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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Drive it Day

Sunday 21st April I organised an unofficial run for a few friends of about 30 miles from Attleborough to Gooderstone Water Gardens near Swaffham. Was a reasonably sunny day but there was a cool breeze, still hood down weather. Outward to Gooderstone I chose country lanes, then after tea and cake and a look round the gardens a rather faster route back to the pub at Attleborough for a Sunday Lunch. Forgot the camera so a couple of pics from the phone. Did not see a lot of other classics about on the day everyone is supposed to drive their classics.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Narrowboat's Across the Wash

During the week I had heard that a couple of narrowboat's where due to cross the Wash from Boston to Wisbech, weather permitting. Sunday was shaping up to be the perfect day for a crossing with very little wind and sun all day. The forecasters got it right and I read on Twitter on Sunday morning that the crossing was on.
At 6-30 on Sunday morning 3 boats locked out of Boston Grand Sluice on a level tide, They where NB No Problem, NB Balmaha, and NB Anastasia.
I decided to have a drive down to the River Nene to watch the boats come in from the Wash.
After parking the car near the old lighthouses at Guys Point I walked along the built up flood banks for approx a mile and a half.  Through the binoculars I could see a large tanker but no narrowboat's in sight.
Converted lighthouse at Guys Point.

The narrowboat's hove into sight about half an hour later and promptly stopped and dropped anchors, well out of reach of my camera.
I had checked the tide tables so I reasoned that they had to wait for the tide to come in before crossing the various sand bars, they had a pilot with them from Wisbech who would be advising them on the route and conditions.
So it was back to the car for Sandwiches and coffee then, good job I had brought some.
After an hour or so the tide turned and the boats showed signs of moving, first heading East, round a marker, then heading West, all seen the through the binoculars before they turned in to the River Nene at further markers, thus becoming in reach of my camera.
Heading in to the entrance to the Nene round the marker buoys.

Boats well into the River Nene.

At this point they really picked up speed on the incoming tide and I had a job to keep up with them, from little dots in the distance I could now pick out the names.
NB Anastasia in the lead, NB No Problem next, NB Balmaha last.

At this point they overtook me, and I had to rush back to the car to get to Sutton Bridge, 3 miles away for more photo's.
The NB's reaching the lighthouses on each bank at Guys Point. The
level at high tide is seen on the far bank.

I arrived at Sutton Bridge with just enough time to park up and get down the bank. No need to swing the bridge for these.
NB Anastasia comes through Sutton Bridge, you can see the tide coming
in and pushing the boats along quickly.

NB No Problem.

NB Balmaha.

They then receded into the distance to Wisbech, I did not follow them to Wisbech as access is limited at the Port (where my wife Gill used to work) and Yacht Harbour.
Boats heading towards Wisbech.

Well done to Anastasia, No Problem, and Balmaha for completing the crossing.
Links to the blog of one of the boats. http://noproblem.org.uk/blog/   http://waterwayroutes.co.uk/blog/

Monday, 1 April 2013

Drive it day Route Checking

Sunday turned out to be one of the better and warmer days of Easter in Norfolk, even with a couple of snow flurries, so we decided to check out the route for Drive it Day due to take place on the 21st April.
I had planned the route with O/S maps and the use of Google earth to check junctions and road signs, then written the route out and we just had to drive it and check for correct signs and junctions, I think Norfolk was last mapped on Google earth in 2009 so there where a couple of minor changes.
Pickenham, between Swaffham and Watton, still not warm enough for Gill
to put up with the hood down!

Typical Breckland Lanes, long and straight between the trees.

Heater on, hence the leaves against the defrost grilles.

Today was spent helping a friend remove the engine and gearbox out of a rotten TR7 at Beeston, near Dereham.
Not a easy job when the unmovable car has been beached on gravel for 7 years.
He also got rid of a rusty old Spitfire today too. Pictures not good due to crappy camera phone.

Rotten TR7.

Rotten Spitfire.