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Mike Todd

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Everything posted by Mike Todd

  1. I will see if I can extract anything more from the company's filings but I have to divert to finish cooking the meal . . .
  2. Belmont Press clearly existed at some time as it comes up in a couple go Google entries both with an address in Tenby Av, Harrow. Street View reveals this address as an anonymous semi - interesting to look back to the earlier images and see that the same wrecked car has been there a long time! One listing gives aa website but that no longer exists. However Google 'Belmont 1948' shows that it is still an active company at this address but with minimal turnover. It was incorporated in 1973 as Belmont Hire Cruisers. John and Anne Lawes seem to be the main people.
  3. Only if you can see the screen from the dish
  4. Most of the reservoirs seemed to me to be well fenced off.
  5. It is a legal requirement to have a licence to moor in the marina where our boat currently sits. To have a licence it is a requirement to have insurance. To have insurance it is a requirement to have a BSSC. To have a BDDC means that the boat has to comply with the criteria which the examiner will assess. Therefore to travel to the boat to prepare for a BSS exam is in order to 'fulfil legal obligations'. Or is it?
  6. £40K for a boat with no loo and almost no storage room? And she is a top flight lawyer. Sounds as if she has little more than a tin can for water storage and where are these lakes she can swim in around London? Seems a bit odd . . .
  7. Depends on your boat, layout and installation. If, as in our case and many others, the dish is mounted on the roof with an aerial socket that connects with a cabin near the stern, then shouting between the person adjusting the dish and the person watching the tv can get a little fraught. In addition, the reception is more stable in response to boat movements if it is well aligned and doing that, just based on seeing a picture on screen, is quite difficult.
  8. We have used sat for many years and when we had our new boat built four years ago we specified the need for a good mount block above the bow doors. The curved shape of most boat roofs does not work well with mag mounts. Our builder saved the cut outs from the bow thruster tube to weld in place! We started with a low cost sat in line finder which was especially frustrating but a special self Christmas present brought us a more upmarket one which displays a small picture on the screen, It is battery powered so attached directly to the dish's lead before you then connect into the cabin. Normally we lock on within about five seconds of pointing in roughly the right direction. One problem with the simpler detectors is that they react to various satellites whilst the more complex one can be set to the standard sat and so does not attempt to lock onto the wrong signal. An approx direction is very simple, especially as we normally set up at the end of the day once moored (we always take the dish down whilst cruising and in high wind - the mag will take most conditions but very high winds can topple it). Look for where the sun is about to set - point right arm in that direction. The point the left arm directly opposite (ie east west) now point the right arm in front of you (ie due south) Now bisect that angle as the sat is roughly south east. Start searching with the dish and sat finder in that direction and it will not take long to get 28deg. Whilst here, can I give a very big plug for Martyn at Travelsat. He specialises in canal based users and travels over a wide area to supply and fit. He even came to us when the base mount failed year a short while back. (A known weak point in these dishes is short rod that is attached to the base of the dish and which fits into the mag mount) Martyn will never rip you off and will go that extra mile (literally) to supply what you want.
  9. We have a couple of early Canals Book, the go-to guide with hand drawn maps. These are, I think, slightly older that your WW - our first hire was in 1967. We also used the early Nicholsons of the time with their idiosyncratic straight line format. Some of the ads are odd reminders of times long gone.
  10. Down here in north Cornwall most of the small fishing ports (This Port Isaac - Doc Martin) were famous for their pilchard fishing with the evidence of the processing sheds still visible in several places. The key indicator is the row of brick holes in the outsider wall which held the fulcrum of poles that were used to apply weight to the top of the barrels into which the fish were packed. The Southern Railway line came from Waterloo and terminated at Padstow and freight trains could run right down to the breakwater so that catch could be loaded straight into wagons for rapid transit to Billingsgate. This was still happening in my lifetime (just!) The main reason for making this post is to mention that most of these ports also had their lookout posts high on the cliffs above the harbour. Typically, Cornish ports are set in the entrance of narrow and steep valleys. The lookouts were often called Huers or Hewers and the most well known of the remaining huts is in Newquay - see here This shows just how close inshore the fishing took place - the huers were able to direct boats from signs of where a shoal was, as they moved about quite a bit.
  11. I need to eat 'umble pie: and be grateful that the NHS Gods were not eavesdropping on here to look for sceptics! We have just been offered our first vaccinations next week - and we are not even 80!
  12. You can't declare yet, you have not scored enough runs.
  13. A I recall it, reports on here a while back from one or two members who had gone down this route was that the smell related to the experience of the steerer rather than those inside! That is, the fan effectively removed any smell from the cabin but it did whiff somewhat when cruising along! may be they can recall having said that, if they are still here, and can update us.
  14. Not uncommon as the Trent (which cross the T&M at that point) is quite significant by then and the cross flow makes it even harder to navigate. Less common, I think was the notice p0f closure for high water levels on the bottom of the Grand Union around Hanwell. The notice did not say but I presume it was from the River Brent which joins the party around there.
  15. By 'plan' I guess you mean something along the lines of 'we will vaccinate 14 million by mid Feb' . . .
  16. But all that planning can sometimes go awry, not through any defect in the planning but through unanticipated or unanticpatable, changes. To give an example: in mid summer we left West Stockwith bound for Keadby. The river level was up after a period of rain and several days where transit was not advised by the lock keeper. He eventually, after checking the conditions with his colleague at Keadby, advised that it was good to go - 'flat as a pancake' at Keadby. By the time we neared Keadby the balance between tide and fresh turned significantly to our disadvantage and we needed all the power we could get (Beta 34 at the time) to get into the lock - and that took a nail-bitingly long time stemming the flow, inches at a time from just below the lock til we could turn in. We knew what we were doing and took all available local advice but it still happened. The lockie later told us of his fears for a boat that insisted on going out a few days before with little more than a trolling outboard. Apparently he got there upstream but clearly had no margin for error. In principle this has nothing to do with the form of motive power but it has a lot to do with opting for one with inadequate output.
  17. You are quite fortunate in that experience - others of us have found how conditions can change without warning. In particular on total sections predictions on when to transit are based on a small difference between two large numbers (tide versos fresh) where only small change in either force have a dramatic effect.
  18. Thanks everyone - BSS suspension looks possible if ten government are tempted into banning non-essential trade working in the home as is being floated this morning. I must admit that I had thought that (in normal circs) the examiner was not permitted to 'do' things in order to complete the examination.
  19. yea - the Trent, Severn and Thames can get scary enough for us! Limehouse, Keadby, Gloucester can all get 'interesting' at times, usually without warning.
  20. Surprisingly I never thought about that in the moment . . .
  21. The very old joke I usually use to point out similar faulty reasoning goes like this: "Do you know how to keep elephants off the street?" "No" "Paint all the pillar boxes red" " Why?" "Well it obviously works - have you seen any elephants on our streets?"
  22. I suspect your age is showing - you missed the intentional sarcasm! Only us oldies need to signpost it with a smiley these days . . . But to the OP - yes please, please, do come back to us as your project proceeds. Firstly, it is all too often the case that someone asks a question of social media such as this forum and then disappears after quite a bit of effort from those with real experience. Secondly, life would be intolerable if it did not hold out the hope that anything can be improved by human endeavour. It is very unlikely that any design, even one that has stood the test of a couple of centuries experience, cannot be improved. If you succeed then we will all benefit but more importantly - and I suspect this is the nub of your project and its eventual assessment - is to see how you go about it, what methodology you use and the data behind your conclusions. For example, if you came out and said that the traditional design is still the best, some (non-scientists) might be tempted to remark that they knew that all along but if your data and method are at fault such a conclusion would be no more valid than saying you had found a really great improvement. Good luck! (Success in life is largely down to perspiration and, for the lucky few, a bit of chnace - inspiration rarely gets a look in!)
  23. My worry about accepting a much lower power for a narrowboat, based on normal cruising requirements, concerns emergency situations. Not infrequently I find it necessary to use as much powere as my Beta 43 can produce, including: 1. Suddenly faced with a boat coming through a blind bridge hole with too much speed (or insufficient inclination) to stop in time. 2. Mis judging the approach into a lock and needing to avoid crashing into the far gates 3. On a river. approaching a lock at right angles off the river and finding the fresh stronger than the previous lock keeper had advised 4. Coming round a bend to find a boat across the channel having lost its mooring pin. 5. Approaching or exiting a lock with an especially strong bywash and many others. It is easy to forget just how much momentum a narrowboat carries at cruising speed and how quickly it needs to be reduced to avoid collision. Normal cruising revs around 1250 but there can be few days when at times well over 2000, even max, is called for. Even 'normal' manoeuvring, including winding, needs a surprising amount of power at times. One of the reasons why we went up from the Beta 34 in our previous boat (which could cruise quite happily on most waterways) was the lack of safety margin it offered in emergency situations. For me, I'd rather design on the basis of such needs rather than efficient 'normal' cruising.
  24. "85% of people found that xyx facial treatment was a benefit" small print: 97 responses - unprinted: 300 people were asked and the 'right' 97 were selected for the report!
  25. Whilst you could be right for the immediate future, I thought that the objective was to eliminate fossil fuels such that they become increasingly difficult to source. Hence, a hybrid (of any type) seems to be fudging the issue. It may be justified on cost grounds but not on 'save the planet' basis. (If it is OK to use diesel for the genny why is it wrong to pour it straight into the engine? At the moment it seems that there might be a modest gain in efficiency and pollution but some of the developments being described might achieve much of that for a more conventional solution - but is it worth the capital cost?) Those doing the comparative calculations should also take into account the projection that wood, diesel and gas may all be unavailable for heating and have to devise a sufficiently large solar array for winter survival - or even a typical rainy August day!
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