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Dav and Pen

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  • Boat Name
    Ex Peke , Thor, Crane, Tadworth
  • Boat Location
    Now boatless after 50 years

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  1. Letter in torygraph today by lady who was walking t and m towpath and knocked over by cyclist. Broke elbow and injured knees and hands. She required surgery and is still recovering. She says that it was once delightful to walk along the towpath but sadly it has become to perilous. im afraid in many places the towpath is not wide enough for for walkers and cyclists to exist together especially with the general attitude that walkers are the problem. Cycle paths are certainly needed but just letting towpaths become them is just asking for trouble.
  2. One of the old boatmen I knew always referred to a visit to the bucket in the engine hole as “going to see Sidney” didn’t realize the engine was a Siddeley.
  3. I have just spent a few days in the Hebden bridge area (without boat) and walked my dog along the towpath every morning. Some of the bridge approaches are at very sharp angles from both sides and it is not possible to see if any cyclist is coming until you meet them. Mostly the cyclists are on big mountain style bikes without any audible warning, or none they use, and somehow they expect you to let them through the bridge hole because they are bigger than you, hard luck in my case being a grumpy old man. Most of the locals take the same approach and are fed up with being expected to jump in the stinging nettles to let the hooligans by so stand their ground. Not all the cyclists were this bad though and some slowed right down and said thank you.
  4. The dreaded gipsy lane bridge a favourite dumping place by the local inhabitants. The jaguar got stuck on a safe which had been taken from the local co-op and I got stuck on a The remains of a big fridge. We always approached that bridge very slowly. did this planning application go through?
  5. Use a gas fridge it will save a lot of electricity over the course of a year.
  6. This feeling is a common one by anybody who has been on the canals for a long time. when I first started in 1964 with a 19ft plywood cruiser there was very little them and us and nearly everyone was boating because of their love of boats and or the canals themselves. Many of us got involved in the restoration movement believing we were helping to preserve the past for the future and not realizing quite how it would turn out. There were very few “shiny “ steel narrow boats about and still a few working boats on the Grand Union who all seemed happy to see us. Over the years we finished up with 2 ex working boats that we used to carry coal and camping boating so they could earn their keep and occasionally we ran into unhappy boaters who didn’t understand why we needed to moor in certain places or because we held our course at bridgeholes. These boats were simple things with 12 volt systems and gas or coal stoves and I can never remember running an engine when stationary. the canals were in a poor state but there were still some area engineers and staff with experience and they kept things going. After every trip we would sent a report about rubbish in bridges, shallow places, broken gear etc and sometimes we got a result apart from one gentleman in the West Midlands who we called Mr No. Things really started to change in the 80’s with the arrival of the time share boats with the gold anodised windows who seemed to have no knowledge of the past or how the system had come about. Money was starting to come onto the canals and boats were being built with gold plated taps in the bathroom and being fitted with washing machines and dishwashers but not big enough water tanks so there are always boats hogging water points. There were a few people with Honda generators who ran them on the bank but generally in reasonable hours. In 1990 we had a 50 footer built on part of a station boat hull and went to the Northern waterways and deep joy it was wonderful but as we were still working it was difficult so came back to the shroppie and realized how busy it was becoming with rows of moored boats everywhere so we took her to Ireland for a couple of years which was great especially the pubs and the singing. The canals were very quiet and although the Shannon was busy with hirer's in peak summer there was plenty of room. The first mate however was frightened on the big lakes so we brought it back and then the shear number of boats and the queuing for locks really got to us so we sold up and went over the water and brought an old dutch barge in Belgium which we cruised around in for 18 years enjoying both the busy commercial waterways and the quiet Burgundy canals. No engine running there as lots of places have power available either free or couple of euros a night. we are now approaching 80 and I was finding the maintenance work hard and madam not walking to well so regrettably have sold our last boat and are now ashore and for myself it’s very hard but I know it’s sensible. It’s ok to sit outside the Nelson with a pint watching the antics in the lock though. I remember an old boatman leaning on the bottom lock bridge telling me on Saturday afternoon watching the boats it better than the tele and he’s right. Dont let the others get you down try and find some nice places to stop and enjoy the things that have kept you on the canals for 30 years.
  7. Why do this in the fens, why not wait until in the destination. Can’t see a door in the porta loo so fails certification.
  8. Good job we weren’t relying on you to bring 22 kids then. you could have had a boat for free in the winter if you fancied bagging 20 tones of coal and selling it.
  9. Actually the beds came from the Prison service. I have just come across an old brochure and see we charged £150 a week on 1975.
  10. Don’t know about the 1930’s but in the 70’s they were red oxide or occasionally red gloss.
  11. Possibly stupid spell checker plus stupid poster.
  12. The cattle is know for its pies.
  13. That’s the man a real gentleman of the cut, got his Atherstone hat on as well. Thanks for photo
  14. I think the 2 referred to are Raymond and Renfrew. Whatever one things of the Raymond,s rebuild it’s nice to see it back in Braunston even if it is on the Whitlocks mooring. Had a word with Avril on the cafe boat but she doesn’t want to move. i can almost see Arthur and Ernie again.
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