Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Manchester to Barbridge

A good few days in Manchester which allowed us to catch up with Tom and the gang from church but all good things must come to an end after church on Sunday we took Tom and Shirley back to the boat and set sail for Stretford were we had dinner with Tom and Shirley. Monday morning we were off again staying the night at Lymm with Mike and Val again though Tue morning we were off again early as we had to pick up Maurine at Preston Brook we were really flying picking Maurine up had lunch and made Anderton by tea time were e entertained Silvia, Marjorie, Geof and Alan it was like a class reunion. we are now on the junction with the Shropshire Link and the Shropshire heading towards Chester. Today has been awful wind rain and the back end of a hurricane but we made excellent time cover almost two days in one, Maurine managed to help with two locks but then slept for two hour, I'm saying nothing as it may incriminate me in a liable action. anyway I now I expect to get to Chester tomorrow which means a day early or a day off which ever comes first.
Sorry no pics it was too wet

Blackburn to Manchester

Blackburn to Manchester

Where would we be without friends?
We left Riley Green early on Tues morning getting to the top of Johnsons Hillock locks at the appointed time ready to pick up Val & Mike on Perfect Day, we had arranged to go down these locks and the Wigan flight together, working locks with someone you know makes it so much easier and quicker Noreen and Val worked as a well oiled machine and Johnson’s 6 locks was soon behind us we then had a pleasant cruise down to the Wigan flight arriving at 2.00hrs, we then had to decide whether to do the locks then or wait until morning being the more adventurous types we all decided to go for it, it could take anything from 4 hours to 6 hours so at the worst it would only be 20.00hrs when we reached the bottom.
The flight was it usual self; broken paddles, stiff gates, bad leaks, the Wigan flight has the lot but it did not deter the dynamic duo Val and Noreen worked like Trojans even though every lock needed filling and then emptying, we managed to get through the locks in four hours, something of a record, Mike and I then decided to treat the girls to dinner though this meant another two locks on the Leigh branch and another hours cruise. We dinned at the Dover lock pub on huge Steak and red wine pie after which we were completely knackered.
Weds we only did a few miles up to Leigh centre; here we spent the day cleaning the boat shopping and sleeping. We had been invited out to Sue and Andy’s for dinner Mike and Val said they would stand guard on the boat whilst we were gone. The dinner was great good food good wine great company and able to relax knowing that the boat was in safe hands. We were entertained with Sue’s aircraft stories; I have not laughed so much in a long time, Sue you must have some more therapy?? We were delivered back to our boat about 22.45 in time for Val to come out and tell us we had another 15mins and then we would have been grounded. Its great to have such good friends
We are now in Castlefields in the centre of Manchester for a few days R&R
Mike & Val

Friday, 14 August 2009


Well the trip from Skipton wasn't that bad the weather stayed off raining so we should be grateful, I really am disappointed in the state of the canal through Burnley the views over the moors and across to Pendle are magnificent if only they would clean up the canal its like moving through a council tip, why do people insist in throwing full bin bags of household rubbish in the canal along with sofa's, arm chairs, push chairs, bikes and every other kind of waist. We have traveled through some area's such as Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool but none have been as bad as Burnley, this is a great shame as the Leeds and Liverpool canal is on of the oldest and the longest in Britain and carries with it a wealth of history, history that made Britain great now it just shows it as a really run down depressing place to be, However leaving Burnley behind and onto the cleaner waters of Blackburn we picked up some passengers in the way of Rachael and Shannon then we took on even more with Juli and Bethany. Now Shannon had never been on a narrow boat before but she steered the boat like a professional well done to her she is a natural boater.

We traveled through the locks in Blackburn festooned with balloons as we were celebrating Rachael's birthday. We are now safely tucked up in the Marina at Riley green and will remain there until about Tues when we will be catching up with friends in Leigh and the surrounding area. though this will mean doing the Wigan flight again but going down is a lot easier that coming up. We will then be heading for the Manchester basin at Castlefeild again.

Keep viewing


Rachael & Shannon in charge
Rachael secret garden

Crossing over the Motorway

Sunday, 9 August 2009

The Armouries

This is for Carol They have 4 Material Stalls and three Haberdasheries

Victorian Arcade

Wrought Iron Roof Market Hall

John fitted this Hydrant in Clarence dock The Armouries

Leaving Leeds to Skipton

As you know we have been stranded in Leeds now for 4 days because of a lock gate at Newlay being replaced. this has meant that the marina here at Clarence dock has become quite crowded as we all await permission to go through. Now as you can imagine I would hate to be going last so for the last 24 hours I have had Noreen in on a 15 min standby ready to go there at least 30 boats here all going in my direction and if they all leave together it will take days to shift them thereby Noreen is on standby. Weds night I had two conflicting opinions the BW said it would be ready by 08.30 but the men doing the job said more like 14.00 anyway I was taking no chances at being last so at 07.00 Thurs we quietly slip our moorings and broke the blockade all went well the first lock as negotiated no problem only to be met at the next one by a BW lock keeper saying we could not go any further because the canal ahead was dry so for a second night we had to go into BW yard secure mooring, this wasn't so bad because I new I was still one up on the rest. Not to last the mooring soon filled up with others like ourselves breaking the blockade this now meant that I was the inside boat with two other boats moored along side me. In my impeccable politeness I explained that I would be leaving at 07.00 in the morning so they had best set there alarms. Friday morning we awoke now being on our way for 24hrs and covered less than a mile. that evening the lock keeper returned and told us everything would be fine for us to leave in the morning. Fortunately that we met another couple who were intent on leaving early so at 07.00 now two boats slipped quietly into the mist. now we were two we should be able to travel a lot quicker have two people to do the locks. However as we arrived at the next lock we were met again by our friendly lock keeper only to be told that the next pound was dry and it would take at least an hour to get enough water in it to get us through. Eventually we were on our way 30 hrs and cover three mile but now we were on our way out of Leeds for good

we put in a good 9 hours sailing and eventually moored at Saltaire next morning we had a quick look round the mill and village and by 11.00 we were off again the couple Gwen and Ken who joined us on the first day decided thank goodness to pair up for a second day without two many hick ups we made great time and arrived in Skipton at 19.00 hrs having knocked 4 hours off the time we all that to Gwen and Ken who made the harrowing journey a pleasure as yesterday was Buggerlugs Birthday we invited Gwen and Ken for a celebratory meal and had a great night even though we were all Knackered.
From her on in things should get back to normal though I have forgotten what that is.
Gwen and Ken Sorry about the photo its the only one I have

In Leeeds

When we first went into Leeds I thought here we go again another shopping centre, But no, Leeds is great I think that in the 50s and 60s when other towns were pulling down all there wonderful Victorian architecture Leeds could not afford it so it, so it has remained untouched, now the whole place has had a face lift leaving all the wonderful architecture still in place. The market hall is very impressive with a wonderful iron framed ceiling with lovely glass panels and cast iron dragons binding it all together .The old market lanes have been left so you have a row of butchers, a row of fish mongers, all touting and plying for your business, Vegetable and deli shops of every origin Afro Caribbean, Polish, German, Chinese you want it they have it, it’s a Chefs paradise, away from the food market there is the flag market full of ever type of shop you want Haberdasheries, Iron mongers, cobblers, Material shops, and every corner there is a cafe proper greasy spoons selling heart stopping bacon buts and coffee to stand a spoon in.
The upper end of the town houses the Arcades these have all retained the beauty and craftsmanship now forgotten the shop fronts are amazing with mahogany framed windows and bow glass fronts. All the wrought iron work has been restored and painted in its original state truly wonderful,
Now every one knows that I am not a shopper however if you want to spend a good day go to Leeds its well worth a trip.

The Marina

Right the reason I have been off line for such a long time is that we have been stranded in the Marina Clarence dock outside the armouries since last Thur's I said that when you leave Newlay you had to carry on because of vandalism well one of the locks at Newlay have broke so no boats are being allowed up the canal back to Skipton we have been all told to sit tight until the lock has been repaired, at the present time there must be 30 boats waiting to go up, We are hoping that tomorrow it will be fixed and we can set off again.
The waiting has been OK Monday we had Danny and Rach over we spent a good day in the Armouries a pleasant meal and time to get to know Rach my opinion a very lovely intelligent young lady. Other than that we have been lazing about with fishing reading and just messing about. But we are both now ready to go again you can have to much rest and we have had enough.

Rach in the Armouries getting friendly with the live stock

Clarence Dock by Night

Saturday, 8 August 2009

conection at last

I know its been a long time since my last report but more on the reasons for that later.
The journey from Skipton was eventful and exhausting, with 19 locks and as many swing bridges it was what you would call a very physical journey. We were managing quite well we found a decent mooring at Appley bridge we even managed the Bingley 5 flight with no problem everything was quite well after the Bingley flight we were intending to stay the night at Newlay before trying the next set of locks, however we were informed at the top of the locks that nobody stays there overnight and it is advised that you do a straight run non stop into Leeds. So we took their advice and motored on when we arrived at the river lock, which is the lock that joins the Leeds and Liverpool to the river Ayre we again were told we could not go any further due to the river being to high, now we had just done 19 locks and as many swing bridges, done the mad dash through hostile territory and now being told we could not make our mooring that night I had lost the will to live. But the lock keeper came to our aid and told us we could moor in a secure mooring that BW own it only takes two boats so we were lucky there. The following morning the river was still high but as we were only going another mile we were allowed to continue our journey. We finally arrived in Clarence dock it was deserted we were the only ones in. the moorings are great Electric and water so we are able to do the washing and shower as much as we want and of course we can give the engine a rest. The mooring is directly opposite the Armouries a really good site. Nothing now until Sunday when the Walkdens arrive, so we will go and discover Leeds.