Panel J – Wharfs and Tipplers

Bugsworth Basin looking east c1900.

Gritstone, too, was an important product shipped through the basins from the local quarries. Many thousands of tons, setts, paving and building stone were loaded The gritstone wharf is on the right and in the centre foreground is the cantilever jib crane used to load stone into boats.

In the centre background the workshops can just be seen. On the right, the smaller building is a blacksmiths' shop and the larger building behind it is the Rose & Crown Inn. The limeshed is used to transship lime, brought down the tramway in special covered high-sided wagons, to boats waiting inside it.

There were four tipplers at Bugsworth Basin, one either side of the arm alongside the Upper Basin limeshed, one on the short wharf adjacent to Silk Hill road bridge, and one on the longer Lower Basin Arm. Wooden staging supported the tramway rails and a second outer set of rails on which ran a mobile tippler mechanism. Two simple A-frames joined by cross-members carried an axle with an approximately 15 foot diameter wheel attached. The mechanism straddled wagons rolled onto the staging and two chains wrapped round the axle were attached to the closed end of the wagon to be tipped. The other end of the wagon was opened and the wagon tipped by operating the handwheel depositing the load on the wharf below.

Murder Most Foul

Bugsworth Basin is the scene where John Cotton murdered his wife, Hannah, on Wednesday the 26th October 1898. The murder was committed in the cabin of a narrowboat moored here and that day was probably the most infamous in the long workaday life of the Basin. John Cotton was arrested the same day and quickly sent for trial at Derby Assizes. He was hanged at Derby Gaol on the 21st December 1898 in accordance with the sentence passed by Mr Justice Matthew. The executioner was Billington of Bolton. It is reputed that John Cotton was the last person to be hanged at Derby Gaol.