Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A night on the boat

Went to NB Lola yesterday.  All seemed fine, batteries were fully charged but we took our feed from the shoreline anyway.

No issues on board and the night was ok, if not a little unsettled.  Was a bit colde as we did not keep the stove in.  so had to do with the oil filled rad and a hot air heater.

Jobs for the new year now include a new water tank isolation valve, the current one took a bit of WD40 and 3 in 1.  Might be ok on next visit so we will see.  What I did see was a poor paint job where the water tank was, either side it was a bit rusty, not too bad though.

The paintwork is holding up ok and the roof paint job from earlier in the year is fine so far, quite impressed with it really.

So I part winterised, the water tank was half full and I ran the pump with the valve closed so most water has drained out, just the calorifier to worry about but it survived last year so heres hoping.

Not sure about extended plans for next year as we are off to Spain during Easter.  Might have a week during may half term I think.  I fancy a trip to Birmingham and back, or as close to.  Not being in Birmingham is not an issue as it is really about cruising in my opinion.  The alternative could be Great Haywood, Tixall wide and beyond, that sound like a better bet to me.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

No go till new year

Well its no boaty till new year unless we have a stay over just before Christmas, a possibility if the weather stays fair.  What a lovely change from last year.  Lola was stuck in the water with the engine removed, waiting the new one to be fitted.  I am pleased for all that the ice has yet to take a grip.

Sarah had her 9th birthday party yesterday, an afternoon on the ice rink in Nottingham.  She exclaimed that it was her best birthday ever.   I did not take pictures because of the number of bags n bits I was already being asked to look after.

So next big event is Christmas day.  Hopefully a boaty set of pictures before that if we do get to the boat.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Will I ever learn?

Off to the boat this morning.  It takes about 45 mins to get to the Marina.  Why do I mention this read on later.

The visit was to check her over and to also warm her through and check the part winterising.  Fire was lit and I thought - lets just stay over with daughter number 2, this is soooo nice.  Sarah put the tv on and I checked bilges and suchlike.  Kindle was brought with me so I read my book to the end, was just a few pages to go.  We then trialled the oil heater with the intention of putting it on a timer but I decided to leave it a while as last year we suffered no ill effects even though winterising was not done.  However, we will go to the boat again later this month so I can decide then.  Marina was looking pretty full, as usual.

So we got ready to leave, making sure that the fire was dying down and all else was ok.

Off we set homeward bound with the promise of some fried chicken for Sarah as a treat.  Gets nearly home and turn into the chicken shop whence I cannot find my wallet, no recollection of taking it from the boat - bum must have left it aboard. Back we went.  No wallet.  Where is it? Checked around again, still no trace.  OK last place could be in the car, checked the back seats, there it was on the floor, doh!

So back home again we decided to forgo chicken licken and have a sandwich instead.

Because Johanna has Newark rowing competition tomorrow we could not stay on Lola so it will have to be week after next I reckon or await the new year.  I am looking forward to being able to stay over during crimbo but, alas, that may take a while given youngest is only 8.

tara for now

Sunday, 20 November 2011

A short trip and late post

Well, we have been a tad busy this last week and I missed the opportunity to reflect upon our, probably, last trip out of the year.

We wandered out last Monday, as mentioned in previous posts.  No right turn because Fradley was part closed with lock repairs.  So left turn Clyde  and towards toilet town (Armitage).  On board were John and a couple of his friends.  I had promised John a day on the "barge" as he kept jokingly called it, but he now accepts narrowboat, in my company anyway.  A tad cold so on went the gloves and we were soon at Handsacre with not a soul moving, save ourselves.  Whilst cold it was otherwise enjoyable with the fire on for thiose sitting inside.  Bacon sandwiches were soon made up and these kept us "in" for the time being.

The original plan in my head was to go past Rugeley and turn about (wind) at the winding point just past the trent aqueduct.  however, progress was not as expected because there were so many moored boats, meaning a tickeover when nearing and passing them.  I always keep the boat to tick over until i am well past the moored boat, purely to help them keep their pins in by not accelerating to early.

In the end we winded just before Rugeley and headed back through the narrows to moor up at the Plum Pudding restaurant.  We enjoyed some nice Italian fayre which was well cooked and despite Johns dry humour, the waitress was very nice and friendly.  Lunch took us until 2.20 pm meaning we had to get on before it started to get dark.

John, in charge!

 As you can see, quite dull.

Passing NB Theresa as we pass Handsacre.

We got back into Kings Bromley at 3.30 pm, after an enjoyable, easy day.

Richard Sherratt had carried out an engine service for us and it was noticeable - a good job.  Richard has many talents and we may be providing him with some work next year.  He is well known at Kings Bromley and trades as RJS Marine - 07779 242055.  I do like to recommend people who provide good service at an affordable price.  I will be doing my own servicing soon but with a full time job, home and family time is at a premium.

I shall be going to Lola regularly over the winter as even though we will not be taking her out I still enjoy being there.  Last year the engine replacement scuppered these plans so this year I will be there, just need John to find me some more wood!

That's all for now folks.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Where did the weather go?

Seems the weather is turning this week.  Just as well my outing wiv da boyz is tomorrow.

I am taking out 5 guys who have retired early late or just do not know when to give it up!

One of these chaps is a nice guy called John who lives in the midlands in a lovely property with an indecent amount of land.  However, this land yields a plentiful supply of Ash, Oak, irch etc.  So I gain by having enough wood to last all year round.

We went brash clearing - this is the stuff that falls from trees in the main, yesterday and built three bongires for it.  Mine was a total didaster, put down to having the wettest wood supply - my excuse anyways.

I thought it would be nice to have some memories of the day:-

 Mrs Bottom
 Well its smoking

 Sadly, one of the other bonfires
Lola just too tired to go on

I am going to take some piccies of our jaunt to Rugeley tomorrow, my aim to to take some "proper shots", although I do like my slow, handheld exposure above.

One major problem, my firend John, insists on calling the narrowboat a barge.  Not sure if this is in jest or ignorance, although one yesterday did offer the term long boat as an alternative.  I can see I will have my work cut out tomorrow.

It is also time to remember

My Grandad Flood, may all remember and give thanks, their bravery gives us our freedom.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Bit of boaty stuff

Popped up to her today to pull out the engine service book ready for its service next week.  Also took off some bit n pieces we will not need till next season.

I really do need to get some painting done but have decided to hold this up for when i take her out to check prop etc.

All was well, I could have easily on her, wish we had overnighted there now.  Never mind.

I have decided to put the oilf filled radiator to good use and she will have a timer added next week.  Just to keep the frost at bay although the boat fared very well lkast year, just a popped tap because I forgot to drain the water.  I do hope our live aboard friends have an easier winter than last.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Getting ready for winter? nah

Too early to be ready fur winter yet.  Am on the boat saturday to do some odds n ends.  Mainly touching up paintwork if the weather will permit.  I am going out on the 14th but it will be a left turn as Shadehouse will be closed.  I will have some virgin boaters with so that should be fun.  Probably pop towards Rugeley for Lunch and back again, lets hope the rain (dare not say the ice word!) keeps at bay.

The service should be completed in the next few days, another job done.  After the day out with friends I shall part winterise, not much to this for me, mainly draining the water system and reducing whats in the calorifier to allow for expansion.  Having said that, we often spend the weekend onboard and just stay where we are so we will de-winterise as needed.

What I did want to mention was the success of our enzyme based toilet stuff.  Its working a treat, no smells at all which would not be the case if we still used Blue.  lets hope them little enzymes break down all them larger objects!

And on that note! byee

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Early Return

We returned back to Kings Bromley a little earlier than planned because of  the weather forecast.

The rain tomorrow would have spoilt an otherwise excellent break.

We left Alvecote at about 9am and returned to Kings Bromley at 5pm, no rushing, just a steady pace.

The only irritating thing was the noise from under the boat(some have been known to say the noise from above the engine!).  I have determined it was because of low water levels but as the engine is being serviced next week, I am sure any other potential will be considered (the engineer will be pre-advised).  I guessed low water levels because it is intermittent and there have been no changes to the boat and it first occurred when we hit low water, which seems pretty much the norm at present.  I did check the usual suspects, the weed hatch, prop and rudder as well as generally listening to the engine.  NB Chance had reported similar noises as we travelled behind them so I reckon my detecting is correct.  Not much hope for improvement if BW are on the case then!  And no, it is not just about how much falls from the sky, it is also about water conservation and management which BW seem particularly inept at dealing with, mind you Severn Trent Water has a similar, but published track record. 

I saw No Direction in Kings Bromley today, their blog mentions the issues at Atherstone.  The chap I spoke to laid the blame clearly at inadequate decision making by BW engineers.  The problem at Atherstone has been known about for years, tree roots penetrating the culvert drain pipes.  when the contractors cleared the culverts they merely moved the silt into the culvert drains because the side pounds were not properly cleared, just half cleared, hence the silt movement.  That aside I actually found the atherstone flight quite enjoyable. 

Streethay was its usual busy self.  a fellow boater whom I chatted with at the top of Atherstone whilst we waited for the pound to fill mentioned he was moving his boat to Streethay from Barby.   He mentioned that there were only now about 10 boaters left at Barby.  I do hope its gets sorted.  The new marina just south of Streethay is coming on well, but there seemed no action there today.  It is called Kings Orchard.

The return to King's Bromley was very enjoyable with lovely weather and excellent scenery (excusing the rail line).  The last leg to Fradley, in my opinion, is the nicest, just the last half mile, it is so natural.

Anyhow, a lovely trip out, providing many future options for next year, not least a trip to Wolverhampton, missing Birmingham.  A trip to Birmingham and many other options.  Kings Bromley is turning into a winner for me - so far.

Have you seen one of these?   We were asked by a fellow boater to let a few more know about it and how we use it.

We use it for peace of mind (occasionally) when we moor in a place we are not sure of. Between £18 and £25, depending on where you shop.  We just loop through the armco/ mooring ring and return the cable through our mid section door, locking it inside the boat.  We have not used it often but its nice to have around.

So, our next boaty stuff will be Jo to rowing training tomorrow and the narrowboat in maybe a couple of weeks or so, perhaps sooner!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Atherstone Top Lock


Trying Windows Live writer for this post at the suggestion of Doug – hope it works Doug or am chasing after you!

Nice wee drinkie was had with Doug and James and we decided to class the meet up as a banter.  Strange how we have similar views on many boaty things!


What a beautiful morning sky





Ok so we left with Chance in front of us and headed for the Atherstone Locks.

Quite a windy day and the water levels were also quite low.

We were passing a boat going round a bend so I slowed down, me being the kind considerate type, the other boat passed and waved and carried on at full speed!

Now my dander is up about this.  How many boaters are ignorant to issues re water displacement?  So, around we went, hit the cavitation areas and steering was bolloxed, straight toward the bank we headed.  Because I had slowed down I managed to make reasonable stop so we could push off the bank.

A pleading:  Please, please remember/learn to slow down past your fellow boater.  If you must act like an ignorant bloater (hehe), just keep away from where I travel!

We climbed the Atherstone Locks, with no real delay or issues to present.  In fact it was a very nice day as the sun escaped from the cloud/haze.

A few photos of our jaunt along, including a shy Johanna!





Nice Hat Missus!


Is that my daughter giving the one fingered salute!


I see James and Doug are having a rest after their two hour ordeal!  Probably gone to Buy some Wheetabix for their struggle up the locks



Such a nice colour blue, I wonder what colour number it is lol (in joke)


Once at the top I noticed the fish and chip sign I decided to plan an early turn around so we could enjoy them.  We turned just after Bridge 34 and meandered back to the top lock 48 hour moorings.  A quick walk into Atherstone found quite an agreeable town centre.  I am tempted to enjoy a real ale but my self imposed diet and drink fast may cause some issues until I get to the bar!

Only a few phone calls from work, much better than in the past and I was worried that my email was down the pinging which meant “you’ve got mail master” was so rare.

Chance passed us heading the other way, a wave and pleasantries and off they went.  Enjoy your adventures guys  - such nice people we meet, except for speed merchants that is!. 

Kath thought the varnishing was becoming a job for another day because the tin i provided had thoroughly separated and was xx years old too.  Ha ha, she was trumped.  I found another tin and we have now varnished all window bottoms for the winter.  Excellent!

It is now fast becoming fish (and ale) and chip time.


Sarah and Lola enjoying some carpet time

We popped to the pub next to the chippy for a quick pint 9just one and I/we are on holiday!).

Chippy was fine but never ask for large chips, there was far, far too many.

Over night the mooring was fine except when we took Lola out for her last wee.  it appears a dog living in the adjoining house got wind and this dog created such a racket that the neighbours were shouting across fences at the owner – oh dear.  Kath beat a hasty retreat having not been exposed as part culprit.

We awoke in good time to hit the locks at Atherstone at 9am.  into the lock we went closed the gates , opened the paddles and, and, the gates were still locked which was odd because we both swore a boat had passed us heading for the locks.  Kath duly called the 01827 252000 no for the regional centre.  We then found our that the pound between 5 and 6 had emptied because the paddle was not shut by the last boat passing through.  So we waited about an hour and 20 mins stuck in the lock, just as well it was a lovely day I say.

BW did an fine job and we went down.  As we did so a BW workperson commented upon the waste of money BW spend (yet again) on paying for contractors when a permanent staffing of capable drainage guys would save them pounds year in year out.


T’was a lively day



I took the same picture earlier this year of this house when it was covered in poppies



A speed camera on the rail line?


Hello Oakfield, a quick wave from the port hole sufficed.

And here we are at Alvecote, good job, lovely day.


More laters

Sunday, 23 October 2011

How remiss of me! - We are out!


Apologies, we left Kings Bromley yesterday at 10 am, heading to the Ashby (ish).  Reasonable start and we joined the madding crowd (far from - get it?) at Shade House.  Just  a couple of boats in front of us, one of which was, wait for it,

wait for it

Go for It!

Erm, yes it was NB Go For It, heading for Fradley so only a couple of locks for them, nice to meet you guys!

So, we passed down Fradley to the Mucky Duck (The Swan), turned right after finding that the coal and diesel boat had no coal.  Onto the Coventry we ventured.  I do like the Coventry, not too built up and quite relaxing, apart from Glascote Locks, for some reason me and them just do not get on, except for meeting Chance!  We have been trying to find quality time with these guys for ages as I enjoy their blog and quite like the coach paintwork too.

So Hello To Doug and James whom we are now moored next to.

This could be a boozy night, having already quaffed a botttle with them, and that was just after 4pm, lovely!

Tea time soon so more photos to be added tomorrow, including that new marina just down from Fradley.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Odds n sods, bits n bobs

Went to the allotment this morning to plant the shallots and more garlic.  Was going to cut more wood but decided to leave it as we have plenty for next week.  Will need to buy some coal but thats not a problem.

Oldest daughter Johanna is at the Nottingham Heads , their home race route down the Trent.  Dropped her off at 9.20 am and it was getting busy with registrations and what not, lots of rules in rowing.

Not many boats moored at county hall, couple of narrowboats, a wide beam and some ice cream tubs (cruisers). 

Lovely day for rowing, the water looked perfect.  I guess when we arrive at the boat next week it will be much cooler and some prospects for snow if you would believe it!.  Just checked temp for Thursday night and it is currently forecasting 2c brrrrr.

Still planning to go down the coventry and back before the lock works start at Fradley.

Was at Nottingham Beer Festival Friday last, ticket only this time as it was sold out and much better than last year, not as full.  Superb variety of beers and food.  I lasted from 5pm till 9.30 pm when tiredness set in and a free lift was offered.

Hopefully next blog will ba accompanied by boaty pictures.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Getting ready for the next outing

Fed up with the car resembling the Hill Billy's van so I went to the boat yesterday to take clothing and doggy stuff and logs which seem to be the most space taking stuff.  It get me every time.  Soon as I am on board I want to stay on board, addictive or what!

Marina seemed quite full as our winter moorers join us.  Nice to see it so popular, I just hope they invest in some more services.  I would like to see a larger range of goods at affordable prices (wouldn't we all!).  But it is easy to do and such a captive audience too.

I now have a plentiful supply of wood thanks to a kindly person with too many trees, and, with my new sawhorse and chainsaw (training undergone) I am making the best of whats available.  It will be interesting to see how different woods burn.  I may keep a record if I can be bothered.  I would so love a diesel heater but cannot see how it will work with our layout unless I fit the rads above the gunwhale and as hot air rises I question the impact.

So, no boaty this weekend or next but holiday at half term looks promising so long as it is not torrential rain (famous last words) as my locking crew do not like it too wet.

Latest idea is to go to the Ashby and back, just 30 or so locks in total, lets see.

the new green enzyme stuff seems to be working.  We added it just after our last trip and having primed it shall we say.  No smell, but the shower seemed to have an interesting growth.  Time for some weakened bleach next time, as we just cleaned it up this visit.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

The next trip out, or in?

So, the weather turns in the next couple of days and here I was hoping to take Lola the boat out next weekend, I somehow think not, we may likely just stay over for the night which allows us to move some clothes on board ready for the late October half term holiday.  We were going to do the Black Country Ring but I think it is too much so I reckon it will be down the Coventry Canal and some way up the Ashby, fewer locks which will please the girls and if the weather is poo we can shorten the holiday.  In any case I have things to do both weekends around the half term week.  We also need to do some varnishing and a bit of touching up so a short break should facilitate this.

We took Lola the dog for a 2 mile walk today, very enjoyable but a rare event as she is still too young for a long walk/run.

Still keen on a cratch and cover but it will have to wait as it is not a necessity as Lola now has her home in the space between the engine ole and the back cabin. 

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Much needed boaty weekend

 Needed a break so of to the boat we went last Friday.  We were going to pop up to Rugeley and stay overnight when we realised that the King's Bromley Hog roast was on on Saturday night.  We decided to see what it was like.  So Saturday morning we did a thorough pump out and many thanks to the lady who did most of it for us, a real help.  It is also so much easier when it is not a timed machine.  We managed to give it a damn good clean and then, instead of Blue we inserted a green enzyme product - lets see how well it works.  A real pain is I do not know where the breather pipe is for the poo tank, wish I did - another job to add to the list when we refurbish the bathroom. 

Instead of staying over we popped up to Rugeley for a short stop.  Not a bad town but a bit here and there type of place.  Having said that it had all we needed.  We then then went on to Brindley Aqueduct just past Rugeley, winded and headed back to the Marina.  Whilst winding and i mean whilst, a boat had the temerity to pass us in mid wind.  Said boat was not showing her name but past through Rugeley to the Plum Tree pub and moored up, so what was gained by impatience was maybe three minutes. 

Now then, I was reliably informed by Missus that alcohol and soft drinks would be on sale - wrong!  So at 6.45 pm I had to drive to Morrison's and get some supplies.  It would be easy to say Morrison's had it all.  Morrison's does not keep some booze in fridges so the wine was all warm, no good for the now problem.  I then headed to the local mini store and they came up with the goods, if not a quid or so more expensive but that is understandable.  So back to the Marina with the goods and we enjoyed a wee drink and some pork sandwiches as well as a good old folk group.  No idea if we won anything in the prize draw, probably not is is our luck.

Apologies for the poor piccie but this was all I could manage for the Hog Roast, the folk group were very good.

Slight problem with our next door neighbour as they have a dog which is very frightened of other dogs, a product of poor or non-existent socialisation (the dog that is!).  He was very nice and even suggested moving to another berth (his boat that is).  We have agreed to help said dog socialise with our puppy rather than them moving.  A difficult job but we will help where we can. 

So different to Mercia, King's Bromley is packed with boats.  I think that this is an indication of popularity and location.  Being close to Great Haywood and the Coventry, cruising routes are relatively plentiful, suits us down to the ground I say.  Best of all, a good distance from Stensons Lock although I do hear BW are going to work on it as part of the winter stoppages.  Plenty of restaurants/ pubs with food on the cut too.  Not that we frequent them regularly but its nice to have the opportunity.

Next journey is probably weekend after next and will, in the main, be to stock up for our week away.  I would like to take her down to Fradley and moor there overnight.

A little about BW.  I as are many, worry about how they will perform when they make the transition to a charity given they seem about 40 million short of what they need.  Having had contact with them my opinion is that they need a complete organisational review, starting at the bottom and working to the top.  By doing it this way, the management structure will reflect the business instead of the other way around.  I hold no expectation that this will happen given the salaries of the senior managers, which in my opinion is deplorable and without foundation based on value provided.  And here was I thinking that David Camerabum had banned bonuses to public servants in the control of a government department.  How the Chief Executive can take such a bonus saddens me as I believe it is indicative of his management behaviour, all for one and one for one.

If one earns a bonus, I actually believe it should be paid, but the bar to earn one must be based on performance beyond the expected standard.  I have not witnessed this nor can I find any reasoning to justify the bonuses.

Any how back to the purpose of my diary blog (apols for the rant).  I need to review what we take to the boat as the boot of our estate is always packed, even for a weekend.  This is proven by the numerous trips I must make to take stuff out of the boat and back to the car.

So another  weekend on Hotel NB Lola.  We do need to do some jobs but none of them are urgent, mainly painting and making a dog gate in various parts of the boat.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

The Black Country Ring qnd the Calor Mat

Seems a possibility for half term.  Not sure yet as its quite a bit of effort for the crew in a week but its certainly do-able.  We will decide nearer the date as we do not want to be boating in rain, the girls just won't have it.

Back to the boat for a weekend jaunt to Rugeley next weekend, any decent watering holes appreciated, dog and child friendly or unfriendly appreciated (good excuse for me n the missus to go out on our own!)

Not found out about the calor gas floor mat thingy, will just have to wait until the next pullout brochure.

One fimal thing, I never did find that calor mat so have ordered the calor floor holder from Force 4 Chandlery

Sunday, 11 September 2011

A tidy up and more Cheshire ring photos etc

Popped up to the boat with the intention of painting the sides below the gunwhale but Sixpence was back so we could not put the boat on long morring ropes.  Instead, I painted the gas locker with hammerite and we tidied up the back cabin so we could stow the Genny.  In fact there is now enough room in the bow locker to stow it but we prefer the genny closer to us and in a more secure place.  I am going to by a 13 Kg Calor mat if i can find the accessory magazine I saw it in!  no boating this or next weekend so I have update the Cheshire ring page and have now completed it so far as Castlefield. not much more to do now.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Cheshire Ring updated to Oakgrove


I have updated the Cheshire Ring to Oakgrove, not far short of Macclesfield 

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Cheshire ring - timeline posted and a bit of work on the boat

Following an email I have now entered basic timings for the whole trip, check it our at the Cheshire ring Page

Went back to the boat yesterday to do some jobs.

First, I cleared out the bow locker (gas locker).  What a mess.  hanging upside down is a killer but it had to be done.  when all was empty I cleaned off the rust on the floor, it was in a very poor state.  Loads of rust came off and I then had to dry the locker using our electric fan heater.  After this I then painted the floor of the locker with Vactan.  Vactan is a chemical mix which recovers rusty areas and then allow you to paint using a suitable primer/all in one.  I was pleased I did this as I discovered two more kart tyres which I will convert to fenders to be used when against concrete etc, they work fab.  whilst the Vactan was drying I took the opportunity to fit plastic tubing over the bow fender chains.  This helps keep the paint from being scratched.  I also took the opportunity to test the 5ltr tin of Hammerite direct to rust black smooth paint, £55 from a decorating warehouse in Stapleford, Notts).  It was good value given how much 2.5ltrs costs from various places, about £35.

I painted behind the bow fender and a little beyond as a test area to see how well it takes.

The Vactan was still to wet to put the gas bottles back in so I decided to call it a day and go home, set to return Tuesday to complete the job.  Got home and guess what?  i had left my work mobile on the boat, bum I say.  So, with the missus, I went back to collect it and use the fan heater to dry off the locker and replace the gas bottles.  I just did not want to leave them in the boat.  I will hammerite the locker, in black, next week.  Please with the days work but tired and my right leg is still painful if I exercise too much - read the coming post on the Cheshire ring to find out what happened.

We also met our near neighbours on board NB Third Time Lucky and NB Sixpence, the latter was heading towards Rugeley for the night.

Will try to take some photos of the Vactan in the locker, very weird stuff. 
Just updated the cheshire ring Blog, new piccies and up to Great Haywood

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Cheshire Ring

I have created a separate page detailing the Cheshire Ring.  The page will be updated as time permits.

suffice to say we are now at home and exhausted but very pleased we did the ring.  It was a challenge and very enjoyable, except for the Rochdale 9!


Last leg of the holiday

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Location:Western Springs Rd,Rugeley,United Kingdom

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Cheshire Ring - done!

That's it, the Cheshire ring is complete, now back to Kings Bromley

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Lock 49

Who ordered this rain?

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Location:Cherry Tree Ave,,United Kingdom

Nice spot

Rode Heath , a lovely mooring spot. Very quiet with excellent walks, nearby pub and shop.

We bought to kart tyre fenders from NB Tranquility, they are excellent.

Off to Westport lake today, so through the Harecastle again.

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Location:Sandbach Rd,Odd Rode,United Kingdom

Monday, 29 August 2011

Heartbreak hill

Just passed m6

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Location:Lock 58 Trent and Mersey

Sunday, 28 August 2011

A quick catch up

Yesterday we moored up nr Preston Brook - bridge 208 and discovered a nice Italian restaurant called Marco Marco

When we left for our food I lost my footing a little and now have a very swollen knee cap

We are now moored in Middlewich following a visit from my brother Barry and his wife, nice to see him after so long.

Tomorrow it's 18 locks to Rode Heath

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Location:Booth Ln,Middlewich,United Kingdom

Friday, 26 August 2011

Staying in Manchester today

Staying here today so we can do jobs like blog update, extra sleep and my favourite job, filling the stern tube greaser! Oh and retail therapy in the rain for the girls

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Great Jackson St,Manchester,United Kingdom

Thursday, 25 August 2011


At last Castlefields. I shall blog more detail about the appalling locks through Manchester, Stensons is a doddle!

I shall also go into detail about my head meeting a low bridge and some unsolicited attempts to assist us

It was great briefly meeting Chance and we shall hopefully get more time to say hello tomorrow

27 locks in one day was too much for my girls, but stars they all were and through gritted teeth and determination, empty waterways, ignorant and insulting BW staff, dead body in the canal ( human one), etc and this is only week one!

Now this is an action holiday I never anticipated

More soon

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Location:Liverpool Rd,Manchester,United Kingdom

Un blocked

Just passed lock 16, what a palaver. 17-16 near empty, but moving now

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Location:Herbert St,Ashton-under-Lyne,United Kingdom


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Location:Herbert St,Ashton-under-Lyne,United Kingdom

Down Lock 18

Only 26 more to go for Castlefields!

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Location:Westway,Ashton-under-Lyne,United Kingdom

Fairfield Junction

On way through our first lock on the Ashton

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Location:Sellars Square,Ashton-under-Lyne,United Kingdom

A bit wet outside

Snug in Portland Basin, readying to hit the the Ashton and locks into Manchester. Rain seem to have let off a bit now, boy did it pee down during the night!

Did Marple yesterday, very difficult paddles I say. Could not find a decent mooring till nearly on the Ashton and was buying fenders from Portland when in our chat I was offered a night in the secure basin ere for a fiver. Bargain, took opportunity to diesel up, wished I had done the pump out too but we were facing wrong way and pump out access is flush with boat sides as we have narrow gunwhales. Still, we can prob sort it tomorrow, could always use the hand pump out kit, not!

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Location:Railway St,Ashton-under-Lyne,United Kingdom

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Ok, Westport Lake to Marple

Bit of a catch up.

Here we are at Marple.  How did we get here from Westport Lake?

Ok, Westport Lake to Harecastle.  We got waved straight in, how lucky was that!

Out of the northern end of Harecastle and we turned for the Maccie.

What a lovely canal.  We stopped at Oakgrove last night and had a meal in the pub over the road, food ok but over-priced, forgot my egg (part of a mixed grill) and over cooked the steak.  Considering it was £16 I expected better and so did the chef as he made my meal complementary, bill still came to £80 though.

Leaving Oakgrove at 8.30 am, we got to the hydraulic swing bridge, checked for traffic and started to drop the barriers.  Some loon of a granny sporting her blue rinse, drove past as the barriers were falling, what a complete numpty.  The barriers just missed the roof.

Past Macclesfield (about 10.36) we did wend our merry way to Bollington where we stopped for provisions and classic pie lunch at 11.30.  Two meat and tattie pies and two sausage rolls which turned out to be sausage pies.  The lady serving had to be 80 if she was a day so no problems.

Leaving Bollington at 12:15 we aimed to stop between Bridges 4 and 3 before Marple.  We could not as there is a ledge which prevents mooring.  We spotted a mooring just past a narrow bit by Bridge 2 but then found a far better mooring opposite the water point at Marple, excellent luck but no fish dinner tonight.

Photos to follow when I get the chance as the puter is in demand!

Wednesday its the Marple locks and then on to Hyde or further if time is on our side. 

Quick iPhone update

Near Macclesfield, left Oakgrove near the electric swing bridge, opening bridge,barriers coming down some bozo drives over, nutter!

Bit dull but no rain, target is Marple.

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Location:Bullocks Ln,,United Kingdom

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Stone to Westport Lake

08:20 to 13:45 today.

Cleared Meaford Locks by 09:25, a lovely sunny day.  Dog was sick 3 times this morning, obviously ate something that did not agree.

Nice mooring stretch after bridge 96 if heading west.

We made Bridge 102 by 09:50, lovely journey and surprisingly few boats still.

Through Barlaston by 10:00.  We got to Trentham Locks with a bit of a queue and we also got "snapped" by an RSPCa guy who was taking photos for charity (£1 a set of 4 pictures), emailing them to a given email address, why not?

Wedgwood in the distance

Interesting piccie of ducks at Bridge 105, there were dozens of them,  clearly a popular feeding place.

Reached the Incinerator welcoming you to Stoke at 11:38.

So, into Stoke.  Last time we were here a bottle was thrown from the road above and landed on the boat.  Also, the first Stoke lock, filled incredibly slowly because a paddle was out of action.  No ground paddles here so things slow down a tad - not that I am complaining.  The climb to the Caldon was enjoyable but we decided to remain on course for Harecastle.

Some photos next as we pass through Stoke to where we are now, Westport Lake, just shy of the Harecastle which we shall do tomorrow, open from 8am to 6pm as it is summer opening.

Twins forever!

I have failed to advise on how difficult it is to live with 4 girls on a narrowboat.

There is Kath, wife and long suffering occassional boat skipper

Then there is Johanna and Lola the dog - inseperable so it seems, photo to follow.

Then there is Sarah, the youngest.

Hard life being the only man aboard, matey Angus not about to procrastinate about all things!

More later