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.

Wednesday 2 September 2009

Leaving the Festval

We left on bank holiday Sunday in the afternoon. As we had to make the Llangollen canal by the 9th September an early get away was essential to avoid all the boat traffic leaving the site on Monday and Tueasday. These are just some of the boats along the river bank.
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Chain ferry

The big problem of all the boaters that was moored above lock was that they were unable to get to the festival site without having to cross the river. There was a walk which took you across a farmers field full of cows, avoiding all the cow sh****t on the way, negotiating a style which unless you were really agile had no hope of climbing over, over the bridge at Red hill marina, through a car park and up a long lane and eventually to the festival site. Total walk of 1 mile approx and a good 35 minuets duration. The organisers arranged for a chain ferry to run at certain times during the day. That was fine until you wanted to go to the evening entertainment. They stopped running at 8pm. The only way back to our boat after this time was to catch a mini bus that the organisers had laid on. Again fine except the bus only had room for 8 passengers and only made 2 trips. As there must have been over 50 boats above lock I don't think anyone can make the sums add up!!!
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Harbour master

One of Ian's jobs was to be harbour master for the E moorings. He had to count the boats in as they arrived and make sure they moored correctly. Unfortunately he also got the brunt of all the moaning when the boaters didn't agree to where they had to be moored.
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The workers!!

During Ian and my stay at the festival we were all put to work. Ian on scaffolding and pontoons, and me helping to feed the waterway recovery group by preparing the sandwiches for their lunches. On the photo is Heather and Margaret sitting down, and Joan standing at the table. I must say we worked extremely well together. Joan halved the rolls, Heather buttered them and Margaret and myself filled with ham, tuna, egg, sausage, cheese and baked beans! Yep that's right, baked beans!! Apparently a favorite with the workys.

Chris Bayliss seen by the table, prepared the fillings in the kitchen with the help of Maureen and Val.

The whole gang together. Heather and Margaret sitting down and standing at the back is Posted by PicasaMaureen, Val, me, Joan and Chris.

Lavender boat

Because there are no facilities on these moorings to empty our cassette toilet, we had the so called Lavender boat visit every day. The rubbish is also collected at the same time. All I can say is the lady emptying our loo must have no sense of smell. and to think she had already been round most of the boats on site doing the same job!!
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NB President

To all you working boat boffs, I took this as she came out of Radcliff lock. Most impressive.
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On E moorings

After we arrived at the E moorings above Ratcliff lock we decided to make an effort and dress the boat up with my home made bunting. As you can see the bank was quite difficult to get onto especially for our old dog Judy. She needed a "bunk up" every time she wanted to go out.
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Leaving our temporary mooring

On the Wednesday before the bank holiday we were told to vacate the pontoon mooring and head off to the mooring above the lock. These pictures show Heather, Dave, and Dennis moving boats to allow us to leave
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