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Latest News & Blogs

A selection of the latest boating news and blog posts.

The marking of time - especially around the 11th of the 11th The concept of time intrigues me and also agitates me. It's the one thing we as humans have little or no control of and has such a big impact on us and our planet. Of course our individual time on this earth is minuscule… in fact someone has worked it out.

Party time… Our third granddaughter Joanne's birthday is the day after her mum's and this weekend Sharon is 50 and Joanne is 21… We had an absolute blast, meeting up with family and friends, lots of noise, dancing and fun until late!

The Short and the Forgotten This morning I went to the boat. I hadn't been for a couple of weeks. This much was visibly obvious from its general condition. The bows were knee-deep in soggy, orange leaves, which I had to shovel over the side. The roof resembled a rag-rug of small branches and beetles and muddy, agricultural puddles.

Forty feet of locks and four lift bridges. The travels of NB SEYELLA on the canals and rivers of England and Wales It was half past nine when we pulled pins this morning and set off under the old railway bridge at the bottom of the Grindley Brook Locks.

Pre Birthday weekend After more rain yesterday it was time to battle the towpath once again. The mud has been bad again, but we had another frost and nice blue skies last night, which would make things a bit easier with a crunch under foot.

Heat in the engine room So temperatures are dropping and we thought we needed to have some form of heat in the engine room to protect the batteries. We just needed something to take the chill off and also something that would turn on when the temperature got close to freezing.

Culvert repairs at Weaver's Bridge ON OCTOBER 18, a culvert running below the Leeds and Liverpool canal between Wigan and Adlington in Lancashire failed and the canal had to be closed to navigation whilst the culvert was repaired. The Canal and River Trust had planned to reline the canal over the culvert in the new year but because of this failure the work was brought forward.

Titanic Christmas Show at Belfast THE festive illuminations at Titanic Belfast are set to burst into life to welcome Father Christmas.

Cruise with Santa on the Chesterfield Canal YOU can choose to cruise with Santa Claus in any one of five locations on the Chesterfield Canal this Yuletide. Every child will receive a present from the great man and every adult can have a mince pie and a drink. All this for only £7 per person.

Christmas is coming to Canalside Farm CANALSIDE Farm near Stafford, will be marking the start of the festive season, with a Christmas Open Evening on Friday November 22. There will be carols from the Great Haywood Community Choir, plus mince pies and mulled wine to get you into the festive spirit, as well as the big 'switch on' of the Christmas tree lights at 7pm.

Thousands of fish rehomed during Lancaster Canal repairs The Canal and River Trust, the national waterways and wellbeing charity, has started work to repair Lune Embankment on the Lancaster Canal. The charity, which cares for 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, is investing nearly £1.5 million refurbishing the 200-year old stretch of canal.

Opposite the Avery Loop I have never been entirely sure what to call the last lost loop just before Smethwick Junction. For the sake of a better name I have always referred to it as the Avery Loop, a loop of canal created by the construction of the New Mainline Canal which looped round the old Avery Works, a contemporary of Matthew Bolton's Soho Manufactory.

Up north… Along the M6 where there is lots of work going on, but the managed system in place kept the traffic moving. Then onto M74, M8 through Glasgow and the A760 into Largs.

A tale of 48 hours Sorry for the delay in getting this post up…. I am getting behind but at least I now know why… - see here Linky: Yes for the record we had some boat time, now going back to the 27th October ! It was planned so off we drove, dropping the trusty Rover 75 tourer off for its MOT work while we were aboard.

Quelle surpreese, il pleut again, und mit der gusty gusty winden #narrowboat #boating #boatsthattweet I tried photographing the wind. It didn't work. I'm fed up photographing the rain, so I didn't bother. Jadies and Lentilmen, you'll just have to make do with some random images instead. It's also dark. Dull dull dull - and dark. I am typing this by the light of a small bushel.

Cold and Misty Morning It was cold over night, but the fire was just about alive as we put on some more wood. When we cleaned the ashes there was a frost on the roof and the centre rope was a solid ring. There was a mist on the water and the sun was trying to poke through as we pulled out the chains.

Rufford arm reopens for a few days before next stoppage. A STOPPAGE notice was issued by the Canal and River Trust on October 24 following a inspection by engineers of the towpath side tailgate of lock 2 on the Rufford Arm of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in West Lancashire. The problem was at the top of the gate post where the balance beam is fixed to the gate.

Sandwell Coal Chutes Sandwell Coal ChutesNovember 2019There is a missing landmark on the Old Mainline in Smethwick, a bit like a missing tooth in a familiar smile. The landmark I am talking about is the set of canal-side Coal Chutes which were built to transfer coal mines at the nearby Sandwell Park Colliery.

Panto Postcard 4, 2019 Nearly There Sunday was meant to be a day off to try to recharge the batteries. It started with forwarding lots of reference to Phil who was working at the theatre painting all the 2D dressing for the Boozer. This I didn't mind as it was a two minute job whilst enjoying a cuppa in bed with Tilly keeping my toes warm.

Leeds back to Stanley Ferry, a bath and a cuddle from friends… Month after month I'd been declining assistance… with my usual, "thanks but I'm quite capable of doing everything on my own" response - which, having now proven was the case, I decided now to accept the offer of a soak in a bath, supper prepared for me and a much needed emotional cuddle….

A fine autumn cruise to Wrenbury The travels of NB SEYELLA on the canals and rivers of England and Wales Yesterday there was a gap in the seasonal lows moving in from the Atlantic, giving us the opportunity to move on in the dry, so we took it.

I shat the Sheriff #narrowboat #boating #boatsthattweet An alphabetical keyination finger bumble. I, of course, shot the Sheriff but have no idea who it was wot done in the Deputy. This, it must be said, is a really crap post. Apologies - I can resist everything except temptation. A good blog-post title just cannot be put down once it has been picked up.

An un-regenerated Engine Arm, BCN Engine Arm as it wasNovember 2019 The Engine Arm in Smethwick has been a backwater full of residential boats for decades, but back in 1974 it was all very different. Among the Hugh Potter collection of black and white images there are two which reveal this as the abandoned backwater as it used to be.

How we open ground and gate paddles going up a lock! As promised, here is how we open the paddles when going up a lock on our own, with ground and gate paddles, so the boat doesn't go from side to side when rising. We have never had to rope the boat over on these types of locks and it works for us. First open the ground paddle HALF WAY on the side that the boat is closest too.

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