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MikeT

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  1. MikeT

    MikeT

  2. MikeT

    Anything useful we should take?

    Junior hacksaw and blade for cutting off stuff round the prop, much better than a knife particularly if its metal! Bit of string with something visible tied to it plus a peg etc that you can attach to sliding hatch at rear when somebody has closed it when it's raining and you emerge triumphantly with cake/coffee/beer and brain yourself! Have a good holiday.
  3. MikeT

    Boat sunk at Droitwich - man has died

    Very sad news. As a once a year hirer for over 20 years or so I remember an incident on the Shropshire Union at one of the solitary locks near the southern end going up hill where I noticed that the lower gates had swung open slightly before the top paddles were opened, anyway instead of the gates closing as expected with the rush of water the boat moved smartly backwards causing the rear fender, a long metal bar with a rubber buffer, to go between the slightly open gates which then promptly tightened like a vice holding the rear of the boat down. Luckily frantic hooting, shouting and arm waving alerted the shore crew before it got too alarming but It was a lucky escape and I have always been very wary ever since. Incidentally whilst ascending the Marple flight this June at the first (bottom) lock my wife suddenly found the boat was going up on one side and not the other and then became jammed at an angle. After quickly lowering the water and trying again there were no problems. On mentioning this later to a voockie he said it was due to some previous damage to the walls some time ago. Guess the masonry was dislodged somewhere but on descending the flight couldn't see any obvious damage.
  4. MikeT

    this is the way to berth your narrowboat lol

    Here's a view from the bridge - eventually. Good choice of music methinks youtube.com/watch?v=nHenSc…
  5. MikeT

    Notary

    Re notary publics, and before I forget everything, years ago in the early 1960's I was a "water clerk" in a City of London Shipbrokers, a water or boarding clerk was the man who met the vessel's on arrival and gave the Master his mail, cash etc., and dealt with all the crew requirements which were quite often medical, say no more! In those far off days the Master of the vessel had to attend the London customs house in Lower Thames Street to make a report of his arrival and details of the voyage plus a full cargo manifest. A lot of the vessels we dealt with were often war built Liberty ships and had loaded timber in British Columbia with about one third of their cargo on.deck. Obviously in a voyage of over 8,000 miles there was a risk of loss or damage so for insurance purposes Master were obliged to "Make a note of protest against any bad weather encountered on the voyage". This was performed at the premises of Cheesewright Murly, a "Notary Public" situated in Philpotts Lane near the customs house. It was written down in a large leather bound tome with a pre-printed standard wording, just fill in the blanks in copperplate of course, and even in 1960's the clerks were sitting on tall stools and desks altho' I don't remember any quill pens! I seem to recollect the fee was something like two guineas. I see Cheesewrights are still going tho' doubt of anybody there nowadays would know how to accept or remember a note of protest. Realise not very relevant to inland waterways but hope an old codgers ramblings has not bored too many people! Cheers Mike
  6. MikeT

    Taken a swim?

    [About 16 years ago on our 2nd hire I got the mooring rope jammed in the metal piling so used a mooring spike to lever it free but very stupidly was pushing not pulling so when it suddenly gave way I performed a very neat head first roll into the Coventry Canal. Luckily BW had just dredged and is was relatively deep so only a slight bump on the head hitting the bottom and of course massive loss of dignity!. The teenage girl on the adjacent boat who saw it all unfold was collapsed with the giggles and just after I had hauled myself out and stood dripping on the towpath a couple of jolly green giants appeared in a work boat with big grins and saying that they had heard the splash and wondered who it was!
  7. MikeT

    one week and counting...

    Duly shamed - will try to do better next time! quote name='Dog' timestamp='1337876822' post='878385'] So you were at Wrenbury and didn't go to the Cotton Arms? Shame on you. Great pub.
  8. MikeT

    one week and counting...

    [We left Chirk on the 14th April and it was very cold so we were not inclined to do long days so we didn't get as far as we would have done in warmer parts of the year. Apart from the weekend it was generally very quiet with no queues at Grindley or at the narrows near Llangollen. Re pubs seem to remember- 1st night (Sat) stopped Hindford at the Jack Mytton Inn– not bad but busy and probably the dearest. 2nd night stopped above Grindley Brook locks and walked down to the Horse & Jockey near the bottom lock , again busy but not bad and cheaper than the Jack Mytton. 3rd night we had gone as far as Wrenbury where we turned and stopped at the Willeymoor Inn, good and reasonable, Landlady said was in the middle of changing the credit card provider so cash only when we were there. 4th night stopped Ellesmere but as it was a wet and miserable evening we stayed in and broke out the emergency rations! 5th night stopped Gledrid by the Poachers Pocket which is a Marstons chain pub who tend to do 2 for 1 type offers so cheap and cheerful. 6th night Llangollen, again a bit of a wet evening so went to the nearest pub the Bridge End which pretty basic but had a good meal at reasonable cost. We moored on the linear moorings as told not so far to walk into town as from the new basin which the other side of the tow path but don't think much in it. Overnight mooring fee (£6.00 I think) the same for either place and both have individual power hook up/water supply. Also not important to us but no tv signal where we were but apparently ok in the basin. 7th night back in Chirk Marina where we used the bar in the adjacent Chirk golf club which was nothing special but not that expensive and unfortunately no buzz as hardly anybody else there. Would have probably done better to have got in the car and gone somewhere else but feel that's a bit cheating! Not a long list but hope it helps - hope you have a good time.
  9. Hi, We arrived back 21st and had taken out "Lily" which a nice and new little boat, we had seen her last year at Stoke Prior being fitted out. We had a really good week altho' a bit chilly at times and imagine we used as much fuel in heating as in propulsion!. Our first time on the LLangollen and generally pretty quiet but not sure would want to do it in high season as imagine some horrendous delays in places. Don't know if we saw you but everybody we met in the marina were nice and friendly which always helps to make a holiday more enjoyable. Cheers
  10. Hi Casp' Our original plan was to go down to say Nantwich then back up to Llangollen then return to Chirk. On second thoughts this might be pushing it a bit and also a couple of years ago when the L&L closed we in moved a hire boat from Burnley up to Swanley Marina so we might call it a day and turn around in the Wrenbury area but guess will be playing it by ear really! Cheers Mike
  11. Back in last March in the heat wave (remember it?) we thought that in view of likely water level problems we would change our usual hire from late summer to mid April and go somewhere we haven't been before, and where it normally rains a lot, so decided on the Llangollen. Unfortunately the weather has gone gradually downhill ever since and we are due to set off from Chirk this Sat 14th for a week with the forecast decidedly on the dismal side! If you see a mature looking couple on a short 47' Black Prince please give us a wave – if we don't wave back its probably because hypothermia is setting in! Anyway we will do our best to enjoy our trip as much as we usually do!
  12. MikeT

    £50 Black Prince Voucher giveaway

    Hi, Glad you enjoyed your holiday. The vouchers don't have any expiry date on them and they accepted one last year which was originally given to us in 2006 so if you plan to use them some time in the future you might as well keep it - at least it offsets the £50 compulsory damage waiver charge which for some reason not included in the basic cost. We are using last years voucher this coming 14th/21st April from Chirk in one of BP's new shorter 48' boats - hope it warms up a bit by then! Cheers
  13. MikeT

    Stourport ring findings

    Tks Spesh, that doesn't sound too bad even for oldies like me! Cheers
  14. MikeT

    Stourport ring findings

    Yes thats what we thought as well! The boat behind was a old working boat in British Waterways blue & yellow colours and was with us on & off for about 3 days, last seen at Stourport, but seemed to have a different crew every day - maybe there's a club or trust in which you take turns moving it around? Hi, Yes remember a Brookline at Alvechurch but we would have been a further up than you at Worcester.. Hope you enjoyed the Avon Ring which we still have to do sometime. How long did it take you? - a couple of friends of ours managed it in a week from Stoke Prior but that was with 12 hr days which not really for us anymore!
  15. Hello and once again thanks for the comments to our earlier post requesting Birmingham mooring advice – we've now been there, seen that but didn't get the T shirt and for the record- 1st day (Sat 3rd) left Stoke Prior abt 12.00 and reached Alvechurch abt 1800 incl lunch break at Stoke Pound and all in dry weather. Meal in the Crown which is a nice friendly pub and served a good reasonably priced meal. 2nd day pootled to Brom and eventually moored in Oozels loop but there was plenty of space elsewhere. Agree with other comments about the Gulls keeping you awake at night! As the heavens opened when we were looking for somewhere to eat we dived in to the nearest eatery which happened to be a Pizza Express and identical to every other one in the land! 3rd day a bit wet and windy at times and went thru' the Netherton Tunnel and stopped at Merry Hill where the alongside moorings by the Waterfront hotels were fully occupied, not by the overall number of boats but mainly due to the siting of the very large bollards and curvy canal sides preventing boats being moored close to each other, still expect it all looked very good on the architect's original drawings!. However the moorings further on by Sainsburys etc., were empty, plenty of CC and not sure if that good or bad! but we had no problems apart from it being very exposed plus very strong winds and rain all night. Again due to the rain we went to the nearest pub, The Brewers Wharf, which is a Marstons chain but they were doing 2 for 1 meals and it wasn't that bad to be honest. 4th day descended the Delph and Stourbridge flights which uneventful apart from the strong wind causing the lower gates to keep blowing open until someone following us asked why we were leaving the lower gates open. When we explained they advised us to leave a top paddle cracked open which seemed to do the trick but presumably if no one is following then you can't really leave a paddle open so the gates will have to take their own chances with the wind?. The double lock halfway down the Stourbridge flight was a bit of a surprise! Once we we reached Stourton Jnctn we read a note nailed to the beam of the bottom lock that the lock at Wolverley was damaged and closed but luckily on enquiry at the waterpoint at Stewponey we were told it had just reopened. (We found out later that another party in two boats who left Stoke Prior at the same time as us but going via Worcester had to turn round in Stourport and ended up doing the Severn and Tardebigge in both directions!), We stayed in Kinver, plenty of space, and found another Marstons pub, White Hart, also doing 2 for 1 and better than the previous one. On walking back in the dark the pub up Church Hill, The Cross Inn?, looked very inviting so that's one to try another time. 5th day reached Stourport but not really a great deal of space before the basin, luckily just after parking ourselves not too comfortably on the end of the moorings somebody unmoored further back. With a nifty bit of quick reversing we re-moored a few boat lengths back near near the Black Star pub. After a wander around Stourport in light rain , which doesn't show anywhere at it's best, we decided to try the Black Star however the kitchen was being refurbished and they re-directed us to the Hollybush further along Mitton St. which is a small, friendly pub and apart from basket meals, long time since we've heard them called that, they offered a choice of only two 'home cooked' hot dishes, Steak & Ale pie or Chile con carne at £4.00 each and they were both brilliant! 6th day entered the Severn and a swift, well relatively, passage reached Worcester early afternoon with plenty of time for a good look around. We were bounced once for a lock by a large cruiser which had quickly caught us up, followed us for a mile or so, then just before the Holt lock overtook us in cloud of diesel smoke with Mr & Mrs silver surfers perched up on a flying bridge giving us the thumbs up sign. Their cruiser with its array of fenders was too wide to allow us in the lock as well but it gave us some practice in holding station waiting for the lock to empty and refill. This was our first time with the Severn locks and after the first one found them to be very uneventful and the lockies we all very patient & pleasant. Once we got through the double locks, in company with another narrowboat, we should have moored just past Diglis basin where there was plenty of space as after that there were no spaces until after lock 4. This actually was fine except we found out later it was next to a hidden warehouse operation with beeping stacker trucks all night long! and in fact it was quite a short walk down to Silbury lock and the town centre. We ate in the Kings Head, near Silbury lock, which slightly more upmarket but had very amiable staff and the meal was good value. 7th day reached the Boat & Railway by Br. 42 where we learnt that the pub that had unfortunately just closed a couple of days before apparently for a change of ownership and refurbishment. So we carried on to Stoke Prior base where we quadruple banked and went to the Navigation which had literally just been taken over by the people who were running the Boat & Railway. So what with some furniture being poked through an upstairs window by a large forklift truck outside the front door it was all a bit chaotic but eventually they fed us not too badly and pretty cheaply. 8th day paid our diesel bill for the week £82.03 and went home back to Kent. We found the Stourport ring one of the better ones as has long and short lock flights, plenty of tunnels, some wonderful countryside, a large city , a cathedral town and a river section. On reflection maybe we should have gone the 'official' route via Wolverhampton and also used the Droitwich canals but hey that's for another time! Hope we haven't bored anyone! Mike
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