Sunday, September 16, 2018

More hop picking in the morning.

Sunday 16th September 2018

As we looked out from our mooring spot it seemed sad that there is only a single OnlyMastLeftSradio mast left at Hillmorton.

The locks were not open until 9am so while I slept on, Graham was off picking LowPoundSmore hops – this time the ones we found late last night on the offside. The level of the pound was about half a metre down on normal level and the back pumps were running flat out as he walked down the towpath – I’m not sue how much closing the locks overnight helps.

The memorable part of our evening walk last night were the lovely smells coming from the Indian Restaurant in Hillmorton – must give that a try next visit. Just walk up the road from the bridge above the locks and it’s on your right at the top of the hill.

Four keen boaters passed Jannock before 9am and were patiently queued when Graham returned. We had a cooked breakfast HastySbefore setting off and found ourselves with no queue and following the fourth boat to go down.

We passed steam NB Hasty going the other way below Hillmorton locks. I bet the stoker has a cozy, if not a bit warm, seat.

Come midday, just after Newbold tunnel, we found lots of Blackberries on the offside so Graham moved Jannock across and we harvested about a litre of berries.

Into the marina in a howling gale, Graham managed to get into our berth in one without even giving our next door neighbour a glancing blow. Yah!



                                    The haul.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

An evening picking hops.

Saturday 15th September 2018

Due to an excess of summer, and family commitments, JBackDoorSannock has had a rest at her berth at Brinklow marina for most of July and all of August. During this time Graham has managed to do a lot of work that has been on the ‘to do’ list for about 10 years on her whilst she was located at a relatively secure location.

The rear doors were removed and taken home so that new wooden door liners could be manufactured and installed. Having completed them he then made a new liner for the front door as well. Before and after pictures are shown below. Doors and security are much improved now and the interior brightened up by the light colour.

  OldDoorS  NewDoorS

               Before                                                                                   After

He finished by repainting all the poles and the gang plank.

RepaintedPolesSThe planned Soddit cruise this weekend was cancelled as Ian has got shingles and so we decided to have an extra weekend pootle in the sunshine.

As there is no Cutweb rally this year we had a pico rally (a cuppa and cake) with the Nuggler crew before we set off. They are out for two weeks unlike our two days.

Heading south out of the marina, we passed through Newbold and Rugby. Unfortunately, there were no plums at all on the trees just passed Clifton Wharf – Shame! When we arrived at Hillmorton locks it was obvious that we were present on a hirer laden day and some had no idea what they were doing or common sense to help. One lock crew member seemed to think she’d be useful just holding a windlass. She got away with it at the bottom lock because the vol-lockie and Graham helped, but after that it wasn’t a very good stategy.HillmortonHopsS

We spotted the hops either side of Hillmortons top pound and so we went on to the winding hole at Tarry’s bridge where we turned and returned to moor up for the night above the top lock.

We walked down past the top lock and harvested hops from the bushes on the towpath before returning to jannock for dinner. We then went for an evening walk, during which we found more hops on the non towpath side that appeared to have a better aroma before heading to the Stag and Pheasant for a pint.


Saturday, July 07, 2018

And back to Brinklow

Saturday 7th July 2018

After a leisurely breakfast we approached the turn and lock, almost home.

The lockie information officer chatted as we worked the lock. This morning a hire boat from Braunston had been given a copy of every map that he had available! They had plans to go to Leicester, thing is they had gone the wrong way when they left the base and so they thought they could just “make a turn at another canal junction” to get back on track. Oooops, why would anyone set off on a canal journey without maps when they are new to the system. I wondered where they finally ended up.

Our plans are twarted ‘AGAIN’, by football. OK, England, World Cup and all that. We’ll not be able to fill with diesel and do a pumpout when we return to Brinklow marina as the ‘guys’ have better things to do apparently.

We may knock off early and go home rather than spend a hot sticky night having had no shade to bring the cabin temperature down from 30 degrees C at bedtime. When we moored up at our berth at 2pm, the cabin temperature was 31C and was sure to rise in this exposed location as the sun would be out for another 4 hours at least.

So – TOFFEE VODKA .  .  .  .  .    we decided to toast a good fortnight once home. We and neighbours all gave a shot a go and all found it to their taste – not unlike a thinner, less sweet ‘Baileys@ – recipe please?


Friday, July 06, 2018

We tackled Atherstone flight early.

Friday 6th July 2018

Birthday of the day – Irina in Spain.

Graham was up and cruising at 8am again today whilst I had extra time in bed before we reached the services at Grendon (Bradley Green) IMG_3646to dump the rubbish and refill the watertank. Graham wasn’t sure what these wispy things were in the sky as we’ve not seen anything like that since we started this trip.

We then set off up Atherstone flight, G riding the trusty lock wheeling bike for the first seven locks as they are quite spaced out. We finished the flight with the aid of 3 CaRT VoLockies at the top lock in exactly two hours. AscendingAtherstonePleased with that for a boat with 2 crew.

As we passed nb Mr Blue Sky today, we have decided that there are enough boats named after music to create a “Boaters’ collection of music to cruise by” which would have a varied playlist. NOT like Andy Williams’ “Music to watch girls by” – a different cruising!

We notice as we travelled along the Coventry canal that it was obvious, by the little coloured marks on the towpath bank, that CaRT (or their contractors) have been out surveying and identifying faults to fix and offside trees to trim or remove. There has also been much removing of growth either side of bridges for instance to allow the surveying to occur as well.BBQLunch A lot of work already done and a lot more scheduled for the winter no doubt.

We moored near Springwood Haven, under a large shady tree, and ‘shock horror’ – got out a disposable BBQ. We had a lunch of lamb steaks, corn on the cob, roasted peppers and cous cous salad (OK – leftovers). Mango, banana, apricots and jelly for dessert.

A couple of lads came by in an inflatable canoe (LALDLI last week I think). Graham noticed that they only had one oar and SmartOutboardremembered that we still had a wooden one in the engine bay that we found floating in the cut a couple of years ago. They were pleased to be offered it and accepted immediately. Graham noticed that they had an ingenious outboard (see picture) that consisted of a battery powered drill with a long shaft and a computer fan fitted to the end. When demonstrated it seemed to work very well. There are some young engineers out there – off to the pub it would seem.

We continued on after 3:30 and made our way down through Nuneaton and Bedworth before mooring for the night just before Hawksbury Junction. Graham decided it was better to stop before rather than risk going through the lock to find no space available on the moorings after.


Thursday, July 05, 2018

Onward down the Coventry canal

Thursday 5th July 2018

Wildlife of the day – Kingfisher ahead of us through Pooley country park.

Captain was up early and off! Crew stayed abed, claiming insect bites had prevented restfull sleep and she wasn’t wanted anyway. Bacon and egg sarnies were delivered to the steerer by 10am though ;^) On through the sunshine and the odd occurrence (for us) of being able to see both the sun and a half moon in the sky at the same time.AptlyNamed

Saw this aptly named day boat moored at Streethay wharf.

Why is it that some live aboard boaters have lovely gardens of well kept flowers and vegetables growing on their boats yet appear to live in filthy conditions themselves. With curtains in tatters and so much dirt that you could boil a kettle on the smoke and tar residue as well as rrisking lung disease from the moulds growing.

We moored up for a couple of hours under several large trees just before Fazely and sat out most of the midday heat on the towpath. At 2:30 we set off again and passed through the two locks at Glascote before pulling over to visit the Coop store there. It appears that we can only spend our fortune saved on our Coop divi card at stores North of Stone as the Glascote one is like Thame, a separate Coop group that doesn’t honour the Blue card. Oh well, next time I travel North for work I’ll be getting in all the Christmas booze from a store that does take the card.

CaRTLogoApproaching Alvecote we spotted this tyre floating in the canal and decided it must have been the inspiration for the new CaRT logo. After Alvecote we moved across to allow working boat Ling to pass in centre channel as he was travelling at speed heading North.

As we were passing Pooley Boat Services we were TradBoathailed by our friends Christine and Terry, from nb Grace, who were visiting their friends at the boat yard there. We stopped mid canal for quite and had a chat before continuing on.

We continued on and found the visitor moorings at Polesworth were not only empty of boats but also in the FALessonsshade from the sun due to the high trees on the opposite bank – result.

We went to the Little India restaurant (above the Bull Inn) for our evening meal, excellent food with an unusual and excellent selection of beers for an Indian. Brenda even ended up giving the head waiter flower arranging lessons as the delivery they had received did not sit in the vase very well.


Southbound on a mission

Wednesday 4th July 2018

Birthday of the day – Happy Birthday sister Julie

Wildlife of the day – a family steak & kidney sized Terrapin basking on a tree root.MonkeyPuzzleFlowers

Plant of the day – a Monkey Puzzle tree in flower – never seen that before.

Graffiti du jour – “No licence hike, No gentrification of the canals!” Oh, so when the licence price goes up it has nothing to do with the rising costs of maintenance then. It’s just a ploy to get less well off boaters off the system then. Perception – what’s that all about?ColwichQueue

We set off from Great Haywood just as a boat pulled out of the marina in front of us. We followed them through Gt Haywood lock and shortly afterwards arrived at Colwich lock where we were 5th in the queue to go down.

MooringRebrandAs we passed Spode Hall online moorings we noticed that CaRT appear to have rebranded their on-line moorings operation as well. There is a boat and a mooring on it, no ambiguous circles. Just does what it says on the tin! It can be done then? Any-one can see what this logo is about, we wonder if it was a buy-one, get one free offer. At least it’s clear what this one is unlike the sunken tyre.

Shopping stop at Rugely a restock of Jubblies, we’ve eaten a weeks supply from about two years ago in this weather ; Gin, the slippery slope and a reduced price beer kit – happy days.

We then continued on through Armitage, where we spotted this wonderful washingUnusualWashing line, onto Fradley where we passed down through the three locks and turned onto the Coventry canal (pedant bait) to fill with water and then look for an overnight mooring. No luck so we tried a bit further on but the sides were too shallow to get close in.

We finally moored up on a stretch of piling about half a mile south of the junction. It’s quite close to the A38 so ranks as our noisiest mooring this trip. We normally dine in when it’s hot but tonight we sat out in the foredeck, in the marginally cooler air, and eat on the cratch table avec Deet!

Graham & Brenda

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Plan Q is hatched and actioned.

Tuesday 3rd July 2018

An odd day, Graham was up at 6:30am to help our neighbours cast off for their trip back to Aston marina, they had a lunch appointment at a nearby Rose garden.  This was a trip that we were considering but cancelled when the Di Blasi was declared dead. Tony was still in his pyjamas as he set off, at least Graham was dressed for the occasion..

Graham drove the car back to Brinklow marina with a dead Di Blasi in the back, leaving Stone at 7:45 and taking just over RugbyStationtwo hours to get there. He had purchased a single train ticket from Rugby back to Stone on-line for seven of our English pounds (the prices for the single ticket varied from £7 to £42.30p depending on what time train you wanted to catch) and so needed to be at Rugby station for 12:30 for the 12:42 (cheap) train. Whilst asking Eric, at the marina, about the best Taxi company to call to get from Brinklow to Rugby station, he offered to take hime there in his own car. That is just one example of how friendly our fellow moorers are there.

CactusThe train took just over one hour to reach Stone, not quite the train trip we had planned last week but a train anyway. I spent the morning on Jannock doing various jobs, took a picture on nb Cactus CactusButtypulling a sparsely equipped butty shell up towards Star lock (I loved the butty steerers seating arrangement – not a lot of protection from the sun). I then went shopping in the town and walked up to meet Graham at the station.

A late lunch, paid for by me, was taken at The Poste of Stone, conveniently situated HooMillLockCottageat the end of Station Road, before returning to Jannock and setting off South at 3:45pm.

We travelled down through Aston, Sandon, Weston and Hoo Mill locks to moor up opposite Great Heywood marina at 7:30 pm. Time for a late tea and to catch up on the blog posting whilst listening to adjacent moorers cheering the England penalty goals in the World Cup match against Columbia.

Brenda & Graham

Monday, July 02, 2018

il Di Blasi e’ mort

Monday 2nd July 2018

We awoke, breakfasted and set off down through Trentham and it felt like going home. Odd since we haven’t actually been anywhere that we’d planned as a final MeefordLocksdestination for this trip.

All was fine and dandy, down through Barlaston and Meeford locks until we got to Stone, then time appeared to slow down as we joined a queue of 4 boats for the top lock. Every lock took an age, not helped by a boat-bobbing-breeze that made holding the boat whilst a lock was being filled very difficult.

StoneWe stopped at Stone Chandlers and Graham chucked 60 litres of diesel into Jannocks tank as he didn’t think we’d have enough to get us back to the marina. We had a late lunch of cornettos as proper lunchtime had long gone.

Down through Star lock and I held Jannock in a space on the 48 hour mooring next to the waterpoint whilst Graham went to see if there was a shadier space available further down. There was but by the time he’d let me know and then returned to keep the space another boat was about to pull in. Luckily they allowed Jannock in and continued up the line of moored boats on the promise of a 70 foot space available where I had just moved from. In our new mooring spot there was plenty of shade and it was close to the pre-postioned car.

IlfordGraham started investigating the Di Blasi as it had ceased running just as he returned to Jannock in Cheddleton a couple of days ago. Whilst working on it, he was approached by an old gentleman who said that he wanted to bring his boat up from Aston marina, to visit the Star that evening, and could he breast up to Jannock as there were no other spaces. Graham agreed and off he toddled. The Di Blasi was declared dead, no spark evident at the spark plug, and so another plan would have to be hatched to get both the boat and car back to Brinklow.

We were pleased to have a visit from, and share a beer with, Ian C ToffeeVodka(aka Norman the Narrowboater), it’s a pleasure to catch up with friends, always. We were then joined by Tony and Frances (nb Warwick) who breasted up, allegedly to visit the Star pub. After a beer or two, and Ian rushing off to his evening appointment, the chat continued on the towpath and it appeared that Tony’s pub visit idea had been abandonned. Finally we had to make our excuses and go inside Jannock for our late dinner. They gave us a bottle of Toffee Vodka which is claimed to be brewed to the standards of Student hygene – we’ll let you know. Then Tony went up the Star leaving Frances in the boat.

We heard him return later but we were preparing to retire for the night so the session was not resumed.


Sunday, July 01, 2018

Bye bye Caldon

Sunday 1st June 2018

Sun in our eyes woke us, Graham had his private sunbeam piercing through a gap in the rear slide whilst mine was coming through a roof vent – we must be pointing West then.

We set off and passed down through Engine lock to move into Milton where we stopped for a shopstop. You know you are a ‘special’ person when you hand over your Co-op divi card to use you credit rather than YogaPoocash to pay and the till operator is so impressed he shows the other staff the balance details on the card. It was the most they had ever seen available to spend on a card, the divi earnt from our pre-paid funeral plans that we purchased earlier in the year. “ Become famous, or a somebody, before you die! “ could be a slogan for a future Co-operative funeral plan advertisment.

Brenda spotted this sign on a wall in Milton that amused her.

On our approach to bridge 13 we noticed a heavily laden cherry tree on the offside, ripe for the picking. It was not on private property so we pulled over and helped ourselves to 1 3/4 lb of lovely cherries – no scurvy this trip!

CherryHaulAt Ivy House lift bridge there were too many boats on the moorings for our liking. Another stoppage at this bridge? CaRT had been called and apparently were on their way so we pulled over ready for a long wait. Immediately the first CaRT person arrived and used the ‘engineering’ panel in the equipment box to work the bridge. Then, as we passed through, a second person arrived to assist so no delays (apart from waiting for the two northbound boats to pass through) at all. Thanks ‘Sunday Call-out Men’ for your prompt response.

Dissapointment of the day week month, the Indian street food and sweets shop at Planet lock has closed. I hope it was because it was a success and bigger premises were needed!

We moored for a late lunch in the shade of the trees just after Bedford St staircase locks. NB Molly Rose passed by and Graham noticed the steerer had a snazzy hat retaining strap, windy days for the use of. We got talking to his wife and so they breasted up against us as they wanted the mooring for a couple of days once we hadTwyfordLock finished with it.

They are New Zealanders who visit for 5 months every summer to use their boat but are now selling nb Molly Rose because they want to move on to other things having done as much of the UK canal system as they have been able to do. We had a good chat and an un-ashamed Gongoozle as three hire boats tackled the staircase. No one got into peril and we just watched as they sorted themselves out. The most dissadvantaged were a Japanese crew who had difficulty benefitting from others advice as both their boating experience and language skills were very limited. All achieve safe passage and we had a lovely lunch stop. StokeBottomThankyou John & Diana (nb Molly Rose) I’ll be making some hat clips soon.

We moved onto the Etruria services for a waterfill and rubbish disposal, then followed two other boats down the Stoke flight only meeting one boat coming the other way. Graham used the bike so we had a fairly swift passage although we did catch up nb King Arthur at every lock.

We then went continued on to Trentham to moor for the night as Graham had booked us a table at the Toby Carvery for our Sunday dinner.


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Farewell Consall Forge

Saturday 30th June

There is a lot to be said for mooring in a an English summer woodland. Waking up inConsallForge dappled sunlight to the sound of the woodland birds chorus. Another plan thwarted today, we’d been told it was the Rail-Ale weekend on the Churnet Valley railway but it seems that is next weekend, not this. No steam trains running because of the fire risk so we decided to leave and head back up to Cheddleton.

I tried winding Jannock where we were moored but she was too long so it was down to the end of the wide to wind there, not an official winding point but we know from past experience that Jannock can turn there. Graham also now knows that it’s not possible any further up the river.

Exiting Cheddleton top lock I had to negotiate my way past a prosecco fueled ladies day-out day boat tied up between the lock and the bridge-cum-tunnel. As we passed they were shouting “it’s gonna it us! it’s gonna it us!” – fortunately we didn’t and passed them to find a shady spot to moor on the 48 hour moorings past the flint mill.

FlintMillGraham went off to Bosley on the Di Blasi to fetch the car (and also pick up some shopping in Leek) whilst I did reluctant housework and cooking. We had lunch when Graham returned and then he took the car to Stone. I took a wander around the ‘closed – yet again’ Flint mill and took some pictures.

On his return, we set off again and ascended the Hazelhurst locks onto the summit and then descended the Stockton Brook flight before mooring for the night just below them. Another lovely day which needed our midday shady break.


Friday, June 29, 2018

and finally, the Black Lion

Friday 29th June 2018

Wildlife of the day – Pike, Kingfisher and Heron

A beautiful day travelling through beautiful countryside. Once we had left the canal, CheddletonLockswe perused a Kingfisher flying ahead of us all the way down the River Churnett section before we stopped at our favourite mooring.

This is a Jannock first! We have never ever arrived at the Consall Forge (Black Lion) moorings before to find them empty. We had a choice of where to moor on the bank and all the birdsong and we didn’t even have to disturb the fisherman sat alongside the water point.

The water here is nice an clear so Graham took the opportunity to wash two months worth of grime from Jannock and make her look presentable again. Whilst we were here in the shade a heron, that we’d spooted fishing further up stream, came and sat on the bank by our bows. He made one attempt at a catch but missed the fish but immediately returned to the same spot and started to preen himself in a “I meant to do that!” fashion. He wasn’t in the least bit bothered by us so we had the priviledge of watching him for a good fifteen minutes.

BlackLionBBrenda’s second night off in two days so into the Black Lion for evening meal, where the steaks were very good (they will even cook them blue if you ask) and the paer and pecan crumble was superb. A total score of 11 out of 10. Graham loved the Thomas the Tank engine being vandalised picture in the Gents loos (shown below – thanks i-Phone)

The evening could only have been improved if aThomasB steam hauled train had passed us whilst we sat out the front of the pub and eat! No trains runnng until tomorrow and they are only diesel due to the fire risk from steam engines in this very dry spell we are experiencing.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Hollybush

Thrusday 28th June 2018

Today we mastered the ‘late start’ with bacon sarnies and Sunshine – not a common occurence on Jannock. We passed through Milton, CatMonkeyDuckRecreateEngine lock, two lift bridges (one electric – where CaRT staff were doing a safety check) and then Stockton Brook flight of four before stopping in the shade at Park Lane services for a siesta. Cat, Monkey and new team mate Duck had to pose on the potteries sculpture here for old times sake.

The only event, in an otherwise event-less day was that Brenda kidnapped and then washed my Tilley hat during the siesta to prevent it becoming a health hazard. Luckily it was dry by the time we set off again otherwise I would have mutineed!

HazelhurstLocksWe started again and passed down Hazelhurst locks before mooring just before the Leek arm aquaduct, just round the corner from the Holly Bush Inn. We have frequently passed the busy moorings at this pub and so stopping in the shade before getting there meant we should be OK for our evening meal tonight ( I’ve given Brenda the night off) As it turned out, the moorings outside the pub had spaces available but we were nice and quiet round the corner in the cutting.

Fish and chips twice for dinner tonight whilst sat in the shade outside the front of the pub. Excellent. Then back to Jannock to watch the football – Not England getting beaten by Belgium – my copy of Early Man that I received as a Fathers day present.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

and onto the Caldon

Wednesday 27th june 2018

Discovery of the day – Jannocks smoke alarms are dual purpose, smoke and insect killer spray ;^)

We left our quiet overnight mooring and made our way towards Hardings Wood Sandbankjunction with the Trent and Mersey canal. As we passed the moored boats between bridges 96 and 97 I could see a boat heading towards us. As soon as we passed the last moored boat I moved across to give them room and spectacularly ran aground on a sand bank that was indicated by a traffic cone stuck over a spike in the canal bed. Jannock stopped so fast and lurched to the left and Brenda almost spilt tonight’s curry she was preparing in the slow cooker. I hadn’t spotted this obstruction as it’s very low level with no other warning. The oncoming boat was a canaltime with experienced crew who offered to snatch us off but I declined due to the restricted width available because of the moored boats. I wouldn’t want him to clout one. I hoped to push us off sideways but no luck.We finally managed to shift by me pushing backwards on the pole whilst Brenda put the engine in hard astern. With Brexit in mind, we’d still be there if it wasn’t for our Pole!

MiddleportWe were second in the queue at the North portal of Harecastle tunnel with alomost a one hour wait for the northbound craft to emerge. We followed a very smokey Anglo Welsh boat but once in the tunnel the fans kept his smoke to himself ;^)

At Westport Lake, the area was closed off with miles of Police tape with PCSOs dealing with pedestrians and a dive team in the water using a rib. It would seem that they found the body of the missing 13 year old at about the same time as we were passing, just before lunchtime today. The Police were allowing GasGateboats to moor there but not a happy place to stop.

We stopped at Capital gas in Etruria (other side of road bridge and canal from the marina – they have a gate on the towpath, ring the bell and ask for service) for a couple of 13Kg Calor cylinders – cheapest supplier for miles. Unfortunately the Holy Innadequate was closed so I didn’t get an excuse for a beer, maybe try again once we leave the Caldon.

WhatInstructionsThe last time we passed through Bedford St. staircase we spotted that the instruction sign alongside the top lock was incorrect. All that there is there now are two poles where the sign used to be. With all the new logo’d signs that have appeared everywhere else in the area I’d have thought they would have replaced the instruction sign as a priority.

As we passed through Hanley Park we picked up a large amount of white fabric around the prop so had to tie up to one of the bankside mooring rings to visit the weedhatch – first time this year! We moored for the night close to Mill Farm on the outskirts of Hanley under a nice shady tree and had a Brenda curry for dinner.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

and on to Hardings Wood

Tuesday 26th june 2018

A leisurely start, the sun was already up and heading for ‘scorchio’ but Graham FavouriteMooringmanaged to wash the shady side of the boat before it got too hot. We cruised to bridge 68 where we stopped for a water fill at a water point not marked in the 2015 edition of Nicholsons guide Volume 5.

Then on to Congleton as the temperature approached the predicted scorchio so we moored under total arborial UV protection – OK, shade alongside the Queens Head, to sit it out. The irritation was that we’d moored downwind of a bakery baking chocolate cake. Correction – a Waitrose’s mincemeat factory and an oat millers. We have some posh porridge with cocoa nibs in, so perhaps they make that. The smell forced us to have chocolate cake for lunch.

A couple of boat jobs done, a slob about and we were on our way again at 5pm. The sun was still high and hot but less so than earlier. How a field of handle barred McCattle were coping we do not know. We moored up before the A50 aquaduct for the night immediately before the Maccy joins the Trent and Mersey.

SlushCropThe cruise plan curse got wurse. We set off to find the Blue Bell pub at Hardings Wood. we had to drink at Plan B, the Canal Tavern as the Blue Bell has a stoppage for a refurb. They did an interesting range of slush – only £3.50p with shots in.

There were a group of early teens strutting their stuff, innit, around the adjacent lock. The boys were showing off on the road bridge and lock balance beams; foolhardy at beast. The landlady came and told them to stop it and be safe. Mild mouthyness got them reminded that a kid died in Westport lake yesterday. “Yeh, but he was mucking about and in the water” was the reply. So, nothing like falling off a lock or bridge into the canal then. “We can swim” – not after a bash on the head as you go in.

Brenda & Graham

Monday, June 25, 2018

A day out in the car and then Bosley locks

Monday 25th June

Today, we decided on a VERY late start. The weather forecast was ‘scorchio’ and weJodrellBank wanted to visit Jodrell Bank so what better than to visit it on a school day, weekday? It was well worth the visit and we learnt lots. As well as the ‘science bit’ there is a lovely wood and garden area, plenty of room for kids to run and picnic.

hotheadScorchio was right, so once we had finished there, we did a ‘postman pat’ tour around the area – best we could find was a half timbered village church, unusual and very picturesque (what no picture? – Ed).  There are a lot of lovely halls hereabouts. This hall and that hall, even the gatehouses look tres’ posh!

A late lunch and then back to Bosley top lock. At 10am this morning lock rage was breaking out as we went to the car. A volunteer lockie (VL) was filling the top lock to let a waiting boat descend. Mr Rage stomped up from below the lock and demanded that he needed water letting down now!! Lockie said water would be let down when the boat had descended. That was not good enough for Mr Rage-going-puce. There were boats stranded on the bottom, no one afloat, water, now! Lockie was polite, Mr Angry was not.

I realised that he had his boat against the bottom gates in the low water pound below,Sunset he hadn’t bothered to check what was happening at the lock and expected to go in first. I went up to the VL and quietly explained what Mr Numpty hadn’t mentioned so they turned the lock to let him in before passing the waiting boat down through.

Come 6:30pm, when we had decided that it was cool enough to do the 12 lock Moonriseflight as the sun went down, we were not surprised to end up aground in the top lock pound due to low water levels, not least because I had to move over to give a deeper draught boat half a chance of reaching the lock.

We took 95 minutes to complete the flight with most of the locks being in our favour due to the ascending deep draughted boat. We tied up on the mooring below the bottom lockon the towpath in the cool and watched the moon rise – again!