Thursday, 25 May 2017

Saying good-bye to the north west

The excitement of the Bridgewater Canal opening a day early on Tuesday was over shadowed by the unfolding news from the terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena. Such shocking news and so, so, sad as Tarleton, where we’ve spent 4 months over winter, lost two young girls in the attack. Saffie was 8 years old and in the year above Nikita at Tarleton Community Primary School. It’s such a small village school the pupils all know each other. We helped at the school Christmas fayre and the Macmillan cake sale and attended all the assemblies over winter. The poor headmaster had to address the press. Heather’s found it really difficult going to & from school, trying to avoid the huge amount of film crews, photographers and police at the school gates. The other girl, Georgina, was 18 years old and did a placement at Magnus & Lance’s nursery over winter as part of her course. Heather & the children attended the vigil and placed some of their glass painted jars with a candles in. The villagers have put pink ribbons on all the trees and lamp posts. Saffie’s mother remains critically ill in hospital.

Thanks to Colin of the Wool Boat for the Pics

So today we are moored on the Bridgewater Canal. We made an early start with Carole and Colin, from The Wool Boat. Just as well as it’s getting pretty hot. Colin reports for some of the canal press and wanted to take photos of the workman finishing on Tuesday evening and he was thrilled it actually opened and he could snap the first boats through, John tagged along too. We are only able to stay on the Bridgewater Canal for 7 days with our CRT licence, so over the next couple of days we’ll be heading for Preston Brook where it ends. We need to go back to Braidbar Boats as we have a couple of bits that need seeing to. On the way we think we’ll be passing through Middlewich when their folk and canal festival is on, so it’s be rude not to attend.

Liverpool seems such a long time ago now. We had glorious weather for the whole time, apart from the day we left, it was pouring & very windy. We paid for a few extra days there as Ada & Dale wanted us to view the venue they’ve chosen for their wedding. The train to Milton Keynes is less than 3 hours and Dale was here to meet us. It was an action packed weekend, dinner at his parents house on Friday. We were up bright & early to meet the wedding planner, who just happens to be our niece Alice. We rather over stayed our allotted time at the venue, however, we got to taste the type of food they want for the evening buffet and then on to see my sister Louise. Then we all went to Dunstable in the evening. Edmund was in Luton visiting friends, so we all met up for a Wetherspoons breakfast before saying our good-byes.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Steam on the dock

What an excellent weekend with Steam at the Dock. There were toot toots and honk honks echoing around the buildings all weekend from all the steam engines. With quite a range engines from a small steam powered row type boat, narrow boats ‘Whistle down the Wind’ and ‘Emily Ann’, 2 launches and 2 tugs ‘Daniel Adamson’ and ‘Kern’. 

The smaller vessels that could get under the bridge from Albert to Salthouse Dock did several trips in front of our boat. Both of the narrow boats however, had to lower their funnels to get under the bridge. On the dock side there was a train from the Snowdonian Railway, traction engines full side and tiny ride on ones, steam lorries and a little milk float. In addition two shire horses and street performers.


It was dismal and very chilly, but dry on Saturday, I in fact had to light the fire. Sunday was gloriously warm and sunny. Heather, Jason and the children came down from Southport on the train as we anticipated parking to be a nightmare with the steam event and Liverpool playing Southampton. 


We had a ride on ‘Palmerston’ the steam train, then we had a look around the ‘Daniel Adamson’ which has been fully restored to it’s original d├ęcor. 


Nikita and Magnus were totally fascinated by the jelly fish swimming by. Plus, they got really excited when a shrimp or fish swam by too.
Lunch time John and I nipped to get us all KFC.
Friday evening we put up our bunting and fairy lights in quite strong wind and it stayed up. I was shocked that none of the other narrow boats here didn’t decorate their boats too. 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Bye bye Liverpool

We left Salthouse Dock in Liverpool bright and early this morning, gosh a week goes SO fast when you’re having fun. The CRT chaps were waiting for us at Mann Island lock at 08.00 for our assisted passage up the Stanley flight and onto the main line. Luckily we had another narrowboat to accompany us up the locks.

We are now moored at Litherland at the CRT yard, what a tremendous day, warm and sunny. Lyn and Kevin gave us a little portable BBQ before we moved onto the boat and today is the first opportunity we’ve had to use it. We’re staying here for 2 nights and then heading back to Liverpool, that’s 5 nights earlier than we’d initially planned. There’s a weekend of steam on and around Albert and Salthouse Docks and there was a free slot to decent the locks on Friday so we jumped at the chance to be back there. I’ve got our bunting and fairly lights out ready to put up for the festivities.

We’ve had an action packed week and the one of the highlights was going up the tower of the Anglican cathedral, it was a beautifully clear day and we could see for miles. It has the largest peel of bells in the country, 13 bells and the bell Great George the larger than Big Ben. The belfry looks very empty and clean compared to St. Margaret’s Church, Edgware, where I used to ring in the 1970’s. We attended an organ recital there too, amazing as they have the largest pipe organ in the UK. The other highlight was a trip down to the historic Liverpool wet dock, the first commercial wet dock in the world.

We have visited the Liverpool World Museum, Museum of Slavery and part of the Museum of Liverpool. We still have a fair list of places to visit next week too. We’ve chatted to lots of Scousers at the pub’s we’ve visited.

Yesterday evening I joined a knitting group at Cafe Nero. I was expecting hoards of knitters from the city, however, there 5 lovely gals with just a couple of locals the others from either sides of the globe. They made me very welcome and I came away with a huge list of ‘got to sees’ that they recommend.

And we’ve just loved having the on tap electricity, no immersion heater, electric kettle or having all the lights on for the next couple of days though. The forecast is good so our solar panels should charge the batteries nicely.