Canals in Manchester, Bingley ,Glasson,Falkirk and Fort William

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Although Scotland was on the agenda for our trip in September so was the Welsh Highland Railway, Whitby and any canal sites we happened to be near.

Some photographs of the canal we saw:-

A classic view of Bingley 5 Rise
Three views around Castlefield Basin, the Manchester Science Museum is under the bridge on the right

The Bridgewater Canal comes in from the left with the Science Museum straight ahead under the ornate railway bridge

Excellent moorings in Castlefield Basin, the lock leading to the Rochdale Canal is out off shot on the left.

The 5 staircase locks at Fort Augustus on the Caledonian Canal

A very varied selection of boats and ships at Glasson Basin, the narrowboat is moving away from the sea locks onto the Lancaster Canal.

The Falkirk Wheel in action bringing a boat down from the Edinburgh & Glasgow Union Canal to the Forth & Clyde Canal.

A leap of faith onto the wheel, the site is very impressive-if only they could get the Foxton Incline Plane

One of the trip boats arrive for the flight down.

View to Calcutt locks

Sorry I have not posted anything recently but we have only managed a few quick trips to the boat to check all is ok. As we had finally decided it was time to  downsize from 2 to 1 car and Anne said a very sad farewell to her Jazz at the end of August. We have never been to The Highlands of Scotland so therefore decided that to get to know the new car an autumn  car touring trip to Scotland instead of a cruise on BB would be a good idea.
We did 2500 miles in 3 weeks and did manage to visit some canal sites, I'll post some pictures of the trip later.
The pictures below are of our trip to the boat in October.
A great thing to have on a narrow boat but the questions would  go on for a very long time!

The view from our new mooring is of a very old boat(note to self to try and find out more about it) and the bottom Calcutt lock through the trees

One of the days when we were on the boat was very wet so we had a trip out to the Heritage Motor Museum at Gaydon. Its well worth a trip- this is the vehicle Land Rover produced for the Judge Dredge movie
These are MGs used to obtain the land speed record for 1500cc powered cars-one of which was driven by Stirling Moss in the early 50's
We are getting a large group of Canada geese coming to the marina to roost overnight. Something spooked them just before dusk.

Another brick in the wall near Braunston

Monday, 29 July 2013

We went up to the boat last week to enjoy some of this lovely weather and do a few jobs that I didn't manage to do when we were out. We did our usual journey which now involved going up the three Calcutt locks and then a cruise through the countryside towards Braunston. As it was so hot we stopped just past bridge 103 for the day with a BBQ in the evening. Thursday started a lot cooler as we cruised into Braunston for a few things which included a trip to the butchers in the village for some of their great lamb chops.
Just outside Braunston is the remains of an old railway bridge that used to be home to a narrowboat when we first had the boat. Not sure if he was a fan of the group but the track from their 1979 album The Wall- Another brick in the wall- would be very appropriate.

This young swan would insist on tapping on the boat by the side hatch for food

We managed to miss the majority of the rain last week except for a shower that came along just as I was finishing off the lamb chops- ah the English BBQ 

I am getting hooked on peoples boat names

They can be very imaginative

Into Calcutt Marina and end of trip

Monday, 24 June 2013

We finished our trip last Friday as we had seen the weather forecast for the weekend that did not look good again- high wind and rain. We therefore decided to go into our new mooring at Calcutt Marina a bit earlier than planned. Totals to day 51 are 170 locks and 346 miles which gives an average of 2.73 lock miles per hour for our trip. The staff in the marina office were very welcoming and sorted out our cars dead battery without any problem- an excellent start.
On looking back its again  the people you meet that makes the trip so memorable although there were a few occasions when we have been going through locks and the crews of other boats (not always hire boats) have just waited for you to finish before they come along to do their bit- I was tempted to shut the gates as we left!- luckily they are in the minority and hopefully will stay that way.
In a field near Lower Shuckburgh- we saw several of these scary kites tethered presumably to keep birds away

Near bridge 84 as you approach Braunston is the ghost of a signal post which has lasted for at least 50 years since it last saw a train on the old Great Central Railway

And finally a few more boat names to finish with

Now moored at Rugby

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

We have had a couple of busy days (covered 24 miles and 1 lock!) in great boating weather. We met Stowe boaters Sue and Barry on nb James Henry yesterday afternoon at Hawkesbury Junction and had a great time catching up during which time along came another couple Barry and Linda on nb Southern Cross who joined us.
We are now on the northern part of the Oxford Canal which although having been straightened  in the early 1800's still winds its way through the countryside. There are only a few moorings between Hawkesbury and Rugby and tonight we are moored just past bridge 66 near the golf course.
Our mooring near Rugby tonight the golf course is on the right

This old viaduct is near our mooring tonight. Its the old Rugby to Stamford line of the LNWR built in 1850 and closed in 1966.

When we arrived at Hawkesbury Junction yesterday afternoon we saw 6 working boats making their way to Wolverhampton to collect coal for sale next winter- this is Southern Cross a Star class built in 1935.

nb Stanton a Town class built in 1936 next to the old pumping station

nb Towcester a Town class built in 1937 towing butty Bideford a Town class built in 1936

Another fine garden at Bedworth

We saw this hire boat which has a bit of style

There used to be telegraph poles like this all along the canals, now replaced by fibre optic cables buried under the towpath

Another one of those names

We just managed to pass this sunken narrowboat close to bridge 18 near Nuneaton

Hartshill Yard used to be a lovely working yard for British Waterways, its now up for sale -hopefully whatever happens to it will take into account its heritage

As we came up the Atherstone flight this group of ponies were next to the lock with two foals one of which is sound asleep by the fence

Between Atherstone and Hartshill

Monday, 17 June 2013

We have had a busy few days between dodging the rain and drizzle. Since leaving Acton Trussell last Friday we have done 20 locks and travelled 41 miles and for us that's going fast. The totals so far for the trip are 163 locks and 308 miles. We are now on the Coventry Canal moored just before bridge 34 which is near Hartshill. Our views are over the Trent Valley and tonight the sky cleared and we managed prawns and lamb on the BBQ. Last Saturday as we were approaching Fradley Junction voices called out and we met John and Barbara from nb Barnaby two +, we moored up for the day and had a very pleasant catch up with them.
The impressive bridge and club house of the Stafford Boat Club

It really is nice when homes of all types face the canal as you get a chance to see what people can do to their gardens

Another impressive garden

As you approach Tixall Wide and Great Hayward on the Staffs & Worcs Canal you see some very impressive buildings. This is the old gatehouse of  Tixall Hall now demolished

This is Tixall Wide which for us "ditch crawlers" is a bit like the ocean. Its thought that it may have been created for the owners of Tixall Hall so that it looked like a lake not a canal.

Another interesting building but not sure what- some form of gatehouse and a very large barn type building

We turned south at Great Hayward junction onto the Trent & Mersey Canal and moored up below Haywood Lock and this is the view from the side hatch towards Shugborough Hall

In the grounds of the Hall are several follies like this.

And another folly

As we approached Fradley Junction we went through Ravenshaw Woods which is a profusion of  rhododendrons this time of year

Home sweet Gnome!

The tunnel tug Sharpness

As we came up the Atherstone Locks this morning there is this lovely field where the solid yellow of the rape field has been broken up by red poppies

There are some lovely views as the Trent & Mersey Canal made its way towards Fradley along the Trent Valley even if its only the distant view of Rugeley Power Station

This was the approach to Great Hayward Junction on the Staffs & Worcs where you have to weave through the Anglo Welsh hire boats before we can turn right onto the Trent & Mersey to head south