Category: Boat Update

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For the record…

On the 16th March this year the Captain made an online order for a new pair of walking boots. This was a big purchase – and a well-deserved one at that, since the soles of his existing boots were parting company from the uppers… Twelve long months ago, on 6th March, 2020, the Captain had installed an app on his phone, one of those that records steps and distance walked. Through March 2020 as the global news worsened the prospect...

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January, slow January…

A Boatwif feels reluctant to compose a boat blog when there is a total absence of boating activity. 145 road miles and a three hour drive separates the Cleddau crew’s home base from Cleddau’s home mooring. Periodically a phone pic arrives from Techno Son-in-Law, this  one  on an icy morning mid-January, evidence that Cleddau is still afloat. Starved of even a sighting of a boat, a walk was programmed earlier this month past the farm pond where last spring a...

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Novembers, past and present…

It was Friday November 13th, when Boatwif asked the Captain if he knew the date. “November 12th? No, November 13th…” “Yes, November 13th – and can you remember what you were doing 50 years ago today?” 50 years is a long time ago. There was an extended silence and then after some prompting the memory arrived! An Air Commodore had awarded a lowly Flying Officer his hard earned Wings. ….. Time and decades have passed. It’s a bit easier to...

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Hello Pumpernickel

As a school child October meant being back in school, with summer holidays a fading memory and the daily homework load increasing… As a student each October entailed new accommodation, cooler days, light dwindling by late afternoon, evenings spent on assignments… As a parent by October routines had become established: children’s uniform ready for the morning, dinner money in envelopes, reading logs checked, spellings tested… As a teacher by October the new timetable had been established, pupils’ names learned, the...

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 The last stretch ‘home’

Ramsdell Hall Railings, Macclesfield Canal to Victoria Pit Moorings, Higher Poynton It’s happened before in September, a Cleddau crew member waking up at Ramsdell Hall railings on a birthday.  This time it was the Captain’s b’day. There were a few birthday cards on board and a mail drop at Macclesfield a day or so later.   See this too: Techno Son-in-Law had a surfeit of biodegradable party streamers, this being the result of a synchronised shoot out…! After a short...

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The clock rounded

Stanthorne Lock, Middlewich to Ramsdell Hall Railings, Macclesfield Canal So, made it – completed the Ring, the Four Counties Ring that is, reaching Hardings Wood Junction just after midday on Wednesday 23rd September, 17 days after leaving it to head south in a clockwise direction… If the map of the Four Counties Ring were a circle (which it blatantly isn’t) and if the Ring were a clock face (not that either!) then 14 days after leaving Hardings Wood Junction Cleddau...

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A little bit of a triumph

Norbury Junction (Shropshire Union) to Stanthorne Lock (Middlewich Arm) “TRIUMPH!” That was the word a stranger addressed across a lock the other evening. Boatwif was “gongoozling” at Hurleston Junction locks, the 4 locks that lead off the Shropshire Union Canal up onto the Llangollen Canal. Cleddau was moored nearby, on the main line, but a short stroll brought her to the base of the locks. There was a queue as three boats were gradually making their way up. Between the...

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Clocking up the miles on a clockwise route

Tixall Wide (Staffs and Worcs Canal) to Norbury Junction (Shropshire Union) Up! Up! Up! The Staffs and Worcs climbs steadily by 12 locks from Tixall Lock (east of Stafford)   along about 11 miles to the summit at Gailey.  Initially it is the railway line that shadows the canal     – and then the railway crosses the canal and swings north. …. Soon though the sound of road traffic from the M6 becomes a background sound. Some of the locks...

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Tunnels, tracks and TEs*

Red Bull Aqueduct, Kidsgrove to Tixall Wide, Staffordshire TEs* Towpath Encounters Monday, 7th September. To head south from the Macclesfield Canal entails joining the Trent and Mersey Canal at Hardings Wood Junction, weaving a route under the main West Coast railway line at Kidsgrove  – and joining a boat queue at the north end portal of Harecastle Tunnel. As is often the case weather conditions north of the Harecastle Tunnel differed from those south of the tunnel. Hence, rain at...

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Surprises

Macclesfield Canal: Victoria Pit at Higher Poynton to Red Bull Aqueduct Surprises tend to come in one of two forms – nice or nasty. A nasty surprise which curtailed Boatwif’s ‘Back to Boating’ trip in July was a broken wrist… seven weeks on another Back to Boating attempt is under way. Determined to mix recovery with practicalities and a birthday celebration the Cleddau crew returned to Cheshire, moved back on board and enjoyed a delightful Sunday Bank Holiday stroll from...