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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, 8 June 2016

Well if you dont ask.....

Tuesday 7th

So many boats now heading toward Hancock bridge where C&RT have to open the road bridge. We all have a time to go through but for us that's not until tomorrow. Two for tomorrow mornings (they have been with us on and off since Burscough) is Penny and Umyahara. (think that was it's name) They passed us early this morning so giving a wave said we would see them later. We left soon after and before long Bells swing bridge came into view. Another mechanised one but with a quirky twist. Lights flashed to stop the traffic, barriers went down and then nothing! No movement of the bridge so we waited and waited and so did the traffic! In the end Ian had a sudden thought. Did it have to be manually swung?. Oops yes it did!

Within quarter of a mile yet another mechanised bridge. This time all one needed was a key and to push the button. Yet another twist to this bridge. A set of keys were already in the control box. How very strange!! Then Ian had another thought (careful) was it one of Polly or Umyahara (still unsure as to spelling) crew that had left it in the box. Knowing we would see them later we took the key and hoped for the best.

Methodist swing bridge where the key was left.

And then beyond Shaws swing bridge there they were.

Turns out it was Holly's crew that left the key. And the captain of this vessel?? None other than George Findley master fender maker.  C&RT had written an article on his 40 years of fender making which was published in their on line News and Views. To read the article  click here  We first met him at Chesterfield in 2008 where we purchased a tiller tassel from him. He took one look at our tassel and said "That's one of mine". How on earth did he know?? I did enquire and he told me he was the only one that entwined the coloured rope.

George was very grateful to get his key back although he admitted he hadn't even missed it. 
We moored in front of the pair and went shopping. A short walk over the swing bridge brought us to Morrisons. After stocking up with supplies we made our way to the last swing bridge for today. Beyond the bridge a long line of residential boats moored on the offside. We had been told of a tap just past the bridge but no sign of one. Got chatting to one of the boat owners and I did ask if there was a water tap this side of Hancocks bridge. Quick as a flash he told us to pull alongside and use his hose. What a bonus for us. Now means we wont have to queue at Litherland facilities for water. Just  both loos to do and we could be cheeky and breast up for that.

The chap in the black T Shirt was the kind hearted sole.
  Hancocks bridge is approximately 30 minutes cruise from tonight's mooring spot. We need to be ready to go through when C&RT  opens the bridge at 1pm tomorrow. Looks like a lazy morning for us although the amount of cyclists (and motor bikes) that had passed us tonight generating copious amounts of dust means we will have to get the sponge and bucket out again.

Gravel path so dry that even walkers kick up the dust.
 And seen this afternoon along the hedgerow

On some matting left by a boater. Wood louse?

And I think this is a wood louse balled up.

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