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Peter Thornton

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Everything posted by Peter Thornton

  1. Now I do have a little story about the catering! I have a part time business making Cumberland sausages here on our farm and three years ago the guy with the franchise rings me up and says "How would you like to sell your sausages at Crick Boat Show?" OK says I, "what's the "deal?" "£2000 all in he says, for three days including electric" (ever wondered why the food is expensive?) So, we do the deal,and I transfer the money into his account. Unfortunately, for everyone but especially for my friend, he dies of a heart attack a couple of days later. My £2,000 is still out there somewhere, but one day I might be able to sell you all Cumberland Sausages at Crick Boat Show! (Should say that no one is to blame and the organisers have not got the fee - just one of those things)
  2. Depends entirely on the viewing distance. Just look for your local sign maker, almost all of them can now do this on a large format inkjet printer. Get a couple of quotes, price can vary quite a lot.
  3. I didn't say that it would be a good idea! Just that to a health and safety enthusiast the sight of a singe hander balancing (apparently) on the back of a powerful vessel weighing several tons and moving through crowded canals would be somewhat alarming. And that's before they start looking at locks with no guard rails and no guards over the winding mechanisms. Best thing is to keep safe and make sure we don't have too many accidents.
  4. Very difficult issues these. How far do we take these things? If we're not careful we'll have "kill cords" on canal boats. A case could be made...............
  5. I do think that householders have a point about the running of engines. We all accept that motorists can park on the street outside our houses but it would be different if they then ran their engines for half the night.
  6. Does anyone know why Aynho Weir Lock, on the Oxford Canal, is shaped like a lozenge rather than the normal narrow canal coffin shape? We've come through it today and couldn't think of any reason for it's strange configuration. I'm sure there's a simple explanation.
  7. Our local news is carrying a story about a proposednew canal from the Kielder reservoir to London via Leeds and Birmingham. It's 24 metres wide and cost is estimated at £14 billion. It will be used to carry water from the North to the South, to transport biomass materials, data and power transmission. The water will move South largely by gravity so presumably traffic will go one way. No details of how the vessels get back up North again. Details here http://www.itv.com/news/tyne-tees/update/2013-05-08/plans-for-huge-canal-from-kielder-water-to-london-to-help-south-in-times-of-drought/ An interesting proposition?
  8. We were going by there a few weeks ago and my crew told me to check the stove as they could smell gas - look behind you I said!
  9. It was in the late sixties that I holidayed on the Broads, when it all went into the river. I don't remember it being especially unpleasant and we had a small sailing dinghy with us which meant getting pretty close to the water. Likewise with the canals in the mid seventies, my memory isn't of them being much different from today. Thinking hard, I seem to remember that there was talk of hire fleets being fitted with tanks and it was something about stopping uncontrolled growth of vegetation. I'm certainly not suggesting that we all pump out into the canal but I'm pretty certain that the odd bit of dog mess kicked into the cut isn't going to cause any bother. I think we're all getting a little sensitive about our natural waste products and, as has been suggested, probably more harm caused by the chemicals in the toilets.
  10. Yes, I thought that it all went into the canal/broads. I can't remember it being all that bad then, but perhaps we were all less sensitive? Reading some of these posts I'm getting really worried as I live on a farm and I don't think I'm going to be able to persuade the farmer to bag everything - there really is shit absolutely everywhere. What can I do?
  11. So what happened in the "old days" before pump outs or cassettes? I seem to remember that when I used to go on the Norfolk Broads it just went into the river and I can't remember what happened when we hired a canal boat in the seventies - can't remember pumping out?
  12. Don't know a place called Thursday?
  13. I met him near Blisworth, he asked me if me was on the right canal for Milton Keynes! I forgot to warn him about the tunnel but later met someone who said they'd seen him at Stoke Bruerne. Still don't know how he did it but I hope he didn't paddle through the tunnel!
  14. If buying a genny, look for one that can be converted to LPG
  15. Or me! I can give a good impression of a wide beam when in a tunnel
  16. Have just got back from a trip down the Grand Union from Braunston to Camden and back. It was a great month, if a little cold, but just going over some of the things we saw and remembered a boat with half a car attached to the front. It was it her on the Paddington arm or was it near Rickmanswoth? Anyway, I'm sure others know this boat and I'm wondering if anyone knows the story behind it? The other thing that comes to mind is the canoeist we met near Blisworth. He was heading South and asked us, which way was Milton Keynes? He had a sleeping bag strapped to the back and it was only when we had passed him that I wondered if he knew about the tunnel. We later met another boat who had seen him at Stoke Bruerne so he must have got there somehow and I don't think he would have carried it over the top! Apparently he was on the way to France. Anyone else come across him, a guy with an Afro haircut?
  17. Could have used one of those for the occupant of the cottage at lock 38 on the GU this afternoon!
  18. Bu you do get a good 3G signal by mooring near the West Coast line!
  19. We've spent the last 3 weeks on the Grand Union ( and are hoping it stops snowing so that we can get back from Tring summit to Stockton Top by Friday!) and have a couple of questions about the locks. Firstly, what's the current practice regarding the closing of gates? We always close them behind us but we've passed several boats that look as if they know what they are doing and seem to have left the gates open. I know that they sometimes blow open in the wind but most of them have been left open deliberately. I have to admit that with just two of us I do welcome the sigh of an open gate ahead of us though! Secondly, why do some locks have a request to leave them empty with a paddle up? Some have cottages next to them and some don't, I did wonder if it was to stop damp leaking into he cottages? And if anyone's going North from Tring tomorrow then we're happy to share!
  20. No problem. It's my first time through Berkhampsted (except for the way down I suppose!) looking for a mooring and perhaps we just didn't know where to look. "Out of town" we moor anywhere without no mooring signs, except that we kind of assume that bollards are there for temporary halts, locks, services etc. But in towns we usually look for the visitor moorings with rings. We are occasional boaters with a share that gives us 3/4 weeks a year. Happy to learn from the more experienced.
  21. Yes, but if you take away the bits that every boat has to have and express the 3 feet as a percentage of what is left then it can be quite significant.
  22. We stayed in Berkhamsted last night and it seemed pretty crowded to us. We came through heading North and couldn't work out whether or not we were allowed to moor below the Rising Sun, didn't see any signage there. Found half a mooring just outside the Crystal Palace ( ie we were on the wharf but half the boat past the sign) This morning we carried on North and found it still pretty full around the corner. I think one of the biggest problems is that there seem to be no reliable maps of where moorings actually are. Nicholson's doesn't give any clues and the digital maps don't have them marked properly. I may have missed something but it seems to me that CART could well put maps online of these popular places and clearly mark visitor moorings.
  23. We were ice breaking on the Grand Union last week between lock 79 and 80. Just this pound for some strange reason. The boat we were with went ahead and the crew were trying to break it with the barge poles as they went along, but the owner still felt he'd done quite a lt of damage to his blacking. No reason it shouldn't return next week!
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