Tuesday 30 June 2020

I should be more excited

Come the 4th July as you will know it's the English canals independence day. From that day I can stay on my boat and travel all the system..... well the system that is open. I subscribe to email alerts to all the system and I'm quite concerned by the number of stoppages being advised right now.

I guess it's the knowledge come the 4th it's going to go from nothing to full on summer season overnight.... no doubt that'll also add to the stoppages as locks ad structures get used much more from a relative standing start?

We'll be out there, going south on the Shroppie I think, minimising on locks and getting a feel for how busy it actually is. We can always just moor up and watch the boats go by. 

It may also be the fact I know I've got to give the boat a decent 'spring clean' before we can enjoy it. It's all small scale stuff in the great scheme of things so I should just STFU as the internet says and get out there and blog about the beauty of the south Shroppie and the Staffs and Worcester canals.

Watch this space ....

Friday 12 June 2020

Judging people

Well it's not nice but I can't seem to stop doing it ! Apart from issues off the cut that will remain uncommented on I have developed a 'view' on boaters.

I have been to the boat again today Wednesday 10th June and while working on the electrics again - an update to follow, the novelty of passing boats got me out of the back hatch each time. Ok, so in general people are following 'guidance' ( see last post on this) as there were only three boat movements on this section of the Shroppie in Mid June !

  1. The first was IMHO a definite leisure boater ignoring the guidance or breaking the law (to be confirmed) Nothing on the roof, no solar, very new, looking guilty (honestly they really did) and again in my opinion the biggest give away a boat name with the boat mooring location  (Audlem in this case) on it. 
  2. Defiantly a CC, lots of 'stuff' on the roof, oldish looking boat and very casual and relaxed couple on the back. 
  3. Coal boat ! 
Thats it.... last week when we were out again a boat moored up on the visitor moorings where the Wharf pub used to be ( down the embankment) It was not there when we went out but had moored up when we got back.... again little on the roof (not even solar) but again looking guilty and with the home mooring under the boat name - just down the canal from us. 

Do I mind, no not at all. I only mind that I can't help the judging, I should be better than that. 

Wednesday 10 June 2020

C&RT reply to my lobbying question

All quite predictable and did not answer my challenge about lack of onward communication and engagement with the government. To be expected as they no doubt have an eye to the future (financing) and would not wish to be rocking the boat at this time.

At least the zoo’s are to reopen based on them being an outside based facility...... !

Interesting they use the word guidelines ... I thought it was the law .... certainly the protesters gathering  have been described as breaking the law?

Charley (Canal and River Trust) 
9 Jun 2020, 09:35:18 UTC 
Hello Neville,

Thank you for taking the time to get in contact; I do hope you are safe and well. Please accept my apologies we have not been able to come back to you sooner.

The majority of our navigations are now open, with a few exceptions that are listed in our stoppage notices. Some staff-operated structures need advance booking while other locks remain closed with small periods of time allocated for boat movements. Please check our latest update on this.

In Wales, separate rules apply that mean you cannot visit your boat yet.

According to current government guidance, those who do not liveaboard should not stay on their boat overnight. The government guidelines state that anyone cannot stay at second homes, or away from their permanent residence, this includes boats.

Once the government provide us with further information regarding this, we will be able to update our website.

I hope this clears things up a little, please do not hesitate to get in contact if there's anything else we can help with.

Best wishes,


Monday 8 June 2020

A tempter for sure

Tuesday this week was the last day for a while of the super weather we’ve been enjoying in lockdown. As we should have been on the Llangollen now as it's Rachels holiday we drove over to the boat to do some chores and take a little cruisette to the Knighton woods winding hole and back. It did feel good to get the donk going, untie the ropes and get the green off the bottom of the boat.  

Before the cruise I gave the fore cabin a sort and clean followed by a sort and clean of the engine bay tool store.... a metal box adjacent to the second fuel tank, no tools in it but it is where I keep all the various spares and other bits such as bolts fuses etc. I keep my tools in a dedicated box in the back cabin that gets moved into the engine room while cruising. 

The less favourable weather has seen me fettling my new motorbike  - adding all the farkles taken off the one I recently sold as part of the upgrade. If the weather continues to be unsettled I’ll go to the boat and lay in the cables needed to connect to the switch I have ready to enable the generator to be connected to a hook up at the back that’ll switch between that hook up and the inverter. 

Saturday 6 June 2020

A peevish post

Good word peevish. One that was used a lot in my childhood. Growing up with four sisters there was at times a lot of peevish behaviour in our 2 up 2 down terraced house.

Following on from my last negative post (the next one will be more positive ...it has to be ) I got to thinking what a great opportunity it is for local councils to send out their officers to check the number of marina berths that have residency which do not have 'residential berth' status. I know Mercia has a few residential berths that pay council tax and can be used as a full time residency but there must be thousands of marinas and on line moorings that are occupied by full time live-a-boards that do not carry residential status.

Certainly when I lived aboard for two years at Fradley I was 'breaking the rules' C&RT did not seem to care otherwise they would be checking more. I guess so long as you give them a mail address for correspondence they consider this your main residence. Easy to get around using friends or family addresses.

Like I said a peevish post really, but it did get me wondering what proportion of marinas and on line moorings are 100% residential.

PS don't worry if you are in the above camp and reading this - I'm not going to start a campaign or dob you in !

Thursday 4 June 2020

C’mon C&RT get lobbying

In their announcement on the 13th May C&RT gave their outline to opening the waterways fully. The   big date was the 1st of June when the waterways were to be fully opened for travel. In mid May they advised they were lobbying government to remove the ‘ second home’ connections to those thousands  of boats sitting like ours waiting to be used fully with onward trips from marinas and mornings with overnight stops to enable those onward journeys. The 1st has come and gone and no news, no update. I’ve written to C&RT asking where our representation is .... even if it’s not good news it needs updating.

I am trying to be good, we were out the other day and I was trying hard not to assume some boats out were marina or online moorers stopping out for the night(s).

I’ve been good to this point, as much for our safety and to tow the government’s line, today for some reason it feels hard  - maybe it’s seeing all the protesters disregarding their own safety. A hard decision no doubt for a cause some feel its worth risking lives for, I certainly respect  the peaceful protesters for taking the risk and the risk to others. I certainly have no respect for those that resort to violence in demonstrations against violence. My old dad used to say to me “He who strikes the first blow looses the argument”

Anyhow come on C&RT get lobbying and get communicating with us boaters.

Tuesday 2 June 2020

Why is it called Cherry eye bridge

One if not my single favourite bridges on the system I’ve travelled so far is Cherry Eye bridge on the Caldon canal. It helps it is in such a beautiful peaceful setting and a 20 minute walk away from where I live. 

This video is Rachel bringing Percy through the bridge on my retirement cruise to the basin in September 2017 

I was recently in the post office in Ipstones. - the village across the valley I can see from our lane where I noticed a local history book called “The Churnet Valley Footsteps Through Time” by Lindsey Porter

ISBN: 978-1-84306-567-8

A really interesting and informative read. Amongst other fascinating facts and history it tells the story of Ironstone that was discovered in the valley. The closer to the centre of the valley the richer its red colour. The red dust from the ore left rings around the miners eyes - this gave its name to Cherry eye bridge just west of Froghall.