About Us

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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.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Time to prepare.

Thursday 21st

First a few facts about Standedge Tunnels
  • At 3.25 miles long, Standedge is Britain's longest and highest canal tunnel
  • Opened in April 1811, the canal Tunnel is over 200 years old
  • Typical cargoes included wool, coal and horse manure!
  • Before diesel power, boats were legged through the tunnel
Thank goodness legging through the tunnel is no longer permitted!

There are actually 4 tunnels running parallel beneath the Pennines of which three are railway tunnels.

The first single track railway tunnel was opened in 1848 on the line between Huddersfield and Manchester and a second parallel tunnel opened in 1871. The LNWR opened a third tunnel with double tracks in 1894. All four tunnels are linked by cross-tunnels or adits at strategic intervals, which allowed the railway tunnels to be built quickly, reducing the need for construction shafts, as waste could be removed by boat. Only one railway tunnel is used today. The one built in 1894 (exert taken from Wikipedia) 

 So today...Such a lazy start. Got up late, had a late breakfast then walked to the Co Op for supplies. No need to move until 4pm when we were permitted to go onto the visitor moorings outside the Standedge tunnel entrance. We did have a walk to see if we could get any earlier but it's all to do with the trip boats needing to take passengers on board outside the shop, so the answer was no.

Good chance for us to clean FS inside and out as well as empty the top boxes in readiness for storing inside. Our air draft has to be under 6' 2" so plants and top boxes had to go. All the stuff stored in the boxes as well as the boxes themselves are now safely inside FS.

Nice to have a clutter free roof
  C&RT will arrive by 8.30am and are expecting three boats. (Nb Oakapple with Anne and Jeff  have already arrived but where is the third?) it's who ever booked first will go first (although when Ian phoned C&RT a few days ago to confirm the booking he was told it may well be us. We will see!)

Waiting at the Marsden Portal East to West.

Rail tunnel runs alongside
7pm and the third boat arrived. Nb Intrepid a 70footer. Came through from the Diggle Portal West to East yesterday and damaged part of the front super structure on the corner. No doubt will be ultra careful on his return.

 Only a few bugs to show today. Where has all the wildlife gone???

Red spider mite

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