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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

NB Centurion Trips 2005 Continued

Continuing with the early journeys of NB Centurion, July 2005 we left Anderton and headed for the Llangollen Canal. Our diary says we had decent weather and did not have to queue at any of the hot spot locks. The whole canal was rather quiet. We had daughter Toni and her boyfriend with us for the trip so had an easy time of the locks.
Hurleston Locks.
Waiting for Swanley no 2 Lock.
Waiting for Wrenbury Lift Bridge.
Incidentally Wrenbury is to be our new base for a year, we don't mind going back to the Llangollen, but not sure if the ABC base at Wrenbury is a good place to be! We will not have the luxury's we currently have at Alvechurch.
Think this is Willeymoor Lock.
New Mills Lift Bridge, Whitchurch arm to the left.
Our diary says we spent a day and night in the Whitchurch arm before carrying on towards Llangollen. Don't seem to have any photos of the Whixhall or Ellesmere area for some reason, we spent a night in the Ellesmere arm and ate somewhere in the town.
Nice Traditional boat.
On Chirk Aquaduct.
On Pontcysyllte Aquaduct.
Near Bryn Howel.
We spent a night and day at Llangollen, moored in the new basin on pontoons. We had a good look around Llangollen, walked to the source of the canal at Horseshoe Falls, and had a ride on the Steam railway from Berwyn.
Horseshoe Falls.

Berwyn Station.

GWR Prairie Tank at Llangollen.
We left Llangollen, down the 2 narrow sections, surprisingly meeting no other boats to head back towards the Shroppie.
Back down the Llangollen.
We had an uneventful journey until Maesbury Marine, where a boat came through the bridge far too quickly, we chucked into reverse, the throttle cable broke, and we went haring off backwards into something hard which lifted the tiller and bent the skeg. It was a Maesbury boat that came through the bridge, and as it was witnessed by Maesbury Marine they supplied a new cable and attempted to fix the rudder, however it would not go back in the spigot. Arrangements where made with Nantwich Canal Centre to dock Centurion so we limped there with limited steering.
Skeg straightened and rudder in its spigot.
We had an enforced remote handover to the following owners who where grateful to be nearer their destination of Llangollen.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

NB Centurion Trips 2005

Carrying on with retrospective posts, we reach 2005. Following many complaints about our Warwick base NB Centurion was moved to Anderton early in 2005, using Alvechurch Boat Centre facilities. The facilities and services where much better and we had our own mooring pontoon.
Our first trip out from Anderton was in Febuary, just myself and dad.
We set out on the Trent and Mersey then Bridgewater Canal towards Manchester, past the lift, through Barnton and Preston Brook tunnels destination Lymm. We had terrible weather that week and spent a few days moored up sheltering from the rain.
Anderton Lift.
Gloomy Bridgewater Canal near Walton Hall.

Dutton Stop Lock.
Head of the queue at Preston Brook Tunnel.
Stop plank crane near Daresbury.
Gloomy mmoring at Acton Bridge.
We made it to Lymm in pouring rain, lovely place, but took no photo's. Then had a wet return trip to Anderton. One of the trials of an out and back journey in a week. The boat was always cosy and warm, so no problems.

Our next trip out was later in the year, in much warmer weather. We left Anderton, through Marbury Park, through the Brunner Mond brine works towards Middlewich. At Middlewich we took the Wardle branch, leading into the Shropshire Union Canal Middlewich Branch, then right at Barbridge Junction, down the Shropshire Union to Chester and then to Ellesmere Port Boat museum.
A few pictures of the trip follow.
Passing Marbury Country Park.
Brunner Mond Works.
Gill taking the turn at Middlewich Locks.
Centurion at Middlewich.
Near Church Minshull.
Bunbury Staircase Locks.
Peacock at Chemistry Lock, Chester.
We well remember the long drag at tickover past all the moored boats at Golden Nook, Hargrave, well over a hundred at the time.
Tower Wharf, Chester
Centurion at Ellesmere Port.
We spent over a day at the boat museum, met Gills mum and dad for the trip round the museum, had a good look around, saw much shipping on the Manchester Ship Canal and also took in a trip to Port Sunlight village. We then headed back to Anderton.

Coastal Tanker on Manchester Ship Canal.
Northgate Cutting, Chester.
Whilst at Chester I spotted some of the Marshall's Buses I helped to design,
a low Floor Dennis Dart on the left and a Mercedes Sprinter on the right.
Golden Nook Moorings, Hargrave.
Near Beeston Castle.
Cholmondesdon Lock.
Weaver Locks viewed from near Barnton Tunnel.

We had time to spare so carried on to moor after Barnton Tunnel before returning to Anderton.
Good time with good weather.

Next 2005 retrospective post will be on the Shroppie.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

NB Centurion Trips 2004

At the end of 2003 NB Centurion was moved to Kate Boats at Warwick. I cannot remember the reasoning behind this, but as a base it was not ideal. Firstly we had no permanent mooring space so had to always juggle about when loading/unloading, secondly we had some big flights to work through to get anywhere.
One of the first trips from Warwick was a cold January run, stoppages saw the Stockton and Bascote flights closed hence another trip up the Hatton flight, then up the Knowle flight and getting as far as Catherine De Barnes before ice stopped us. Re-tracing our steps we where lucky to get back to Warwick in the treacherous icy conditions.
Warwick - Kate Boats.
Knowle Locks on a very cold day.
Shrewley Tunnel
Later in April we had another frosty time, this time we headed off up the Grand Union and the Southern Oxford canal, we got as far as Cropredy before winding.
Working up Stockton locks.
Frozen in at Calcutt top lock.
Claydon Locks - Oxford Canal.
Claydon Locks - Oxford Canal.
Fenny Compton - Oxford Canal.
On our way back we had time on our hands so called into Braunston, and got ourselves iced in again. Was lucky we had time as it was a couple of days before we felt able to cruise back to Warwick following other boats who where ice breaking.
Icy Braunston.
Path through the ice near Calcutt.
We let our summer week go to father so we could spend a couple of weeks in Grindlewald, Switzerland, which was fantastic.

Aletsch Glacier from Jungfraujoch.