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Geoff Bailey

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  1. Hi all, Crane is preparing for the Challenge. Hopefully, the crew will be me, Trev, Rob Tom and James - and Dave Moore also hopes to be with us at some stage. Plus Gilly and Emma in the galley! Trust the weather will not be as wet as the Saturday last Year! We were able to have a reconnaissance trip into Titford Pools last weekend with Dove, but perhaps the partial closure of the Crow is going to interfere with some plans! Geoff
  2. Hi all Many thanks for posting the pictures of Crane and for all your very kind remarks. She certainly gives us great pleasure and, with the considerable help of Dave Moore's amazing lettering and painting skills, now looks very different from when we first saw her! Really delighted to hear that others think that she looks pretty good too! I think it is probably the first time that's she's been loaded for some 50 years - although I'm happy to be corrected if somebody knows otherwise! I thoroughly enjoyed the trip back to Stockton via Shackerstone, in company with Mark on Callisto, and look forward to another load sometime in the future. Also pleased to confirm that the engine is, indeed, a Petter semi diesel although it's the 12/14hp model rather than the 8/10hp version. A bit smoky ? Well, yes, but we'd not been going for long that morning and it does clean up after a little while. And it is still running in after about 40 years of inactivity, including doubling as a garden planter and general weed collector for some of that time! I can also confirm that Finch is still active and has a similar 12/14hp engine. They certainly aren't a common engine and I'm pretty sure that we only know of 5 remaining examples of which just 3 (I think) are runners. Very interested to hear from Pete Harrison that Crane was fitted with an SR3 when the photo was taken at Old Turn. When we bought her she had an HA2 but also still had the keel cooling pipe which I think was part of a Bolinder twin installation from her Willow Wren carrying days. We're still researching her history and I'm sure that much remains to be discovered. But, if anyone does has any more information about her past, I'll be very pleased to hear from you. Cheers Geoff
  3. Hi all, I'd just like to add our grateful thanks to the (tiny) BCNS organising team for this year's Challenge for a great event but also to all at Hawne Basin for their great reception and hospitality. We started at Merry Hill and all went according to plan until we were half way up the Crow when the heavens really opened. Unfortunately, our waterproofs proved not to be up to the required task and we ended soaked to the skin! Consequently, having been pretty hard aground near the Navigation, and with a monumental blade full, enthusiasm began to wane somewhat and even the range was lit. However, dry (and waterproof) clothing restored order but time was now passing and the original plans to head North via Ryders Green had to be abandoned. Instead, Trev and I continued via the Engine Arm, Spon Lane and Factory 3 to the Fountain at Tipton. An early start saw us up the Bradley Arm and then back via the Old Main line and the Gower - where Tawny appeared from the other direction. Then a steady procession towards Gosty Hill. Plus a short(ish) precautionary stop to dismantle the deckboard prior to the tunnel. The return trip to base was aided by some very good friends who really assisted greatly. So, although we didn't achieve all that we'd hoped, it was a very enjoyable event, revisiting some canals which I haven't seen for almost 40 years, meeting new friends and enjoying good company. Also taking Crane on many waterways that must have been familiar territory to her in the past. (Plus, of course, mandatory visits to Ma Pardoes and the Bull & Bladder not to mention the Prince of Wales at Cambrian Wharf!) We're looking forward to next year already! Geoff
  4. Apologies, All. I haven't got the hang of this yet! Especially not from an iPhone! Very grateful to Bernard for helping me with my crewing shortages. But the Challenge itself isn't a problem. The Challenge is already covered (Gilly, Trev and Dave Moore.) It's moving Crane from Stockton to Birmingham that's the difficulty. My original crew have succumbed to a broken elbow and an obvious need to tend the invalid! At the moment, I'm at The top of the Cape and looking forward to Hatton in the morning! Can't guarantee to have constant web access but a message via Bernard is probably the best way. Thanks a lot, Geoff
  5. Hi all, Just to let you know that Crane is entered for the Challenge. Crew is still being sorted but we should be leaving for Brum on Tuesday. Route planning and general logistics seem to be taking up quite a lot of time! But looking forward to the event and to meeting you. Geoff
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