Tuesday 8 December 2009

Back at Bosley & a lovely surprise

Pulled pins at 9.30 in the rain and headed down to the services at the top of the Bosley flight. Joe & Graham in the boats and Lesley, the dogs and I by car as we're still trying to keep a car with us for our respective christmas visits. The rain stopped and the sun made a token gesture whilst Lesley & I lurked in the warmth of BW's shower and laundry room (yes-it's still being heated). Not only did our boats turn up, but so did our friends Linda & David (from NB Critical Point) who live locally and came for a bit of excercise to help us down the flight. Two boats, 12 locks, 1 hour 30 mins, impressive!! Lesley managed to knock up a lovely batch of soup & Graham had made a loaf so the 6 of us were able to settle down on MR for a companiable lunch.

Daisy entered the Guiness book of records for "most mice caught within 1 hour of mooring" - 9! it would have been more but I called her in before she made herself sick.

Buxworth Basin-Warmth

Why had we returned to Buxworth Basin for the 3rd time in as many months? this time we had more than sight seeing in mind.

The Bubble diesel boiler on board 'MR' has never worked well, and over the last few months had given up the ghost altogether, I am not one to keep throwing money at a problem, especially at £350 a visit, so having recently come into a little bundle of joy passed down from my Mother, I decided it was time to get rid.

Kuranda UK Limited are based at Whaley Bridge and I had decided to have one of their Kabola HR300 boilers fitted.

Brett (MD) and Ian turned up on Monday morning stripped out the old and went about placing and commissioning the new. I am mega impressed with the professionalism of these two guys, they have not only fitted the Kabola, but Ian went above and beyond the call-fitting clips to our gas pipes at the required distances and also completing the work of Anthony M-fixing the corner of the Dinette woodwork, although there was an alteria motive behind this; he was fed up with having his posterior pinched every time he sat on it.

Two days later and Jill is a happy Bunny, she doesn't have to stay in bed until I have lit the fire and brought the cabin up to her temp, she has hot water whenever she wants without running the engine. -Result.

Well done Kuranda.

Monday 7 December 2009

Huddersfield Narrow to Whaley Bridge

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal is stunningly beautiful in its upper reaches, but we had to get back to the Peak Forest and Whaley Bridge, why? well, we had an appointment with Kuranda Uk Ltd who we had commissioned to fit a new boiler. More of that later.Leaving lock 18, probably the shallowest pound on the Huddersfield
Look closely and you can see 'MR' is on quite a tilt, offender is a Tesco shopping trolley, that wasn't the problem, lock 4W below was-
3 Tesco trolleys held Caxter clear of the water at the bottom of the Lock, well no actually
are there any more? well, of course another 3, six in total, well done Tescos for keeping such good control of your trolleys.

Sunday 22 November 2009

Scenes from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Look at this woolly baby, he was only about 3 feet tall and very very cuddly. I was all for taking him home but Lesley pointed out that he'd make an awful mess on the boat!This is the monument known as pots & pans above Upper Mill. Lesley & I climbed it this Sunday morning in the wind & rain; the last part of the climb was very steep. I could have been in bed with a cup of tea and the Archers omnibus....we're mad !!!!
The dogs loved it though & we felt very virtuous after we climbed down and met Joe & Graham at the Church Inn for Sunday lunch. Fabulous pub; 4 pints for under £8, great food & packed with adults, kids and dogs-also wins my vote for the best view from a ladies loo; straight out across Upper Mill valley.Having moored between locks 21 & 22, we had then intended to move up onto Saddleworth
Moor by Standedge tunnel, do a bit of ridge walking & then wind & return. Except you can't. If you don't have a passage through the tunnel booked, BW won't take the padlock off of lock 24. This has evidently been the case since the canal was re-opened in 2001, but it seems to be the world's best kept secret - there is no mention of this in the navigational notes.
So we walked up to Standedge tunnel - yes, ALL of us.
Please note smart new waterproofs being modeled by Baxter & Muttley (well it is their first winter up North).
Even in his new coat, Baxter is still the tail-end Charlie
This is the aqueduct over the River Tame - the latter being a bit lively which is hardly surprising.

Portland Basin where the Peak Forest & Huddersfield Narrow meet.
We start the return journey tomorrow & I'm still not sure how I'd sumarise this Canal. It runs through glorious countryside but no-one uses it because (my hypothesis):
*you can't get to the bank to moor up very often
*the only marina charges£15 per night
*the bottom gate paddles on locks 18 & 21 are virtually inoperable (& I've stuffed my back trying)
*you can't get out of the trees into open country because lock 24 is padlocked.
Some may say it is deserted due to the time of year, but the locals treat us and the boats as a huge and fascinating novelty!!!!!
Me? I love it.

Monday 16 November 2009

Collection of photos over the last two weeks

Romiley, Peak Forest.

Tree down across cut, Lesley and Joe on Caxton doing the removal for British Waterways.

Matilda Rose approaching Romiley.

Arn't they sweet? I know not!

Fletcher and Baxter chilling out in the White Lion, Disley on the supplied dog blanket.

Jill on the Millenium Bridge , New Mills.

Lesley trying to eat her picnic at Lyme Park.

Lyme Park stags probably close to rutting season!

Dove Valley, Peak District.


Tuesday 3 November 2009

The White Lion - Disley

Jill on her wanderings with the dogs has found what has to be the most dog friendly pub in the country.

The White Lion at Disley on the Peak Forest Canal has a policy of looking after dogs 1st and humans a close 2nd. Unlike many eateries these days where dogs are not tolerated, here they are even catered for-for a small donation a meal will be supplied from the kitchens for your hairy friends so that they may eat with you.

A small donation is accepted and when he has achieved a reasonable amount the Landlord hands it over to the local dog trust. Absolutely brilliant.

Dogs are allowed anywhere in the pub where there are no carpets, they even have their own room where there is a dog bowl with fresh water, there are dog blankets available, and even tie downs for those animals which have a tendancy to wander.

Most definitely worth a visit.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Back at Marple on Peak Forest Canal

We have been very lazy, not a word for weeks and catching up always seems to be a pain in the preverbial butt, but we shall try to improve, well maybe!
Today we have done the Marple 16, possibly some of the most beautiful and interesting locks we have used. Most of them in the main with a rise of in excess of 10ft.

Wednesday 30 September 2009

Biddulph Grange Gardens

On the Monday, Lesley & I walked the dogs a VERY long way down the Biddulph Valley Way into Biddulph (Lesley had already walked in the opposite direction to Congleton for shopping). We tried 7 or 8 pubs before we could get a pint of bitter - some were closed, some wouldn't accept dogs (even in the garden), & some didn't do real ale. By this stage we'd reached Biddulph Country Park & the National Trust Gardens - only to find they were closed Mondays & Tuesdays. So we walked home, via a longer route, 'cause we got a bit , well..er ..lost.
Linda (our friends from NB Critical Point who live locally) took pity on us and picked us up by car to re-visit the gardens on Wednesday - except we had a puncture and the car jack was at home in the garage!