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Monday, 31 March 2014

TR7 Update

One of my blog readers seems worried that the TR7 blog has not shown a TR7 for a while. So here it is in all its glory.

It is having some tender loving care at the moment, actually, I will re-phrase that, its getting sweared at a lot, as is the welder when it chews the wire up and the grinder when it refuses to start due to a dodgy switch.
And no the forklift is not to take it to the skip! just for ease of access.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

NB Centurion Trips 2007 (Cont)

More from the past trips of NB Centurion.
In 2007 we took a trip down to Bath in June, and to Bath and part way down the River Avon in October.
Not a long journey from Bradford on Avon to Bath but very pretty and tranquil.
Near Limpley Stoke.
Nice house and gardens.
Our diary says we had good weather for a few days in June until we got to Bath. We spent a night at Dundas on the visitor moorings.
Dundas Wharf.
Start of Somerset Coal Canal.
The following day we passed through Bathampton and into Bath, dropping down the 6 locks onto the River Avon and up the Avon to moor below Pulteney Bridge and Weir.
Moored at Bath.
In June we spent a couple of days looking round Bath and Bristol before making our way back to Bradford on Avon.
Suspension Bridge.
Avon Gorge.
Entrance to Bristol Floating Harbour
SS Great Britain.
In October we went downstream as far as Saltford Lock which was out of commission forcing us back to Bath, annoyingly did not see any stoppage notices before we got to the lock, we would not have made it to Bristol as Gill won,t do tidal.
Coming back up the Avon.
Entering the start of the Kennet and Avon Canal. 
Sharing Bath Deep Lock.
We shared the locks before mooring for the night at Bath Top lock. Spending a couple more days in Bath, finding nice restaurant's and looking round the city with my father.
Bath Top Lock Visitor Moorings.
We then headed back to Bradford on Avon, passing under Cleveland Tunnel with the old Canal company headquarters above it and then through Sydney Gardens, pausing so father could take a photo of the steam hauled Bath Spa Express in the cutting running through Sydney Gardens.
Cleveland Tunnel.
Passing Sydney Gardens.
We moored for the night at Claverton Pumping Station, one of the volunteers kindly opened it so we could have a quick look around.
Claverton Pumping Station.
We moved on back to the marina the following day, pausing at Avoncliffe Aquaduct for a drink at the Cross Guns Inn under the aquaduct.
Avoncliff Aquaduct.
We spent the last day having a look around Bradford on Avon. Some interesting buildings in this lovely town but it is blighted by traffic.
Bradford Windmill, now a hotel.
Thatched cottage with leaded windows.
Christ Church - Bradford on Avon.
Abbey Woolen Mill.
Town Bridge.
Georgian Lodge - Bradford on Avon.
That was it for the Kennet and Avon, the following year would see NB Centurion moved to Pyrford marina on the River Wey.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

NB Centurion Trips 2007

Another retrospective post on our shared ownership narrowboat Centurion. After a year at Nantwich in 2006, the boat base was changed to Sally Boats Marina in 2007 at Bradford on Avon, on the Kennet and Avon Canal. Quite a jump from the Shropshire Union.
First trip out from Bradford on Avon was up the K & A, we headed through Hilperton and the 2 Semington Locks in decent weather.
Approaching swing bridge near Semington.
Modern aquaduct near Hilperton.
Semington dry dock.
Following Semington locks where the 5 locks at Seend Cleeve. We overnighted here after the locks, having a good meal at the Three Magpies in readiness for the following days trip up Caen Hill locks.
The following day was bright and sunny, after a good breakfast we firstly had the 7 Foxhangers locks,
then we hit the first of the Caen Hill flight of 16 locks.
Foxhangers Flight.
Leaving the last of the Foxhangers 7.

The 16 Caen Hill locks rise ahead, we have no one to share the locks with
and you can see our crew emptying the bottom lock, so the whole flight
is against us.
Despite having no other boat to share the wide locks with we made steady progress, eventually catching a older couple in a boat who where glad to share the remainder of the locks. We also had 2 boats behind slowly catching us.
Mid way up the flight, note the large side ponds for retaining water in
the flight.
Our new locking partners, glad of help.
Nearing the top of the 16 Caen Hill Locks.
Following the 16 Caen Hill Locks we had the 6 Devizes town locks. Total time for the 29 locks was around 5 hours with no breaks other than the ice creams from the cafe at the top of the 16. We moored for the afternoon at Devizes, before sampling the locally brewed Wadsworth Ale and a meal in the town centre.

The following day we headed along the Kennet and Avon into the WIltshire downs, again we had lovely weather and hurrah, no locks.

Marlborough Downs - The Knoll.
More Wiltshire downs.
Tranquil canal near Bishops Canning.
Wide boat Unity at Honey Street. Used to carry timber from
Avonmouth to the woodmill at Honey Street Wharf.
We cruised on to moor at Pewsey, the canal gently winding through the reedy channel in the Pewsey vale, we had fine views of the Alton Barnes white horse carved in the downs.
Alton Barnes white horse on the left.
Reedy channel.
Hoping we don't meet another boat.
We re-traced our steps the following day to head back to Bradford on Avon. We picked Dad up at Devizes, he had turned up on his bike for a few days, extra help with the locks. We where billy no mates again locking down.
View from the back as we enter the Caen Hill 16.
An idea of the scale of the Caen Hill flight.
Passing manouvre ahead for the 2 boats below ours.
Billy no mates. 
We made it back to Bradford on Avon over the next day. We had a quick look around Bradford, some nice architecture there.

Another good weeks cruising with one of the waterways wonders ticked of our list.