About Me

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After thirty years of hiring, I finally bought my own 50ft boat in 2005, which was built in 2001 by Andicraft at Debdale Wharf. I mostly cruise single handed and have no problem with that, although it does take a little longer than with a crew. My mooring is on the Wey Navigation, so I have a choice of routes on the Wey or the Thames.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The Grand Canal Tour 2014. On to the Bridgewater.

Well, look what I found! Dated March 1949, so that makes me 13 yrs old at the time, not about 8yrs, as I previously said. It is an illustration and not a photograph, as I thought originally. Costing all of 6p, which is 2 ½ p in present money and to buy a copy now would cost about £10 incl p&p. I bet my parents threw them all away when they moved! I think all the old copies of the magazine can now be found on line and read for free. http://pdfmm.free.fr/  Notice the weights on the outside of the structure, which denotes that it was electrically operated at that time. Each weight weighs 14 tons and they now form a maze in the grounds.

It was time to move on from The Salt barge, which was OK as a pub, with lots of memorabilia on the walls, but apart from that nothing to shout about. It had been raining most of the night and I took off during a dry spell, but like yesterday, got caught out again in a downpour. I moored up on 48hr mooring back at Anderton and had a splendid meal in The Stanley Arms accompanied by a splendid pint, or was it two(?) of Lomond Gold at 5%, brewed by the Black Wolf Brewery. http://blackwolfbrewery.com/ On passing by this pub on the canal the following day, I discovered that they had their own 48hr moorings – doh!

There were three tunnels now on the way to Runcorn, Barnton, Saltersford, and Preston Brook. The first two could be seen through to the other end, but not Preston Brook, which was also one way working. Entry was between the hour and ten minutes past, when travelling north. The one stop lock just before Barnton, had a 6 inch drop and soon a queue of five boats were behind me waiting to enter the tunnel.
The first of five boats coming out of
the southern portal of Barnton Tunnel.
I got through OK, despite the lamp shining too high, but I adjusted it in time for the next tunnel. At the same time my horn failed, due to its own battery running out of charge ( there is a separate battery for the horn, as the cable from the stern will not carry the current for air horns), so that had to be put on charge. I had forgotten about using the secondary lamp on the stern in the tunnels, which makes navigation far easier, as I can see the wall to the side. Without it, I seem to become disorientated and so clipped the wall several times – not good for the paintwork!

A Liverpool Short Boat. Not many of these left!
Shortly after exiting Preston Brook tunnel, I came to Waters Meeting on Bridgewater and turned left onto the Runcorn Branch. The cut here was very wide and deep, but without any other boats moving; most of those following heading for Manchester. It was only four miles to the Bridgewater Motor Boat Club, so I was soon there and met up with Paul, who had heard that I was coming, but was in the dark about where to moor Stronghold. After a phone call or two, he guided me into the arm and I moored up in the corner. Not only were the club grounds secured by a lockable gate, but the arm was too, so I felt doubly secure. I was able to borrow a gate key, so that I could escape in the morning to catch the train and all was well.
Very well appointed Bridgwater Motor Boat Club.
Nicely secured in the corner.


Riponian said...

interesting journey but the MM link is fantastic! Brings back memories, encouraged reading by parents rather than comics..

Oakie said...

Thank you Phil. Pleased to hear that other nerds used to read that magazine of mechanical porn!