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Francis Herne

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Francis Herne last won the day on April 4

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About Francis Herne

  • Birthday 24/08/1996

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  • Gender
  • Location
    CC, varies. Often the BCN.
  • Interests
    Railways, church bells, electronics and Linux systems. Anything historical, mechanical, electrical. Dogs are good too.
  • Occupation
    Software developer
  • Boat Name
    Lark Ascending
  • Boat Location
    CC, see Location

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  1. The alternative to avoid winding is to carry on a short way out of town, go around the Icknield Port loop and come back. It's one of very few bits of canal without a towpath so the boat is your only opportunity to see it! Admittedly a lot of it is a building site at the moment but I always like to take the detour if time to spare.
  2. I passed one pretty wide boat -- 12ft or so -- on the move near Chas Harden's yard. Too wide for the Ellesmere Port bypass bridge so it must be permanently based on that section. Other than that I can't think of another narrow bridge? The overgrown offside trees north of Nantwich would be a pain though, and the hire boats at Bunbury.
  3. There are isolated widebeams in various other strange places -- Hanbury Wharf, Icknield Port loop, Droitwich marina and so on. Pretty sure there are none on the Middlewich Branch though...
  4. Not too bad just yet compared to last year. The only dense patch I'm aware of so far this year is between Pudding Green and Bromford Junction on the New Line. It did seem to be spreading toward Netherton though.
  5. Waterside Moorings is for long-term mooring, months at a time, for a hire boat there's no point looking at it. Short-term moorings that need booking are unusual on the canals, I can't think of any on your route. I'd agree that the best mooring in Birmingham is from Old Turn to St. Vincent Street on both sides, all 4-day on rings. The ones between Gas Street and the Mailbox are a bit more convenient for where you're going but can be a bit loud because of the bars there. Be aware that leaving the centre of Birmingham onto the Grand Union, there's nowhere particularly good to moor until Catherine-de-Barnes.
  6. Buying plaques online seems to me to miss the point. They're souvenirs from a place or an event, and usually available from that place or somewhere nearby. As above the BCNS issues plaques for visiting the Titford Pools, the Explorer Cruises (undated), and the 24-hour challenge (dated, usually correctly, no idea what happened with @MtB's). Rally plaques until recently, but this year's were cancelled due to low demand and high costs. I don't see the point in picking up every "this canal", "that cruising ring" plaque but am quite glad to have the more unusual ones. Still need to find a place to put them!
  7. An employee at Sainsbury's in Gloucester did take some convincing that I'd bring her trolley back! (the canal is right behind the supermarket) Didn't help that it was the canoe I was loading up, so invisible below the piling from any distance... got some odd looks from passers-by a few minutes later as I carefully dropped bag after bag of shopping into the canal. This was my record (35 - at least the less-squashed ones stacked!) for trolleys propelled by Lark Ascending. The most I've had actually on board was four and that got a bit cramped.
  8. They think it's too strong with one paddle working! Left to the volockies' preferred operation it takes 15-20 minutes to fill one chamber, with quite some insistence required to get the paddle raised more than halfway.
  9. It's a nice enough journey by water and of course that's what boats are for! The third option, if you're short on time, is to have a commercial boat mover do the journey by water for you. It'll be cheaper than the crane option, possibly more than a trailer move. Of ones I've met, Connor 'C W Boatmover' and Jon Pegg are both very competent.
  10. Dunchurch Pools (north of Braunston, a day or so from Wigrams) have one of those travelling hoists so might offer a comparable price?
  11. At that size/weight you should be able to get it towed on a trailer between slipways which will be far cheaper than a truck plus cranes. One option recommended by some in the Sea Otter [short aluminium narrowboat] owners' club is http://tonytugboats.com/ but I'm sure others are available.
  12. Pictures of individual boats, mostly during the parade: https://photos.app.goo.gl/gMf6PY3D3nZP3KTE6 General photos of stuff: https://photos.app.goo.gl/EBSgeqnxn4nBVVLM7 I had a really good time. Lots of interesting stuff to see and everyone was very friendly. All sorts of unique boats. Finished the weekend with the steam narrowboat loonies collaring me to steer a steamroller a few miles on the way home. "You can steer a boat and it's like a road boat." Fun but a bit scary.
  13. I'm at the edge of the moored boats currently. About 300 yards east of New Road which is closer than I'd expected. Impressive gathering of historic boats, I'll have to take some photos.
  14. Apparently they've put up signs now, although I didn't see any last time. Looking through their website I see £12.50 a night quoted now, which would definitely be steep considering how awkward the moorings are. Shall find out next time what the current state is...
  15. Unless something's changed again since last year, the moorings on the awkward wall past the lock on the Severn level are now controlled by 'The Merchants of Venice' (https://www.themov.co.uk/) at £6/night. A few years ago they were owned by a third party and managed by ANT, then the owner pulled out of that agreement and they were effectively free, then in late 2022 the mooring rights were auctioned off. Apparently ANT also bid but weren't successful. Tewkesbury is great though, worth stopping for. the mooring I mean:
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