Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Unfinished business and beauty on our doorstep

We took today to eventually find a location that had some meaning for us. Before Charles my  father in law died Rachel made a donation to the Woodland trust to have a tree planted in his name.... the wood was called Coed-Aberneint. Last year we were thwarted by extreme weather that brought a tree down on the road to the wood, not to be deterred we eventually found the wood and went for a lovely walk there today.

We then took a drive over the Harlech and walked the beach before parking next to the castle to watch the sun drop below the Llŷn Peninsula....  a simple but joyous pleasure. The expansive sands were there for just us and a few others to enjoy. 

Disappointment but every cloud has a silver lining

The brass went to Stourport today, but was met with a 'canal time' delay. In the great scheme of things not at all a problem and we have always been happy not to press John the boat painter, he has had to deal with some sadness during the painting and we were understanding of this and to some extend I had allowed for slippage.

It was at the  cost of a second week of my annual leave but it has allowed us to do something last minute. We have stayed at the Synchant Pass hotel before, it is owned by ex BBC people, not that it makes it better or worse, just makes for some interesting conversations. So we have booked in for three nights this week, plenty of history for us to catch up with in this area.......and we may do the trip on the Pan.

It will mean much of the return trip from the yard back to Fradley will done by yours truly with the help of Leia the dog.....I guess any scratches to the paint will then be only one persons responsibility.

Now the painting ....

What do you recon....very close., all the back end just about finished, including some stunning sign writing from Dave Moore. A small amount of detailing for the back end to complete it.

The boat now really has new owners ....

We were asked for our opinion on the issue of the back cabin portholes overlaying the sign writing.... we were happy to take advice. The old working boats were in part advertising hoardings for their companies and owners so the bigger the better for the lettering. We could have gone smaller and not been a tad infringed but we went on the advice and experience of the professionals so there will be a little over laying when the 'shiny' brass is put back on.... I think it will look great.

We also wanted to give the boat a little provenance  so we asked for the boat builder's name and number to be added, once again Dave came up trumps with his setting out. 

The extra work is for the front end. The principal of the painting was to put the detail in the back and front end. John is finishing off much of the detail of the front end as well as the roof and the well deck....

Just as I was about to leave Joe turned up with a car full of fenders, two tipcats, a small stern button and a nice tyre covered front fender..... I had a chat with him, he was indeed born at Fradley Junction. Dave Moore advised on NB Victoria. Joe's a great character, I really likes the way he is able to introduce a few expletives into the production process of fender making that are so natural and funny. A top chap, a nice option to give him some business and get some quality fenders on Percy. 

Joe was happy to pose for a photo for my blog.... just got to creosote the fenders when they are on as John was less than keep to fit creosote soaked fenders to the boat !

Hopefully Saturday will see us back on board......

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Lots of brass, less in my wallet more on the table

Big brass cleaning session today, did not help we had no Brasso so Sainsburys first thing. All of the brass is / was badly tarnished so it took some effort.

A from and to photo.....

The brass polishing factory.....

Off to the boat tomorrow to see how close we are to bringing her home....but I expect to be fully engaged in putting brass back onto the boat  - and hopefully some cleaning ....Joe is bringing the two tipcats and a small button as well so that may get some attention. Oh... and I have to call in the chandlers on the way for a new long shaft and a shaft for the boat hook - both not worth trusting. The gangplank will have to be another time.

Might be some pics next week !

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Dave Moore comes a calling.... and then there is Joe

The canal community is small with a few characters. Our boat was built and engineered by one of them  - Tony Redshaw so when it came to getting it painted why would we not use some of the other names in the community.

Dave Moore spends a lot of his time at Norton Canes as their resident sign writer but does work all over. He was our first choice for sign writing  when we decided to have Percy painted at Dadsford Wharf on the Stourport canal.

Dadsford wharf was also the yard Phil Speight  - the guy who writes for canal boat on painting matters was based at for many years before he headed to the west coast of Scotland for some semi retirement I believe.

His long term apprentice  John Sanderson - I hope that is not a insult, now is a master painter in his own right, and a very approachable and nice fella as well.

Finally for the fenders.... our old ones were looking very tired and did not deserve to be back on the newly painted boat so Dave Moore gave me Joe Hollinshead's phone number. Those with an interest in TV canal stuff will know Joe from Waterworld, being one of the ex boatmen on the series. I recall he was actually born on a boat at Fradley Junction  - or did I dream that?

Anyhow you don't want to read all about my name dropping, even if it is to show I like to keep those who have given so much to the canals some of my easy earnt money for their skills.

The boat is getting close now.... I still have a shed load of brass to clean, curtains to iron (all washed ages ago) long and boat hook shaft to buy as well as a gangplank.....We are hoping to be cleaning her up next week and bringing her back over the next two weeks, I am getting withdrawal  - walking the Chichester canal just is not the same however pleasant.

John advises he has now applied 2 primer coats, 2 undercoats and 4 top coats, easy maths that, 8 coats of paint plus more in some areas to get the right coach lines etc. The final colours will be a mixture of Red, black and a very very dark green that is close to black..... we went to see a boat like it on the Stourport canal and it got our approval. Lots of other bits and pieces to compliment the final colours. But for now the close to finished images....

Can't wait ..........

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Here comes the underwear... !!

.... these were taken a few days ago and I am informed by Dave Moore the sign writer that there is more progress. It gives those who are interested an idea of the colours we have gone for....

There is still a fair bit to go and it will be touch and go if we have her back for the planned return trip back to Fradley (I must go and mow the grass !) It does feel like decorating at home - lots of prep and only the last push of effort does the real effect become apparent... now I must source some new fenders !!