Boatwif Blog

0

Since Sawley…

Sawley to Leicester: 25¾ miles, 18 locks It was in April 1994 that the 60 foot Sir William Pennyman    left Sawley to head south. Her crew, of the not very experienced Captain and a total canal novice,    (despite his being a very experienced RAF navigator) worked from dawn till dusk to deliver her from the Nottinghamshire / Derbyshire border to her first mooring, on the River Avon at Evesham.  At that time the boat (“he” Sir William Pennyman,...

3

Meanwhile…

With Cleddau safely moored at Sawley Marina Boatwif was free to join a very special gathering. Cruelly designated The Coven by certain males of the family, last week Saltie (Senior brother-in-law) declared that the far-flung sisters and cousin could now be called The Famous Five… This is a much more suitable name for the once giggly girls. (Whoever first claimed that such well brought up young women would present in public with blood on their hands, wicked spells on their...

2

Slowly to Sawley…

Alrewas to Sawley: 25½ miles, 13 locks Boating was resumed on Sunday after the previous day’s visit to the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas. “Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as messing about in boats.”  Ratty. These words are prominently displayed on a house that sides on to the canal in Alrewas. “Messing about” might be too casual an approach for the initial part of the onward journey. The...

1

South and east to Alrewas

Great Haywood to Alrewas: 14¼ miles, 10 locks Wednesday. So Tixall Wide was “full” and “boats were double parked” according to the boaters who had just cruised along the stretch of wide water. (See previous post). It was time for Cleddau to stop for the day so an overnight  mooring place had to be found. The Captain reversed the boat backwards along the 100 metres or so of the Staffs and Worcs Canal, out under the Junction Bridge and swung...

3

Blacked and heading south

Kidsgrove to Great Haywood Junction: 25½ miles, 18 locks, 1 tunnel Cleddau had been delivered to the slipway at Red Bull Basin at Kidsgrove for hull blacking. How did she fare during her enforced stay? Three days into her residency an email arrived from nb Chouette’s Captain. He’d titled it Cleddau on wheels: ”Have just strolled down to see Cleddau on the trolley looking splendid with the hull all shiny black…” it said . And there were photos that followed...

0

Black, black, black and white, blacking…

Black is the colour of April, on this boat at least. Forsythia in flower can be startling,  , new leaves are light and refreshing,   ranks of bright tulips in tubs might seem straight and proud –  but it is black that has come to dominate this Cleddau trip. The boat is being headed south for one of those procedures that all well maintained boats should periodically undergo, the blacking of her bottom… She’ll be jet-washed to have any debris...

2

A Grand Trip Out

If you’ve been an occasional viewer of Channel 5 this title might ring a bell for you: Susan Calman (Scottish comedian and TV presenter) presents a series in which she explores an area of Britain in her wee campervan (nicknamed “Helen”, after Helen Mirren) – and always she seems to be having a great time. There was an initial 2022 visit to Cleddau in late February (see mid-section here) but then in March there was a call for flight trials...

0

Much Ado…

February became the New January for the Cleddau crew last week. The time-honoured tradition of marking early January wedding anniversaries with one or more theatre productions in Stratford-upon-Avon has taken a dent over these last two pandemic years. Realising that a short season of Much Ado About Nothing (4th Feb – 12th March) was to run in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, seats needed to be booked. Oh, the joy of tramping beside the river on a brisk winter’s day –...

0

Creeping out of hibernation

December, characterised by artificial sparkly lights, was followed by sunny January! At least in the east January was a record-breaking dry and bright month… Unvisited since November Cleddau has remained in Cheshire, tied up on her winter mooring.  She’s afloat, according to Techno Son-in-Law, who spied her from the towpath opposite, observing that she’s been a target for over-flying gulls… For a boat-deprived Boatwif a sighting of any vessel on water is a wonderful thing, a sort of visual consolation...

2

Taken by surprise

It was Baby Sis who sowed the seed – “I’m just telling you that I’ve decided to fly up to Inverness as a surprise for the 70th birthday…” she said in a phone call one day. Weeks went by. There were other things to consider as well as the October Cleddau-land trip. Then the Captain made an announcement: “I’ve booked you a seat up to Inverness,” he said, “and I’ll take you to the airport…” Deal done then… It was...