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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.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

How exhilarating

Wednesday 13th September

Crikey it was a quick getaway this morning. There was I, still in slippers and washing the breakfast dishes when next thing I knew engine gets fired into life and Ian's untieing ropes. Because of the position FS was in when we moored last night (on a bend, pivoting in the middle with sharp end and arse end sticking out) Ian couldn't get off the bow to release the rope from the ring. So me, in my slippers, had to trudge through that horrible type of wet clay put down on some of the towpath surfaces and do the job for him. Was not best pleased I can tell you!

Early morning sunrise at Ellesmere
Mind you, it was probably a good job we did get away when we did 'cos we needed to pull onto the services to do loo and water. One boat already there and no sooner had we got the hoses connected then several boats appeared all after the same thing. We eventually filled the tank (very low pressure due to the three hoses all connected) and set off for Grindley Brook.

A couple of close encounters at bridge holes and a working motor boat pulling a butty also suddenly appeared through the bridge. Dennis had to get Icing well into the off side to allow the towing pair through and found himself on the silt. At first, we thought the motor was also stuck but turns out a boat on the otherside of the bridge had asked him to stop so he could purchase gas and coal. Not a good place to pull over in my opinion, right by the bridge!

Quite like the long straight between bridges 47 and 46. Roughly a mile and a half with cladding both sides. Deep as well so no danger of creating a wash. We tend to increase our speed slightly to 4 mph enjoying the feeling of 'flying along', exhilarating after the sedate 3 miles an hour! (what do you mean that isnt fast?) Decreased speed once more when we reached the Prees Branch junction and not long after doing the turn, the first of the 5 lift bridges to do today.

Those two oncoming boats were lucky as Margaret opened Morris Lift bridge and let them through first.

So.....Imagine a dull and foggy day, it's your first time on this canal and suddenly out of the gloom...another Lift Bridge. Look at the photo and see why. Painted green with no stop sign. Who thought that camouflaging a bridge would be a good idea?

Tilstock Park Lift Bridge

 As we approached Hassell's No 2, a hire boat was just going through. Had thought the lady opperating the bridge might allow us through as well but she dropped it pretty smartish. Saw why as we got closer. A tractor waiting to cross.

Hassell's No 1 was within walking distance so Margaret walked ahead and lifted it for the hire boat, FS and Icing went through and, just before Whitechurch, the hire boat turned down the arm. This left the last lift bridge to us but we got lucky here as we noticed it was being raised and was kept open to let us through

Oh dear....look at that sky. Grindley Brook coming up and looks like we're in for a soaking.

 Now, what is happening here? Ahh, a trust boat winding so best hang back to allow him to get round.

 We had the flight to ourselves and with the top lock ready for us we were beckoned in. Lockie on duty today was none other than Chris (in black) who locked us down the Frankton flight.

Got to the bottom and not a drop of rain fell but that sky to the left looked rather ominous.

 And then it started, drizzly at first but torrential was to come.

Managed to get moored by Willeymoor as the rain stopped, the sun came out and a rainbow appeared.

Willeymoor lock. You can just see the rainbow.

Looking back at Povey's Lock.
And wildlife seen today,

It was pouring down so that's my excuse for such a poor photo.



alan baker said...

Tilstock Bridge is a council owned bridge nothing to do with CART. Hydraulic box is also mounted higher than most. Was badly damaged a couple of years ago by a car and was left locked in the open position for over a year.

ex Nb ebony

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks for the info Alan, and no wonder it's green. The council needs to get boating in murky conditions then it might get a paint job where it can be seen.

Jennifer said...

Great to see Shropshire Lass back in action after her problem in Grindley Locks https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/local-hubs/north-shropshire/whitchurch/2017/05/12/two-people-rescued-from-canal-lock-near-whitchurch/

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Jennie, Thank goodness that couple got out okay. I'm wondering if the dog lock side was theirs.

jen said...

Awww never noticed the dog. I don't know, but I expect the pic was taken after the drama, so the dog if it was involved would be OK x

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