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Everything posted by zimzim

  1. Just an observation, but I am quite often given cause to grumble about not being able to moor near a pub that i would like to use, because all VMs have been taken by boats that are busy cooking their evening meals whilst downing the first of their evenings drinks on board. My grumbles usually involve wondering why they have bothered to stop on a mooring that is handy for a pub that they have no intention of using - if I were them I would be out in the middle of nowhere with my spag bol and my bottle of wine. Is it because people are strangely drawn to moor in spots that 'seem popular'? Should something be done to help the pubs to make the most of passing boat trade - limited as it is?
  2. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/16-Steel-Folding-Ring-Spiral-Ground-Anchor-Outdoor-Stake-Screw-Boat-Trap-Canopy-/232126300434?epid=2148224041&hash=item360bce4112:g:Tk0AAOSwB09YEbzZ What are thoughts on these spiral ground-anchor kind of things? Is this, coupled with chain/padlock about as tamper-proof as you can be (without armco/rings/etc)?
  3. I think I understand the word. The Dept for Transport table uses it in this table to refer to numbers of passengers, not numbers of trains on lines. (Not my table. Not my definition). I appreciate that it can be used to refer to trains on lines. I guess the question would be whether we should spend billions adding capacity for more trains on routes where the capacity to carry passengers already seems least challenged? I think that's logical.
  4. That is a truism, of course.... However, the £56 billion - £100+ billion (depending on whose estimate you take) that is earmarked for HS2 can only be spent once. There's another truism. The point is that it is being spent where it is needed least. An argument against HS2 is not an argument against infrastructure spending.
  5. It is simply a matter of applying our (tax payer) resources where they are needed most urgently, and that is in the provision of local commuting capacity. There are people all over the country who are enduring awful journeys to work daily. HS2 will do nothing for them, except possibly burn money that could have been used to help them. HS2 is a solution looking for a problem.
  6. It gets a bit wearing to see the capacity argument trotted out anecdotally as factual, so here are some (inconvenient) DFT statistics. The jury may wish to observe which rails services in the UK have the least overcrowding problem, and reach their own conclusions as to why we are building HS2.
  7. zimzim

    A near miss

    Thankfully not. The only times I have been 'in' it was just a question of standing up. I take the point about having both hands free. The thought only came about having recently met at a lock a very slightly built lady-of-some-years who was pottering about with a pretty serious (and heavy-looking) ratchet device strapped to her back. It occurred to me that if she fell in, she was going straight to the bottom!
  8. zimzim

    A near miss

    Blimey - not mine! It's 'goodbye windlass' when I fall in. Bouyancy would be an instant priority.
  9. zimzim

    A near miss

    Just a thought that springs to mind sometimes when observing folk doing locks..... I see people with windlasses hooked into belts, or held in those special harnesses on their backs. Sometimes they have those quite large and heavy gear-assisted windlass devices. Does it occur to anyone else that wearing this stuff around water is a bit like wearing diving weights? If/when I fall in, the last thing I want is heavy metal equipment attached to me.
  10. Happened to be watching this and thought what good ambassadors NB Dawn 'til Dusk were for the boating community.... On encountering the lady in distress (broken ankle whilst walking on towpath) they had apparently pulled over and helped to make her comfortable until ambulance arrived (when they did arrive she was sipping a mug of tea). They then provided a (smooth) ride for patient and paramedic to the next road bridge - along with the above mentioned bacon sarnie for the medic! I got the impression they were not particularly keen to be on camera, but should be commended for their community spirit. I'm pretty sure I shared a couple of locks with this boat approaching Leamington last week. If I'm right, then it's a share boat that was being recovered by fellow-owner following an accident that had put one of crew in Warwick hospital - I hope all turned out OK.
  11. Agreed - but this is a holiday boat, so keeping firewood and having a workshop might not be paramount. I wouldn't want to suggest what should be on the list (each to his own)..... I just think some sort of list might be useful for the purposes of elimination. I like lists when facing really complicated decisions. Spreadsheets even better!
  12. This may be an interesting thread for me to keep an eye on - you are a couple of years ahead of my own aspirations! I think I am forming a mental list of Must-Haves (length, age, basic spec, etc), Must-Not-Haves (things like an engine room), and Would-Be-Nices (eg solar, travel-power, bow-thruster?), just in an attempt to reduce the options. When I get serious, I'll probably write all this down, but I think it's good to get some of the big decisions made as early as possible in the process. Best of luck!
  13. It looks like you may be in the market for a 10 or 11 day hire (?), which some hirers are better at accommodating than others. The Southern Oxford is highly recommended..... Just a thought, but if you need to open up many more options for hiring, then consider starting at the northern end of your range and venturing southwards (and back!)..... If you start from the Rugby/Napton or Warwick area (easily accessible by train) you will find several more hiring companies come into consideration. The extra train travel time will be minimal.
  14. Lapworth locks do sometimes have V-Lockies. I'm not a fan of the Cadbury World moorings - a bit too urban/industrial for my taste, with a railway station only a few feet away. If you carry on for a couple of miles, I have found moorings just before the winding hole at bridge 84a (start looking after bridge 84) in an area called The Vale. Choose a point with a reasonable distance from the railway line that accompanies the canal all the way into Brum. These are the grounds of the University and the Hospital in Edgbaston. They are at least 'semi-rural', and you are just a few minutes from the city centre next morning and exit from Brum later that day (I would be aiming for the excellent Dog and Doublet at Bodymoor Heath for the next night). Watch out for a fairly busy cycle-way/tow-path if you stop at The Vale. This is making me want to do the Warwickshire Ring again!
  15. Hired 'Robert' from Kate Boats last year. Have used them several times in the past and would also recommend them. Also, have done Warwick Ring a few times, starting from Warwick, Stockton, and from Coventry. We have only ever done it by going through Birmingham centre, which is definitely worth a look. The 'big decision' is whether you actually want to overnight there, or plan your journey so that you scoot-through in a day. Much of the suburbs is not recommended territory for mooring, but there are a few possible spots. My own preference is to try to scoot-through, as well as can be achieved. Also, I prefer the N Stratford route down to Lapworth over the GU Knowle locks route. I would advise you to make the 'big decision' and plan from that.
  16. As posted - yes, you can definitely turn in the T-junction that is Duke's Cut, immediately upon exiting the lock (shown on photo above). If you are short on time, you should wind at the right-angle turn at Thrupp (satellite view also posted above) - Handy way is to put someone ashore with a bow line on the water/pump-out point immediately before the right-angled turn. Let them hold your bow on the line while you swing the stern around to the left - easy! That right-angle at Thrupp is something of a decision point (depending on your progress) - it's quite a way to the next winding opportunity. If there is a space on the VMs just after the right-angle (you could send someone to look), and you want to stop at Thrupp, you might want to consider winding the boat anyway and reversing a few yards to the mooring - saves you quite a bit of time if time is tight.
  17. If you go as far as Duke's Cut (photo in a post above) you have done the best of the Southern Oxford. This makes a handy place to turn - you can leave the gate open, wind the boat, and go straight back in if there's nobody else about. I would recommend: Folly at Napton (maybe for your last night?) Wharf Inn at Fenny Compton - really good and great value food, handy moorings, small shop Brasenose Inn at Cropredy - 2 mins walk from canal - small shop on bridge 153 Banbury is not really a place I would choose to moor at, but go up onto bridge 168 and you are on the edge of a Morrison's car park. Great Western at Aynho is really excellent, but not cheap. Lovely countryside around Somerton Deep - great place for quiet mooring. The Bell at Lower Heyford - signs from canal at metal lift-bridge - good value food, 5 mins walk Boat Inn at Thrupp - good food, not cheapest but OK - always annoyingly difficult to moor - Thrupp is a boat storage area Beautiful canal (until they build HS2). Hope you enjoy.
  18. My only thought is to add that I generally put the 'diversion' as close to the end of the main journey as I can. This means I've got those extra days up my sleeve as contingency against stoppages/breakdowns etc for as long as possible, which makes for a least stress option when tackling a ring in a fixed hire period. If you are going anti-clockwise, you could wait until almost back at Rugby and then insert a suitably sized 'there and back' down the Oxford to burn off the days you have available. That would be a pretty and interesting part of the Oxford.
  19. Many's the time I have shared a lock with a boat to find that it is also tuned to TMS.... always makes a good conversation starter! I think the very fact that someone is asking this question means it is very likely they will exercise good judgement in this matter. I find that there are a few folk on the canals who behave inconsiderately, and also a few who are desperate to take umbrage at the actions of others. Most are somewhere in between!
  20. I remember appearing through a bridge on a bend and coming to halt when confronted by a boat coming the other way. The steerer of the other boat panicked, did everything wrong, hit my stationary boat and pushed me into a shiny boat MOORED ON THE TIGHT BEND, NEXT TO THE BRIDGE. A lady emerged from the shiny boat and very loudly remonstrated with me, despite me pointing out the circumstances. In the course of the rant about this being her home, and everyone being so inconsiderate, she mentioned that this was 'the fourth time today' she had been hit!
  21. Like Richard, I have visited Tom O'The Wood since 1970s - never heard of the 'Ye Olde New Inn' name. It is at one end of 'Dick's ('Dycks'?) Lane', which links Stratford Canal and GU and makes quite an interesting canal-loop-walk from Kingswood Junction, combining both canals. It always struck me as odd, for such a prominent canal-side pub, that my copy of Pearson's does not list the Tom as existing! I haven't been for a while. I shall make a point of returning soon (and take the dog!)
  22. Very sad. I wondered whether this was a fall from a boat or a pedestrian on the path, but then I read... North Wales Police said they were alerted to the incident at the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct near Llangollen shortly after 1am this morning.
  23. Some years ago I was hiring on the Shroppie for the first time and chatting to the guy doing the boat handover to me.... I asked him if there were many 'shouters' on the Shroppie. He smiled and said that when he was steering his own boat there weren't any, but when he was steering one of the hire boats there were a lot! Very insightful, I thought.
  24. There is certainly a 'downer' on hire-boaters from some parties, but I suppose this is just human nature. I notice that whenever there is a report of speeding, colliding, cilling, etc, almost always one of the first questions is 'was it a hire-boater?'
  25. I can recommend Kate Boats, having hired from them many times. I think if I was hiring from Stockton, I might head for the southern Oxford, as already suggested here - just go as far as comfortable in the time, and return. If I was hiring from Warwick, I might head for Stratford Upon Avon and return - gives you a significant/interesting destination. Depending on your taste, these may be more appealing canals than the route through Birmingham, although the Warwickshire ring is eminently do-able!
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