Posts

Showing posts from 2013

Peak Forest Canal Whaley Bridge to Furness Vale

Image
After we said an emotional farewell to Frankie & Harry and waved them off on their way back to Bordeaux, we refilled the water tank and boated down to Carr Bridge at Furness Vale. Although there weren’t very many boats there when we came up, we found ourselves having to squeeze into a line of about 14, which means for the next two weeks we’ve got neighbours, whether we like them or not. We picked the day with the best weather forecast to move, which turned out to be a wise choice; we had a lovely time boating in the sunshine with hardly a breeze. The following day all hell broke loose. While the boat was being rocked from side to side and lashed with rain, Dave had a proper go at the sofa. He re-attached all the springs with much sturdier fixings and shortened the bit that sticks out at the back so that it goes right back to the wall and gives us another 2 ½ inches of floor space. That doesn’t sound a lot but on a narrowboat every inch is precious and it’s made all the difference…

)Peak Forest Canal. Strines to Whaley Bridge.

Image
We didn’t see Legend in daylight for our first two days at Strines as we were annoying the residents of Bollington and Poynton from dawn till dusk with traffic surveys. The day after that finished we jumped in the car for the long drive to Surrey for a terrific evening with Karen, Andrew and Ben. There was a delicious pie followed by a hilarious game of trivial pursuit, then the next morning we hopped over to Mum and Dads in Fleet for Dad’s 75th birthday celebrations. We had a lovely meal out followed by tea and cake then we were off again; 200 miles north and back aboard a chilly boat just in time to light the fire and fill the hot water bottles.

Ever since we had our last MOT we’ve been casually looking for another car. We’ve been very lucky with the Punto, but we knew if we kept it any longer it was going to start getting expensive. So, after we got back from Fleet we stepped up the pace, did a bit of research and found out that if we got a small diesel that could do 60mpg it wou…

Peak Forest Canal. Dukenfield to Strines.

Image
After such a fabulously long summer it came as a bit of a shock to us, and no doubt most other people, when autumn turned up. One day it was warm and sunny, the next it wasn’t. Simple as that. Having said that, the day we boated from bridge 4 to the bottom of the Marple flight we had beautiful weather and some glorious autumn scenery. Along the way the canal passes through two tunnels at Woodley and Hyde Bank, then over the Marple Aqueduct. The roof is a bit on the low side in the Woodley tunnel and it’s not helped by having a towpath running through it. Half way through we found, or rather our chimney found, the extra low bit. Judging by the gouges on the wall we weren’t the first and we got away fairly lightly. Luckily we’d not yet fitted our new, taller chimney, so the old with the reshaped top is now our traveling chimney. William Jessop’s aqueduct at the bottom of Marple locks is very impressive. We know this because we read all about it. We also read that it’s over 100 ft. tall…

Rochdale Canal, Ashton Canal, Peak Forest Canal. Castleton to Dukinfield.

Image
In case, Dear Reader, you were wondering what had happened to us in the last month - whether we were still alive, still afloat, still had our freedom and all our limbs - then fear not. Despite paying scant heed to the warnings on other watery blogs about Rochdale, Manchester and the notorious Ashton Canal we went, we saw and we left completely unscathed.
So why have there been no updates then? Sadly it’s due to our time being consumed by the unsavoury quest for coin of the realm. Do you remember interest rates? Well, until they come back into fashion we have to find some other way to fund our lifestyle. This means a few weeks toil each year to top up our coffers. Last year, while Dave stayed home and looked after the boat, Ann-Marie was on nights for Yodel in Wigan, telling truckers where to go and de-briefing them when they came back. All very well but a bit one sided. This year we thought we’d divide the load between us and we’ve been doing traffic surveys. This has taken up lots o…

Rochdale Canal. Todmorden to Castleford.

Image
Apart from one minor hiccup (more about this later), our carefully worked out strategy smoothly unfolded exactly as planned. We set off through two locks to Todmorden and stopped at the sanitary station, where we emptied out ready for going away. That was followed by the unique guillotine lock and another stop opposite the “Great Wall of Tod” railway embankment, where the car was parked, in order to tranship all our camping gear. So far, as slick as a greasy piglet. After that we skipped up the rest of the twelve locks towards Walsden with Ann-Marie setting ahead if they were close enough or hopping on the stern as it passed the wing wall if they weren’t. A choreographed ballet of mechanical fluidity.  At lunch time, just before getting to our mooring spot in Walsden, we found ourselves outside Grandma Pollards Fish & Chip Shop, an added bonus that meant we arrived at our previously chosen destination, not only watered and bang on time, but also full of chips. All in all, a tribut…