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Monday, 24 June 2013

Wet and Windy Old Buckenham Airshow

This weekend we had planned to be at Old Buckenham Airshow, with some of our group camping from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. A fair bit of planning and food preparation went into this as we intended to celebrate a "milestone" birthday of one of our Club Triumph members with a barbie on the Saturday night, with other members turning up for the birthday bash, and then to display cars on Sunday. On arrival we found that we where meant to camp in an agricultural field at the far end of the runway, this was cut to about 6 inches, not ideal camping ground.
Not the best ground to pitch a tent.
Now I don't normally knock the people who organise shows, as I know they are usually volunteers for a cause/organisation, however this was so badly arranged they need to learn a few lessons.
Due to the weather the field was wet, so walking anywhere in 6 inches of grass is going to soak your footwear and trouser bottoms, you need to cut it shorter or hold it on proper smooth ground!
Next, if you are going to provide showers, don't put them a good 1/4 mile away after a tramp through a field, and even more important, don't put the b---y bogs where we have to spend 10 minutes walking there, they where b---y miles away.
Anyway, Friday afternoon and evening where quite pleasant, we had the sun, we had the Pimm's and the Barbie, (not the birthday barbie) and the moon was the largest it will be this year so even after sunset it was still lightish.
Things started to wrong early Saturday morning, firstly the weather took a turn, we where woken when the wind got up around 6-30am with the Gazebo flapping about and at a crazy angle, then it started to hammer down. We managed to get ourselves a cooked breakfast by hanging on to the Gazebo whilst the girls did the cooking under it. After breakfast, upon dismantling the Gazebo we found the plastic joints where cracked and poles bent so that's for the bin.
Then we parked the cars in the show area, we had booked for 10 cars on the Sunday but found the marked out space only big enough for 4 to 6 cars.
In total there was only about 30 classics to be seen that day, the rest of the show area was also very poor with a real lack of things to see and do, relying on weather dependant flying to keep people amused, not as billed when we agreed to attend this show.
On the Saturday there was very little flying, the weather had something to do with this, Pitts Specials provided a small aerobatic display, but nothing else seemed to have been organised for the Saturday.
Our small car area with some of the few stalls.
Car on the right is an early Triumph Dolomite.
Triumph Gloria and Triumph Super 10.
Only other things of interest where Radio Controlled
planes, only the smaller ones where risked in flight
due to the wind.
By now the wind was reported as gusting at up to 35mph, the rain was on and off and sometimes heavy, we had looked at everything and so we retired to the tents for lunch.
Shortly after 2pm there was a sudden squall with heavy rain and hailstones, then an absolute gust of wind which totally blew in our large, modern tent, forcing us to hang on to the tent, one of our other members tents was completely flattened. This was the final straw, with no sign of any improvement in the forecast we all decided to de-camp.
So we all packed up, and drove to Alburgh to set up the barbie under the car porch and eat inside in the warmth. Thanks to K and S for the use of their home and to everyone who provided food and drink.
Today at work someone who has a plane at Old Buckenham told me the wind was gusting at 45mph on Saturday afternoon and into the evening, and Sunday was only slightly better so we took the right decision.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Euston Rural Pastimes - Suffolk

Sunday 9th June, time for our favourite show, Euston Rural Pastimes at Euston Park, not far from Bury St Edmund's. Should have been nice weather but as usual summer let us down for this great show.
Classic car wise there where 300 cars on show on the hill overlooking the park.
Down below was a rather large collection of tractors, a lot of Traction engines and steam lorries, and other displays of classic trucks and classic motorcycles.
Here's a few that caught my eye.
Classic trucks, 

Early Mopeds.

Classic Bikes.

Classic Vauxhalls -Wyvern and Cresta.
Tractor display.
Alvis 12/50 TE and Alvis 1250 Ducks Back.

Sole surviving Holt 45 Tractor from the First World War, used to
tow battlefield guns.
Stanley Steam Car.
Ring display of classics, how does a H reg BMW qualify?

Boys toys, all capable of flight.

How about this for a hobby.

Mercedes 220.
Alvis Convertible, not sure of model.
Alvis TD21 and 4.3 Litre SB Windovers Saloon.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

FInal Days boating

Friday morning, we awoke from our previous days exertions with a few few aches. We where away early from below Tardebigge top lock, it was looking like another hot day from the start. We only had a short journey to Alvechurch to complete our trip.
Blue sky and a field of  buttercups.

Nearing Alvechurch.

Marina in sight.

We where straight in for pump out and diesel, then a quick cuppa and off to the station for the train to Birmingham, in by 12am.
Whilst the girls did retail therapy, I had a look at the Cathedral, Jewellery Quarter and then to the Think Tank Museum at Millenium Point. Met back up for the train to Alvechurch, then boat cleaning Friday night/Sat morning.
Back home to reality now.
Total for the week in excess of 100 locks in 50 miles.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

3 go mad at Tardebigge

Mad as in deciding between.
a) 12 locks from Dunhampstead to Tardibigge Bottom lock and an early mooring.
b) 41 locks from Dunhampstead to just under Tardibigge top lock.
Yeah, we are mad and chose the 41 locks, that's the Astwood Flight, Stoke Flight, and Tardebigge flight. Left Dunhampstead at 10-00 am and moored at 6-30.
The locks where all in our favour on the Stoke and Astwood Flight, but as we headed to Tardbigge bottom lock a moored boat shot out as soon as he heard us coming, therfore every lock had to be emptied.
It was quite dull as we left this morning, taking till around dinner time before we had sun.
Dunhampstead Tunnel.

Narrow and reed lined at Shernall Green.

Nice property near Hanbury.

At Hanbury Junction we complete what is now being called the Mid Worcestershire Ring which is the Droitwich Canal, River Severn, and Worcester and Birmingham Canal.
Start and finish of the ring.

The sun was now creeping out and soon it would be a clear blue sky as we pushed on to Stoke Locks. At Stoke Prior we moored for lunch in front of the Black Prince wharf.
Stoke Locks, sun out, note the flies in front of the lock.

Passing NB Debdale at Queens Head.

Tardebigge Bottom Lock.

Then the assault begins on the Tardebigge flight of locks, as I mentioned a boat shot out just as we appeared, presumably as all the locks where mostly in their favour. This meant we had to empty 29 locks before we entered them. They where 2 handed and we are 3 handed so we never lost site of them.
The weather was gorgeous, getting hotter all the time.
Water was well down in some of the pounds.

Very little movement down the flight, about 3 boats in total which did not ease the work load much.
Passing near the reservoir.

Tardebigge Resorvoire.

The final lock, Tardebigge moorings just round the corner.

A hard but good day, hot showers all round and a few drinks in order.
Off course there was a motive for this, the girls can now catch the train from Alvechurch into Birmingham tomorrow for some retail therapy.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Out of Worcester

Quiet mooring last night at Diglis Basin, had a walk round the Cathedral and River area last night, then left Worcester today around 11am after a quick look at the Commandery Museum.
Nothing special about the Worcester and Birmingham leaving Worcester, quite a few locks to climb out through the tree lined industrial areas. finally becoming rural after the  10th lock near the Rugby club.
Locking up past the Commandery.

Toni making new friends.

The sun finally appeared around Tibberton locks, it had been quite chilly and overcast up to that point. There was very little boat traffic about today, I think 3 where passed in total.
Passing in one of the Tibberton pounds.

We cruised slowly on past the pretty hamlet of Oddingley to moor at Dunhampstead.

Mooring at Dunhampstead.

Nice mooring spot at Dunhampstead, went to the the Firs for dinner and a few pints. Spot on.
Actually spotted a fellow narrowboat blogger at Dunhampstead, he passed us whilst we where moored,, at more than tickover  speed I have to say, he winded and came past again. NB http://nbnorthernpride.blogspot.co.uk/

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Droitwich to Worcester

Yet another great day. Wall to wall sunshine all day. After breakfast we left Droitwich along the Barge Canal. Such a lovely secluded canal once out of Droitwich, with a narrow reedy channel its more like a small river.
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The wide beam locks at Ladywood are in very pretty surroundings, small rolling hills and trees.
Ladywood Locks.

Lovely blue sky.

Swan and Cynets.

Bit of a delay at one of the locks as Canal and River Trust where doing bridge repairs and had to move their work boat over.
Bridge repairs

Nearing the end of the canal there are some nice original bridges spanning the canal.
Original Bridge.

All to soon we reached the locks dropping down onto the River Severn.
where we turned left towards Worcester.
Lock into the River Severn.

Quick dinner break and Pimm's time.

Leaving Bevere lock.

Severn View.

The Severn is nothing spectacular with its high banks, not much to view.
It was just a few miles to Worcester, passing the Cathedral before turning into Diglis Bottom lock.
Approaching Worcester.

Cathedral in sight.

Diglis bottom lock.

Diglis Top lock

Moored for the night just outside Diglis Basin.

Diglis basin, now a fancy marina with some expensive
boats moored.