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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/16/19 in all areas

  1. 31 points
    Sorry to be harsh but this proposal is utterly selfish, I would have thought better from the OP. Lots of us would love to go cruising but we aren't. Non-essential travel has been ruled out by the government - this is quite clearly non-essential travel. This is a classic case of entitlement and 'the rules don't apply to me'. And you say you're an expert in disease control??? So let presume you already have the virus but don't know it - how do you propose to get yourself from Goole to Ripon without touching anything on the way or once you get there? Using the excuse that we've been told to stay at home and therefore you can move about like this because your boat is your home is appaling pedantry. You know damn well that's not what the advice means and you're using a technicality to try and dodge round the rules. The 14 day rule has been relaxed for a reason - it's to try and prevent all non-essential boat movements, but allow boaters to still access vital services. People are dying because of selfish attitudes like yours. I'm frankly disgusted.
  2. 27 points
    LONG AND SHORT OF IT, FREE REPAIRS. After the worst of storm Ciara, many elderly, physically impaired, students or low income people, can't afford to replace their covers when they are storm damaged, leaving their boat less secure and colder. So for the rest of this week we are offering FREE small cover repairs, to anyone in this demographic who may be struggling, and have to decide between bills or safety/warmth. This shouldn't be happening, so we will try and get as many covers repaired this week as possible. All we ask is you call us to arrange and then bring the cover to us. Our company is at a size where we can just afford to give a little back, and that's what we intend to do. Please spread the word as we will financially and physically only be able to do this for about a week, while we are unable to get out onto the boats due to the conditions. After that the bad weather should start to decline and we can get back out on the road making new covers. Would also like to thank Midland fencing and aggregates who initially gave us the idea. If you like our page on facebook then more people will also see this post. SHARE, SHARE, SHARE LIKE, LIKE, LIKE. www.kinvercanopies.co.uk 01384 394469
  3. 24 points
    And most profuse apologies to the person who retied the grey/red/black boat near Brinklow, presumably after it came adrift while I was away last week, leaving one of their own pins to cross-pin my bow line. It's a fairly new boat to me and I hadn't got round to buying another couple of pins to supplement the mooring hardware that it was sold with. No excuses, I knew it was iffy mooring on such a shit bit of towpath, and I shouldn't have on just two lines and two pins. It was stupid of me to chance it. If you're on here and read this, can I: Give you your pin back? Offer you a beer/whisky by way of apology? Little things like these are one of the things which make the boating community so special, in my humble opinion. Thanks again.
  4. 21 points
    Would it help if I drove to you tomorrow A.M. FOC and tried to help? I will need to know if you have a jump lead or a pair of them aboard. Ring 01189874285 today if you want to accept.
  5. 20 points
    I mark mine by tying a narrowboat to them with thick ropes. It really helps to draw attention to the small bits of metal if you have a colourful boat, with obvious decoration on it, left near the path in the wet bit ...
  6. 18 points
    A quick rundown of events, yesterday afternoon when it became obvious that we were going over we went through the moorings releasing boats and putting them on long lines, only one sank due to being chained down! We had to cut loads of lines because people insist on using crap polyprop rope which the then knot so that it cant be undone, they also have centerlines on why? the river broke its bank opposite me it was also over the locks at Rotherham so we had a very substantial current running past us. At about 2 ish in the morning we hit the top and were floating well over the bank, I had a scaffolding pole tied to the rear stantion on the boat and a step ladder at the bow, both these stopped the boat going onto the bank, at 5 ish I went out as the water was receding Carolyne a neighbour came out as well [we did this in 2007 as well] and started pushing boat of the bank back into the canal, it was freezing and to be honest foolhardy as the bank was full of debris! At about half 6 we had all the boats sorted out and retired to have a shower as we were filthy and stank [sewage station up river from us] now its a glorious day washing machine is on mug of tea and breakfast gone, and all is well in my world.
  7. 17 points
    Just back from Iver and the problem is sort of sorted for now. There was enough fuel in the tank but the OP had been told the Mikuni take off was T'd from the engine feed but unless there was a T hidden somewhere and the upper fuel take off was blanked off this is not the case. The Mikuni take off is about 4" above the engine take off. Showed OP how to setup and use his multimeter. Engine battery rested voltage about 11.7, starting voltage 2.3 volts - no wonder it would not start. Took OP through the bleeding process for future reference and then changed the engine battery for a new one. Engine started first time and easily. New engine battery at about 12.57 volts before starting (rested I assume). but when started and revved the alternator output was only about 6 amps. I fear the alternator (A127) is faulty and the Sterling advanced regulator was flashing all its LEDs. I advised the OP to check what the flashing LEDs mean and suggested that he get the alternator off and Tested because the ways things are set up I could not load it to try to push the output up. Also showed how to pull the lever out to allow revving out of gear and advised on optimum revs for charging. I could find no evidence of charge splitting but that does not mean it is not present. Not possible to check with meters because of the mains battery charger and low alternator output. The OP said the boat had been a livabor5d in a marine so I suspect the domestic bank is only charged by the mains charger. I feel a 13V float on the Xantrek is rather low and suspect its absorption charge voltage may be lower than optimum nowadays. Found the Mikuni fuse laying on top of the batteries had a bad connection on one blade so cleaned the blade and squashed its female half and refitted. Mikuni now running as it should but did notice gurgling from its header tank so advised to top up and suggest a leak (i think a leak was supposed to have been fixed but that water went some where. Demoed hydrometer used and readings on domestic bank (two cells both about 2/3 charged and clear) and advised on doing a full hydrometer check - left hydrometer with the OP. Advised on power audit, the unsuitability of ammeter and voltmeter for assessing battery state of charge. Advised the engine will need several hours run once a week to keep engine bank fully charged and explained sulphation. Suggested that apart from getting the alternator tested some form of charge splitting is needed for CCing away from the mains and suggested a VSR would do the job as long as the charging system is suitably rewired. This woudl also allow the mains charger to charge the engine battery and solar if/when its fitted. I did not tell the OP for fear of memory overload but The alternator main lead wiring suggests a moving iron ammeter and it looks too thin for my liking.I fear that when CCing this may give problems apart from the fact the Sterling controller should convert the alternator to battery sensing and thus hide any voltdrop. The boat should now remain liveable until after the holidays.
  8. 16 points
    I had a composting toilet fitted in January 2019 and at the time, promised to let the forum know, after the first year, how I had got on with it. There is a fair bit to say so I will copy Sir Nibble and post it in sections. (No I won't - it won't let me!) Views on toilets are very mixed and several bits of this will not meet with complete agreement. All I can say is that I did not go the composting route entirely by choice, it was a decision partly driven by circumstances. This is an honest description of my experience in the last twelve months. I have absolutely no axe to grind here and have no connection with Nature’s Head nor with any toilet supplier. Background I have a 70’ Orion tug, built in 2003 and which I have owned since 2013. My wife and I are retired, we don’t live aboard but spend about 7 months of each year on the boat. Our time aboard is split into roughly 6 week spells. When I bought the boat it had a macerating pump-out toilet and as there was space, I added a 365 Cube porta-potti for emergencies. This arrangement was OK for five years though I never really trusted the pump-out, for one thing, the ‘full’ indicator never worked properly. Late last year I had a lot of work done on the boat to re-position the engine. As a result I had to get rid of the pump-out toilet, as the holding tank was removed to accommodate the repositioned drive-shaft. I could have replaced it with a cassette but decided to experiment with composting instead. We bought a new Nature’s Head composting toilet at Crick, Debdale installed it for me as part of the engine move and other work which they did on the boat. The company from which I bought the toilet is no longer in business and I am not sure if Nature’s Head have a UK distributor at present. You can certainly view the toilet on the net and may have to if you want to completely follow what I have to say. Installation and use Installation was exactly as per the manufacturers instructions except that the ‘screw down brackets’ which fix the unit to the floor were not used by Debdale and I have not fitted them since. The old porta-potti was not fixed to the floor and I have found no reason to fix the Nature’s Head, in fact it’s simpler to use if not fixed. A small 12v computer fan extracts air from the toilet and pumps it out through a skin fitting. The fan runs 24/7 when we are on the boat and not at all when we are not. I had planned to use one of the old pump-out exits for this but Debdale preferred to cut a new hole and skin fitting instead. The manufacture says some substrate should be used and we selected coconut coir. This comes dehydrated in blocks (20cm x 10cm x 5cm) which I buy in bulk from Amazon. I also purchased a number of 30 litre clear polythene boxes from Wilko. These had lids and I cut a large hole in two of the lids, hot-gluing nylon fly screen over the holes. The boxes were intended to hold first the reconstituted coir and ultimately, the ‘product’ while it finished composting. The boat has an enormous (1700 litre) front deck locker which is of limited use (you can’t easily reach the bottom of it from the deck). It may have been constructed partly for a bow thruster which was never fitted (but who knows, Richard at Orion had some eccentric design ideas). Anyway, my original plan was that I could use part of this locker to stack some of the Wilko boxes - those with fly screen lids - while the ‘compost’ matured. The Nature’s Head has a horizontal stirring bar about half way up the solid waste container. The manufacturer’s guidance is to start by filling to this level with coir. I prepared the coir by placing two of the blocks in a Wilco box and adding 7 litres of very hot water, putting a (solid) lid on and leaving it for 24 hours. The next day the coir had expanded to about 10 litres and become crumbly, it was slightly moist but not wet. It takes about 70% of the prepared coir to fill the toilet to the recommended level, I left the remaining coir in the Wilko box which was stored in the engine room. In use the Nature’s Head requires a little practise, it is very important to keep liquid and solid “deposits” completely separate. So you need to be careful where you are seated on the toilet but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. Urine goes into a removable bottle which can be easily changed, we had 3 spare bottles and needed to change one every day. Obviously they are straightforward to empty in an Elsan or even in a public toilet, as there is no mess involved. The nitty gritty We find that with only two users we need to empty the solids box every three weeks. Not because the container is full (in fact the level does not change much) but the material becomes denser and the stirrer gets difficult to move. Here we depart from the manufacturer’s instructions. We decided to do this because the stuff does not smell unpleasant and does not look like a box of turds. The appearance is rather like garden leaf mould and the smell is similar. So we proceed as follows:- Move the toilet out into the centre of the bathroom Remove the liquid container Have an empty Wilco box ready Trowel out the material using two garden trowels and put it in the Wilco box (*1) Put new choir in the solids container plus a sprinkling over the solids in the Wilco box Put the liquids container back, close and replace the toilet Cover the Wilco box with a fly screen lid and put it in the engine room (*2) The whole operation takes 10 minutes. *1 Emptying after 3 weeks results in about 15 litres of waste so you can just fit 6 weeks worth into a single Wilco box. *2 The original plan was to put the box in the front locker but as there was no smell, we experimented with storing it in the engine room to see if the heat would speed composting. As we go home roughly every six weeks and only produce a single Wilco box of waste in that time, we just take it home with us and add it to our existing garden composting arrangements. This was a major departure from our original plan but I think we could have managed with the locker. The difficulty for anyone without ‘hands on’ experience is believing that the quantity of product is so small and that my claims about smell are true. I know, I was surprised myself. Also, of course the system might be unworkable for live-aboard’s with limited locker space - in that respect we have an advantage. But neither of us would go back to the old toilet arrangements and would recommend composting to anyone with the necessary space and an unfussy attitude to getting familiar with their waste.
  9. 16 points
    I think someone tried to help a friend by posting something concerning a narrowboat on a narrowboat forum. As Emma isn't the prime mover, she won't know everything there is to know about everything - she just asked a favour, gave the info she had and got a lot of grief back. If it were me, I'd have been a lot ruder to some people by now... give it a rest, if you do spot what you think is the relevant boat, pass the info to the police - any more information about who, what or why is none of our business. And at least she had the bottle to post under her name, not a pseudonym.
  10. 16 points
    After many weeks of research and taking advice plus countless looking on Apolloduck today I went to Sawley Marina to go for a demonstration cruise with Dave and Trudy the lovely owners of Once upon a time 65x12 Widebeam. I first saw her ( the boat) on a random visit to Sawley a few weeks ago and although I had no appointment to view Dave was happy for me to step aboard and take a look .... both he and the boat impressed me to the point where I could not stop going back on line looking at her. I then went back to Sawley with my daughter to show her the boat and again even though it was a random visit Dave invited us aboard and gave us a tour and answered countless questions I asked of him. I did look at other Widebeam boats one in particular moored at Mirfield and despite it being better equipped and only 57feet so allowing a lot more cruising the owner was without doubt one of the hardest people Iv ever tried doing business with. He seemed reluctant to cooperate with any requests and seemed unsure on many points Iv raised to the point I believed he was definitely hiding something from me.... anyway his attitude and rudeness sealed the fate of that purchase ever happening. So a call to Sawley and a little bit of bartering and today’s cruise was arranged. Now the experiment the moment I stepped aboard was without doubt fantastic Dave and Trudy had the boat built and it was very clear their connection with her was very strong indeed. We drank tea and chatted before Dave showed me the cellar as his wife calls it and he wanted me to feel the engine so as to see it was stone cold be for he turned the key and she sprang into life before settling into a nice burble. A demonstration taking down of the pram cover followed and we were on our way. Turning left out of sawyonto the Sawley Cutting Dave steered whilst giving advice in a clear understandable manner and once we reached the Trent he stood to one side and handed control of his boat to me. Iv been told many times these fat boats swim like a brick but if that’s the case then this was a damn good brick. I soon found myself at one with the boat she steered clean and responsive and at no point was I fazed by her. We did a few locks and went under a few low bridges on to Shardlow where Dave demonstrated a relaxed trouble free turn around for out trip back to Sawley.To say I had a smile on my face was an understatement and a few cups of tea and a lot of questions later I handed over my deposit. So in a few weeks time at 63 I’m about to start a new chapter in my life and like all great stories it begins with Once upon a Time. I would like to thank Dave and Trudy for their honesty and openness today plus I need to thank Peyerboat and Tony D who over many weeks have advised guided and listened to my many wows on issue I was experiencing trying to find the right boat for me. So once she’s mine I’ll be changing her name to Misty & Me ( That’s my Labrador ) together we are entering a new phase in our lives amongst you guys.
  11. 15 points
    For the record, we had five boats out prior to this weekend, all sent out before any boating restrictions or even pub closures were in place. Two of those have now returned. A third (out since the beginning of February) was at Cropredy this morning and will be back by Thursday evening. The remaining two are crewed by entirely unrelated couples from New Zealand who currently have nowhere else to go. As of this morning they are mulling over whether to return to base and live here for the next few months or hunker down where they are (one of which is a fair way north having already been out for a while), which will depend on the likelihood of continued availability of essential services where they are vs. how much grief they will get from people jumping to conclusions if they boat back. I note that here today there are still a number of private boats moving too but no one complaining about that, and forgive me if this sounds bitter, but I expect there'll be a thread on here soon complaining that all the boatyards are shut and how dare we as we're an essential service, probably started by the same people who normally post advice on avoiding boatyards at all costs as they're too expensive. Rant over Incidentally, if anyone needs fuel round here, I spoke with Rue at Armada Boat Hire this morning and he's going to stay open for fuel for the foreseeable, and if it gets to a point where he's unable to continue we'll pick up the baton.
  12. 15 points
    Years ago a mate of mine bought a sunken boat, for £20, an ex naval pinnace about 45' long and was sunk in the Bow backwaers at Bow east London. Its coach roof was a couple of inches below the surface. I was invited to watch the performance of raising it as my mate was a total nutcase and wouldn't have miss his performance of the operation for the whole world. It all began with sending his Mrs down in her bathing costume to inspect the vessel, after which she arose, sufaced and spluttered a declaration that she was frightened to open her eyes because the water was all muddy. My mate was a Firestone tyre store manager and had brought along hundreds of old inner tubes as well as an petrol air compressor to pump them up for floatation, plus two small water pumps from hire shops. Again his Mrs who sat shivering in my Land Rover to keep warm was called on again for the 2nd operation, and that was to dive in and stuff blown up inner tubes through the broken windows in and attempt to raise it. Now thats a big struggle forcing inflated innertubes under water and into windows and poor old, ''we'll call her Dunkella'' in case they're reading ths. Now Dunkella was a big powerful lass, she even once carried my mate home in her arms like a baby from the pub when he got legless, this is true, I witnessed it. It really warmed poor old Dunkella up stuffing those inner tubes in even with her eyes shut. And then after about a dozen were stuffed in suddenenly CRASH, CRACK RUMBLE, Tinkle the whole coach roof broke away and along with all the innertubes floated off down the river. Dunkella was ordered to swim, chase and retrieve it all, but she refused, despite her size and strength declared that she had swallowed some water and had mud in her eyes which was itchy and retired back into my L/Rover to rest and recooperate. The boat hadn;t budged an inch, still reposeing on the bottom. In the end my old series 2A Land Rover did the job. We managed to draped two large weighted rope strops under and around bow and stern and bring them together above the surface and then connected them with another bit of rope to my large rope double pulley wheel reduction tackle. The tackle I tied to the front bumper of my L/Rover with a thick longish stick stuck vertically at an angle under the rope to give a better upward lift. And then , hold onto yer hats, in low transfer, revere gear the old L/Rover took the strain, the ropes stretched thinner and thinner with the strain and looked aggressive so I and Dunkella who was still sitting next to me getting dry both ducked down below the windscreen in case the rope snapped and came whipping back. But it didn't and slowly but surely up popped the Naval Pinnace minus coach roof. I held its gunnels above water with my brakes hard on while my mate jumped in it with the pump suction hose and started the pump and gradually the vessel rose up. Dunkella was ordered to jump in and do this but she refused saying she didn't want to get wet anymore and and gave my mate, her hubby a thick ear which must have hurt him cos she's mighty powerful. Anyway the boat was finally emptied of water. An internal inspection revealed a Perkins 4/107 engine and several small holes drilled through the double diagonal wooden hull which we blocked up by shoving matchsticks into them, we wish we hadn't as we used them all up and had no light to light our cigarettes. I don't think the holes were bored by tormented Toredo worm. However my mate sold it on to another mate who got it to Bill Blakes yard in Barking creek, Last I heard was that he never ever found those holes and matchsticks again. After the raising operation we all retired to the Globe pub in the Mile End road to recover. Dunkella strait away down half a pint of brandy demanded off her husband at great expense, or else!! We then all drove off home, all nice and happy. THE END.
  13. 14 points
    Firstly, many thanks for the many PM's and Emails, I've only just gone 'back onto the computer and seen them. It has been a weird couple of weeks with all sorts of 'ailments' rolled into one - I'm still very short of breath just walking 50yards, but it is getting better - so - stand by for the old 'me'. You'll all be boating soon.
  14. 14 points
    🐟🐠🎣 20200405_103918000_iOS.mp4
  15. 14 points
    I have put this in general boating so more will see it. In the present climate many people are finding it hard to buy basic provisions due to eejuts that are bulk buying. If you are one of these idiots please read no further. For sensible human beans who havnt bought everybody elses food up this is for you. The Pig Place shop at the moment has stuff you may need. The muppets are generaly supermarket shoppers so this place although busier than normal still has stuff. NOTHING has been overpriced and is precisely its normal price. At present there are plenty of proper free range eggs, bacon, pork etc though much is frozen due to time of year. There is pasta at normal prices, beans BOG ROLLS and other stuff. If you need owt and dont want to risk the drive/boat down and find there isnt what you want please message me and I will check and hold if we have it. I know this looks commercial but in the present climate please take it on the true value its meant as its of assistance to forum members. Taa Tim
  16. 14 points
    Right! That should now be fixed. I never expected people to be printing that particular page, so when I made it change between small and big screen versions I didn't realise that it would affect printing. Adding a few @media print statements to the stylesheets was all that was needed, as I expected. I've now made it so that it expands all the sections when printing. I've also suppressed the menus and banners from the print-out, but added a simple title instead. I'll think about making the mini photos and maps optional in various places - I'm viewing that more as a feature request, while I viewed the inability to print as a bug that needed fixing. As a note for you all for the future: I don't visit here regularly. A kind user messaged me about it so I nipped in to follow the thread. Generally you're more likely to get action if you put something in one of CanalPlan's forums, or on the bug tracker for definite problems or requests for new features.
  17. 14 points
    Is there a Smelly's Law similar to Godwin's Law? (he'll turn any topic round to Brexit and abuse of Remoaners, Johny Foreigners and the EU within a few posts, regardless of what the subject started out as)
  18. 14 points
    Successfully moved, no problems.
  19. 14 points
    I know there’s quite a bit of negativity around volockies. But today I had a first class experience with 3 volockies on the Tardebigge flight. Id been stuck at the bottom of the flight due to aggravating a long standing back problem. Caused by very poorly maintained lockgear, with paddles almost impossible to move. I’m a burly 15st Builder but really struggled to shift some of the paddles. Any how there was no way I could tackle the flight in my present condition. As the flight is closing I had to get through before I became trapped. I mentioned it to a couple of passing volockies yesterday afternoon and they said they’d arrange help for 9.30 am this morning. True to their word 3 people turned up on time this morning to help me. All ex boaters, they worked me up the flight perfectly. No fuss no bossiness and all in three and a half hours. Id like to give a special thanks to Bill for seeing me all the way to the top lock. I’m moored up now and will have a few days of recuperation. So a big thumbs lads, I’ll be eternally grateful.
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  21. 14 points
    It's an odd title, and I dare say won't attract many responses, but I thought I'd share what I've been up to this past three weeks. My wife works in a bakery shop, and off her own back has for several years made up window displays for the seasons and a few public holidays. For this Summer, she asked me to build a narrow boat for her (sorry about this!) Rosie & Jim dolls. They are quite large, and have voice recordings with a variety of sayings and giggleings. Nuff said. The following shows the model I have constructed using scrap cardboard and a few pieces of plywood, held together with glue from a hot glue gun and gummed brown paper strip. I based it on a Thomas Clayton tanker boat as depicted on the cover of Tony Lewery's 'Narrow Boat Painting' GIFFORD, but it's not accurate as you will see. Nonetheless, comments welcome. I guess it will burn well once I've tired of trying to find somewhere to put it. It's in the shop window in Wenlock right now. Probably be there until Halloween. The rudder is out of proportion - the blade should be much higher, and the back end looks more like a GU butty, but it's hung in the traditional way using a Schrader valve collar; piece of welding wire, and an old metal tent peg. No chimney brass for Rosie & Jim, spent too much on cakes. Plates and crochet fitted. Scumbling cardboard is not to be recomended, especially with 40yr old scumble paint. More theatre than accuracy. The range shows a flickerin fire through the 'bars' courtesy of two electronic 'tea' candles though switched off in this shot. The lamp is made from a straw; piece of rubber fuel line; a shortened nail (wick adjuster); a plastic bottle top for the shade, all squeezed into a plated casting that was a tea pot, with the spout and handle cut off. Regretably it does not light up. Catherine's Bakery, 20 Barrow Street, Much Wenlock.
  22. 12 points
  23. 12 points
    Thanks to @cheshire~rose and @Capt Ahab for putting this together plus the judges and all the teams.
  24. 12 points
    A message to all our Negative UK Press - including Laura Kuenssberg of the BBC, Robert Peston of ITV, Beth Rigby of Sky, Piers Morgan of ITV, BBC News in general and all the other negative UK press. Journalism is missing the "mood" in this great country of ours - the United Kingdom. We do not want or need blame. We do not want constant criticism of our Government who are doing their very best in a very difficult and unprecedented global emergency. We want and need a constructive contribution to the national effort to help us out of this crisis. We need hope, optimism and faith, with less negativity and more positive support from these journalists. It is time you all changed your negative and political rhetoric for the health of this nation and start supporting our Government. 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧 Let's get this message VIRAL and they might just take note.
  25. 12 points
    I dont think I would concern myself with the views of the unofficially appointed covid police in your circumstances. You are moving for legitimate health reasons IMHO.
  26. 12 points
    Yorkshire threat level reduced to "It's abaat time thi stop thi mitherin' then lad" (Had to nick that on Biscuit its a classic) She's home coughing like a Filey seal and as tired as two colliery electricians, but she's home. Her quote "By lad that's a grand cup a tea" Thank you all for all your support over these very troubling times, we all have to support each other where ever we can, my personal battle is over, for the moment, and my heart goes out to those that have not been as lucky as us. I know when you lay your arm on a loved ones shoulder and tell them you love them as they go out to the waiting ambulance, knowing deep down it may be the last time you touch them, it is hard. Take care of each other, stay safe, and again thank you
  27. 12 points
    Surely if you're told a load of boats have been broken into at the place you moor your boat you're going to go and check on it. I'm all for calling out unnecessary travel, but this seems totally justified to me.
  28. 12 points
    Intelligence and common sense.
  29. 12 points
    No you're quite right. It's all those bloody darkies. We whites would never do all that stuff like they do, you know, keeping the NHS going, looking after your old mum, driving the trains and the buses. Dammit, they even let some of them teach in schools these days! Probably where the virus started. I bet they went home and said "I saw that bloody ParaHandy in Costco this morning, glaring at us as he always does, the silly old bigot!" They just don't understand our ways. It's cos their skin's a different colour and their blood is green and their brains are made of wood. PS I am choosy over who I allow to call me "friend". Please don't do it again.
  30. 12 points
    Well I just have to say having bought my boat yesterday and worked late loading boxes of cloths etc about I returned to Mercia Marina where she’s moored and can honestly say everyone I came in contact with were/are extremely friendly. The marina office staff were very friendly and helpful but what stuck me most was as I was driving to my mooring everyone walking towards me waved smiled and said hello. Going down the pontoon with the biggest smile on my face a fellow boater popped out his side hatch and shouted “ are you the new boy? Welcome to Mercia “ I think the big daft smile gave me away. Having spent all day unboxing and sorting I decided to make my way back to my business here in Sutton in Ashfield but stopped at the super clean toilet block for a Jimmy before the drive back and within seconds of washing my hands ( several times ) I found myself in conversation with a lovely fella in his 80’s who was happy to share some tips and advice as he too lives on a Widebeam. Now yes it was only my first day at Mercia and I’m sure there is bound to be some grumpy old fart I’ll not get on with but hey it’s a promising start to my brand new adventure. Thank you Mercia for making me feel welcome.
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  32. 12 points
    I didn’t want to stir it up again though. I just wanted to say that I’ve only just read this lot and wanted to say thank you for the support and validating my belief that we didn’t do anything wrong. Just hope I don’t bump into the angry little man again! (Or vice versa!)
  33. 12 points
    Massive Fund Drive and Benefit Concert Following recent short term hardware issues at a lock in Godmanchester, it has become apparent that major trauma has occurred in the area and we are doing our utmost to alleviate the local suffering. We have invited the Waterbouys, the Travelling Riverside Blues Band, the Jesus and Mary Boat Chains, among others, to come together on the local watermeadows (weather permitting) for a benefit concert for trapped boaters at Godmanchester Lock. Free local transport will be arranged so the couple can get to their van and take it back to their mooring when suitable ( not waiting for an encore could be construed as rude under Waterways act 3.1a). Local businesses will be contacted to support catering needs and we might even run to a long hosepipe if this is certified to Potable Waterstandards 2017 - clause 32.7b). Local tiling agents have been contacted for cover work in case the lock repairs take longer than expected, however, they are a grouty lot and no help at present.
  34. 12 points
    Well, let us pick that apart. Firstly, I reject the premise that all volunteers are "trying to help". It is very clear that some are seeking a position of power over others, and some just want to play with the locks. Some, I accept are motivated by a belief that what they do helps boaters. Whether they have ever considered whether the said boater desires help is neither here nor there. But, if we have somebody who desires to help, but who lacks the ability to actually do so, must we accept this sub-standard help with gratitude, because it is from a volunteer? I say that we have no such obligation. If we want to work locks ourselves then so be it. What will be next? will WH Smith bring in volunteers to do the Times Crossword to save the readers the trouble? I had thought that I might be relating a tale of a good volunteer, because whilst out this week we did encounter one. We were going down Bosley, and two volunteers were assisting a boat up the full flight. The lockie I spoke to was chatty and pleasant, and explained that the boaters were in their 70s and had called to office to ask if there would be volunteers, so they were there specifically for that boat. The lockie assisted with gates, and left our paddles alone. He was exactly what should happen. Coming up Bosley was a different story! My 12 year-old grandson was my lock crew for the day, when we encountered the volunteers. At the first manned lock the volunteer spoke to neither of us, didn't even look at me, and wound a paddle up. I grimaced and said nothing. At the second manned lock the volunteer spoke to Nick, and instructed him not to pause when raising the paddle, but to whip it straight up. Nick politely said that I had asked him to do it that way, and he would wait for my signal to raise the paddle fully. The volunteer didn't look at me. I grimaced and said nothing. At the third manned lock, the volunteer told Nick that he was doing this lock, and sent Nick on to the next lock. I called Nick back to work the lock. The volunteer didn't look at me before winding a paddle. As the boat got to the top I stepped off to speak to the lockie, and was treated to "stay on your boat". I went over to him and told him that it was not appropriate for him to be issuing instructions to a 12 year old to go and work a lock away from my supervision. His response; "he'll be fine". Yes I know he will be fine. I know his capabilities. You have no idea, and shouldn't be interfering. At the fourth manned lock, the volunteer didn't look at me (bit of a theme here), wound the paddle up and stepped away leaving the windlass in place. I called to him to remove it. He shouted back that it was fine, the catch was on. Now, I will put up with some bits and pieces of not doing it exactly as I want, but I will not tolerate unsafe working when we are in the lock, so leant on the horn and shouted (very loudly, I have a big gob) "DROP THE PADDLES NOW!". For the first time all day a volunteer followed his training and put the paddles down. I then told him to step away from the lock and take no further part in the operation. He protested that he was assigned to work this lock, and I reminded him that he was assigned to offer assistance to those that want it. I neither wanted nor needed his assistance, and as he had shown himself incapable of working a lock safely, he would have to stand aside. Then on to the final lock (the top lock). The volunteer didn't look at me, and would a paddle, but other than that I came up without incident. As no boats were approaching downhill, my stepdaughter was ascending the lock next and the lock/water mooring was occupied, I waited back in the upper jaws for her to ascend. She came into the lock, came to a halt, and turned round to check that the bottom paddles were down. Whilst she was still facing backwards, he started to wind a paddle... "STOP!" Who on earth thinks it is OK to start winding a paddle when the steerer is looking the other way? I'm afraid that either they are not being trained properly, or they are not being supervised properly.
  35. 12 points
    I'll feel better when I've got this off my chest. For the first time since I bought the boat thirty years ago, I am seriously considering giving it up and leaving the canals. I've lived on it as well as having spent a fair proportion of every year wandering round the system, though never qualifying as a CC. Maybe this has just been a bad trip, brought short by engine problems, but I no longer think it's just looking at past years with rose tinted spectacles and a bit of decline in an old system, but something more serious. It's not that boaters aren't as good people as they ever were, it's mostly the boats they drive. It is now virtually impossible to moor up and enjoy a bit of peace, listening to birdsong and the noise of the wind and water. There's always another boat within earshot with a genny or an engine, cooking their tea, running a computer for every person on board, watching a vast TV, doing their washing or just charging up their massive battery bank. And there's always one of them who thinks it's fine to run it all until 10pm, because, after all, it's a very quiet engine... and it only needs the one. The one moored next to you doesn't consider that their diesel fumes are drifting into your boat, that they're happily poisoning your dog. And if you do manage to find a spot of piling in the middle of nowhere, there's been a theoretically cruising boat dumped on it for weeks, padlocked up and ignored*. Then there's the decline in the system, which it has been apparent over the last couple of years is accelerating massively. Half the paired locks on the T&M must be taped off by now, with no apparent plan to repair any of them, half the others are leaking so badly the banks to the side are nothing but mud, and there are broken paddles all over the shop. As you go through you mentally calculate the odds that it will still be functioning on your way back. Pounds drain overnight for no apparent reason. Bridges are festooned with cracks and lock landings taped off and toppling into the canal. Water points vanish, as do general services. Bins aren't emptied. Yet money can be found to spend on more and signage - glaring blue things thanking cyclists for slowing down, or warning them that the bridge roof actually curves downwards. Stir in climate change and more extreme weather - unbearably hot one day and floods the next and living or holidaying on boats won't be much fun, nor will an ancient, poorly maintained infrastructure survive it for many more years. Ah well. I'll get the engine fixed and keep the beast another year. But I suspect that may be the last. Thanks for letting me blow of steam (not that you had any option, really). Any arguments to the contrary will be gratefully received - I'd probably grab any available straw to keep the old tub going. *How do I know? Because they were there in April when I went past, they were there in June when I came back, and they're still there in July. The weeds growing out of the flower pots and the fenders are longer though. Can't be sure I spotted them all, but I'm damn sure about at least five in the small area I've covered, and I remember them because they were all in places I like to moor.
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  39. 11 points
    This was a guy who sacked all his staff at the start of the outbreak to save having to pay them, isn't it? That should be enough to keep most folk well away from his establishments haggis
  40. 11 points
    He is being funny, making a jape or having a giggle, of the members on here Buzzard has, as far as I have seen, never engaged in sniping at others. Often he is an insane genius with his plans or build ideas, other times he gives freely of his very wide mechanical knowledge.
  41. 11 points
    I am posting here because I do not wish my comments to be attributed to any other discussions that may be going on elsewhere. A few weeks ago I had a really daft idea - I wondered if it could be possible to organise a virtual BCN Challenge. I talked to my better half who is quite good at bringing my more ridiculous ideas down to something more realistic and he wasn't fast enough in thinking up good reasons why it was a stupid idea. I suspect he, like many others, saw it as a potential distraction for us for a few weeks. I talked to The Biscuits (who was supposed to be on our team in the real BCN this year) and he was suitably enthused about it but I realised from the short conversation that he would want to play, not organise and so I didn't discuss it with him further. Next I discussed it with Mrs Tawny Owl to check we would not be treading on any toes and got the green light. My original plan was that people would spent 9 hours virtually boating around the bits of the BCN that are still navigable and there would be competitions and challenges set throughout the day. There would be a 2 hours break to be taken at some point through the day so that those who have families they need to see on Zoom or duties like dog walking they needed to deal with they could do it then. I just needed to think of a lot of different challenges and a few quizzes. We had been watching some of Capt Ahab's Canal Hunter video's in our quest to try and spot LMS Transhipment warehouses around the Black Country and it occurred to me that, if I could secure his help, he could set a humdinger of a quiz for everyone with his knowledge of the lost 60 miles. We talked on the phone and he threw in the suggestion that as it was virtual boating why not include the lost 60 miles! I think we both went silent as we absorbed the potential opening up before us as soon as he made that suggestion. The next few days was spent weighing up the merits of a single day challenge versus multiple days and we really didn't want people to feel they were chained to staring at their computer screen for extended hours. The idea was to encourage people to join in with other creative activities. We thought that maybe we would get half a dozen teams daft enough to commit to it for a bit of fun. Of course it got a lot bigger and a lot more involved the longer we worked on it. Well, as hindsight has shown us there were a lot more than half a dozen teams daft enough to not only get involved for a bit of fun, but to actually put their hearts and souls into trying to make the most of every opportunity made available to them to be creative in any way their skills allowed them. .... and yes, it was inevitable that teams would want to be competative, a bit of competition is a healthy thing after all. but not if it causes friction. This entire thing took no more than 2 weeks from conception to start. There has been a lot of discussion about what algorithms the organisers used to calculate penalty points and how scores were rounded - well if any of you think anything like that actually happened you are going to be very, very disappointed. I struggle with numbers and and after spending my life struggling with numbers I realised a few years ago that I have discalculia. Having taken part in the real challenge last year and being determined to get my head around the scoring system so my number blindness didn't prevent me from understanding the planning and our scoring. Yet it did. It was impossible for me to understand how we got the score we did (or anything even close to it) Seeing how deflated our team were at having put herculean effort in to the challenge and to only get the placing we did was very hard to live with and so I tried (and failed) to work out how that could be. I was convinced that we must have been fined for speeding but we were told that nobody had been fined for speeding. To this day none of our team know how we ended up with the score we did and such a low placing because we simply cannot make the route we did add up to the score we were given I didn't want anyone to be left with that feeling after this challenge and I said so to Andy. I had a spreadsheet I could collate the figures with. Figures that came from a variety of sources. Each day each team could earn points for the virtual journey they had done (scorecard points) points for the quiz entry, points for taking part in the challenge, points from the panel for being voted as offering the best cruise log that day (1st, 2nd and 3rd places) with additional bonus points awarded for snippets that took the panels eye for any reason. Each day the score card was sent in and I forwarded it to Andy who took a look at it to "sense check" that it appeared to be a valid journey given the restrictions on the day. Through the week there were some teams who made the odd error, maybe a simple incorrect calculation or in some cases headed off up one disused canal before turning and coming back down another -a case of mistaken canal identity maybe? In cases where this had happened Andy would correct the score and the team were advised this had been done (more often teams had omitted points they should have earned that clocked up extra) Occasionally their route got a bit muddled so we would return it asking for them to clarify what they had actually intended to do (because it would make a difference to where they started next day) There was never computer generated check of your scores but Andy realised very quickly that everyone was very obviously working very hard to abide by the rules and, perhaps more importantly, the spirit of the challenge. If a mistake was spotted it was always very obviously just a mistake and with the exception of The Biscuits (who we always knew was going to be trubble!) there was never any indication of anyone attempting to bend or stretch the rules. On one occasion we had to smile because one of our single handers had not got to grips with the safe moorings and had tied for the night in a dodgy spot. Well, given the time difference we knew we would not get effective communication before he was up and moving again the next day so Andy suggested that as he has tied up a couple of hours earlier than he needed to that day (it's hard work single handing!) there would have been plenty of time for him to reach the closest safe mooring so we virtually asked a virtual local to virtually bow haul him around the corner to a place he would be safe overnight and pinged an email to let him know what we had done. Reading his cruise log next day he blames the demon drink for waking up somewhere he doesn't remember mooring! It was part of the fun! We knew it was unlikely to make any significant difference to his chances of winning the challenge so it didn't affect anyone else and it just simplified things. Of course some might say that the organisers were giving an unfair advantage? No we were having some fun like the rest of you and just gently helping along one the the tail markers as we did, I don't like the fact that there had to be a people who didn't win because everyone deserved to win, I don't like the fact that people might feel cheated in any way. We set out to create something that might offer a bit of a distraction from the current climate for people who are struggling. Something that might give a bit of mental stimulation and make some of the time we all have on our hands pass a little quicker. We didn't set out to cause any upset. It has just been a bit if fun and next year (new paintwork or not) we will do it for real again. But don't ask me to plan the route or to get involved in the scoring because for me, there be dragons!
  42. 11 points
    It was very straightforward and easy to understand. Go to work is the only change. Other stuff will come on line IF and WHEN its safe to do so, it realy was simple and obvious. He stated a rough timeline but as its impossible to see how many more deaths will happen over the next few weeks he obviously didnt give exact dates as numpties would cry foul if those dates had to be changed. What did anyone find hard to understand? So go to work and the rest of us stay safe and do more excercise if you wish.
  43. 11 points
    Football can do whatever it wants, but one thing is certain in my mind, a business capable of paying such money to some of its employees should not qualify for one penny of government money at any time, now or in the future.
  44. 11 points
    If you're in trouble with foodstuffs, PM me. I'm within driving distance of you and can bring you stuff.
  45. 11 points
    It's called humour , something that doesnt seem to be genetically apparent amongst the Sam Hider family tree.
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  47. 11 points
    I don't know who's photo this is Frangar, but they need to get themselves a proper horse! That poor little fella isn't built for towing - they'll work him into the ground!
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  50. 11 points
    N.B. Elizabeth Hello, I’m Jim’s wife and after reading some of these comments on here I thought I had better put the record straight. Elizabeth is on the market because Jim has Alzheimer’s, and is now unable to lavish the care on her he once did. How do you put a price on the oldest surviving conversion of a narrowboat? we asked many people, some who worked with historic boats and some who owned them, everyone gave vastly different answers! we originally priced her at 60k to try to avoid her becoming a cheap live aboard, (Jim lived on her full time for 32 years, so nothing against live aboards) the price was always negotiable. We included the fact that she needs to be regularly maintained because with 83 year old wooden cabin she does! Foolishly we waited a year for a certain boat museum to get funding together to purchase her for their collection, as she is such an important boat, due to certain issues within their hierarchy we are still waiting and have frankly given up. Elizabeth has just been surveyed and the hull and engine are in very good order, her top is showing wear and tear but nothing that a little tlc can’t put right. We really hope that whoever purchases her will carry on caring for her the way Jim has over the last 53 years, she really is the most incredible vessel and I can guarantee the new custodians will never be short of conversation, because Elizabeth attracts attention wherever she goes. Annie
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