Lived on-board Hadar

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Finding our Bearings in Liverpool

This morning Jo made a picnic lunch and we set off to have an initial scout around Liverpool to find our bearings for the rest of our week here.

We headed for the Information Centre close to Salthouse Dock where we are moored to pick up a local map, which has proved very handy. We had our first look across the Mersey.


Hadar on her mooring, with the Liver Building in the background.


Then we set off into the city centre, found the Chinese Buffet which we will visit sometime this week, rude not too really. We popped into Lime Street station, one which I have travelled to a few times in my youth, once when I took the day off from work, caught the train from Euston to Lime Street, and back again, don’t think I even left the station!


Some of the sights around the city centre, new and old.




During the mid 1970’s I occasionally worked in the main telephone exchange in Liverpool. On the map we got from the Information Centre I noticed the street name Old Hall Street, the memories came back, this was the street the exchange was in, I wondered if it was still there. We found the street and walking a long it I spotted this plaque, and the name rang a bell.


This was the telephone exchange, the building is still here, and at present still owned by BT.


From there we headed back to the water front, to the new canal link in front of the Liver Building, which we travelled along yesterday.


This is of course the Liver Building.


We finished our walk around with a visit on the tug Brocklebank, which was fascinating as she was built at Yarwood’ s in Northwich, where “Pisces” was built.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Litherland to Liverpool Docks

Last night was a rough night, with strong winds, thunder and hailstones. We set off later this morning as we didn't have to be at the top of Stanley locks until 1:00pm. However it was a wet and windy journey.


Moored at the top of Stanley locks awaiting the CRT guys to come and let us down. We have become friends with John on his boat, who we first met yesterday at Hancock’s swing bridge. As he has been through the docks a few times now we followed. With the now quite strong winds it was going to be an interesting journey, we had a lot of small waves! Jo was getting quite excited, for me not so having been down the River Thames to the sea on cruisers I have had worse, although not with Hadar, but she handled well and the engine coped really well with being opened right up to overcome the strong wind.


Seeing the Liver Building really tells you that you are in Liverpool.


We are now moored up on the pontoons in Salthouse Dock. We are here for a week and looking forward to seeing Liverpool. Jo has never been here, but I have, back in the mid 1970’s when I occasionally worked at the main telephone exchange here.



Thursday, April 28, 2016

Haskayne to Litherland Visitor Moorings

Things were going well until we got to Methodist swing bridge, Maghull, which wouldn’t work. Jo rang CRT and within 15 minutes the 2 lads turned up and had us on our way. Apparently it has recently been electrified and they have been having teething problems with it. we moored at Hancock’s swing bridge, Aintree, to await the CRT guys to come and open the swing bridge.


When they arrived it was the same 2 who had come to fix Methodist swing bridge. They where waiting for us at Netherton swing bridge and opened it as we approached. We are now moored at the visitor moorings at Litherland, with a 24hr Tesco alongside, very handy.



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wigan to Haskayne

A latish start for us today as I wanted to pop into Halfords for some oil additive. We even waited at a lock for half an hour for boat behind us to catch us up, Jo even walked back and couldn’t see them, but low and behold halfway through emptying the lock they turned up. We didn’t bother to wait at the next lock. We have moored up at the Ship Inn, Haskyne, the first canalside pub to be built alongside the Leeds & Liverpool canal.


We had a lovely meal in the Ship Inn. Great food, great staff, well recommended by us.


Trust Jo to move just as I took the photo! Window seat for our meal with Hadar moored just outside.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Astley Green to Wigan

A cool day weather-wise. We got to Wigan and moored between the 2 locks 86 & 87, and had some lunch.


We then set off to book our passage into Liverpool and to do a food shop at Asda. We met Vicky at the CRT office who booked our passage for this coming Friday and our return a week later. We are now both looking forward very much to the journey, knowing we can actually get through. We returned from Asda’s with 2 rather full rucksacks of food to find Hadar was listing at a jaunty angle, the water level of pound between the 2 locks had gone down and she was sitting on the bottom, so we decided to move below Bottom lock, to Wigan Pier.


This is Wigan Pier, not the original, but a replacement as the original had been sold for scrap!


Not much to look at but what do you expect?


Monday, April 25, 2016

Little Bollington to Astley Green

A wet start to the day, with rain on and off all morning. We arrived at the Barton swing aqueduct just as they were swinging it back to the canal. We passed Tom and Jan on nb Waiouru just after Worsley heading in the other direction, so a brief hello and goodbye. However since arriving at Astley Green the sun seems to come out more permanently. Unfortunately the Astley Green Colliery Museum is not open today.



Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dunham Massey

This morning Jo made a packed lunch and we went and spent most of the day at Dunham Massey, photographing the deer, squirrels, coots, yellow dippers and little grebe. We sat by one of the large ponds and had our lunch. We stopped off at the Swan with Two Nicks for a pleasant ½ of Bombardier each. When we got back to the boat I discovered I had not put my memory card in my camera, hence the lack of photographs!

The Origins of the name "Swan with Two Nicks"

Swan Upping From the 12th century, the monarch has retained the right to ownership of all unmarked mute swans in open water, but in practice only exercised ownership on certain stretches of the Thames. At that time swans were a common food source for royalty.

Swan upping became the means of establishing a swan census. Under a 15th century Royal Charter, the Vintners' Company and the Dyers' Company, two Livery Companies of the City of London, are entitled to share in the Sovereign's ownership and it is they who conduct the census through a process of ringing the swans' feet.

The annual swan upping takes place during the third week of July. During the ceremony, the Queen's, the Vintners', and the Dyers' Swan Uppers row up the river in skiffs. Swans caught by the Queen's Swan Uppers under the direction of the Swan Marker are ringed. Those caught by the Dyers and Vintners are identified as theirs by means of a further ring on the other leg. Today, only swans with cygnets are caught and ringed. This gives a yearly snapshot as to how well Thames swans are breeding.

Originally, the two companies made their own marks on the birds’ beaks: one nick for a dyers’ bird and two for a vintners’; today the two Companies use their own rings. This practice provided the name of our pub "The Swan with Two Nicks". This was a 16th century pun, the word "nick" also meaning "neck". Humour wasn't quite what it is today... So we also find a lot of pubs called The Swan with Two Necks.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Anderton to Little Bollington

A bright but a chilly breeze this morning, but gradually it turned warm then later in the afternoon it turned chilly again, just before mooring up near the River Bollin Aqueduct.



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wheelock to Anderton

A dry cool start to the day, but with lots of sunshine it soon warmed up. We stopped briefly at Town Bridge in Middlewich for food shopping.


Now moored at Anderton which is very quiet boat wise in a very sunny spot, so lots of solar power.



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Harecastle Tunnel to Wheelock.

A sunny day which started chilly, but soon warmed up. An 8am start through Harecastle tunnel, only boat, done and dusted in 30 minutes. A good run down through the bulk of the Cheshire locks. Now moored between Bridge No. 156 and No.157, just west of Wheelock.



Monday, April 18, 2016

Stone to Harecastle Tunnel Southern Portal.

A dry but slightly chilly day today. Saw and briefly chatted to Steve on Bream at the Wedgewood factory moorings at Trentham. Now moored at Harecastle tunnel southern portal ready to go through in the morning.



Sunday, April 17, 2016

Latest Version of the New Model Railway

Whilst we have been travelling my thoughts have been about the planning of the new model railway in the hold. I have had concerns about access through the hold especially the restricted width access pass the stand and mast. I have now come up with a new plan on paper, which will be converted to a balsa wood model when we get back to Warwick, unless I change my mind again in the meantime!


This is the latest drawing which I have been working on yesterday and today. The layout has grown a bit, from fitting just between the mast and the stand. It will now extend past the stand to just before the doors into the saloon. With the 1ft wide baseboard reduced to 3inches to give wider access past the stand, and the removable section across the saloon doors the full width of the doors. At the mast end I have shortened the 1ft wide baseboard with a diagonal removable section, to again give a wider access point past the mast.

This most regrettably means I will now have a layout section 16ft long instead of 12ft, a shame really. This has resulted in more space to fit the canal in, with two locks instead of one, and everything is above baseboard level, which will make it easier to construct. Whereas, in the previous version, part of the canal was below baseboard level, perfectly feasible but complicated to build. There is also more road, which will mean I can have more buildings such as houses, cottages, etc.. I m quite happy with this design now, and it should look more realistic and pleasing to the eye. 

I have also done it in mirror image, left to right. The reason for this is to take into account the slope of the boat from stern to bow. With the original plan the level section of the layout would have an incline and the incline would be an incline on an incline, and would be twice as steep! With this version the level section will be inclined, but the incline will actually be level, if that makes sense!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Great Haywood to Stone

We had a very foggy start to the morning.


Great Haywood junction!


But the sun soon broke through and we arrived in Stone to glorious sunshine. Now moored opposite Roger Fuller’s Boatyard, Hadar’s birthplace. Already seen quite a few of our friends here.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Rugeley to Great Haywood


Now moored below Great Haywood lock. We took a walk into the Shugborough Estate to see how the walled garden is coming along, but when we got to it, it was closed. Tuesdays they are closed. We will have to try again on our return journey. Dawne and Stuart caught us up and we had coffee and a chat with them.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Kings Orchard Marina to Rugeley

Today we set off for Rugeley, at Fradley junction we met up with Dawne and Stuart and Nigel for a quick chat as we passed through.


We moored up temporarily at Bridge No.66 to go food shopping at the new Tesco's, which has been built since we last stopped here.




Bridge No.66 has been pedestrianized through to Tesco's.

As there was a large fuel spillage on the canal at the visitor moorings we moved on to Bridge No.67, initially mooring before the bridge, but moved to the other side when a large machine started up next to where we were moored, and didn’t really want it going off during the night!



Saturday, April 09, 2016

Nuneaton & Brighton

Nuneaton & Brighton stopped for tea, cakes and biscuits whilst we we moored outside Kings Orchard Marina, before continuing their journey south.



Friday, April 08, 2016

Kingsbury Water Park to King’s Orchard Marina

A morning of on and off drizzle.


The obligatory photo of Drayton Manor footbridge.


We are now moored outside the new King’s Orchard Marina, on the Coventry Canal, just south of Streethay Wharf.


The last time we moored here they had just started to fill the marina with water, but had to stop due to the water shortage at the time.


Thursday, April 07, 2016

Minworth to Bodymoor Heath

We are now moored at Bodymoor Heath, between Curdworth locks 10 and 11.SAM_1766

After lunch we took a short walk around part of the Kingsbury Water Park.




A pair of swans having a rest.


A Great Crested Grebe, one of a pair nesting very close to one of the viewing platforms.


Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Barclay Card Arena, Birmingham to Wiggins Hill Bridge, Minworth.

A good journey today down through Farmer’s Bridge locks (13), Aston locks (11), and Minworth locks (3). Only the last of the 27 locks was with us so it was hard going.


Farmer’s Bridge top lock of 13 locks.


Aston Junction and the top lock of the Aston flight of 11 locks.


Spaghetti Junction on the M6 above Salford junction. last time I passed through in 1971 Spaghetti junction was under construction!


We have found a nice spot to moor, near Wiggins Hill Bridge in Minworth, as much as we like visiting Birmingham by boat, it is nice to be aback out in the countryside again.


Monday, April 04, 2016

Tipton the Sheepcote Street Bridge, Birmingham


Moored back in Birmingham City Centre at Sheepcote Street Bridge, opposite the Barclaycard Arena. We went into the city for another Chinese Buffet at the Big Wok, followed by some food shopping at the Caxton Tesco Metro, then 2 new wireless mice from Maplin. I dropped mine in the dog and cats water bowl the other day, after which it didn’t work.  I bought 2 new ones so we have a spare, as the spare wired one we had also didn’t work.