About Us

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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 9 February 2024

Latest update

 Blooming weather! Really getting fed up with the constant rain with the risk of more flooding to come. Snow was welcome yesterday, a brief respite from the rain, but for us here at Langley Mill, very short-lived. Pretty though while it lasted.

 And today the barometer dropped considerably. Not another storm coming, surely???


These last few weeks have been very quiet, I have become something of a hermit, leaving FS only to go shopping or visit family. Ian on the other hand is never still, always managing to find something to do even if it's just to fix the squeaky wheel of the association's wheelbarrow! Fridays are always a hive of activity for the work parties and one of the jobs CRT have handed over to ECP&DA is offside veg clearing from Langley Mill to Shipley, a race against time because come March all will have to stop as the nesting season starts, and we can't let our feathered friends go without good cover to raise their young now can we.

 Photos provided by Canada Dave and middle size Alan (don't ask!) Surnames of both I have yet to find out.

During last week, the water levels of the basin dropped considerably. A paddle was found partially up, not sure why because as far as we knew, no boat had come up. But there again we had been out shopping, so anything could have happened while we were away. Anyway, with the water levels so low, Ian decided what a great opportunity to try and find the pipe outlet from the pump house. The problem still persists of a leaky pipe from the pump to the main pipe and all other tries of finding the outlet has failed so far, (See Post.) So on went Ian's work clothes, grabbed a builder's bag from the yard to lay on, fetch my waterproof camera and lower it into the canal to see if the entrance to the pipe could be found.


Great result, as my camera worked a treat and showed by the escape of air bubbles exactly where the pipe was.There was a moment of mirth from me when Ian stood up and a sudden gust of wind got under the bag and blew it into the canal. He made a grab for it and almost disappeared into the murky depths. Me to the rescue as I waited for it to slowly sail across the canal where I could retrieve it with a rubbish grabber.

  So on the next work party, a hole was dug, and a small manhole was found with the cut-off valve to the pipe. This meant that at last the dodgy leaky pipe could be replaced and a new one filled. 



 And after

 We are still having problems with the CO alarm going off, and the one thing in common every time it starts bleeping is the wind direction. Whenever the breeze blows over the boat from front to back, the alarm sounds. We have sort of deduced smoke and carbon monoxide could be coming in through the roof vents, but we obviously are very reluctant to cover them up! It's our only ventilation during the winter, our windows all have a secondary film across to stop condensation and yes this works a treat, but it does mean no windows can be opened. So before we do go to the route of a new stove, Ian has extended the length of the chimney by adding the smaller one to see if this will make the stove 'draw' better.


At the weekend, the tiniest pony was seen being led along the path across from FS, made us wonder what sort of boat it could pull and more to the point, what size would it be?? Any ideas? πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

And wildlife


Angela said...

As I think was mentioned before, hydrogen from over-charging batteries can set CO2 alarms off. Worth looking into! Turn your battery charger off for a few days and see. Best of luck!

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks, Angela. Ian has checked the batteries and as far as he can see they are working fine, but we can give it a go and see what happens, so thanks again for the tip. Xxx

Anonymous said...

What would the canals be like without the help of an army of vlounteers I wonder, well done to all of them. Ian is definately your 'man that can' because it seems he can solve most of the problems he encounters!
The CO2 alarm going off is a bit of a mystery now, I do hope a solution can be found soon.
Your pic of the little bird was very endearing, if it's a Wren well done for catching it, as they tend to dart about so quickly.
Take care ooop there you two and than you for your update.
Ann xx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Ann, yes it was a wren foraging about in the grass right outside FS. I was extremely lucky that it stayed for a while.
Today the alarm went off whilst we were out. Came back to it bleeping away. A comment from Angela mentioned the batteries may be gassing. That's Ian's next job once the Rugby has finished (:
Vikki from the boatyard suggested a smoke bomb pellet once the fire had gone out. This would show if we do have any leaks in the stove. Hopefully, we can get to the bottom of it because it's getting to the stage where I'm anxious about going to bed!
Take care also
Irene XXX

Angela said...

If the batteries are upwind, then it leads more towards the batteries. Another suggestion, although I doubt it because of the wind thing, is change the alarm itself. It seems you have eliminated everything else.
Again best of luck. Angela.

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Lovely to read a post about your day to day goings on, Irene.


Ian and Irene Jameison said...

We may have solved the problem, Angela. Changing the door to the spare one we had, as well as resealing the glass, and after several attempts to check the seals with smoke bombs, may have got to the bottom of it. I will post later to confirm.

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