Friday, October 28, 2011

Moving on a mission

New galley cupboard doors are now fitted and varnishing in progress. The priority now is to get past Fazeley before the locks close in November.

This bridge at Ansty no longer provides access to the other side.

While this one enables the cows to go for milking.
We arrived at Hawkesbury in sunshine, stuck the pins in and put the washing out to dry before it rained. Milly M had got here first and Maffi was on his way back after filling more black bags clearing another site of rubbish.

We have been lucky to travel all the way to Atherstone in sunshine before the rain came. We stayed a day to finish the varnishing, do some shopping and get a flu jab. We had to pay for it at Lloyds Pharmacy because the Medical Centre only provides it for the locals.
George and Carol led the way down the locks the next day. George was kind enough to lift a paddle when required to refill the lock for us. There were many boats coming up which also helped progress during another sunny day. The water level is a bit low at the bottom heading for Polesworth so we stopped short of the town.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Boating friends

We moved on passed those twin locks at Hillmorton and stopped at Clifton. Not much water saved by BW closing one of the twin locks. The amount of water used just depends on how many boats pass through. Water would only be lost if a lock is filled or emptied without a boat in it. On the way we stopped for tea alongside Valerie. Good to see Les and Jaq enjoying their time together this side of the pond.
We took the bus into Rugby from Clifton which is now the No. 10 from Daventry. There seems to have been many changes to the bus routes this year. We were back on board when Rock n Roll passed by and later Milly M did the same. "Sorry Maffi, I had my head in the computer sorting out my huge collection of historic boat pictures." It is work in progress towards a major update on our web site at www.moore
We moved up to Brownsover when Rock n Roll moved off and left a space for us near Milly M. A chat with Maffie resulted in some volunteer activity. There was so much rubbish floating about and dumped in the hedge row that Maffi filled no less than four black bags with it. It was all on the other side of the canal so Ann threw a rope across and pulled them back. Then I put them all in the skip at the entrance to the carpark.
Milly M moving north

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Seven days or so

We came in to Braunston from Calcutt after a walk round the reservoir. Mo n Van passed through and stopped for drinks and a chat about our summer adventures. With the Foxton locks closed due to lack of water they are obliged to travel the long way round to get to Leicester.
The lock keeper at the bottom lock in Braunston is controlling boats going up. A single boat has to wait up to an hour in the hope that another boat arrives. The lock keeper told us that BW is concentrating on maximising water supplies to the canal system. While many reservoirs are nearly empty the feeders are now being dug out. A feeder is usually a spring and ditch which drains water from the fields into the canal.
It was a surprisingly warm sunny day in October when we walked the two miles to find George n Carol on Rock n Roll.

On our way we saw the sad sight of this sunken boat. Apparently BW have been sinking our money in old boats! Surely this one is passed its use by date.
It was good to see our friends again and talk about our adventures south of Braunston.
It got cooler as we made our way to Wharf House for our engine service and new fridge. The fire is now being lit mornings and evenings but won't be long before it stays on for the winter months. The engine now has fresh 'red' long life antifreeze put in and the fuel system serviced, thankfully all quite clean with little sign of black bits.
Our washing machine got moved sideways to make room for the new taller fridge. The plumbing for the machine proved less of a problem to alter as first thought. Next day after drilling holes in the floor the fridge was put in and switched on. It required a hard pull to get the door open to find that the light was on! It was not long before the contents were transferred to the new quiet fridge.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More changes

The secret is out! British Waterways is not to be a Charity as such but a Trust. So not a Waterway Charity (WC) but Canal and River Trust. The problem is that there is not much trust in those 'men in suits' at the top level of so called management. A serious change in attitude must happen if the canals and rivers are to retain their navigations. It is no good blaming the problems on the lack of rain.
We have a week before things get done in the boat in Braunston so we have moved to Calcutt. The reservoir here looks quite full. A new farmer has been busy cutting down trees and bushes and ploughing his fields. The canal is now a bit more exposed so some moorings are less cosy.

BW have been doing their bit beefing up the towpath edge. Plenty of space there to dump some dredged mud out of the canal! If only they could do the same on the other side then the dredged material could be put back where it came from.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Warm days in Autumn

But for how long? Ann came back to me with our friends who took her home and back in a hire car from Enterprise. Then we set off to get diesel and gas in the marina and filled the water tank on the way to the tunnel. It was a warm sunny day when we joined a short queue for the Watford locks. Two boats on the way up and then we follow another going down. Despite the lack of rain Crick tunnel was still dripping wet as usual and we met several boats in that bent Braunston tunnel. Then we stopped at the top lock for the night. Remarkably one boat came up that evening in the dark despite requests to save water.

We joined a boat next day to go down all the way and found a volunteer lock keeper in attendance. He was controlling the queue of several boats going up. Luckily we found a space by Butchers Bridge and had lunch. Braunston for us is where we start and end our journeys and where we get things sorted for the boat. The engine has done 6,000 hours and I have booked Justin Green to check things in the engine 'ole. He recommended that the antifreeze should be changed for one thing and I asked if he could check out the fuel system. He is so busy that we are obliged to wait a week before he can start. Our Lec fridge is as old as the boat and now the door fails to seal properly. A new Shoreline is an inch taller so may not fit without some changes in the galley!

The Geof Amos bus has been taken over by Stage Coach and it now takes three busses to get to Banbury from here. Ann needed to get home again and is on the way but had to wait an hour in Daventry having just missed the connection. The next bus now goes to Southam and another to Banbury, then a train to Southampton. Let's hope the other connections work out better.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

I am 'home alone'

Ann is down south staying with grand children and visiting friends and family. She plans to get back on Sunday with our friends Terry n Myra who took her home by car. I have Molly to look after and take me for walks twice a day! While it has been so hot I am thankful for the tree shade.
I occupy my time between GCSE Chemistry and sorting my historical boat pictures. (must stop taking them) Chemistry is a subject I never knew about when at school so I find it hard to absorb. It is answering the questions I had but it seems to generate more questions! Many of those boat pictures are to be found in our web site already but a major update is 'work in progress'. I just find it so interesting finding out about their history and the hard working families who drove them all over the waterways. The lorries of their day in the 1930's. Back in the 1700's the boats were pulled by mules or horses. Pure manual labour required to load and unload the cargo. Many of the boats have changed hands since they were built for the old canal carrying companies.

Here is one seen at Braunston
Have you seen that Petition on Narrowboatworld? It is a protest against BW Directors paying themselves bonuses for doing nothing and losing money. Please think about signing it like I did.