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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.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Me on my soapbox again

C&RT contractors (VINCI) turned up very early this morning to assess, and what we assumed,   repair the leak. As we were on our way to Cambridge to a Sit and Sleep factory to see about a tailor made sofa bed, we personally didn't hear what passed between Margaret and the contractor but she soon told us on our return. One of the VINCI chaps was aimlessly walking round the outside of the cottage looking for the leak. Margaret collared him and took him through the gate into the yard to show where it was. He took one look, shook his head and said he had to contact head office and explain it was on the cottage property not on the outside. Now C&RT own the property and ECP&DA lease it from them but those in head office declared that the society was responsible for the repair. Apparently all those years ago, when the society saved the cottage from being pulled down, the contract with BW stated that they had to maintain the interior and grounds and keep it in good repair.  I have included a paragraph of an article submitted by John Baylis after the cottage was awarded a Waterways Renaissance Award in 2013 which may explain why the society had to do the work. To see the complete article please click here

Part of the cottage and stable probably dates back to the building of the Erewash Canal in 1779, with the addition of a second cottage and toll office sometime after the Derby Canal opened in 1795. The cottage became part of the British Waterways portfolio in1948 and was due for demolition in 1968 after BW had built a replacement bungalow to the rear. (Now our property) As the other two Erewash Canal lock cottages at White House and Stenson’s locks had recently been demolished the infant ECP&DA was concerned that the last original cottage on the Erewash Canal should not suffer the same fate. The Associations representations to the local authority opposing the Demolition Order was heard and Order was not granted. The BW response was “if you want it keeping, you look after it” and the Association has leased the cottage since then.  

Michael Golds work party organiser for the lock cottage has rallied the troupes to come in tomorrow and start the work. One major worry is that the ruptured pipe is made of lead. If that turns out to be the case then it is quite possible that outside help will have to be employed at considerable cost to ECP&DA. Now.... this is my thoughts and mine alone and not those of any member of the society but I feel C&RT should be the ones to do the repairs. After all, to make the society pay if it does turn out to be lead piping, especially as it is their property, is just wrong. ECP&DA do enough repairs to help C&RT as is, as well as canal cleanups etc!! (one of which starts is scheduled for Friday)

Okay so I have come off my soap box and will now explain our trip to Cambridge. Since our beloved  Judy & Jade departed the space where the beds had been seem so empty. Yes it's nice to have a bit more room but every time I look over to that corner all I visualise is the Woofits looking up at me. We had contemplated reinstating the dinette and it was while while looking at possibilities on line that we came across the company Sit & Sleep. Liking the look of their sofa's and armed with all relevant measurements we took the 2.5 hour trip down to West Wratting. On route, and very surprisingly, a pair of Kites were circling overhead near Wellingborough on the A14. It's about 25 miles from Cambridge so further north then I expected them to be having only seen them along the Thames corridor.

Photo taken last year along the Thames.
 Anyway I digress.

Richard the designer met us and discussed what could and could not be done. More positives then negatives thank goodness as it looks like they can shave a bit off the frame so the bed will fit under the gunwhale. We went home to have a chat 'cause it certainly ain't cheap' but I'm pretty sure we will go ahead and order it.

This futon mattress is filled with superior woolen and polyester fibers and is a dream to sit and lie on. We tested it at the store.

Storage box underneath on casters for bedding and pillows can be slid down the back

Will fit across the boat  if some of the frame front and back is shaved off. It was remarkably easy to lay flat.

Room for pillows or bedding slid down the back. The frame actually is at an angle so fitting it under the gunwhale is not a problem.

Not easy to see in this photo but the frame is angled.
The light blue was lovely but to keep to the colour of our chairs we have decided on the dark blue.
On tomorrows post I hope to report on the progress of the leak. A lot depends on the weather but barometer is set to fair so looks promising.


Anonymous said...

Hi Irene you should contact Adele Banks she lives in woodsend cottage at fradley a brilliant carpenter she would make you want to your exact requirements
Her company is called WATERCOLOUR PROPERTY SOLUTIONS really worth a call


eddy cat said...

Hi to you both, the futon I mention in our blog is also from sit and sleep and it is a lovely simple design, we have a book case along one gunnel so we have to turn the futon length ways to open as a bed. Richard and Andrew from sit and sleep know there business and manufacture a great product we are very pleased with our futon.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Norwyn, Took a look at her facebook page. Lovely furniture and would have been ideal if we had known about her earlier. We have to leave for Droitwich by 10th April and Sit and Sleep can deliver around that time. Thanks for the info and will keep her in mind if we need any work done. Xxx

And Eddie. The futon is that comfy I bet you sleep on it all the time. Xxx

Graham said...

Furniture Village do a very good compact sofa bed which looks like a slightly more sophisticated version of the one you have been looking at.

It is 1.5m long, 800mm high and comes out from the wall by approx. 900mm.

It is comfortable both to sit and sleep on. We've got one and recommend it.

You can see it here, http://www.furniturevillage.co.uk/Inventory/Upholstery/Gainsborough-Aztec-II/BS-140cm-double-sofa-bed-and-a-pair-2-of-bolsters-offer.aspx It does seem to have gone up a bit since we got ours!

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Graham,

We had a look but it's to big to fit in the space we've got. Nice sofa bed though. Xxx

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