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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.

Saturday 30 November 2013

Our Blackpool (and bedroom) experience.

It was that time of year again for the annual Gadabouts Turkey and Tinsel trip which, as always, was arranged by Sheila, wife of our ECP&DA Chairman Howard. It was a bit earlier then normal this year, and very strange to celebrate Christmas and New Years day all in late November!  Our destination was Blackpool, not my most favorite place to visit, but the Gadabouts in our party are  always a laugh a minute and make every trip one to remember. The weather couldn't have been kinder and the Hotel Carousel fantastic. Good food, good service but very high bar prices. Consequently quite a few of the Gadabouts went pub crawling and found some very reasonable priced ale in the town centre for well under £2 a pint. So with the hotel mostly to our liking, I must just mention my bedroom experience. Ian and I always go for a twin room which gives us more space to spread out then the conventional double room. I chose the bed nearest the telly as I'm a real telly addict and wanted to watch I'm a Celebrity Get me out of here.(Sad I know!) but all to, soon I wished I had taken the one by the window instead.  At first I wasn't fully aware of the problem, just sitting on the bed made it crunch a little but expected with a bed slept on by many. It was when I finally went to bed that I became fully aware of the noise it made! Every time I moved whether it was slowly to get comfy or quickly to turn over, it would groan, squeak and loudly crunch and it honestly felt like the whole frame was giving way. My sleep that first night was non existent as I tossed and turned constantly and with all the noise the bed made it even kept Ian awake! So next morning  I was regaling my tale of whoa to the Gadabouts and you can imagine the nudge, nudge, wink, wink I was getting and the 'yea right likely story' as I tried to persuade them it had nothing to do with bedroom athletics!  Having made a complaint to the hotel receptionist, she did no more then send up a handy man, he looked at the bed frame and noticed that all the supporting struts had snapped in two. I tried explaining it was nothing to do with us but the grin on his face led me to think he didn't believe me! I can just imagine him telling to his fellow staff about the over exuberant geriatrics who had enjoyed themselves so much they broke the bed! A new bed frame was duly found and the rest of the 3 nights were spent in peaceful slumber for the both of us.

So apart from one day when a trip to the Ulverston canal had been organised, (in tomorrows post) for the most part it was a 'do your own thing' for three days. There was a small fly in the ointment though, as the hotel was a good couple of miles along the promenade to the nearest amusements including the famous Blackpool Ballroom, Dungeons and Tower and we had to purchase a Rover ticket for £10.50p each which gave us unlimited travel on the trams for the three days that we needed to use them. Most of the Gadabouts had bus passes and were able to get on the trams or buses without paying. We, on the other hand, are much to young (well by only a bit ) to have been issued with them but its times like these that I wish we were just a tad older.

New Blackpool Trams

 We also chose the wrong week to go on this trip as the illuminations had all been turned off and all the attractions like the Pleasure beach and Winter Gardens were also closed. Still we made the most of our free days visiting  Ripleys believe it or notSea life center, The Tower Eye Sky walk,  The Tower Dungeons and Blackpool Ballroom.

Some of the Gadabouts. Heather and Margaret at the back and Dennis and Dave at the front

Looks like the Strictly Glitterball

Famous roller coaster at Pleasure beach ( closed! )

Dr Who illuminations ( switched off!!)

View from Black[pool tower. Netting surrounded all the outer platforms making it difficult to get a good picture. I found some holes in the net to take these three photos. This one is looking toward the Pleasure beach and central pier. Our hotel is somewhere far in the distance

To the left and in the foreground you can just make out the dome shape of the Winter Gardens theatre

North pier

As I mentioned earlier we had a Christmas day on Wednesday 27th November complete with presents from Father Christmas

Some may recognise John Bayliss BEM in the front middle

Howard ECP&DA Chairman (in blue) and his wife and Gadabouts organiser,Shelia, next to him.

 Blackpool Tower Ballroom
 Oh if only Ian and I had been taught how to dance. We too might have been taking a twirl round the dance floor.

We indulged in afternoon tea

The famous Wurlitzer Organ

Final days sunset.

This was another brilliant trip by our one and only Gadabout organiser. Sheila you did good again.
I have put loads more photos on my Web Album of this trip so if you fancy a look click on the link.

And finally a few photos from our trip to Sealife:- ( more to come at a later date )

Largest grab known to man.

Cleaner Shrimp

Thursday 28 November 2013

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Tuesday 26 November 2013

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