Day 57 now at Norbury

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

It was very wet overnight and we awoke to heavy rain and mist. It was only drizzle by 10.00 so we set off to Norbury Junction where we are now moored. Norbury Junstion is about half way down the Shropshire Union Canal on our way to Autherley Junction where we go onto the Staffs & Worcs Canal heading for Stourport. Depending on the weather (i.e. rain) we will then see if we can go down the River Severn or retrace our steps to go home via Great Heywood.

Totals to day 57 are;-
Memorable events still 11
Cappuccinos now 13 latest being Nantwich Bookshop and Jones's in Market Drayton
Lift bridges 27, locks 188 and 349 miles

I have now filled the first log book for BB covering her first 4 years and 10 days during which we have travelled 1460 miles and been through 907 locks.

Our Rosie and Jim left us at Market Drayton on Monday after travellling from the Swanley Bridge Marina on the Llangollen and then down the Shroppie via Hurleston Junstion.

We have had a fantastic time on the Llangollen with 20 visitors over two weeks. The by washes on the entrance to the locks going up hill on the Llangollen are easy compared to those on the Audlem flight - which are something else. Telford designed the locks with the overflows coming out right in front of the bottom lock gates, he also added an extra twist by having two of these - one from each side. You line up for one and then get hit by the other which shoves the bow into the lock entrance wall - after the 15 locks I had only managed to break the glass in one of our pictures and only entered five locks without hitting the wall !!!! Therefore Telford 10, BB 5 !!!!

This is our overnight mooring last night by Knighton.

This is the famous Grubb Street Cutting double arch bridge No 39 with telegraph pole

Another high bridge - at Woodseaves cutting - at least I can't hit the chimney with it.

Who says boating is for pussycats? Sign as you enter Woodseaves cutting

Day 57pictures on our way to Norbury Junction

Our very own Rosie operating one of the 15 locks on the Audlem flight

The Shroppie Fly pub at Audlem an old warehouse converted in the 1970's. The bar is in the shape of a narrowboat

The restored butty Saturn the last of the Shroppie fly boats that used to deliver perishable goods 24 hours a day
One of the lovely buildings in Nantwich we visited with Rosie and Jim

Anne's Uncle Peter and Aunty Gill going on a trip round 2 locks on the Llangollen at Swanley.

Day 51 back in Swanley Bridge Marina

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Totals to Day51
Memorable events 11 and Cappuccinos 11
Lift bridges 27, locks 143 and miles 326

Richard and Pip arrived at lunch time Monday to cloudy weather but with a chill in the wind. We cruised back down the Llangollen which is becoming very busy with queues of boats coming up towards Llan. In fact the BW moorings man in Llan was saying that this will be the busiest time of the year. Good decision therefore to come off.

Now in the Marina for a few days seeing Anne's uncle and aunt and awaiting the arrival of our real Rosie and Jim ( will try and get a picture of them in a window) on Saturday. They are going to help us through the 15 Audlem locks over the bank holiday weekend as we make our way south. Hopefully it will not be to busy on the Shroppie.

Anne, Richard and Pip trying to keep Warm on Wednesday as they take BB down the 3 staircase locks at Grindley Brook ( A staircase lock is when the second gate of the first lock becomes the first gate of the next lock and so on, ie there is no gap between them)

Richard and Pip discussing the difference between the 38 horsepower of BB compared to the 400 horsepower of their last boat.

Our visitors sitting outside (it was still chilly) by Blake Mere at Ellesmere which were formed at the end of the ice age 10,000 years ago.

Big gap

Monday, 19 May 2008

I am posting this from the libary in Llangollen and on viewing the blog there is a big gap between postings today. My time is running out and I cannot seem to fix it. Therefore scroll down to find the post for today.


Day 47 last day in Llangollen

Totals to Day 47 are now

Memorable events now 11 latest increase is seeing the push/pull train yesterday running on the Llangollen railway. It reminded me of the time I used to travel between Greenford and West Ealing in the late 1950's with my mother- blimey I am getting old.
Cappuccinos 10 - latest is Costa coffee in Llangollen which is a bit of a mecca with 3 outlets
Lift bridges 19, locks 126 and miles 283

Our old friends Bill&Clare and Rob&Lynda (by time not age-their request) from Bexhill arrived Friday evening and so did the rain. Saturday's trip over the Pontycysyllte aqueduct was wet but there were still many gongoozlers (name for those who come and look) about. By the time we reached Llangollen and walked to The Royal Hotel for a late lunch it had stopped.

As our visitors had left Sunday was dry, cloudy and a bit cold out of the sun so time was spent exploring around town while waiting for our next visitors on Monday Pip and Richard who are considering buying their own narrowboat soon.

A point of clarification has been requested in regards to my cappuccino list.

I had set out to record the places which can be reached by foot from the canal which provide a good cup of cappuccino coffee. I do not intend to say which is the best. So far Llangollen has been my Mecca. We are now leaving the area so will probably be entering the canal cappuccino wilderness again- so please wish me luck.

The GWR 0-6-0 pannier 6430 with push/pull set at Berwyn station

A kiddie car in the Llangollen motor museum made out of WW2 aircraft parts

Inside the Motor museum- what a place

The source of the Llangollen canal at Horseshoe falls which is overlooked by the Llantisilio Mountains

Bill the hoody trying to keep dry on Saturday

Day 44 between Trevor and Llangollen

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Today has been a day of jobs as we only moved 500 yards towards Llangollen from our overnight mooring so that we could get a better view. Tomorrow will be another busy day about 1/2 mile to go to the hotel to meet our friends from Bexhill in the afternoon.

This is the view from the cratch today Thursday.

Another view of our mooring today looking towards the boat from bridge 35

We made another trip over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct yesterday (Wednesday) with Martin and Ruth. I worked with Martin until last September. We cruised from Trevor to Chirk and back.
The view below shows the size of the aqueduct from a different perspective.

This is Trevor with the canal from Llangollen coming in from the right which then requires a sharp 90 degree turn to get onto the aqueduct, which is in the distance- it can become rather congested in May it must be some place in August!

In and around Llangollen

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

A lovely view as we made our way out of Llangollen yesterday with Rikki and Nicky aboard through the narrows with the River Dee down below us on the left ( you can just see BB in the distance)

Cumulative to Day 42
Memorable events now 10 latest addition the red balloon event in Llangollen
Cappuccinos increased to 9 latest being Royal Hotel coffee shop and Llangollen Wharf
Lift bridges 16, locks 126 and miles 265.

We are back in Trevor basin tonight and will stay around the area till next Monday as we have some very old friends visiting from Bexhill at the weekend.

A picture of Denise and David (Anne has known Denise since they were 6 months old!!!) beside the River Dee

A view across the River Dee towards Llangollen Railway station( a preserved line that runs steam trains at weekends) the Canal Wharf is above the station.

From the Wharf you can take a horseboat ride to the source of the canal water at Horseshoe Falls. Narrow boats can only go as far as the barge as it then becomes too shallow.

This mummy duck just stayed put with her ducklings

Red balloon in Llangollen

The journey into Llangollen was very hard going against the 2mph current created by the 50million litres of water that flows down the canal daily but the moorings, provided by British Waterways at £6 per night including electricity, are very good complete with views across the town.

Sunday evening after a very hot day and with nothing on the TV I decided to go for a walk when I saw a red balloon come over the hill heading towards Llangollen. It then decended and no amount of gas burning would get it up again as it headed for the centre of the town. It narrowly missed chimney pots, the church and eventually landed in an open space behind the church. A most interesting half an hour with the usual group of boaters to watch the events unfold.

Day 38 now at Trevor

Friday, 9 May 2008

Totals to Day 38 are now;-

Memorable events 8 - latest two being our first trip with BB over the Pontcysyllte and Chirk Aqueducts
Cappuccinos 7 - 2 new ones being Cafe at Bridge 29 Grindley Brook and Coco's in Ellesmere
Lift bridges 14, locks 126 and miles now 255

The weather at last is truly spring like with warm, sunny days although this morning Friday it did rain for 3 hours on the way but at least I only had 3 layers on.

The scenery is stunning and the first aqueduct at Chirk is fantastic especially with the Shrewsbury - Chester viaduct next to it which surely adds to the magnificent impact of them both.

We met Ellen and Mike just before the big one and they came across and spent the afternoon with us. I used to work with Ellen at Hume Pipe in Camberley some 20 years ago, it was a very good day especially as it had stopped raining and the sun came out.

Going across the Pontcysyllte aqueduct completed in 1805,its over a 1000ft long and 127ft above the River Dee, one of Thomas Telfords greatest achievements. Mike is on the towpath side and we have picked up some hitch hikers who we had started to talk to as we came onto it. They are members 0f New Zealand Rotary District 9910 on a study exchange with 1180 North Wales. They really enjoyed the ride but thought it would make a good bungee jump - I pointed out that Mr Telford would not think it appropriate

The starter for the main aqueduct is the one at Chirk as shown above, which is stone compared to the iron trough of Pontcysyllte. The little dot in the middle is Anne making her way slowly across.

Pictures towards Llangollen

The scenery on the canal just gets better and better as we move towards Llangollen.

This was our m ooring for Thursday evening 8 May-Bridge 1 Frankton Junction where the Montgomery Canal leaves for Welshpool although its not open yet.

The weather has really improved this week 20c and I have been in shorts! The trees have really started to come out but I saw this horse sheltering from the sun under the only tree with no leaves.

Another picture of a heron looking cool by standing alone in a field no water around at all! A little later I saw another heron standing in the middle of a large herd of sheep, strange birds in Wales.

This is where it all started Wrenbury Mill we hired a narrow boat from here 11 years ago and have not looked back since.

Days 32 to 35 in Snowdonia BB still resting

Monday, 5 May 2008

We have had three great days touring Snowdonia and visiting friends, family,National Trust castles and houses and a few narrow gauge railways. The following pictures give a flavour of them. The weather has been pleasant - managed to get down to a tee shirt!!!! although we did have a very bad thunder storm Sunday night. Back onto the canal tomorrow to make our way to Llangollen, its surprising how we have both started to miss the fact that we are not on the move.
May have a problem getting a 3G signal over the next few weeks as I am now leaving this lovely wifi connection in the marina but will try my best to post something.

Erddig house which never had electricity and the owners had a very close interest in the welfare of their staff which totalled nearly 100

Welshpool & Llanfair loco "Countess" which I hope to model in the not too distant future.

Chirk Castle

Powis Castle

Criccieth Castle which is not NT but is within walking distance of some friends who I worked with over 20 years ago at Hume Pipe.

Day31 collected metal box with wheels

Friday, 2 May 2008

We collected the Focus from Wrexham this afternoon and then drove towards Llangollen to check out the hotel our friends will be staying at in a few weeks time- we were concerned that it was some way from the canal. The picture below shows its close! and the scenery on that part of the canal in the spring is fabulous,

Totals today nil for the boat she is having a well deserved rest.

We drove into the hotel car park to be confronted by a collection of Humber cars dating back to the early 1920's. They are holding their annual gathering this week end and have taken over the whole hotel, tomorrow should see upto about 30. We spoke to one proud owner who had travelled up from Bournemouth in 5 hours. Although later on we did see one broken down in Llangollen with the owner lying under it!

Day 30 now in Swanley Marina-Llangollen Canal

Thursday, 1 May 2008

This was our mooring last night about 1 mile up the Llangollen canal from its junction at Hurleston with the Shropshire Union canal (Although they did also own the Llangollen). Tuesday was our most busiest day since leaving Napton we did 11 locks and 12 miles in lovely sunshine until we arrived on the Llangollen when we had a shower. We then rested on Wednesday by doing jobs on the boat - our first opportunity since we started the trip.
Totals to day 30 are now;-
Memorable events 6, cappuccinos 5, lift bridges 6, locks 109 and miles 214
We are now in a marina which holds about 250 boats, for the next 5 days as we are going to see a few friends and tour around Snowdonia which may mean a ride on some narrow gauge railways ( I always live in hope). If the number of people coming down to their boats this evening is anything to go by the canal will definitely be a place to miss this weekend.

People and pictures on way to Llangollen

On the way out of Middlewich we had to go through Wardle Lock which is the home of a lovely lady called Maureen - a boat women born and bred. She has just had her 74th birthday and whilst helping us with the lock told us lots of stories of the old days. She was born on a horse boat and worked them with her parents and then with her husband. Her brother was born on a Thomas Clayton classic boat called Gifford. Just as we were leaving the lock she handed us two hand painted book marks. She still does talks on canal life as was a joy to speak to.

We passed this old canal company stable block which has now been converted to houses on the Shropshire Union- Middlewich branch
We saw this boat adapted at the Anderton Marina for pump out service