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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.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Rally prep

For once we didn't dread the sound of the grass cutting team starting up the mower. In fact, we positively welcomed it as we were starting to have the grass nearly covering our knees!  For days Ian has been trying to get C&RT's contractors to come and cut the grass in the basin and that dreaded noise was heard last Tuesday below lock but that was as far as they came. So on Wednesday Ian once more phoned C&RT and whatever he said worked because Thursday morning bright and early they arrived.

Unfortunately, several boats had already turned up and we were hemmed in by Pentland so couldn't escape the strimmers. The visiting boats had been warned and as a gesture of goodwill, I cleaned every boats cabin side and gunwales of the strimmings. Our own though being below a steep bank got the worst of it. Took an hour to clean the sides, roof, cratch cover and gunwales as the sun had well and truly baked the grass to the hull.

So today most of the work party arrived to start the big push to get everything ship shape for the rally.  Ian headed down the towpath to put up the no mooring signs and to allocate the zones.

Trying to remove a boulder.

Boats already arrived but not in their allocated mooring.
I headed with Paul to the feeder to clear all the rubbish that had come down from the reservoir. We had hedge cutters, lock painters, the swing bridge supports sanded and the new signpost installed.  There is still a massive amount of work to do and I have volunteered to paint the swingbridge supports tomorrow while Ian will start on the electrics. Ah...maybe I won't start too early tomorrow, the big event is happening at midday (no I don't mean the cup final!) and I do so want to see what Megan is wearing.

Roland on the sander

Michael painting the lock beam

Chesterfields 'cuckoo' boat Dawn Rose next to nb Python. Dawn Rose and Historic boat Bath will take the band from Anchor Bridge to Langley Bridge lock for the opening ceremony at the start of the rally.

And seen lurking near the bank

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