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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, 21 September 2017

Playing chicken with a Loco

Wednesday 20th September

Last nights BBQ of sausages, steak and corn on the cob, went down very well with a glass or two of white wine. Lovely sunset made for a glorious evening. Got a bit chilly as the sun went down so glad in away to depart inside.

This morning and a lovely scene before we set off.

An interesting day and quite unexpected as little did we know we would be riding a steam locomotive later.

So we pulled pins around 9ish and knew the locks would be in our favour as we watched a boat coming up the flight from our moorings. The turn back onto the Caldon was a sharp right hand bend which took several reversing attempts.

A very sharp bend onto the Caldon and down towards Froghall
Down the flight, past Cheddleton Flint Mill and suddenly a sound which made us sit up.

The long whistle of a steam locomotive. We knew the Churnet Valley railway ran along the length of the Caldon but didn't realise it was running today. So if one can high tail it to Cheddleton station on a narrowboat, that is exactly what we did arriving just in time to hear it coming into the station. Never have we locked up FS so quick and raced to the station to purchase a ticket.

At Froghall station the loco changed from pushing to pulling. Snapping away on my camera I happened to catch this.

Was that a stupid thing to do? Well no as the locomotive was stationary at the time. Looks dramatic though!
Once back at Cheddleton station we almost ran back to FS, untied rather rapidly and headed for Consall Forge. We knew from looking out of the window during the train journey of an ideal spot to take a photo of the Locomotive and FS in the same picture. First we had to lock down to the River Churnet.

Made excellent progress going with the flow and with 20 minutes to spare, found the ideal place to moor and wait. Got the photos with the Locomotive in both directions. Ian stood at one end of FS while I stood at the other. Took a wait of about 50 minutes but well worth it especially as the chances of ever getting that again would be slim.

 Deed done we set off for Froghall. The section past Consall Forge station and then toward the lock was extremely narrow. The bridge was pretty low as well but that was nothing to what I found at the bottom lock gates. Here a plastic barrier in the shape of the entrance to Froghall tunnel greeted me as I took FS out. If we couldn't fit under that forget trying to get through the tunnel. Guess what!!! We didn't fit!!!

Winded (turned) before the tunnel entrance and walked down to have a look. Hmmmm, can see why that barrier was in place!

And a Pheasant and Partridge shoot was going on. Glad to see those flying over the canal getting away but some Partridge hid on the towpath. Us turning up sent them back toward the dogs.


Adam said...

They're good photos of boat and train -- but on the grounds that our boat was moving at the time, I'm going to claim that mine were better!!!

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Okay I'll give you that. But what a treat to have the opportunity to have the boat and steam loco together. Xx

Jenny said...

Nothing beats the nostalgia of riding the rails on a steam train!! Lucky you.

Robin and Jenny, Romany Rambler

Adam said...

Exactly -- and with Nev on Percy that means three of us have done it in just a couple of weeks! You wait ages for a chance like that, then three come along.

Anonymous said...

We did the same thing a few years ago, it's so exciting all the way up the Caldon Canal isn't it?
What wonderful pics of boat and train together, another good spot to do this is by the Red Lion Pub.
Cheddleton Station do lovely teas with home-made cakes,too.
Very much enjoying your pics and reading all about your recent escapades, thanx for taking the time to post it all.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thank you, Ann, for reading and enjoying the blog. Funny, I started it all those years ago so the children could see what we were up to. They hardly ever look at it now but it appears I have a following. Xx

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