Saturday, 25 June 2016
Diana packed up her large suitcase for her visit to Glasgow. 24kg! 8kg a day! Not quite the full story. Most of her crocker has been taken to Murray's in preparation for our departure for home from there. If we had left it till later we would have had to maneuver 3 bags on and off trains later.
Walked to the station the long way to avoid crossing the railway twice. There we no ramps so I didn't like the idea of carrying the 24kg up and down more than I had too. After she had left it was into town to check out a few places and buy some bits and pieces. I called into all the Charity shops looking for a large scale road map. It can be difficult to getting some perspective of where we are when our canal map only shows 1 mile each side of the canal. Stone is not that big so it didn't take long. Lunch on the boat followed by some maintenance. Hope to make some improvements during the few days here.
Thursday, 23 June 2016
Tuesday, 21 June 2016
Decided not to move and have a catch up day. I dried out the back of the boat and talked to the engineer about why the bilge pump might not be working. We hope to get it looked at over the weekend. It was wash day so the generator came out onto the towpath and after fiddling for a while it leaped into life and purred away for some time. With the generator running we have 230 volts so the vacuum cleaner came out and the electronics were charged up. We looked a bit like a Gypsy camp with the engine boards leaning against the fence, the generator running, clothes line tied to a mooring ring and other paraphernalia beside the boat. Mid afternoon the washing is almost dry so we need a walk and Wedgwood world is about 30min away. They have changed the entrance since last year so within 15 minutes we are having coffee and cake there. Wander through the free bits to see if anything has changed. I'm a bit disappointed in the style they are making at the moment. Only thing that had "class" was a brown and gold pattern. Tempted? No. The espresso cup and saucer were available at $90.00. Nice day in the sun. There is a vintage boat rally further down the track and during the day saw many old boats chugging past us.
Monday, 20 June 2016
Monday 20 June, 5 miles, 6 locks
What a misserable start to the longest day of the year. Woke to steady rain so turned over and fulled the duvet up for an extra hour. The forcast expects a brief improvement around 11, so we wait. At 11 it brightened up a bit, at least the rain had stopped so we walked up to Tesco's extra about 15 minutes away. 2 hours later we head back to the boat for lunch. Rain starts again and the forcast is talking about an improvement around 1500 and once again they we right. It has stoped raining and looking more promising so we fill with water and head off down the first flight of 3 locks with patches of warm sunshine. Stop in Stoke to pick up some rail tickets for Diana to go to Glasgow to do her Florence Nightengale bit for Murray who is having an op this weekend. The time now is 1800, the sun is out and it is a pleasure to be out on the canal. We keep heading south to clear Stoke before we stop. After one more lock we moor up opposite the Wedgwood factory. Visited last year so no need to return this year. Sat on the back of the boat for wine, cheese and bickies.
So you see it's not all gloom and doom.
Sunday, 19 June 2016
Sunday 19 June. 3 miles.
We set off with two plans. The number 1 plan falls into place as we round the corner and a mooring is available outside Middleport Pottery. There was a craft fair on so toured the 10 or so stands 50% a waste of time with a couple of interesting ones. Then to lunch and the days special was the same as 8 months ago. Back pudding & cheddar oakcakes, yum. Diana did a couple more rooms of Burleigh pottery while I had the chance to see the first days running of the steam engine that ran the factory in the past. The engine had been restored some time ago and they often demonstrated it using electricity. They now have a new boiler to run it on steam. Great to talk to a bunch of enthusiastic guys who had worked to make it happen. Mid afternoon we leave and set off the short distance to Etruria. Not long after we move we realise that Yesterday was summer and are now moored up testing if I have fixed the leaks.
Saturday 18 June. 7 miles, 1 lock, 1 tunnel.
Overcast morning. Worth the risk so put some gunk around the window. On the move by 1030 at a leisurely pace and at times in sunshine. Stopped for water at the not vert deep stop lock, in fact the drop would have been less than a foot. It was there to stop one canal company from pinching the water of anothers. Just before joining the Trent & Mersey canal we moor up for lunch. 30 minutes after we set off again we are waiting at the entrance to the one way Harecastle tunnel. About an hour later we go through by our selves popping out the other end in 35 minutes, just 1 mile short of The Poteries. Moored up at Westport Lake for the 5th time. So ends a day without rain and we spent some of it underground.
Friday, 17 June 2016
Need to hang around for a while. The sealant that John left me is a bit old and won't flow so he will pick up a new tube on his way back from Liverpool today. Dried out and prepared the area that needs the gunk in preparation for later in the day. Weather is not too bad with a short showing of the sun around midday. The Gunk is due to arrive just after 1500 and guess what the rain arrived just before 1500 so I need to dry out the area again and then have a window of an hour for it to dry before the next rain. About 1700 it is looking like it might be OK but every time I think I will try, black clouds appear. Good old hindsight say I could have done the job. There is always tomorrow! I need to do the job in Congleton as the towpath is on the right side. As soon as we go under the next bridge the towpath changes sides and will be on the wrong side for about 3 days. We have overstayed the time allowed on this mooring but I don't have any option. I looked at shifting the boat 100yds or so where the boat can be left longer but there is not enough room before the bridge.
Thursday 16 June.
Emptied the bulges after heavy rain last night. We're invited out for tea & scones. Very nice too. Alan took us to town and dropped us at the Antique Centre. Some nice stuff, could have been tempted if I didn't have to get them home. Did a bit of shopping and stared to walk back up to the canal. It just through it down. We had coats but still got back looking like drowned rats. Too wet to try and seal up the leaks.
Took Alan & Marian to the Young Pretender. Best pub for pies that I have come across. Compulsory stop in Congleton. Back for a cuppa and bed.
Wednesday, 15 June 2016
Weather was overcast with the likely hood of rain but today we will set off. First lock was set so straight in and down. Second lock caught Diana out. It needed filling. I watched her go to the wrong end, look puzzled then return to the top end, lift the paddle and fill the lock. It has been a while but it wasn't to long before the old routines came back. A good run down with a number of boats comming up which meant most of the locks were full for us to go into. 2 1/2 hours later we are at the bottom and stop for lunch. There is a boat flying the union and NZ flag so we make ourselves know. They are in their 5th year doing the same as us with the southern summer based in their Nelson home where they also have a yacht. The discussions continued and it turns out that both of the males have the same item on their bucket list. Sailing our narrow boats under Tower Bridge. I think next years plan is in the making. Pity they were travelling in the other direction as I'm sure we would have had good traveling companions. Motored the 4 miles into Colgenton where we were meet by Marion who had sorted a mooring spot close to their home. After a bit of boat tidying it was around to their place for a cuppa before we were taken out to diner at a pub in Astbury. A quick tour to Barthomly to view the church before home to bed.
Sunday, 12 June 2016
Not a pub in site so no Sunday Roast. Never mind Diana is cooking a meat and veg substitute. Pork chops, spuds, cauliflower and cheese sauce.
Saturday, 11 June 2016
Friday, 10 June 2016
Thursday, 9 June 2016
2 hours after setting of we arrive at C-e-l-F which has a long main/High street a number of shops but nothing out of the ordinary. Stopped on the way up one of the hills for a tasty lunch of Derbyshire Oat cakes. At the top of the hill Diana was ready to turn back but I saw an interesting view ahead so on we went for another block. Low and behold the view was a mirage but Diana found one of those shops again. More china. the return, down hill trip took 1 1/2 hours. Nice day out with temperature around 25 C. Time to move. 20 minutes to the supermarket for a top up of heavier items, eg Grog. Another 20 mins and we are back at furness Vale hooked up to water and power.
After a 4 hour lunch break the sun started to show itself and we moved on towards Marple junction. Have stopped about a mile short as the better moorings will probable be taken. looking forward to a short day tomorrow.
Saturday, 4 June 2016
Put the final coat of paint on Molly's tail feathers. Big improvement.
walked to Whaley Bridge for lunch. Diana is back into the charity shops, say no more. Walked back to the boat and sat on the towpath enjoying the surrounds. Finished polishing the second side. Nice relaxing summer's day.
Friday, 3 June 2016
The afternoon was spent walking up an old tramway to the village of Chinley. Nice to be back in the village atmosphere. Talked to a bloke and his wife working in a garden. Yep he knew NZ, has a brother in Gisborne who has been visiting recently. Stopped at the Chippy for a snack on the way back. Greeted by the owner singing about frying chips. Entertaining. Took a longer way home and found the 2 pubs we had been told about. Didn't stop as we have left over chicken from last night.
Thursday, 2 June 2016
Thursday 2 June. 3 miles, 2 swing bridges.
When I bought a 5th wheeler one of the requirements was that I didn't want to take my home to the supermarket. Today we needed to go to the supermarket and to get there we took Molly Rose. We are angle parked at the marina and pointing the wrong way so we need to do a "U" turn. With a 60ft boat on a 14ft wide canal the options are limited. About a mile down the canal the wrong way we get to a winding hole where after a 6 point turn we are heading back the way we came. Rather than go to the supermarket we moore up again at the Marina. Why? The pontoon is on the otherside so I can now start polishing that side of the boat. By mid afternoon it is half done but I can't continue as the steel is to hot. Yes another nice sunny day. Now it is time for the supermarket less than a mile away. 30 minutes later we moor up just a few yards way. The boat is now well provisioned as we head off to Bugsworth basin which is one of two arms at the start of the Peak Forest canal. We have been before but both times the weather was not friendly and we didn't explore much.
Wednesday, 1 June 2016
Forgot: Painted the boards that cover the engine and form the back deck.
Saturday, 28 May 2016
Also at Ravenglass is the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. The trains run 8 miles on a 15 inch gauge track. Beautifully maintained steam engines pulling purpose built carriages up a valley and in some places on a 1 in 35 incline. The railway was originally 3ft gauge and used to bring iron ore to connect with the Furness railway main line. With the close of the line in 1913 a modelmaker bought the line and converted it to 15 inch. The round trip took about an hour through some lovely scenery. Good choice Jim! Have a look at ravenglass-railway.co.uk to see some of their engines etc.
Talking about scenery the next part of the Jim & Anne tour took us through a spectacular mountain pass. The Hardknott pass over the Cumbrian Mountains to Ambleside. I could not do it justice trying to describe the trip. The road is single lane but two way. The gradient is 1:8 in places. At some places you can't see where the road goes as you drop off the top of a ridge. Search Hardknott Pass on YouTube to get some idea. Scarry? not really for the passenger as so much time was looking at the geography and views. A pity it is not shown to more tourists. Bottom of the hill and we drive the tourist route down the East side of Windermere to Staveley for a bite to eat at The Hawkshead Brewery, Beer Hall. I tried a NZ Pale Ale they brewed. Not the best choice I think I will stick to the Real Ale's I enjoy here. Back to Preston for a cuppa at Jim & Anne's. I had been looking forward to seeing what they had done to their canal frontage since we first passed it in 2014. Looking Good Jim.
Back to the station by 2200 and home by midnight. A great day.
Wednesday 25 May
The tour of the BIG house started with a brief history which brought us to the present day. The house owner is a London property developer who has been restoring one wing for his own use. The anticipated costs are more than he is prepared to front up with so it is on the market. As you walk through you see that all of the valuable artifacts have been removed leaving only the grandeur of the architecture to enjoy. A massive place and it will be a huge asset to the heritage of England if it can be restored. The real estate agents would describe it as "A doer upper". Well worth the visit and would love to be able to see it again in 10 years. On our return journey we took a different route over the Pennines and ended up in a line of crawling traffic. Eventually negotiated our way onto the ring road around Manchester back to Stockport and a familiar road to Furness Vale.
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Sunday, 22 May 2016
Saturday, 21 May 2016
Tuesday, 17 May 2016
Sunday, 20 September 2015
Tonight we are in a wide bed and have access to a shower with running water. All the lights are on and the TV is going but not necessarily being watched.
Tomorrow we catch the flight towards home. Farwell Northern Summer 2015.
PS. An Indian summer is predicted for the next couple of weeks
Friday, 11 September 2015
In to Marple this morning to buy the last few things on my DIY list. Diana did her favorite Marple, Charity shop. Made it back to the marina by 1600 to a welcome from members of the Furness vale Boat Club (FVBC) and others on the Marina. Tonight was the first FVBC meeting of the winter which we attended to hear stories of others travels. Once again we had done the most miles and been away the longest this summer. I received devastating news. the local chippie closed down a month ago and I had been looking forward to a couple of their meals this week. It was one of the best we have tried in England. I wonder what will close next year as the Post office/corner shop closed last year while we were traveling.
Thursday, 10 September 2015
Monday, 7 September 2015
6 September. 0 miles.
Friday, 4 September 2015
We are off, heading to Congleton hoping to make it in time for Fish & Chips with Marian and Alan. Well that didn't happen. Moored up outside Burleigh Pottery and went in for coffee. Left Diana working her way through the factory shop while I did a couple of jobs on the boat. Cut off time to get away is 1400. This will give us plenty of time to get through Harecastle tunnel if we just miss a northbound convoy. As we pass Westport Lake I spy a familiar boat belonging to a couple from Tasmania. Pull over and chat to Peter until Jennifer arrives back from the charity shops in Tunstall. By this time we wont make the tunnel tonight so socialise some more. Great to catch up with friends we only see occasionally. Maybe Congleton tomorrow!
Thursday, 3 September 2015
Wednesday, 2 September 2015
Friday, 28 August 2015
Sunday, 23 August 2015
Saturday, 22 August 2015
Tuesday, 18 August 2015
Monday, 17 August 2015
Saturday, 15 August 2015
Thursday, 13 August 2015
Sunday, 9 August 2015
Wednesday, 5 August 2015
Moored up at Long Itchington. Had lunch then walked into the village which we had been to in 2010. returned to the boat via a public path through the fields. Few drinks on board before dinner. An early night required with a flight of 8 locks to start our day tomorrow.
Sunday, 2 August 2015
Thursday, 30 July 2015
Well not quite 0 miles today. we were breasted up last night and this morning the other boat wanted to move. I untied the front and pushed the bow to the other side of the canal. They slid their boat out the gap and I pushed the bow back and tied up again. Ballet on water. A quiet day after yesterday's locks. In the afternoon we wandered into Warwick where I went to the library and found a book about the house my Granny lived in as a teenager before the family emigrated to NZ. Managed to photocopy the relevant pages. Got in touch with Rachel (daughter) who flew into Heathrow last night. Her and Trevor are arriving by bus tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing them and showing them the warwick connection.
Wednesday, 29 July 2015
Monday, 27 July 2015
|In my colour too!|
|Maybe I could afford this bit?|
Sunday, 26 July 2015
Saturday, 25 July 2015
Friday, 24 July 2015
The Fish and Meat market was close so we wandered through there. If we had a freezer on the boat I could have filled it with stuff that Diana wouldn't touch. Great selection of Crustaceans and offal. After lunch we walked in a different direction to visit the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. It was the last tour of the day and got a bit rushed as the guide, obviously had to have us back to the shop before it closed. We were taken through the smelting, cutting, stamping, soldering and polishing of silver and gold products. A factory that was closed and left as it was until opening as a museum.
Next was the "Pen Museum". The guide here was half blind and almost totally deaf resulting in some interesting answers to questions we asked. Once again we were taken through the process of how a nib is pressed and bent, in fact we made a nib ourselves. Then we were taken through a large collection of pens, nibs, nib boxes, ink. wells, typewriters, stamps, stenography and braille machines. It is great that all these collections are being saved. Not sure who will look after them when the present generation of volunteers die. We split up then as Diana wanted to go to the Rag market and I had been told about a model train museum. My museum was still being developed. It had a number of train sets running but no museum type stuff. It looked a bit like Train World in Napier. Heaps of potential for a tourist destination. Diana's Rag market was just as exciting.