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Everything posted by cheshire~rose

  1. There have been problems on The Chesterfield Canal too - the levels of The Rother have been causing some problems.
  2. High tide at Gainsborough is due in around half an hour. There is likely to have been an aegir passed through in the last half hour too. It's looking grim for many parts of the country
  3. I can't recall the exact height and I am useless at guessing but this photo might give you an idea: Knowing the parade at Alvecote didn't require going under any bridges but DID require a lot of idling it was the choice for the day - even if it isn't exactly traditional
  4. Michael Pinnock made 2 for Python, both made to order, one was created the exact size to fit under the lowest bridge on The Chesterfield Canal. The second one is what we call our "Trent Stack" and it is too tall to fit under most canal bridges! It was designed to be used on The Trent to carry fumes high over the steerers head but, we have found it invaluable when working on vegetation cutting because we are often almost static but holding the boat into the shallows so a tall stack is ideal and many of the regular team love it so much and know Python so well they will nip along the gunwales to lay it flat when approaching a bridge
  5. If you don't want a hinged one the Michael Pinnock makes them to order. If anyone knows where you can get a hinged one then I am interested. I will have a contact number for Michael somewhere but don't know how quickly I can dig it up so if you want it and someone else reading this can help please do so
  6. I could ask you how you know how much progress you would make wearing full welding PPE if you have not worn it, but I won't I hope you never have reason to regret your choice. Accidents happen and a moment's lapse in concentration can be life changing. You have made your choice based on you being a "strong swimmer" I mainly want other people reading this to realise that just because you might be a strong swimmer in a warm sea wearing your budgie smugglers doesn't mean to say you could save yourself fully clothed in a strong tidal current in a cold river.
  7. You wear full welding PPE but find putting a life jacket on "a bit of a faff" Each to their own
  8. How strongly can you swim if you have bumped your head on the way in and become unconcious? Being a strong swimmer is good but is that fully clothed and in cold water or in the swimming baths or the med when on holiday?
  9. I had noticed that but not everyone understands it is so narrowminded and it adds fuel to the fears that so many people have about The Trent. Most of them totally unfounded. I thought perhaps adding a couple of photos of what it is more typically like might add some contrast for those who are reading but might not comment
  10. We had a wonderful day yesterday with a group of volunteers from Virgin Mobile Business. I promised some before and after photos: Well we had a strong team so split them up, half to deal with the wharf and half to try and tackle the self set ash trees on the towpath embankment. The team has just disembarked at the wharf here and the towpath team are getting the hang of what height vegetation is acceptable along the towpath. : This vegetation was a bit too low for safety After we finished it looked like this: Notice the lack of self set ash trees on the bank and the height of the overhead vegetation along the towpath. We also tackled the buddleia that was growing out of the wall supporting the ramp down from the bridge. this is before: This is after: And this is the wonderful team who did the work (there are three people missing from this photo, myself(I was taking the photo) and our two steerers - (who had plenty of practice at testing out Python's superb reversing qualities needing to reverse back from the end twice and then back to the visitor mooring from the bridge and got a round of applause)
  11. Oh dear, that opening post is exactly the sort of thing that is certain to put more boaters off navigating the tidal Trent. Shock horror that you are going to have to book a passage through the lock! Well, anyone wanting to go out on the tideway will be wanting to lock out at the time the tide suits their vessel the best, that will usually involve a discussion in advance with the lock keeper to confirm, even if you are clued up enough on the tides to work it out yourself. There is not a lot at Keadby so why would anyone rock up there any earlier than they needed to get there in order to use the lock? That means a call a day or so in advance to firm it all up is usually wise. If you want to lock in then you will have communicated with a lock on your way out. Cromwell, Torksey or West Stockwith. Each lock you go through asks you where you are heading and where you expect to end your day. Each lock communicates with each other too so they know how many boats are out there and roughly when to expect them. To illustrate the horror of the trip they share a photo of a narrowboat with waves breaking over the bow. This will ensure that another lot of people will never experience what The Trent is like with a good string flow of a spring tide: Or experience a Torksey sunset with their boat in the frame I have been at West Stockwith when narrowboaters were coming past who had not made the expected progress on the river and would arrive too late at Keadby so the megaphone came out and they were told to come in. the lock keeper needing to get 6 boats in on a falling tide while there was still enough water over the cill. A tense time but it was acheived. Why let the truth get in the way of a good story if you can season it with some drama? Because you are putting boaters off from visiting what I believe to be one of the most beautiful canals in the country by doing so and it makes me so sad
  12. Yes it was him, our neighbour at Clayworth, he took one look at Python coming and knew he had to try and give us the channel bless him
  13. We met him on the way down the locks the other day. He said he had cleared the (single) bollard to tir to and we thanked him Andrew Denny was up there with Granny Buttons at the weekend and another boat also passed us on the top pound - it's gettng as busy as Picaddilly circus in the rush hour! Thorpe Top Treble goes on winter stoppage on 14th October so peace will resume soon
  14. Thank you We do have hard hats but only use them when working above our heads (like using pole saws for example) The boat is so full of PPE that there is hardly any room for biscuit supplies! We are getting a feel for this work and we have already realised that shorter handles on the scrapers would be a benefit so two people working opposite sides of the boat don't poke each other in the back with a handle lol. If we give our steerer a paint scraper they can do a bit next to the boat while they are waiting for the team in the hold to get stuff done. 23 locks scraped so far, we will get the coping stones and other jobs jobbed as we descend next week. Tomorrow we revisit the tunnel portal we assited the WRG in clearing back in 2016: http://www.chesterfield-canal-trust.org.uk/wrgies-at-the-tunnel/ It's time we gave it a short back and sides again before nature reclaims it. I think we have a team of 15 giving their day tomorrow, 10 of them coming from Virgin Media to do their bit I will try and get some before and after photos
  15. Thank you. It really is very tough all this volunteering mularky! Really tough.... I am supposed to be stepping back a bit this year but I am struggling to stay away - why should every bugger else have all the fun? Yesterday we walked 2 miles in the pouring rain to reach the remote place that we had left Python the day before and got soaked before we started but after a coffee we got the grappling hooks out and dealt with a fallen branch and the banter had started! We all went home aching a bit, smiling a lot and feeling we had done something worthwhile. More to do tomorrow
  16. We would love to but the travel time for volunteers would be ridiculous! Séan McGinley, CRT regional manager always said his long term aim was to have a "Python" on every canal he manages. Of course that was when he managed The East Midlands and he went some way towards cloning Python when he assisted The ECP&DA get hold of Pentland to do similar works on The Erewash. Now he is in charge of Yorkshire and The North East the Chessie is his only narrow canal and so little Python clones may not be quite so much use to him I suspect that if there is any group who wanted to take on maintaining a stretch of canal using volunteers who needed a boat then an approach to the regional manaager citing the Python project as an example may not fall on completely deaf ears? It may not happen overnight but the benefit of us using our own boat is that we do not need CRT to oversee our task force days.
  17. You know me well enough to know that's not my style. There was sufficient wrong with the stove in question (and it's fitting) for me to know it was a death trap. I couldn't imagine any way of making it safe for a boat based upon it being impossible to regulate. I would hate to think of anyone spending time and money trying to fit something that was later found to be totally inappropriate, especially if they paid with their life.
  18. Apologies for coming across as hysterical. A stove glowing red in a VERY small cabin which was very obviously totally unsuitable would have that affect. Perhaps it's better not to care about safety
  19. I have experienced what those stoves are like on a boat - my advice is don't go there! It is impossible to get any real control over the air intake (the casting is poor) meaning the fire draws up constantly until the cast iron glows red. Air getting in - fumes getting out. It is an accident waiting to happen. These stoves are not suitable for a boat in my view
  20. I suspect I have not been all that observant but this year I learned something about canal maintenance, specifically lock maintenance, that was new to me. Late last year CRT were in discussion with me about the Pythoneers tackling some "PPM" on the locks this year - that is Planned Preventative Maintenance to those who are not up to speed on the acronyms - I wasn't) I remember thinking - how hard can it be to weild a grease gun to lube the paddle gear ...... Well of course there is a lot more to PPM than at first meets the eye, clearing weeds from the quadrants and moss from the coping stones for example but scraping the lock chambers? Really? ok well lets play it by ear.......... It seems the build up of agae and weeds on the walls of the lock chamber needs removing from time to time. I didn't ask why, I just accepted that it was part of the maintenance they require. Then this springtime we took part in the BCN Challenge. I don't recall which flight of locks it was (although it might have been Ryder Green?) but the entire flight was like the hanging gardens of Babylon. I took this picture but some of the locks were much worse: It became obvious to me that if the agae is not removed it provides a fertile place for weed seeds to germinate and those weeds sometimes have roots that like to work their way between the bricks damaging them. Yesterday we made a start on the flight on The Chesterfield Canal, starting at Shireoaks. Some locks didn't need any more than a couple of errant weeds removing from the high water line, others had a thick carpet of moss to remove, it was obvious that the position and aspect of each lock predicted how much growth there would be, many of them had one wall almost clean while the other had a thick growth: We did 11 locks yesterday going up. On the descent we will do all the other jobs, like greasing paddles, weeding quadrants, cleaning signage, reporting faults, and tidying up milestones too and giving interpretation boards a clean while we are at it. One of our volunteers asked why we were scraping the chamber walls and the illustration I had of what happens if it is not done made it very obvious to me and, when I shared the photos, to her too. It occured to me that I have been through thousands of locks and never knew this was part of the job that CRT have traditionally done as part of their maintenance routine. It needs a boat to do it and we have a boat - Python! We dealt with the gate "gardens" too: Python couldn't hang about to attend Shackerstone and other festivals that are still happening because she had work to do and she is far too mucky to attend any festival now It was a lovely day to be working on one of the prettiest lock flights in the countryside yesterday: We had so much fun we will do it again tomorrow (and Sunday) and then again on 27th and 28th; October 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 9th 13th, 15th, 16th, 19th and 20th. If we can get ahead with the locks then we will have a chance to get on top of the bits of vegetation further down the canal that have grown up a bit too vigourously since we cut them back last year. Fancy joining us? Get in touch details here: http://www.chesterfield-canal-trust.org.uk/volunteers-needed-for-pythons-autumn-schedule/
  21. Not health related but we had cause to overstay earlier this year due to an unique circumstance. We sold the boat and the person we sold it to wanted a survey and booked it for the boatyard opposite where we had already been moored long enough. I knew, assuming he did go ahead and buy the boat subject to survey, he would be "weekending it" home and it would not move straight away. I didn't want the new owner to be saddled with appearing on the CRT radar as soon as he bought the boat so I got in touch with CRT, advised them of the circumstances and they they were fine about it allowing a 2 week overstay without a blink of an eye. I am sure that if you keep them informed they will work with you
  22. That sounds like a close call and must have been quite scary for those involved. It doesn't surprise me that the lock keeper there stepped up to do what was necessary, I can take a guess who it might have been that was involved too. The problem I have with these sort of posts is that each time something goes a bit wrong on The Trent people broadcast it and a few more boaters decide the river is far too scary for them to venture onto. I think anyone reading this needs to be aware that things only go wrong very rarely. If a boat sinks in a lock it will always get reported on this forum along with a discussion of how it happened and what went wrong. It doesn't stop boaters from going through locks and locks are used thousands of times without any issue at all. The same applies to The Trent. It is a beautiful river and is, in my opinion, a stretch of water to be enjoyed. Yes, it does need to be respected (as do locks) but it is not something to be feared. Give your engine a treat by getting some deep water under the prop and making it work for a change. It's a great way to give it a tune up!
  23. The locks are wide but the bridges are not. There are a couple of bridges through Misterton that would cause problems for anything that differs significantly from a cabin cruiser at the widest. I had been reliably informed there had never been a wide boat reach Retford but recently someone told me their friend did in theirs some years back. They couldn't tell me details of boat dimensions name or date so it may be hearsay... It could be done with a crane and lorry.. . https://canalplan.org.uk/waterway/qigg
  24. There was a green boat following us down through the locks there with another that, from a distance had what I will describe as an interesting wooden cabin structure. There were two very friendly and helpful volockies on duty too.
  25. Well that counts me out...a lady?
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