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Monday, 18 August 2014

Stonham Barns Classic Car Show

Sunday we spent the day at Stonham Barns Classic Car show in Suffolk, as usual we had to arrive before 9-30am to park up the cars. We had 6 cars from the club on show which was not bad for a promised windy, overcast day. We needed the event shelter today as around dinnertime we had a few light showers.
Phoenix CCV Club Stand
We partaked of the usual bacon butties for breakfast, before looking around the stalls and auto jumble, nothing found that is needed for the TR7 or MGTF, I should really make a list of part numbers for those items such as filters, brake pads, plugs, etc. Gill and I then had a quick look around the Stonham Barns outlet village and then into the owl sanctuary.
After lunch and the wet spell I strolled around the 300+ cars on view. As usual some very nice examples of which a few pics follow.

Alan and Scimitar GTC in the ring.
Despite the wind and the few spells of rain we had a very good day in pleasant company. Just realised we have only 1 more show to go now before the show season ends which means summer is near its end, we have not attended as many this year due to the TR7 been off the road for welding and de-rusting.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Wrenbury to Llangollen July 2014 Day 7

Yet another very hot day, we have been really lucky with the weather. It was shorts again today. After a very welcome full breakfast, it was the last day, so we where using up all the bacon, sausage, mushrooms and eggs. Not in a rush today we set off about 10am with a short hop to Grindley Brook for a water fill and rubbish disposal. We seem to have the timings right for Grindley Brook, no queues again, and a boat just coming up, the volunteer locky told me he had 35 through on the Thursday, mostly going down.
Lovely clear sky at Grindley Brook Staircase.
Stephen was giving some tuition here on locking down, we kept our eye on him, pointing out the white lines marking the cill and the importance of keeping the boat forward of the cill, but not up against the gate and importance of been vigilant.
Staircase Lock Cill,
Stephen watching for the cill.
After the Grindley Brook locks we moved on through the relatively flat Shropshire countryside, then entered Cheshire near Quoisley lock. We moored for a couple of hours before Marbury Lock to do some Brass cleaning, clean the windows, and generally tidy up the boat in the shade of some tree's. Gill prepared a salad lunch which was enjoyed with the last of the Pimm's before we set off on the last leg to Wrenbury.
Our lunchtime Cratch view.
Last lock of the week, Marbury Lock.
Nursery lift bridge, Wrenbury. The home straight.
We negotiated the chaos at the Wrenbury Mill lift bridge then reversed into Wrenbury Mill boatyard to moor up. There then followed the usual loading of the cars with everything not needed for our final nights stay on board, then more cleaning and polishing before relaxing. Wrenbury lift bridge is a good place to watch boaters messing up the approach to the electric lift bridge, quite a few bumps to the bridge walls.
Wrenbury Mill Lift Bridge.
After refreshing showers and changing we spent the early evening in The Dusty Miller, very nice meals here washed down with Strawberry Cider before returning to the boat for coffee and bed.
Saturday morning was the final packing, final cleaning, a couple of small maintenance jobs, then a pump out of both Loo,s, fill with diesel, and change a gas cylinder before handing over to the next share owners.
All in all a fantastic week with great weather, our objective of getting Centurion to Llangollen easily achieved without long days, the boat ran well with no problems, diesel usage was quite reasonable and engine hours was about 36 hours. Stephen enjoyed his first ever week on a narrow boat and was sad to leave, as we all where. No canal fix now until September. Boo! It will be down the Shroppie then.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Wrenbury to Llangollen July 2014 Day 6

Woke to another hot sunny day again with not a cloud in the sky. Already quite hot after breakfast, the day was to get in to the 28s. We set off towards Frankton Junction and Ellesmere, after the Maestermyn hire base the canal was very quiet again, nice rolling country side here, interspersed with lovely simple bridges.
Cloudless sky.
We passed Frankton Junction before reaching Ellesmere where we dropped of the rubbish and turned down the arm. Yes, another WiFI fix at Tesco, plus some top up of essentials. A lot of people walking up and down and peering in the windows made up our minds to have lunch elsewhere so we winded (turned) the boat, then carried on through Ellesmere tunnel.
Lovely scenery.
Frankton Junction.
Ellesmere Arm.
We moored for lunch at Blake Mere, lovely sandwiches with fresh bread and the refreshing Pimm's came out again as it was by now very hot, we where in the shade under the trees and quickly joined by a few other boats seeking shade.
Blake Mere
After an hours break we headed off again down the canal. Past Lyneal Wharf and the curvy sections near Hampton Bank, we had a water fill at Bettisfield, and a quick wash down of the very hot roof, then down the long straight section to Pree's Junction, we where passed here by an impatient boat, good job this bit was wide and deep.
Nice cottage at Hampton Bank.
We spotted a Bull cooling of in the canal near Hampton Bank. He did not seem in distress or stuck as he moved after we had passed him.
After Pree,s Junction there was the lift bridge, followed by one at Fenns Wood.
Pree's Lift Bridge.
Whitchurch was next, we had 3 more lift bridges to raise/lower, all hand hydraulic turned by hand before calling it a day just round the corner after the Whitchurch lift bridge. We expected a quiet evening here, but a word of warning. Thursday nights in summer various large motorbike clubs all congregate at Whitchurch services, coming from Chester, Wolverhampton, Stafford, and Birmingham, etc the roar of the bikes opening up on the Whitchurch Bypass carries on till gone 10-30, so if its peace you want moor elsewhere. Despite this we got in some fishing, just glad to sit in the shade with a cider after a very hot day. My turn to cook dinner as Gill had gone on strike, this due to Toni and Stephen, she had her bare feet stretched out of the front of the cratch and they deliberately steered in to a patch of nettles! Gill not pleased:-(
Plenty of dock leaves required.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Wrenbury to Llangollen July 2014 Day 5

Time for the return journey to Wrenbury. I never tire of steering so travelling the same route does not bother me, there is always so much to see, watching the wildlife, change of seasons, buildings, etc.
Another sunny day saw Centurion leave the basin around 10am. Toni and Stephen where on walkie talkie duty clearing us through he first and second narrows.
Setting off for Walkie Talkie duties.
Heading downhill.
Heading for the last narrows.
The start of the last narrows section has a tricky bend with bridge hole to negotiate, don't want to meet an upcoming boat here. After the narrows we carried on down, the boat touching bottom as we had on the way up near Bridge 33W.
Narrows with tricky bridge.
Not only taking dogs for a walk, but parakeet too, some strange sights.
\Looking back in one of the wider concrete lined sections.
Reaching the end of the Llangollen section we turned into the Trevor arm, Gill had an urge for ice creams, mooring not allowed for anything other than Anglo Welsh narrow boats in the first part of the arm so we turned in the transhipment basin, and I hung about at the bridge hole whilst they dashed off for ice creams.
Trevor Transhipment Basin.
Butty Susan moored at Trevor.
Hanging about waiting for ice cream.
We left Trevor, across the aqueduct, finding a mooring at Fron for lunch and a closer look at the Aqueduct.
View of Stone Pillars and Cast Iron.
Underneath View.
After lunch we moved on, down through Chirk, through Whitehouse Tunnel to Chirk Tunnel, easy going now we have the flow with us.
Entering Chirk Tunnel
Leaving Chirk Tunnel.
Heading for the Aqueduct at Chirk.
Chirk Aqueduct
Chirk Bank
We grounded again at the Poachers Pocket, so going with the flow does not help the draught too much. We quickly got through the 2 New Marton Locks before mooring for the evening just after Hindford.
Mooring at Hindford.
Throughout the trip I had to spend an hour with Toni each evening building an airfix model Tornado F1 thatToni had brought with her, apparently when growing up I spent lots of time with her brother building airfix planes, boats, tanks, etc and not much time with her and she felt left out! So now she was catching up:-)
Tornado F1, Still got to paint it.