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About Hastings

  • Birthday 07/04/1946

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  1. CRT advised yesterday that Hack Green Lock will be closed for repair from Wednesday 21 October; repairs likely to take one week. Last passage through for the week will be Tuesday 20th, up to 2.30pm
  2. CanalBookShop has the widest selection of canal books and guides in Britain, and we've been selling them for 10 years or more. We post anywhere in the world. But we have the same problem at the moment - several Nicholsons guides have been out of print for quite a while; currently, four are awaited. Check our website at https://canalbookshop.co.uk/nicholsons.html for the latest availability.
  3. Just in case you're interested, we are publishing a new edition of John Knill's Navy, with some original photos, plus many others. It should be available by late summer/early autumn. Peter, CanalBookShop
  4. The Audlem gathering on 25/26 July has just been cancelled, and we're planning for the 2021 event on 24/25 July
  5. Various pounds at Audlem have been low or empty over the last week, due, as has been said, to virtually no flow coming down through Adderley, where the canal is still closed until a dam round the repair site can be removed (the dam men might be busy somewhere else with floods?). So it's pretty academic whether the Audlem flight is open or not. If going up, you reach Adderley locks - closed, and no winding hole when you get there. If going down, you can get to Barbridge, where again there's a closure awaiting dam removal, and nowhere to turn. And Hurleston bottom lock (where at least you can turn) will be closed for the next ten days.
  6. You can also get Richard Dean's historic map of Birmingham canals from CanalBookShop
  7. We definittely have a couple of copies of Ray Shill's book "The Industrial Canal, The Railway Interchange Trade" at CanalBookShop. This is the standard (and perhaps only) work devoted to railway interchange basins, and it's required reading if you want to know about them. We also have "The Other Sixty Miles". These books are of course secondhand. We may have a copy of the Blue Book, correctly known as "Birmingham Canal Navigations, A Cruising and Walking Guide", but I can't check tonight.
  8. The gathering of historic boats at Audlem on the Shroppie will be held on 25/26 July. It's open to ex-working boats built up to 1962. Please contact Peter and Christine Silvester at Audlem Mill if you'd like to bring your boat - 01270 811059 or info@audlemmill.co.uk
  9. I'll get some DVDs ordered, then let you know. Peter
  10. The film was produced by four friends in 1964, one (Geoffrey Hart) being the father of the university friend who got me into canals back in 1965. It was Geoffrey, I believe, who wrote the script. We at Audlem Mill released the film as a DVD a while ago, although we sold out a couple of weeks ago. We can get more done if anybody's interested. The film was shot about 1962-63; it took a while to process the film and release it.
  11. Hastings


    Thanks - I'll put copies aside.
  12. Hastings


    We have a couple of copies of the "Blue Book", and The Other Sixty Miles, at Audlem Mill
  13. Tam and Di I was involved a little with the similar (but much smaller) event in Braunston Church last December, which attracted about 70 visitors. This year, the event will be held in a large marquee at the Marina, with the day split into sessions of an hour at most - probably a bit less to allow one audience to leave and another arrive. The books being discussed are Di's books (at 12.45), Tony Lewery's new book Off the Mainline, Leo McNeir's canal murder novels, Tom Chaplin's recent book Narrow Boats, Great Canal Journeys with Tim and Pru West, and a book that has nothing to do with canals, A Nun's Story by Sister Agatha. There's also a childrens' session, looking at Dan Clacher's Muddy Waters series. In each session, there will be a person who talks to the author about their book(s), and this might of course widen up to their life with canals. In your case, the 'interviewer' will be Cassandra McNeir, wife of Leo, and cookery writer - in Canal Boat magazine, and a few books. There will be early evening entertainment, with Timothy West and Prunella Scales performing their favourite passages from Shakespeare – with musical accompaniment. Tim/Braunston Marina are funding all the costs of putting this event on, and visitors will pay £10 per session, with all profits going to the Sinking Fund of Friends of Raymond (except that money from the Sister's session will go to a convent). My involvement this year is to provide a CanalBookShop sales stall where visitors can buy the books covered in the sessions. I will contact you direct about this. Do contact me if I've missed something, and I'll try to help. Peter Audlem Mill
  14. Jack Roberts, a fly-boat captain on the Shropshire Union system until fly-boating ended in 1921, describes his boating in his book Shropshire Union Fly-Boats, written in the late 1960s, but published by us only four years ago. Jack came out of retirement in about 1960 to steer Hostelcraft’s boat, Margaret, with Clydesdale horse Mary. Trips started at Stretford. The first week (with passengers paying about £8) was to Llangollen, then the boat visited Tettenhall, then on to destinations such as Coventry, Stratford (obviously from 1964 onwards, when the canal reopened), Leamington, Stourport etc. The boat initially carried 20, in two dormitories, but this was later reduced to 12, to provide better facilities. The steerer, mate and cook slept in the boatman’s cabin and fore-cabin. Jack talks of another boat, Firebrand, running from Guildford to near Hatton – it couldn’t get further up the Grand Union, being 10’ beam (who says wide boats going up the GU is recent? There was also cargo carrying Progress in the 60s). Jack once took Firebrand up the Thames to Abingdon – difficult, as the towing path was no longer suitable for horses, with field fences going right to the river’s edge, so he had to move and replace them where he could, or take the horse on an inland route via paths and roads. Near Lechlade, they had to lead George the horse across the lock-gates!
  15. I see that CRT has proposed that the Shroppie is closed both before Christmas (Tyrley Locks and Market Drayton Embankment) as well as after Christmas (Audlem Lock 12 and Hack Green). In past years, it's always been one or other, so giving some chance to go winter boating. A stoppage of almost three months, apart from the usual short window at Christmas, is excessive, and extremely unfair on canalside communities that rely on canal trade. Does this come about because CRT has now split the management of the Shroppie main line between two areas, with the boundary just south of Audlem? It all used to come under Northwich.
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