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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.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

To get water...not an easy task

Billy no mates...that was us last night. The neighbouring Motorhome left late afternoon leaving us to enjoy the panoramic views, most enjoyable but it meant we no longer had that windbreak to shelter us. And we could have done with it when the gales arrived and 'The Beast' started rocking. Then came the rain and with it the drumming noise which seemed worse on The Beast then it did on FS's roof. This morning we also nearly ran out of the water. Should'nt have been a problem on this site as water was somewhere around. We eventually found it near to the elsan, I suppose that was the logical place for the tap to be but to get to it, we would have had to drive over the sodden and waterlogged grass. Not only would deep ruts have been left but the chances of getting stuck was very real. Looked online for another site for tonight, complete with water tap, was almost impossible as this time off year most places are still closed until March!  The only saving grace, the tap was situated right next to the narrow lane and only a stone wall was between it and the road. So the only solution was to drive 'The Beast' up the lane blocking the road completely, sling the hose over the wall filling the tank as quickly as possible and hoping against hope that no car would turn up. The Gods were smiling on us for sure as we had just finished and pulled away when the postman in his van turned up.  Phew, at least we could have that long awaited cup of tea at last.

So we set off towards Rowsley and Cauldwell Mill. With my hip still playing up walking any distance was out of the question. Ian said he felt okay, his aches and pains had all but gone away but I wasn't going to risk any more injury. Gosh, the Mill was busy. With 'The Beast' taking up three parking places, I don't think we were very popular but if only some of these attractions would cater for the bigger vehicle, that problem wouldn't become an issue. Anyway, we spent a couple of hours looking at the exhibits, most showing how wheat would have been ground with the machines trubdling away but without any sign of flour being produce.

No.. this is not the waterwheel that drives the pullys

Roller Mills taking the place of grindstones

bottom left are the way the flour used to be ground and right, weighing scales.

Left- This turbine is what powers the drive shafts to run the pulleys that grind the flour and top left is a Plansitter which sift the flour.
Made our way back and had to make a dash for 'The Beast' when we got caught in a snowstorm. Then the hunt for tonight's site began in earnest. So many phone calls made with all saying the same thing, not open until March. Eventually, we found one in Bakewell. Not the best of sites, more of a quagmire with all the mud, loos that had no working lights and right next to a busy railway line but beggars can't be choosers, at least we can plug into the electrics.  Tomorrow we hope to do some of the caves...well if my hip problem doesn't get in the way that is.. 

Tonights site in Bakewell

And first miniature Daffs seen in bloom.

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