quiet to moor on a Sunday, shows different colours on a Monday morning when the sound of construction vehicles reversing starts and it’s soon clear that they are reversing pretty regularly.The view from the boat is lower than from the towpath so the building site doesn’t mar the view from there.


View from the towpath beside the boat.
Also the view from the towpath beside the boat

It’s nice to see a variety of people and activities on the towpath and today we can see that lots of of secondary pupils use it as a route to school. What a pleasant way to start their day! Quiet and lots of flowers and birds on the way.

Part of towpath hedge nearby

Some swans came past this morning but by the time I’d come out with food, they had sped past. They are powerful swimmers. I had the good luck today to see two swans flying down and arriving right before me on the water, wings outstretched, skimming along the surface then settling into swim mode. The male out flared his wings, displaying, and powered through the water. My camera didn’t do it justice, but he wasn’t gliding, he was making waves.


Powerful swimmer, showing off for his mate

Shane is keen to visit the Lowry, which is nearby but not open on a Monday. This area is where many of his relatives lived, so he has a particular fondness for visiting it and not just passing through. We had some shopping to do, a few basics. Several supermarkets were nearby, so we set off. His aunt Nancy had liked the Leigh market, so we went to have a look. It was indoors and part of a larger shopping centre. It certainly has a variety of shops and to my surprise we spent quite a long time and bought from several stalls. I was pleased to see vegetables for sale weren’t all in plastic packaging. We ended up lunching there and still hadn’t got to the supermarket. Shane’s capacity/ tolerance for browsing (unless it is a tool or electrical items dept) is much less than mine, so Shane went himself and I continued shopping round the centre. I weighed up the lump hammers at the hardware stall but couldn’t be sure if either was exactly suitable for knocking in mooring spikes. I think having another would be good.

We’d agreed to meet back at the boat, having assured Shane that I knew my way back. This gave me the chance to look more closely at the buildings around and have a bit of a wander. The size and grandeur of the mills competes with the churches. The churches may have used up the remaining stone available but the mills were decorated using patterns in the bricks and they incorporated towers and domes in their construction.



St Josephs church, mostly stone

St Thomas, across the road, a mixture of brick and stone
The offices of the Butts mill, complete with the old stained glass windows
Central tower of the Butts mill

The chimney of this mill is round the back, by the canal and also bears its name, though the paint is fading and far away, as it is so tall. To see the whole of the main building, excluding the offices, I had to go to the other side of the football pitch opposite. 

smoke caked Butt stack.
Big Butts, no kidding

 Back at the boat, I tried to see the writing in brick, on the side of the mill that we were moored opposite. This fairly puts their name down for posterity. It was obscured by trees or buildings and I could only see partial words, until I climbed on to the roof of the boat and at last I got a good view of the lettering “Leigh Spinners Limited”

Mills Boom in Leigh