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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Looks like the inspection team had turned up for a swim!

10am on the dot Michael, Roland and Norman turned up to repair the leak. Armed with pickaxe, lump hammer, sand and cement and loads of enthusiam for the job ahead they set to with gusto. The enthusiam soon waned as it begame clear the job would be anything but simple. First, to turn off the stopcock and get drain the mini pond by the manhole.

Stopcock under the hedge
 Ian came up with the idea of using our old diesel siphon pump to get rid of the water.

 It was at this point we had the visit by the management!!!  This pair waddled in bold as brass on a mission to find the pond. Shame the men were in the way to stop their progress.

Hmmm, nice bit of soil

Now what have we here!

What a mess.

Okay so where is the pond.
 With Ian siphoning the water away the pipe was soon revealed. Turns out it was a lead pipe after all. A 3/4 inch split was found, obviously from a burst pipe. Groans of dismay came from the men but then another bright idea, Why not split the pipe and insert a brass stopcock. No need to replace the pipe after all. So Ian and John Baylis headed off the plumbers merchant and returned with the tap. This left Michael, Roland and Norman to make the hole bigger and deeper.


 Next came the splitting of the pipe, cutting out the piece which had the hole in and joining the two bits together with the stopcock. Sounds simple but because the pipe had swollen due to the ice, the brass fittings refused to go on. Taking it in turns, Michael and Roland, with Norman holding the pipe steady, filed and sanded both ends for well over an hour before finally both nuts went on.

 We all cheered when the tap was finally in place. Ian raced to turn on the stopcock under the hedge and our euphoria turned to dismay as a steady drip appeared from one of the joints! Three times the water was turned off and the joints remade and three times the bl**dy thing kept dripping, all from different areas. On the forth attempt we all held our breath and prayed that this time the joints would be dry. It was with a sigh of relief that there was no sign of seepage. By now the time was 4pm. 8 hours had been spent on what should have been a reatively quick job. Michael decided to call a halt. He had enough cement mixed to line the bottom and place the bricks and decided what was left to do could wait for another day.

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