Tuesday, 30 June 2009


The Cresent

The Park & Gardens
Yesterday we decided to take a day off the water and have a on land day. We used our well earned Bus Passes and took a bus to Buxton, we eventually found the right bus having missed two by standing on the wrong side of the road facing the wrong way (remember we do hold bus passes)
anyhow we duly boarded the bus and yes he was going to Buxton, great however the journey was thwart with intrigue, as many of you will know the quickest way from Whalley Bridge to Buxton is along the A6 which entails going over what for many years has been called "long hill " my apprehension started when I saw a sign saying road ahead closed the driver still intent on breaking the speed barrier took no notice of the sign and took evasive action to avoid ploughing into the barriers, the driver expertly negotiated the barrier and continued up hill at a remarkable speed for an old Arriva bus. I thought all our troubles were over thinking logically that the driver and bus company had permission to use the banned route, That was until I saw the men working in the middle of the road, they looked as bewildered as I was feeling to see the bus hurtling towards them, I must admit we had a good driver who did slow down for the obstruction in front of him many words were exchanged between the driver and road crew ??? we eventually side stepped our way through, On arriving in Buxton we alighted from our transport and thanked the driver for delivering us safely ( what else could you say)
Buxton is very nice and peaceful we needed time to recover and regain our sanity. We had coffee in the Bath house now a very salubrious coffee bar. walk through the town visited all the expensive shops and bought from all the cheap ones. Had a nice Fish and chip lunch in a greasy spoon complete with plastic table cloths as everyone knows I just love it nostalgia.
As we now faced the return journey we thought of getting a different route back we found a bus that would return us via the little villages and deposit us closer to the boat. We thought the journey going was rough our return was hair raising, I am amazed at the speed these drivers can propel these buses through lanes I wouldn't consider taking a push bike down. Hair raising bends, steep hills, mountain passes, inclines that made you cling on for dear life. and all the time the locals are talking to the driver and asking him about his garden, either the boat has made me soft or these people around here are true Christians and are not afraid of meeting their maker.
As we disembarked from the bus in Bugsworth Village we were given a hearty and smiling "have a nice stay" from the driver.
I must say in the defence he was a nice driver stopping in the middle of the road to help young mums off with the prams. taking shopping off for old laddies he was kindness its self.
Today we are recuperating I have a stiff neck and Noreen a bad back
Having a bus pass is a ticket to a whole new world of adventure

As a foot note Noreen would just like to say we are not in the second week of Wimbledon and she still hasn't seen a match

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Bugsworth Basin

All together

Bugsworth Basin

Buggerlugs 2

Hi everyone
here we are again, since we last spoke we have been on the move, after Danny left we were moving up to Marple in stages, however the canal was so short on moorings not that they were busy or there was no spaces just the opposite the problem was the depth of water we could not get the boat in anywhere. We ended up doing three days travel in one day from Congleton to Poynton, since then things have become more subdued. Last weekend we had the Walkdens with us for the day and a cracking day it was with fishing and garden centres. we then moved up to High Lane were we took on Matthew, Lorraine and Thomas, the problem is when people come to stay is were do you put the car this time our Keith came to the rescue he arranged for the save keeping of the car and transported us to and fro three cheers for our kid.
With the extra bodies on board we made our way through Marple and on to the Peak Forrest Canal the canal is quite short and we traveled to the end at a place called Bugworth Basin. Now the basin is one of the hidden gems of the canal system it is a wonderful place. it was built in the 1700 for the firing and transportation of lime stone the whole place has been renovated and one can see how the place worked now large grassy banks, landscaped moorings, and decent banks has replaced the horse drawn tramway, the furnaces, Blacksmiths, Barges and of course lime stone and the smell of sulphur. now it is a peaceful haven in the Derbyshire countryside. We have been here since Wednesday and are staying until next Wednesday that's how good it is.
It is also a good place to sell my wares (canal wares) has it gets plenty of visitors in fact today I made 25 quid not a fortune but id dinner in the pub for two.
It was great to have Mat Lorraine and Thomas for a few days here in the basin there is lots of room for Thomas to run around and having with us for a few days was fantastic
The whole Gang were here yesterday Maryanne and Gregg arrived I know its a long drive for them but it made my day, it was a fantastic day thanks to everyone for coming and making it so good.
Noreen's is off to school camp on Thursday our Keith is coming over to keep me company so we should have a good time it will be like camping in the van again.
Stay good
thanks for the comments
Big Al

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Mid Week

This one is for Jullie to remind her of the middlands.

Danny in training

Danny working hard

Hi Folks

We are still creeping further north, Buggerlugs is now in Congleton on the Maccelsfield canal. Yesterday we left the Trent and Mersey having passed all the old pottery works and the kilns some of the brick work was outstanding we then negotiated the Harecastle tunnel, at 1 3/4 miles long it is one of the longest in England and takes 3/4 of an hour to get through, we managed it almost unscathed we only lost the chimney, I had wanted to change it for some time as it was a bit battered but it was really stuck on and would have needed sawing off, however hitting the roof of the tunnel seemed to do the job at least now I will be saved the trouble of cutting it off. Danny passed his training as helmsman course with flying colours, all he has to do now is practice knotting, one thing he will not have to do is practice his fishing skills as he beat me 10 / 9 but he did have Noreen's help He has now returned home with the trophy.
We dropped him off at the station in Congleton at lunch time, It was great to have him on board and hope he managed to Chill.
We are now hold up in Congleton it is raining very hard at present so we will rest here overnight, tomorrow we have 12 locks in two flights so it needs an early start.
Keep adding your comments that is the only way I can tell if I am writing this for my own amusement.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Here we are again

Early Start

Tixel Wide

Breakdown Canal

Hi Again

Since leaving Market Drayton we have done serious cruising, we have cleared the the Shropshire Union canal, skirted the top of Wolverhampton motored through the Staffordshire and Worchecstershire canal and now we are on the Trent and Mersey heading for Kidsgrove.
Noreen and I feel like two old sea dogs. we have moored up early today and took a bus into Stafford its a nice little town but as it was Saturday and very busy, we have a language problem and miss Julie for interpretations.
We have had a little breakdown, we lost all 240v power which meant no fridge freezer or washing machine, But a quick call back to the marina and it was fixed its all to do with the set up far to complicated for landlubbers to understand,( that's my excuse for saying I have no idea about electrics but as a good soldier I can carry out orders)
Again the weather is just perfect in fact it is too hot. This morning we we slipped our mooring at 06.55hrs and I was in polo shirt and shorts it was really hot. Keith Janet Rachael and Danny are coming tomorrow, Danny is staying as extra crew again for a few days, that should give Noreen a break from the locks for a few days.

It is strange how each canal system developed different types of locks, they all work the same but the architecture and the designs are different. the ones we have done in the last few days are like driving into a coffin and Noreen has to be a hurdler to get from one side to the other, but as boaters keep telling us that's what makes it exciting.???????????

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Market Drayton

River Severn Shrewsbury

Our first FREE buz tickets

Market Drayton is the town that God forgot, I can see in its past it would have been a lovely little town but as with lots of these little market towns the heart has been ripped out of it lots of shops are empty and it looks very shabby it is very sad that we are allowing these lovely towns to disappear I think I will start a campaign to save them. Today we for the first time we used our bus passes or as most of will say our buz passes, we took the buz to Shrewsbury that's a lovely town sitting almost on the border of England and Wales it has a C of E Cathedral a Abby and a Catholic Cathedral so we had a great day browsing.
Noreen is away this weekend on a girlie weekend with Silvia, Marjory and Maurine. I am having Alan stay with me (Silvia's Husband) so hopefully Alan and I will get a few miles done and a few beers downed.
Its been very quiet the last few days so we have been able to catch up with domestic and admin tasks, you can get into the routine of thinking that you are permanently one holiday but there are still the usual domestic and admin jobs to do. Its all done now we have even booked our flights to Australia depart 9 November away for the winter months back in time to clean the boat and start next years jaunt.

Keep Smiling

Monday, 1 June 2009

Extra Pics

Artist in Residence

Nantwich Aquaduct

Two uninvited Guests

The Parks in Nantwich


Hi Everyone

We left Whitchurch last Monday with extra crew Elliot was signed on as a deck hand, with the extra help we made good time through the locks and made Nantwich in plenty of time for the weekend. Nantwich is a great little place we found a Museum were Elliot spent a couple of hours helping to make a Mural about canal life. the town itself is lovely with plenty of shops and very quaint buildings. Friday Julie John Rach and Beth came, great day with paddling in the river, Ice creams, but they had to depart and take our extra crew home we will miss him he is a good pair of hands and a good shot but we are not to mention that.

Sat Morning we were hailed from a passing boat "Perfect Day" it was Mike and Val Mike when I was a land lubber Mike was my next door but one neighbour for over 20 years it was really great to see him and Val He was always a great bloke to have around, I am sure we will be seeing a lot of Mike in the future. Sat afternoon Lorrain Thomas and Mat arrived again we had a fantastic weekend glorious weather walks in the park, picnics on the green, what could be nicer than chatting with old friends and family over a few beers at the side of your boats watching the sun go down. I hope that has made you envious it was meant to?

We are now on our way to Market Drayton heading south today we did 17 locks we are knackered we managed to get water on board so now we are both going to have a shower separately all who have seen the shower know why??

that's your lot folks catch you soon


My crew at the top of a flight of locks