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Andy Healey

Andys Triumph TR7 and Narrowboat Centurion Blog

Andys Triumph TR7 and Narrowboat Centurion Blog
Latest Entries-

September 2016 Cruise

August 2016 Cruise

April Cruise

October Cruise down the Llangollen Canal.

October Cruise up the Llangollen Canal

Forncett Steam Museum Open Day

Heveningham Country Fair

Kelling Heath and North Norfolk Railway

Euston Rural Pastimes

June Cruise Part 3

June Cruise Part 2

June Cruise Part 1

Updates

Chester to Wrenbury Cruise - March 2015

Wrenbury to Chester Cruise - March 2015

Sunday Oct 26th Flixton Air Museum

Henham Steam Fair Sunday 21st September

Shropshire Union 2014 Day 6 and 7.

Shropshire Union September 2014 Day 5

Shropshire Union September 2014 Day 4

Shropshire Union September 2014 Day 3

Shropshire Union September 2014 Day 1 and 2

Cars by the Lake - Fornham

Stonham Barns Classic Car Show

Wrenbury to Llangollen July 2014 Day 7


September 2016 Cruise

In the 2nd week in September we had another week on NB Centurion, just Gill and I this time, we arrived mid day at Welton Hythe Marina in light rain, after unloading, and with no sign of the drizzle easing we decided to chance Watford Locks. The drizzle was on and off through the locks.
Waiting for the staircase.
We moored a couple of bridges after the lock,away from the noise of the M1 at one of our favourite spots, the promise of a better Sunday showed in the sky.
Brightening up in the evening.
On the Sunday, well fed with a cooked breakfast we meandered on through Crick Tunnel, past Yelvertoft. Although warm, we did not have the promised sun, After lunch at Welford Junction we went through Husbands Bosworth Tunnel and on past Laughton Hills to moor a few bridges before Foxton Locks. After dinner we had a walk along to the locks and the inclined plane.
Approach cutting to Husbands Bosworth Tunnel.
Cruising near Laughton Hills
Laughton Hills.
We had rain overnight, it had cleared by Monday morning, but still dull with cloud cover. We dropped down the locks before turning left to Debdale Marina to have the repaired cratch boards fitted, only an hours job.
Foxton Top Lock.
We turned at Debdale, back towards Foxton and on to the Market Harborough Arm, the arm is quite narrow, with many reedy sections, requiring a sharp lookout for oncoming boats.
Reedy section on the way to Market Harborough.
Repaired Cratch.
We wandered into Market Harborough for a coffee and cake before returning for dinner.
Tuesday we again went into Market Harborough, a Costa Mocha was calling along with some lunch from a nice Deli near the town square. The Market was not as we remembered, quite small now, Gill managed to find a few cake supply and kitchen ware shops for what seemed liked a very long browse!
Returning to the boat after lunch we set off only to be stopped at the first bridge by a fallen tree, around 5 boats where held up, Canal and River Trust where just clearing the last remains of this.
Union Wharf, Market Harborough.
Old Grammar School - Market Harborough.
Nice TR7 in for MOT - Market Harborough.
Stoppage for Fallen tree.
CRT winching out the last branches of the fallen willow.
We cruised on in increasingly brighter weather to moor at the bottom of Foxton locks.
Heading for Foxton.
Foxton.
After a pleasant evening at Foxton, Wednesday dawned fine and sunny, we ascended the locks, there must have been around 10 volunteer lockies today, mostly painting and gardening, we had a bit of a wait however 4 in front of us waiting to go up and 5 coming down. The lockies only worked by setting the bottom ,middle, and top locks though.
Gill on the tiller at Foxton.
Andy resting at Foxton.
We carried on after taking water at the top, past the Loughton Hills, through Husbands Bosworth tunnel to moor at the popular Welford Junction. Lots of boats here tonight.
Welford Junction.
After a nice evening meal, then a circular walk around the area we retired early to bed.
Thursday we awoke to another sunny day, breakfast over, we reversed back to the junction and took the Welford arm, narrow and overgrown, up the single lock to Welford where we moored for water and rubbish disposal and a quick look around the Lime Kilns and wharf area.
Welford Wharf.
Welford Locks.
Welford Arm.
We carried on past the A14 crossing, on to Yelvertoft in great weather to moor at Crick, opposite the Marina. We took a walk up to the Millennium Woods, up Cracks Hill, and back down through Crick Parkland back to the boat for dinner.
Crick Millenium Woods.
View from Cracks Hill.
Cracks Hill.
Gill descending Cracks Hills.
Friday morning was sunny, after another fry up breakfast we set of for Crick tunnel, passing a few boats on the way through without any problems. We had a short wait at Watford locks whilst boats came up the flight then descended without the help of any volunteers.
Leaky Gates
Decending Watford Locks
Gill working hard.
We then had a short run up to Welton Hythe Marina to service the boat, diesel, pump out, etc, before reversing to the mooring. It was owner service week so all fluids where checked, belts checked, hoses checked, nothing that we don't do during the week anyway. Before cleaning and packing up we took a short drive to Long Buckby and the Heart of the Shires craft and shops where we had a nice light lunch and drinks. After an afternoon spent cleaning and polishing the brass we went down to the New Inn for dinner, just the normal pub grub at a reasonable price.
Overnight it rained which ruined the previous days polishing, but at least it was clean. Then it was the journey back to Norfolk in driving rain.
Really enjoyed the week, we went at a slow pace with no real itinerary and had reasonable weather.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 16th September 2016 8:40pm gmt



August 2016 Cruise

Last week Father and I spent a week on the boat together, we left Welton Hythe Marina around 1 pm Saturday, aiming to moor in Braunston by the evening, I had traveled from Norfolk, father had come from York on the train, then push biked from Rugby to Welton Hythe, at the age of 81.
We passed through Braunston Tunnel, only passing one boat midway, Braunston locks where not particularly busy with boats, however there was a music festival so plenty of revelers about, plus a strong smell of weed in the air.

Welton Hythe Marina.
Grand Union near Norton Junction.
Lock Buddies at Braunston.
The Home Brew Boat at Braunston.
Link to Home Brew Boat here - https://nbareandare.com/

We moored the other-side of Braunston on the Northern Oxford Canal with a good view of Braunston Church, looking very nice in the Evening Sun.
Braunston Church.
On the Sunday we headed for Hillmorton Locks, quite busy now with a lot of hire-boaters about, we moored below Hillmorton for lunch before moving forward onto the water-point for a top up.
Duplicated locks at Hillmorton.
Here Father made a silly jump to the bank, which has a soft edge with overhanging grass, he missed the bank and went in between the bows and the bank. I dragged him out, a bit shaken and with grazes to the front of his legs. Hot tea and a shower later and plenty of Savlon he announced himself OK to carry on. We cruised on through Rugby, Newbold and the tunnel before mooring near Brinklow for the evening.
One of many Bridges over course of old canal.
Monday we cruised on towards Hawkesbury Junction, father now had a fair amount of bruising on his legs and a suspected calf strain, my quest was to find him some deep heat or similar at Hawksbury, quite a walk before I found some.
Heavy vegetation growth Near Ansty.
Hawkesbury Junction.
We moved on, taking the 90 degree turn at Hawkesbury Junction and headed down the Coventry Canal to Marston Junction, turning on to the Ashby Canal. We passed through Hinckley and moored near  Higham on the Hill.
Bridge 1 on the Ashby Canal.
On Tuesday father decided he needed the medical center at Market Bosworth for a second opinion on his leg, so we pushed on through Stoke Golding, Sutton Cheyney, and past the Battle of Bosworth site before mooring. He was only able to see a nurse who recommended a heat rub for the calf and a second opinion at a Hospital. therefore we immediately turned and headed back to the start of the Ashby, mooring for the night near Burton Hastings. Later that evening he would not consider a taxi to Coventry or Nuneaton Hospital, there where no A and E facilities at Hinckley. The heat rub seemed to work so he was happy to wait until we got back to the car.
Near Stoke Golding.
Stoke Golding.
NB Waiouru at Bosworth Wharf. http://www.narrowboat-waiouru.co.uk/
Wednesday we where away early from Burton Hastings with the intention of making Hillmorton, Dad was ok steering as he could take the weight of his foot using the seat in our Semi Trad steering area. We made good time to Hawkesbury Junction, turned onto the Northern Oxford and cleared Ansty and Stretton before lunch. Then it was on to Rugby and Hillmorton locks.
Near the end of the Ashby Canal.
Thursday we had a late start, we passed what used to be Blue Haven Marine, where NB Centurion was fitted out and launched 13 years ago, and the Launch ceremony at the Old Royal Oak next door.
NB Centurions Birthplace.
Then it was up the Braunston Locks with lock buddies, a slight delay between 3 and 4 with an empty pound, then through the very busy tunnel, had to hold for a while at the very bendy section with 3 boats coming towards us, did not want to get jammed up there.
Approaching Braunston bottom lock.
We made it back to Welton Hythe by mid afternoon, father was put in a chair on the bank to rest his leg whilst I cleaned and polished.
Back in Welton Hythe Marina.
Friday we took a trip to Northampton General Hospital A and E. Pretty good service as we only waited about half an hour. Took me longer to find a parking space! The report was no real damage and a referral to his doctor in York to check on the bruising this week.
We had lunch out and a look in the library before heading back to the Marina to sort out diesel, gas, and pump-out, the Marina had completed a few booked service items whilst we had been away.

We had fine and sunny weather for the week, father worked out we had done about 91 miles, 20 Locks, 4 tunnels and using about £56 worth of diesel.
He declared himself fit enough to ride his bike to Rugby Railway station on the Saturday morning, he would not use Long Buckby, which was nearer, nor would he leave his bike behind!

Away again in 2 weeks time.

PS, We spotted the mighty NB Caxton on route, Paul, we hope this brings back happy memories, our thoughts are with Elaine and you at this difficult time.


posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 17th August 2016 9:50pm gmt



April Cruise

The first week in April saw Gill and I head to the new location of NB Centurion, the boat is now at Welton Hythe Marina near the junction of the Grand Union Main line and Grand Union Leicester line. We have previously hired from Weltonfield Narrowboats here, a boat named NB Cressy been the boat hired the most by us, the best and well fitted hire boats we have ever used.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon, after shopping and various tasks we moved the boat from the Marina to the towpath to await friends on Sunday morning.
The following morning our friend's arrived, we did a quick car run to leave their car at Crick Marina, then set off for Watford locks after a round of bacon butties.
We soon reached Watford locks, there was a small queue, just a 20 minute wait, then we where away up the locks.

Watford Staircase Locks
Richard and Lou on the tiller.
Leaving the locks we let Richard steer through Crick Tunnel then on Yelvertoft, before we winded and moored at Crick for a late lunch.
View towards Cracks Hill near Crick.
After lunch our guests departed back to Suffolk and we winded again and moored near Cracks Hill for the night.
Mooring for the night.
On the Monday we cruised slowly on to Yelvertoft, filling the water tank there, then on to Welford Junction to wind and have lunch, another favourite mooring of ours.
Passed by a lovely tug style boat.
Welford Junction
We started heading back towards Crick, still some weak sunshine, but no rain yet, We moored overnight after bridge 28 near Elkington when the rain arrived, a quieter mooring would be hard to find, not even dog walkers around. Just the sound of the birds, and owls later at night.
Lovely mooring near Elkington.
Tuesday we headed back through Crick and the Tunnel, then down Watford locks to moor overnight outside Welton Hythe Marina, we where waiting for Gills brother Pete and partner Shani to arrive.
Near Yelvertoft.
Blue sky at Cracks Hill Bridge.
Crick Tunnel.
Watford Staircase Locks.
Our guests eventually arrived at 9pm Tuesday night, so after a quick catch up it was off to bed.
On Wednesday we set of the short distance to Norton Junction, turned left onto the Grand Union and headed down Buckby locks, no lock Buddy's about so we took a little longer to descend the 7 locks onto the Blisworth pound. Was a little overcast in the morning as we descend the locks.
Buckby top lock, Gill showing Pete and Shani how to operate the locks.
Spotted Maffi at Buckby Wharf, did not get to speak.
Somersault signal in garden at Buckby.
Pete, Gill, and Shani getting in to the swing of it at Buckby lock 9.
We moored on Weedon embankment for lunch where shortly after the weather changed, the wind got up and squally showers came over occasionally.
Another blogger spotted near Gayton, NB Rock and Roll.
We carried on in the wind, which also included a couple of hail storms, then took on water at Gayton junction before going through Blisworth Tunnel to moor at Stoke Bruerne for the evening. As usual towards the end of the day we had some sun and the wind died down. Had a good meal at Stoke Bruerne followed by a scrabble evening which turned very competitive between brother and sister and did not end until late!
Blisworth Mill.
Early evening sun at Stoke Bruerne visitor moorings.
After the usual bacon butties on Thursday morning we wandered up for a look around the museum, top lock area and village, before reversing to the winding hole near Blisworth Tunnel entrance, winding, before Pete and I cruised through the tunnel whilst the girls walked over the top via the woodland walks.
We had to wait for them to catch up at the Blisworth end of the tunnel.
Blisworth Tunnel.
Blisworth Mill.
Another bloggers boat, NB Sickle at High House
We took on water at Stowe Hill, moored nearby where bloggers Muleless and Maffi.
NB Muleless.
We carried on, accompanied by the West Coast main line and the frequent Pendolino's and eventually moored in more windy conditions near Brockhall, nicely shielded by the cutting and trees from the noisy railway and nearby M1.
Brockhall mooring, stove lit, dinner on, perfect.
Friday morning we set off leisurely back to Welton Hythe, just a short cruise to Whilton, then the 7 Buckby locks, before mooring for a latish lunch in the re-opened New Inn at Buckby top lock, a decent simple menu and value for money. We spotted the lovely blogging boat NB Achenar in the top lock.
Nice to see Jules Fuels delivering coal to the nearby cottages at Whilton.
NB Achenar.
We headed back to Welton Hythe where we filled with diesel, emptied the nasties, then took our berth before saying goodbye to Pete and Shani. Gill and I then spent the early evening packing, before a quiet evening on our own.
Saturday morning was the usual cleaning, Brass polishing, and getting ready for the next owners before the drive home to Norfolk.
Cleaned and Ready.
Newly fitted smart gauge, good to see it at this state at the end of most days.
Can now keep a check on our daughters electricity use when she brings her gadgets and playstation to watch films, gaming, etc. That will cheese her off.



posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 14th April 2016 9:27pm gmt



October Cruise down the Llangollen Canal.

After turning round at Trevor, we pulled over just after the bridge where the canal carries on to Llangollen, Gill fancied an ice cream, so I held the boat while she went into the Hire Base shop, at this point the trip boat appears from Lllangollen and pulls over opposite me, I waited about ten minutes until Gill came back with the ice creams, whilst the trip boat helmsman did the same. We ate our ice creams, then the helmsman says, why are you waiting, the aqueduct is clear of traffic, so I said I am having an Ice Cream, he then launched into a tirade of abuse, saying he had pulled over because he thought I was waiting, bugger me, he had a clearer view of the Aqueduct than us. Off he went with a revving engine and heavy wash with all his customers looking a little bemused, we eventually followed him over, then he turned round at the other end and came back still having a go at me. Nob.
   

View from the Aqueduct
Froncysyllte
Chirk Bank
We spent the Tuesday night at St Martins Moor again, lovely quiet mooring.
Wednesday morning the sun took a while to appear through the mist and cloud, we had no queue at New Marton locks, and headed for Ellesmere.
Passing Frankton Junction, boats waiting to lock down
onto the Montgomery Canal. We gave it a miss as there is a stoppage
at Aston Locks.
The lovely windy section around Val Hill.
After passing NB Bendigedig we moored outside Ellesmere and walked over the wooded hill and the castle mound to Ellesmere for lunch in the visitor centre. After lunch we had a quick look at the old houses in the town, then walked down the arm back to the boat. Passing Eric, Elsie, and Ben from Bendigedig walking back to their boat with the shopping.
Ellesmere Visitor Moorings.
Ellesmere.
Shropshire Union Wharehouse.
Moving on, through the tunnel, we passed Blake Mere then pulled over at Cole Mere for a quick look at the Mere. Surrounded by woods views are hard to obtain of the Mere from the footpath.
Clear sky's at Ellesmere.
Colemere.
We carried on to moor at Prees Junction for Wednesday evening. After lunch we had a walk around the nature reserve trail in the late evening sun.
Whixhall Straight. The motorway of the Llangollen, deep, straight, and
piled both sides.
Whixhall Straight looking to Prees Junction.
Prees Junction mooring.
Prees Junction.
Whixhall Moss Nature Reserve.
Looking towards Platt Lane.
Thursday morning the mist cleared early and we headed towards Whitchurch, the sun was warming and the sky's became blue. We passed Platt Lane and Fenns Bank, pulling over near the old Whitchurch to Welshpool railway bridge where I had a quick explore of the track bed before carrying on to moor in the Whitchurch arm. We walked into town for lunch, what was once a nice walk closely following the old route of the Whitchurch arm is now blighted by new build housing under construction.
Lovely boat near Fenns Wood.
Reedy section near Whitchurch.
Whitchurch Parish Church.
Whitchurch Arm.
After lunch and a nifty reverse manoeuvre out of the arm with judicious use of the bow thruster's which earned applause from another moored boat we reached Grindley Brook staircase locks, no queues and straight in to the staircase with a volunteer lockie to help.
Grindley brook top lock ready and waiting.
Going Down.
Gill keeping clear of the by wash weir.
And steering through the strong by wash.
Back on the Cheshire Plains near Willey Moor Lock.
We spent Thursday night round the corner after Quoisley lock. If you don,t like noise it is best to moor away from Grindley Brook and Whitchurch on Thursday evenings as the bikers from Chester, Wirral, and West Midlands all gather at Whitchurch services and scream up and down the bypass, very noisy.
The following morning the mist soon cleared and we headed further down the canal, passing our base at Wrenbury Mill and eventually reaching Swanley.
Misty Morning.
Blue sky in sight and mist clearing.
Check out that sky at 10am,
Just Lovely.
Wrenbury Mill Lift Bridge.
We had lunch at Swanley, before winding and returning up the 3 Baddiley locks back to Wrenbury Mill for the dreaded packing up and cleaning time, the evening was spent in the Dusty Miller for dinner and drinks followed by the scramble on Saturday Morning to pack the car, get diesel, pump out, and gas amongst the hire boats, the only downside of mooring here, otherwise we get excellent servicing from ABC Boats, and the syndicate takes advantage of good discounts for mooring and a good servicing contract.
Last leg, approaching Wrenbury.
Wrenbury Church Lift Bridge, planning permission has now been
given for a new Marina to be build on the left after the lift bridge.
What an excellent week that was, lovely weather, and a lovely time of year to be out with the leaves on the trees just turning. This may be the last time we are on the Llangollen Canal for a while as we move to Gayton Marina early next year.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 06th October 2015 9:26pm gmt



October Cruise up the Llangollen Canal

Gill and I have just returned from a glorious week on the Llangollen Canal. We had brilliant weather all week, misty most days for the first hour or so but burning off quickly with temperature's heading into the teens. We left Wrenbury Mill on the Saturday, cruising up the canal, it was reasonably quiet lower down the canal, our Saturday evening mooring was above Marbury Locks.
Near Marbury
On Sunday we carried on up the canal, up the single locks then past a very quiet Grindley Brook and Whitchurch, then along the long straight parts up to Prees Junction and Whixhall Moss. Our mooring for the evening was at Hampton Bank.
Misty Sunday Morning at Marbury
Soon cleared up with lovely blue sky
Reedy section near Quoisley Lock
Leaving Tovey's Lock
Grindley Brook Bottom Lock
Nice view of Grindley Brook Lock 2
Near Whitchurch
Approaching the lift Bridges after Whitchurch
Gill at the helm.
Saw lots of Kingfishers, impossible to get a decent photo of the
speedy little things though, this is the nearest I got.
Lovely sky and views over to the Mosses.
Our Sunday overnight mooring at Hampton Bank
On Monday morning we where away around 10am after a leisurely cooked breakfast, cruising past Cole Mere and Blake Mere, then through Ellesmere Tunnel, we called in at Ellesmere where the arm was nearly empty, after a coffee in the town we winded at the end of the arm and carried on past Frankton Junction.
After Maestermyn the canal was busy with hire boaters, the last week of September is usually busy with hirer's as the hire boat bases lower their fees, our first queue was at New Marton Locks, the queue was 5 boats as we arrived with first time hirer's causing havoc. We moored for Monday evening at St Martins Moor above New Marton Locks.
Lovely twists and turns near Lyneal Wharf.
Lonely watcher.
Blake Mere.
Near Tetchill.
Lovely view over into Shropshire.
Near Hindford.
Near Hindford.
Queue for New Marton Locks.
Sunset at St Martins Moor.
On Tuesday we only went as far Trevor, firstly crossing the Chirk Aquaduct then onto Pontcysyllte Aquaduct before turning round at Trevor,the towpath gossip was that the canal from Trevor up to Llangollen was a heaving mass of hire boaters with congestion at the narrow sections and a full mooring basin at Llangollen so we gave it a miss.
Congestion ahead at Chirk Bank.
Chirk Aquaduct.
Entering Whitehouses Tunnel.
Leaving Whitehouses Tunnel.
Canoeists crossing the Aquaduct.
Gill crossing Pontcyscllte Aquaduct.
River Dee below.
Return Journey to follow.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 05th October 2015 8:33pm gmt



Forncett Steam Museum Open Day

I recently returned to Forncett Steam Museum, a private collection of old industrial Stationary Steam Engines, I had visited here before with father when the engines where not running. The museum is owned by Dr R Francis, his father, Col Roy Francis was behind the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway.
Vickers Armstrong 150HP engine used to open Tower Bridge in London.
Dr Francis was on hand to give a well informed guided tour of each of the Steam Engines including starting each one in turn and told how the museum and collection grew and was built as he was offered more and larger engines for his collection.
First engine which started the museum collection, a horizontal open crank single
cylinder engine.
Hick Hargreaves 50HP engine from a Mill with Corliss Valve Gear.
"Spruce" half of a pair of 50HP Beam Engines from a Staffordshire
 Water Company.
Robey 200HP Tandem Compound Mill Engine used to drive
machinery at Sleaford Maltings.
Inverted 600HP Triple Expansion waterworks pumping engine from
Dover Waterworks, last of its type built in the UK.
Easton and Anderson 65HP A Frame waterworks beam engine from Roall water pumping
 station in Yorkshire.
Vertical Boiler that feeds the steam to the engines.
Demonstration of how Line Shafting was used to drive machinery in mills and
factories.
There where many more smaller engines to see working, plus a die cast model collection and a lovely Hog roast. An interesting couple of hours and worth the entrance fee. See here for info Forncett Museum

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 16th August 2015 9:15pm gmt



Heveningham Country Fair

Mid July saw a return to Heveningham Hall for the Heveningham Country Fair and Wings and Wheels with Phoenix CVC. Always a good show and usually good weather but not kind to us this year.
We met up at Flixton Air Museum for a quick 12 mile convoy to Hevingham, a varied range of sports cars from an old Lotus 7 to a Porsche.

Flixton Air Museum.
We set off from Flixton, all cars nice and shiny only for it to rain on the way, and on the private road into Heveningham Hall Estate we all got muddy, some more muddy than others as they did not slow down, that would be me then!
We quickly got the shelter up before the routine intake of Bacon butties and Coffee's. The weather did dry up for most of the day which was a relief.
Rain eased off.
We did the tour of the lovely grounds, had tea on the lawns, looked at the lovely flower displays in the Orangery, and visited the various craft marquees and stalls dotted around the event ring.
Lavender Borders.
Heveningham Hall.
The Orangery.
Walled Garden.
After lunch and Pimm's we where entertained by the Breitling Wing Walkers and the Silence Twister Aerobatic Team. Unfortunately the weather kept quite a lot of the private planes from attending the annual fly in. Photo's from the websites.
Breitling Wing Walkers (Photo by Brietling) http://www.aerosuperbatics.com/
Silence Twister Aerobatic Team. http://www.twister-aerobatics.co.uk/
Other attractions included Dog displays, Suffolk Punch Horses, Motorcycle stunts, Jousting, and Birds of Prey along with displays of selected cars touring the ring.
Later we looked around some of the cars on display, a mix of classic and sports cars.




When it came to packing up time there was a very heavy downpour so it was a wet Event Shelter stuffed in the boot of one of the Jags. Despite the weather another good day with a friendly car club.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 04th August 2015 9:02pm gmt



Kelling Heath and North Norfolk Railway

Early July was our annual camping trip to Kelling Heath Holiday Park on the lovely North Norfolk Coast, we had booked immediately after last years trip and had picked 3 nice pitches at the edge of the site which where a lot quieter than last years.
Home for 3 nights.
Over the 4 days we had a few barbies, attended the beer festival on site, got sunstroke as it was unbearably hot on the Saturday, survived the predicted storm over Saturday night, which had very impressive lightening but not as much rain as expected.
On the Sunday we attended the North Norfolk Railway Vintage Transport Day with the Phoenix Car Club, some of whom we had camped with, the weather was a little drizzly and overcast, with rain forecast around lunchtime so we put up the Event Shelter for our members.
We had around 8 phoenix cars on display at Holt Railway Station.
Nice selection of Granada's.
GT6's from Leicester.
After a quick look around the show we made good use of our free tickets on the trains and the vintage buses. We took the next train to Sheringham hauled by the 4MT 76084.
4 MT 76084 running round at Holt Station.
Firstly we booked a table for lunch before having a coffee then a wander around Sheringham, we managed to avoid the accursed Morris Men who have a festival in Sheringham every year at the same time as the NNR Vintage Transport Day.
Vintage bus at Sheringham.
Not many on the beach due to the rain.
We met other Phoenix members for a very good Sunday lunch in Mulberry's restaurant just off the High Street, following up with ice creams before a bus trip back to Holt.
With the weather a little brighter I left Gill gassing with other members of PCVC whilst I took the train down to Weybourne, the headquarters of the North Norfolk Railway, unfortunately the other engine due to be in steam, the B12 had failed so it was diesel hauled behind a BR Class 37 D6732
Class 37 D6732 at Holt.


Weybourne Station.
The failed B12 at rear with the Black 5 45337 been warmed up for the
following day services.
After a coffee and a look around Weybourne station I took the next service back to Holt on the Class 101 DMU.
Class 27 D5401 arrives at Weybourne.
Class 101 DMU arriving, 
We then packed up the Event Shelter at the car show before returning to Kelling Heath, sampling the Beer Festival again before pizza from the on site restaurant. Returning to the tents we sat outside for a while drinking wine before retiring for a quiet night.
Monday was pack up time, again a hot day so we dismantled the tent and gazebo at a leisurely pace before the drive home. Was the most pleasant camping I have had for a while, I generally struggle to sleep in a tent, however the pitches we picked where quiet which helped. Thanks to Keith and Sue and Alan and Christine for organising the weekend and the great barbies.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 16th July 2015 9:15pm gmt



Euston Rural Pastimes

In June we attended the Euston Rural Pastimes event with Phoenix Cherished Vehicle Club, this is at Euston Park near Thetford.
We had a pleasant top down drive to get to this very good event, there where plenty of vehicles on show including cars, trucks, tractors and steam engines.
This year we took a tour of the farm estate in the morning,behind a tractor, the estate which stretches over 6200 acres has arable and pig and poultry farming with some amazing statistics, 45 miles of irrigation pipes, many miles of tracks, 60,000 pigs raised per year, and they grow many crops and vegetables, the smell of the onion fields was very strong.

Some of the arable land and the tracks used by farm machinery.
Managed woodland for wildlife.
After lunch we then looked around the vehicles and all the various side shows and stalls before sitting out in the sun chatting and generally chillin.
Nice Manta GTE
Vauxhall Cresta
PCVC Cars,

Some of the vintage trucks.
Steam Power.
Later we had a look in the estate church, there was a flower festival inside, spent some time watching the show horses before a flypast by a DC3.
DC3.
Euston Church.
Another good day with good company, this one will be on the list again for next year.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 07th July 2015 7:53pm gmt



June Cruise Part 3

Thursday
After another quite and peaceful night we left towards Middlewich around 10am, passing Crofton Flash then across the aqueduct towards Middlewich locks.
Crofton Aqueduct.
Not as spectacular as some we have been across.

After the Middlewich locks Father hopped of with his bike for a few necessities whilst Gill and I turned on to the Wardle Branch then on to the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union Canal.
Wardle Lock Cottage in the Sun.
This branch of the canal is reasonably straight, towpath well kept and neat. Not many kinks in it but we did meet oncoming boats. The rumours from these boats was that Cholmondeston locks was closed.
Oncoming boat.
Caught up but Dad happy to keep on cycling.
Sods law, always meet a boat at a bride.
Class 66 pulling a trainload of Range Rovers.
We carried on to Church Minshull pulling over for a snack and drinks. Finally letting father on board.
We had passed the old stables and house, very picturesque.
Church Minshull.
Canal Stables - Church Minshull.
Moving on again we reached Cholmondeston Lock, as suspected it was closed for replacement of the buffer on the front of the cill, however the foreman informed us that they would be finished within an hour. We pulled over to the Venetian Marina pontoon for water then tea and ice cream from the cafe whilst we waited.
Canal & River Trust staff installing the new wooden buffer in front of the cill.
Once the buffer was installed, after perhaps a 1 1/2 hour delay we where invited to be the first to use the lock, its easy to see how the boat that sunk got caught out, if both paddles are opened at once, as the CaRT guys did for us, there is a pull forward that even masses of reverse gear will not hold, so we where the first to test the buffer.
We carried on in early evening sun, turning on to the Shropshire Union at Barbridge before finally mooring at Nantwich on the far side of the Aquaduct. We wandered into Nantwich for our evening meal at a quiet pub down Welsh Row.
Crossing Nantwich Aquaduct.
Friday
Away from the mooring at around 9-30 towards the winding hole the other side of Nantwich, seems quite shallow since we used it last year, we then crawled back through all the moored boats and turned left at Hurleston junction back on to the Llangollen Canal.
LMS Butty Olive at Nantwich.
We passed a couple of downward boats in the locks then called at the services at the top of the locks for water and rubbish disposal.
Father and Son locking up at Swanley Locks.
On the home leg now we completed the Swanley locks and headed for Baddiley Locks, pretty stretch of canal this which which I always enjoy, even though it is the last day of the boating week.
Baddiley Locks.
Father passing a boat between Baddiley Locks.
We moored shortly afterwards for lunch before father set of on his bike for the train at Crewe.
Gill and I carried on to Wrenbury, mooring before Church Lift Bridge then carrying out all our cleaning before returning to Wrenbury Mill on the Saturday morning.
Another enjoyable week, despite not been able to get down Anderton lift and on to the River Weaver.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 22nd June 2015 8:28pm gmt



June Cruise Part 2

Wednesday.
A little bit of heavy wind overnight kept me awake for awhile but it eventually died down. So after a full breakfast we set off towards Preston Brook, at the winding hole before Dutton Lock, we intended to wind, however there was a loose Historic Boat drfiting about just before the covered dry dock. It was the Thomas Clayton Tar Boat Spey, a boat had just entered the lock so they made no effort to tie it up, I pushed it over to the bank, winded, then pulled alongside and found the pulled out pins to hammer back in then tied it up, there did not seem to be anyone about in the drydock where there where a few more Historic boats.

Spey adrift.
All tied up again.
We set off back towards Anderton, passing another Historic boat. We intended to reach the Lion Salt Works Museum, this was not yet open but father had managed to get a preliminary visit via Cheshire Museums where we could score the museum and staff on the experience.
Manchester Ship Canal Company Butty.
With the sun now out we had a pleasant run through the 2 tunnels, watered up at Anderton services, then through Marbury Country Park to Wincham.
Near Saltersford Tunnel, note the bridges here are built with a flat deck, this
is so that if the land subsides due to the saltworkings the deck can be easily
raised with extra brickwork.
Waiting for the timed entry to the tunnel, entry from on the half hour to 10 minutes
before the hour.
Leaving the very crooked Saltersford tunnel, so crooked you cannot see the
light at the end of the tunnel.
We arrived and moored outside the museum in near Wincham in time for lunch, then leaving Gill to relax in the sun we joined the organised tour. The Lion Salt works has had a 10 million pound restoration, and is now a museum to the prime past industry of the area, brine pumping and salt production, info here Lion Salt Works
We found it very interesting, a good reminder of the brine pumping and salt making that used to go on in this area. The staff where fairly clued up on the history, we had to assess them and the museum with scoring to complete after the guided tour. There was plenty of information on offer, old photos, interactive exhibits, old salt pans, and relics of the industry to view. I don't believe there is an entrance fee, it is well worth a visit if passing this way.

Salt Raking Pan.
Seddon Salt Railway Van.
Original Brine Pumping Donkey Engine.
We pushed on after the tour, through the industry of Wincham Wharf, past the Brunner Mond works, now owned by TATA, who don't they own! lovely smell of fresh bread from the bakeries near Broken Cross, then past the Billinge Green Flashes, I expected to moor here but father wanted to moor near the old Clay pits near Crofton.
Billinge Green Flashes
Lovely House near Whatcroft Hall.
Even got a Kingfisher on camera.
Nights Mooring near the Claypits.
Unfortunately we could not get on the clay pit moorings (Bramble Cutting) as 2 boats where already on the 2 available spaces. After lunch we had a walk down to Crofton Flash, then crossed the canal to try to reach the Clay pits but where baulked by nettles and brambles.
Crofton Flash - The flashes in this area are caused by subsidence of the old salt workings.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 17th June 2015 7:49pm gmt



June Cruise Part 1

First week in June we had a week on Centurion, starting at our Wrenbury Mill Base,
Saturday
We left the moorings late afternoon and cruised a few hundred yards to the the other side of Church Lift Bridge, much quieter and peaceful than staying in the Mill basin.
Peaceful Mooring.
Sunday
The following day we set of down the Llangollen Canal towards Hurleston Junction, it was relatively quiet as most of the hire boats head up the other way to Llangollen.
Hurleston Locks.
We turned left at Hurleston Junction, through Barbridge, then right on to the Middlewhich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal. We tied up before Cholmondeston Lock to wait for my father to arrive from York, travelling by train to Crewe, then push bike to Cholmondeston, not bad for an 80 year old. We stayed put here as a boat had sunk in the lock, an Anderson Hire Boat from Middlewich had his bow stuck under the supporting bars for a broken wooden buffer underneath the top cill, the lock here is quite deep and there is usually a heavy wooden buffer here, not sure if the hire boat had broken it or if it was already missing. They where just finishing pumping it out and refloating.
Pumping out the sunken boat to re float it.
The missing buffer the following day as we went down and showing
the metal bars where the water surge pulls the boat forward in the lock when filling, this caused
the hire boat to catch under the bars and sink.
There was quite a queue of boats below the lock waiting to come up stretching behond the railway bridge. Once the boat was removed, which took about 2 hours Canal and River Trust supervised boats using the lock, using only 1 paddle to control the filling, they where still letting boats up at 8pm then locked up the lock.
Queue of boats waiting for lock stretching beyond the railway bridge.
Monday
A windy day right from the start and rain forecast, we wanted to use the boat lift at Anderton so set off straight after a nice fry up breakfast. We safely descended the lock under CaRT supervision, next up was Church Minshull lock, another deep lock.
Leaving Church Minshull Lock.
We pushed on to the end of the Middlewich Branch, locking down Wardle Lock onto the very short Wardle Canal to the junction with the Trent and Mersey Canal, turning left after the junction bridge. Always busy with boats here and today no exception even with the wind and the rain that arrived as we locked down the Middlewich Locks.
Wardle Lock Cottage, now in the process of restoration, there used to be a very friendly
 lady here, an ex boater called Maureen who would offer advice to novice boaters
on their way from the 2 hire bases in Middlewich and always spoke to passing boaters.
The cottage is been restored by a young chap and his wife https://twitter.com/wardlelock
Gill taking the turn below the first of the Middlewich Locks.
After the very slow big lock we carried on to Anderton in the wind and rain, we where very disappointed that on turning up for our passage down the lift we found out the lift was out of operation. We stopped on the visitor moorings so we could look around as when we moored nearby we did not get the chance. The museum is OK and the lift looks great with plenty of info and exhibits. Just a pity we could not use it.
Anderton Boat Lift - Top Basin on the Trent and Mersey Canal.
 Bottom Basin on the River Weaver with Saturn, SUC Butty.
Side view of the Anderton Boat Lift.
We moved on once the rain had stopped and a little sunshine appeared, on through Barnton, then a short wait for the passage through Saltersford Tunnel, then along a nice little stretch before finding a quiet mooring near Dutton Hollow.
Barnton Tunnel.
Waiting for the timed on the hour passage through the crooked
Saltersford Tunnel.
Better weather near Dutton Hollow.
After mooring we walked down to Dutton Lock on the River Weaver and where lucky to see a narrow boat use the impressively large Lock Chamber, there are 2 sets of chambers here, but the smaller chamber, capable of been divided into smaller locks by extra lock gates has been out of use for some time.
Narrow Boat arrives from direction of  Frodsham and Runcorn.
Enters Dutton large Lock.
Lot of lock for 1 boat.
Note the sluice culvert, used for letting water out of the lock. the eddies
are from the water filling the lock.
Technique for locking up seems to be to tie to the white bollard
with the stern rope, and keep it in forward gear with a few revs
on whilst the lock fills with tiller pushed over to the right.
Level rising at top top gate.
Top gate hydraulically opens and NB Caelestis motors out.
NB Caelestis heads off  for Saltersford Lock.
We wandered downstream for a while, had a look at the sluice's for controlling the River level before returning to the boat for dinner and another quiet nights mooring.
Below the lock, unused entrance to small locks to the left.
Dutton Sluice.
Quite a flow at normal levels, must be impressive in flood.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 13th June 2015 9:32pm gmt



Updates

I have been a little lapse with the Blog of late so I think an update is due. Winter seemed a long time ending this year, the start of our car season began with a run out in late February to Wells next the Sea for some of the Phoenix CVC members. Not a warm day, but we enjoyed a run from Wymondham to Wells and then had fish and chips in the famous Plattens on the harbour front. We followed this with a blustery walk down the 1 mile sea wall down to Holkham Beach. It was quite cold and windy so we cheated and came back on the little railway.
Wells next the Sea.
Looking down the sea wall towards Holkham Beach.
Early March I visited the NEC Classic Restoration Show with friends, we spent a long and full day looking around at lots of cars that had been restored, looked at a few barn finds that where for sale, then searched the halls for info and parts for my friends recently imported Austin Hereford from Australia. Not as big as the November Classic Car Show but very interesting with lots of restoration demos on the go. We watched the 2 guys of Wheeler Dealers for a few minutes, before deciding they where both a couple of nobs who loved their voices. However up the other end of the halls we spent time listening to a talk by Ant Anstead from The Love of Cars and Fuzz Townsend from Car SOS who where genuinely helpful, knowledgeable and down to earth.
Barnfind Volvo P60
Early Saab
Nice Jag
Chrysler Imp Van.
For the weekend of FHBVC Drive it Day I managed to borrow a mileage accumulation car from work, so we put a few miles on it on the Saturday with a trip to Bury St Edmund's, the long way round via Norwich and Newmarket.
The Beast I borrowed.
Unfortunately it was LHD which restricted overtaking sometimes, been so low to the road I had to rely on Gills word to go when stuck behind larger vehicles, and she would take no chances!
Bury St Edmund's Abbey grounds.
Abbey Gatehouse.
Bury St Edmund's Cathedral.
Exige S - IPS
The Drive it Day run was on the 26th April, again we did not have brilliant weather, Gill and I had planned the run from Thickthorn Services near Norwich to a pub near Swaffham for Sunday Lunch. Again we went the long way round, via Bawburgh, Ringland Hills, Felthorpe, Swannington, Cawston, Saxthorpe, Briston, Melton Constable, Ryburgh, Brisley, Mileham, and finishing in Necton, in other words in a big circle. We then followed this with a quick run to a members fine house near Stoke Ferry.
Drive it Day

Drive it Day
The TR7 is still in my friends barn, all welding is now complete, though there was much more than I thought needed, it is back together again and the underside has been under-sealed and wax-oiled, however it now needs a full paint job. Won't be this year I fear.
Current State of TR7
Under bonnet view.
We are now using the MG TF for shows and runs as well as been a daily driver.
MG TF.
Sunday the 17th of May we took part in the Iceni MG Owners Club Boadicea Run, Starting as usual from Rougham near Bury St Edmund's. We had a few Phoenix CVC members with us. The run on a fine sunny day went around Suffolk and into Essex with a halfway stop at Lavenham, before loads more country lanes back to Bury, approx 100 miles in length. Who says MG,s don't do anything.
Lined up at Rougham.
Rougham Airfield Control Tower and Museum.
Well worth a visit to this interesting and free memorial to the USAF in WWII.http://www.rougham.org/
Typical roads on the run.
There are some wonderful houses on the route and nice villages and towns to stop in such as Kentford, Gazeley, Whepstead, Long Melford, Claire, Cavendish. We stopped for a very nice snack in the Horseshoes Inn near Cockfield. The Horseshoes Inn
Lavenham.
Back at the Control Tower at Rougham we had a coffee and cakes in the sun, an added attraction on the airfield was the Large Model Flying Club Show with some excellent and quite large models flying around, including jet propelled ones. We made for home around 4.30. A good day out.
Back at Rougham.









posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 21st May 2015 9:53pm gmt



Chester to Wrenbury Cruise - March 2015


After a quiet first night in Tower Wharf we moved over to the water point next to the dry dock, not a quick fill, then one of the  moorings on that side became vacant so we grabbed it quickly. I had a walk down the Dee Branch, never having looked when we last passed through. It all looks neat and tidy, however the lower lock to the river is out of use.
Dee Branch Lift Bridge.

Dee Branch lower locks.
Dee Branch-Disused River Lock.
Tower Wharf - Unusual Style Boat.
We then spent the day in Chester, a walk around the city walls, a look at the cathedral, followed by lunch then retail therapy for the girls.
Tower Wharf from the City Walls.
Shropshire Union canal from the City Walls.
We then had another quiet night before setting of back to Wrenbury, the weather was much improved on the return journey, we had all the locks against us as we climbed out of Chester, making progress slower, we reached Christleton and pulled over for a spot of lunch around 1 pm then carried on past Egg Bridge, Waverton, and past the Golden Nook Moorings.
Last lock out of Chester.
Horse to water near Christleton.
Lovely day for cruising.
Golden Nook Moorings.
We called it a day and moored shortly after near Tattenhall Marina.
On the Thursday, after a latish start on a grey day we finished off the rest of the Shropshire Union wide locks, no other boats on the move again today although we suspected something in front as again all the locks where against us. We again had a few paddles out of action, and Bunbury lock seems to have many leaks from the gates and also a fair bit of water drains out of the lock walls. Would not be surprised to see some major work required there sometime soon.
We ended up back at the Barbridge Inn moorings, useful for wi fi from the pub, seemed rude not to pop in for a pint and the password for wi fi.
Waiting for Wharton Lock.
Near Beeston.
Tilstone Lock with one of the round lengths mans huts.
Leaking gates and walls at Bunbury Staircase Locks.
Barbridge moorings.
On the Friday we woke to sunny weather, not too cold either. Last of the boaty fry ups today which is always a shame, back to cereal next week. We took the short trip to Hurleston junction then turned back on to the Llangollen Canal, lock duty for me now, Gill and Toni taking turns on the tiller now we are free of the wider locks which they refuse to control the boat in.
Gill entering Hurleston Bottom Lock.
After Hurleston it was on to Swanley locks.
Entering Swanley Locks

Toni's turn at the Tiller.
Swanley Top Lock.
Home straight to Wrenbury.
Then it was on to Baddiley locks and the home straight to Wrenbury and the end of another good week on the boat, mixed weather, but we all enjoyed it.




posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 17th March 2015 9:08pm gmt



Wrenbury to Chester Cruise - March 2015

We recently had another week on our shared ownership boat NB Centurion. Based at Wrenbury we arrived on a Friday evening after a long and slow drive from Norfolk. On the Saturday we left Wrenbury around 11am with some white clouds, some blue sky and an ever present strong wind and headed down the Llangollen Canal towards Hurleston Junction. We firstly negotiated the Wrenbury Church liftbridge and then the 3 narrow locks at Baddiley, 2 at Swanley, and the 4 at Hurleston. Turning on to the Shropshire Union Canal we moored for the evening opposite the Barbridge Inn where we called in later for a drink.

Wrenbury Church Lift bridge.
Fellow blogger NB Seyella near Swanley.
Unusual Windowless boat near Hurleston - can't imagine how dark it is inside?
On the Sunday we had our normal narrow boat fry up before leaving along the Shropshire Union Canal towards Bunbury Locks, stopping at Calveley for water and rubbish disposal. A much windier and overcast day making hanging about for locks more difficult without tying up.
There was a boat just entering Bunbury locks who shut the gate on us, upon challenging them they said they had read that it was not recommended in their Pearson's to share the locks!! we pointed out that it was only Beeston Iron lock that it was not recommended to share due to the distortion of the steel chamber but they would not have it, idiots, fair to say we did not help them at any of the locks as we frequently caught up with them due to their insistence on roping up the boat bow and stern when locking down.
Waiting at Bunbury Staircase Locks.
Near Tilstone Lock.
Blue sky appearing near Beeston.
 After a lunch of Big Soup and sarnies we carried on through Beeston Iron and Stone locks, then through Whartons lock, looking ahead heavy dark sky's signalled a storm approaching so we called it a day and moored near the Shady Oak pub. Unfortunately it was shut for refurbishment so drinks on board tonight.
View behind Beeston Iron lock.
Leaving Beeston Iron lock.
Monday morning, after another fry up we left in a strong and biting wind, rain was forecast for later so I was well wrapped up at the tiller, we crawled with difficulty past the 200+ on line moorings at Golden Nook near Hargrave, with the heavy wind and within the space of an hour we had horizontal rain, sleet, snow, hailstones, then finally sunshine as we moored for a welcome hot lunch and a warm up at Christleton.
After lunch in decreasing wind and sunshine we set off down the locks into Chester. It was heavy going with a few paddles out of action making filling locks slow.
Tarvin Lock Cottage.
Chester Landmark - Water Tower.
Cottages at Hoole Lane Lock.
We did not fancy the dark, dull, moorings before the city walls so chose to drop down Northgate Staircase Locks, a 3 rise staircase lock, notoriously slow to fill and empty.
Canal cut between the City walls.
In the top lock of Northgate Staircase Locks.
We finally turned into Tower Wharf to find a mooring, all the visitor moorings on the dry dock side where given over to winter moorer's, we managed to squeeze into a space on the Telford's Warehouse side, a tight squeeze but I managed to get her in.
Not the prettiest mooring.
The mooring was reasonably quiet overnight, we would spend the next 2 nights in Chester, having a good look round the City Walls followed by some retail therapy for Gill and Toni.



posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 14th March 2015 3:58pm gmt



Sunday Oct 26th Flixton Air Museum

With no Classic Car shows throughout winter on the last Sunday of the month in winter our car club, the PCVC, usually get together for a short run and a Sunday lunch. On Sunday the 26th October we all met at Flixton Air Museum near Bungay. We spent a little time in the museum followed by coffee and cakes before driving over towards the Suffolk coast for a good value Sunday Carvery at High Lodge Leisure Centre near Darsham.
Just a few photos from the museum.

English Electric Lighting
Sea Harrier FA2
Part of the Wessex Helicopter Collection. A Whirlwind.
A couple more early Wessex copters.
Sadly the museum has lost their Ken Wallis collection as the family has taken the gyro copters and memorabilia back for Probate and they will not be returning which is against his known wishes. Outside is an interesting collection of static planes and various WW11 displays from the various East Anglia USAF bases, in particular the 466th Bomb Group.
Hawker Hunter FGA9
English Electric Canberra
Other Aircraft including a  Hunting Provost,  Vickers Valleta and a Puckara in
the distance.
As usual we all had a good day out, especially good to see Ted out recovering from his heart op.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 28th October 2014 8:34pm gmt



Henham Steam Fair Sunday 21st September

Bit of a catch up blog
On Sunday 21st September a friend and I went to Henham Steam Fair at Henham Park, Suffolk. This is usually the last show of the year that I attend, this time as a paying customer.
Quite a big show with plenty to see and loads of tat to look around. We started of at the Vintage cars as Richard had a couple of friends with old cars, he was hoping to see some Austin A70's, maybe a Hereford or Hampshire as he will be shortly taking delivery of a project A70, but no such luck, nearest was an A50.


Austin 7
Lanchester
We then spent time looking around the vintage bikes, where his bike knowledge and reminisces was imparted on me, interesting stories even though bikes are not my cup of tea.
Next up was tractors, hundreds of them of all shapes and sizes and plenty of Lend /Lease stuff from WW2 when the USA sent thousands of tractors over for the war effort. Richard, from an agricultaral background knew a fai bit about these too.
British Field Marshall Tractors.
After lunch our next port of call was the Steam power, some very nice machinery on display, including a replica of Richard Trevithick's first steam road vehicle "Puffin Devil"
"Puffin Devil"
A couple of Marshall Steam engines where on display, Marshall and Sons started in Gainsborough, Linc's, they eventually become Field Marshall making diesel tractors in WW2 as the picture above, after WW2 they merged with Fowler and Sons of Leeds, again building tractors, small railway engines and bulldozers, before buying the Leyland Tractors name and models and continuing under this name until the 1990's.
Marshall Traction Engine.
Marshall Road Tractor
Sawing Demonstration.
Later in the day we had a look around all the auto jumbles, again on the lookout for Austin A70 stuff, then it was the commercials and military vehicles before spending a bit of time in the Classic Car section talking to friends before heading home.
Nice Pickford's collection.
Even somewhere to sleep.
That's it for shows this year, we have a couple of drive outs for pub lunches planned for some winter Sundays in 2014. Hope spring comes round soon.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 09th October 2014 9:23pm gmt



Shropshire Union 2014 Day 6 and 7.

Thursday 
Getting a bit repetitive, but Thursday was another sunny day. In no rush our plan was to get water before heading back to the Llangollen canal.
We left Barbridge about 9.30am and reached Calveley services which are situated in an old canal and rail transhipment depot.

Calveley services.
We winded at the winding hole before Bunbury staircase locks then made our way back to Barbridge and to Hurleston Junction for the 4 locks up to the Llangollen Canal.
Bunbury locks ahead.
Very nice property near Hurleston Junction.
It was straight up into the first of the 4 locks with no queue, Gill prepared the first lock whilst I worked the other 3.
Entering Hurleston Bottom Lock.
Neat manoeuvre by Gill in the pounds.
Hurleston Top Lock.
We carried on, past Swanley Marina before stopping for lunch just before the locks. Sadly, we suddenly remembered been moored here on 9/11/2001 when the news of the World trade Centre disaster occurred so we quickly upped pins then negotiated Swanley Locks.
Approaching Swanley No 1 lock.
Next up was Baddiley locks, set in nice pasture lands with wooden fringes to the canals, very pretty on a sunny day.
Near Baddiley.
Baddiley Top Lock.
We where on home ground now, just a mile to Wrenbury Mill, we headed for the first stretch of visitor moorings before Wrenbury, passing NB Beefur Sorry, I was the one who shouted out to you as mentioned on your blog post of 23rd September.
We moored just before Wrenbury Church lift bridge and settled in for a spot of polishing and cleaning before heading off to the pub for a meal and a drink.
Friday
We awoke to an overcast day on Friday morning, after a good breakfast we walked to Wrenbury for the car and drove to Chester for a day of retail therapy for Gill. Firstly we walked round part of the city walls, had a look at the cathedral and gardens before hitting the galleried shops.
City Walls.
Clock on the city walls.
Eastgate Street.
Galleried Shops in Eastgate Street.
Grosvenor Shopping Centre.
We had a light lunch in Chester before continuing our walk around the city. We did not walk down to the canal, having been through Chester on the canal a few times in the past.
Abbey Square
Entertaining Squirrel.
Chester Cathedral.
We headed back to Wrenbury late afternoon, then moved the boat up through the lift bridge and reversed into Wrenbury Mill Basin where we completed the cleaning and packing before heading to the Dusty Miller for a well earned meal.
Back in  Wrenbury Mill Basin.
Saturday
Saturday was the normal shareboat turnaround day, we dieseled up, new gas cylinder, filled with water, pump out then a final packing up and cleaning before heading back to Norfolk.
Another lovely sunny week on Centurion, which has run well with no problems. That's it for the boat this year, we have enjoyed all our 4 weeks and look forward to next year.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 30th September 2014 9:34pm gmt



Shropshire Union September 2014 Day 5

Wednesday morning we had a bit of a lie in before I made Gill get up and make me a nice breakfast. With no more visitors planned and the boat pointing in the Audlem direction we headed off that way, again. As can be seen it was another sunny September day.

Sunny September Day.
At Hack Green locks we encountered a radio controlled boat called Victoria Plum which pushes a small butty before it called Victoria Plums Garage! The owner looks to be slightly disabled and has the remote round his neck whilst he does the gates, he appeared to be a single hander.
Remote control round his neck for the boat behind him.
Centurion goes away as the boat is operated by radio control, the bow thruster's
also operated by radio control
Safely steered in by remote control.
Mooring at Audlem bottom lock we walked up to the village and the Audlem Mill craft centre for Gills crafty fix, before popping in to the BCBM office who now manage our Centurion syndicate.
Shroppie Fly and Audlem Mill.
Former Audlem Lock Keeeprs cottage..
St James Church - Audlem
Audlem seems a nice little town, but it is blighted by traffic, chelsea tractors everywhere and the new co-op seems to have had an affect on some of the local shops we have used before on previous visits, looks as though the bakers, and Fruit and Veg shop have shut down.
Walking back down the locks we saw FMC Dove working down the locks. I like to see traditional boats and this guy was doing it the traditional way, paddles dropped with hands on the shafts to control. bow up on the gates with engine in gear, pulling the gates open with a rope and engine in reverse, then pulling shut the gate shut behind the boat, where the rope then falls away and is retrieved whilst his partner lock wheeled ahead. Good to see, but I forgot to take photos of the rope work.
FMC Dove
FMC Dove in Audlem lock 13.
A couple more traditional Boats.
We had a late lunch back at the boat before setting off back to Nantwich, firstly calling in at the large Overwater marina for ice cream from the cafe, then on through Hack Green, across Nantwich Aquaduct, past Hurleston Junction before mooring opposite the Barbridge Inn.
Overwater Marina.
Barbridge Inn Mooring.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 28th September 2014 9:14pm gmt



Shropshire Union September 2014 Day 4

Tuesday
Tuesday morning, after a boatie breakfast of Bacon and Egg Sandwiches we prepared for our guests, Gill sorting out a buffet type lunch, myself having a tidy up. My cousins from Marple and Cheadle arrived with their partners around 11am and away we went to the winding hole at the end of the embankment, then back through Nantwich before tootling on passed Hurleston Junction. We moored for lunch at Barbridge. After lunch we gave them a locking experience, turning right onto the Middlewich branch to the reasonably deep Cholmondeston lock.

Gill and George on lock duty. George remembers as a child helping
boatmen down Wigan Locks for a bucket of coal.
Jim and Carolyn. 

Sylvia.
First time in a lock for them all.
Leaving Cholmondeston Lock.
Carrying on we turned at the next winding hole then made our way slowly back to Nantwich before mooring on the embankment again for the night.
Nantwich Visitor moorings on the embankment.
We showed our guests the aqueduct before saying farewell. They really enjoyed the day, made all the better with the good weather and are looking forward to an invite next time we are nearish to Manchester.
Gill and I had all the buffet leftovers, including the rest of the wine for a late tea before relaxing in front of the telly.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 25th September 2014 8:17pm gmt



Shropshire Union September 2014 Day 3

Monday
On the Monday we awoke to an overcast day, although this soon cleared to sunny spells. We had no guests today and the intention was only to travel as far as Nantwich to pick up Tuesday's guest's.
Passing Coole Pilate moorings we noticed they where absolutely rammed full, very popular mooring. We encountered a small queue at Hack Green which took half an hour to clear.

Gill waiting patiently for the locks at Hack Green.
We soon reached Nantwich where we passed the aquaduct before reaching the service block where we had a water fill which took ages with a ridiculously low pressure tap. We then went up to Henhull to wind before mooring the far side of the aquaduct ready for the guests the next day.
Very nice boat just past the Aquaduct.
We spent the afternoon looking around Nantwich, walking first down Welsh Row with some lovely old properties.
Welsh Row Alms Houses.
Gill likes this house, but not the position next to a busy road.
We had lunch and coffee in Nantwich, a little bit of window shopping and a general wonder about. I used to work at Rolls Royce cars many years ago and lodged in Crewe, but on an evening we always headed for a pub in Nantwich, which is posher than Crewe, but could I find it, I think my memory is failing me!
Tudor architecture in Nantwich Town Centre.
French Baroque stlyle store in Pillory Street.
St Marys Church - Nantwich
Nantwich Workhouses.
We spent the evening aboard with a nice meal and a few glasses of wine, very quiet mooring on the embankment once the residents dog walking was finished.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 24th September 2014 9:02pm gmt



Shropshire Union September 2014 Day 1 and 2

We are back from another week on NB Centurion, we where very lucky with the weather with no rain until Friday night. Just Gill and I so we had no real destination in mind other than entertaining relatives for a couple of days.
Saturday.
We had a decent journey to Wrenbury from Norfolk, arriving at 1pm and loading up the boat, we had already stocked up with food the day before using the cool bags to keep things cool for the journey.
We left Wrenbury around 2pm and headed down the canal towards Hurleston, cruising for a couple of hours to get the water hot and batteries topped up. Gill operated the lift bridge near the sight of the proposed marina, there are still objection signs up but I had heard the plan was shelved for now.
Church Lift Bridge, Marina will be on the right hand side here.
We cruised down the 3 Baddiley Locks set amongst lovely Cheshire pastures before mooring on a quiet Shropshire Union Canal Society provided mooring near Swanley.
SUCS mooring at Swanley.
After a nice on board meal I opened Octobers Waterways World and discovered we got a mention and a picture of Centurion and ourselves from our May trip when we rescued 3 girls on a boat. Turns out one of the ladies in question is a freelance journalist and regularly contributes to Waterways World.
Page 40 Waterways World.
Sunday.
A light mist soon cleared on Sunday morning, so after our traditional boat fry up we set of down the Swanley locks towards Hurleston. The locks are easy to operate however I still cannot get Gill to walk over the end gates when one is still open.
Swanley Lock 1
GIll having shut one gate, has now walked round to shut
the other gate rather than risking the step over the gap.
Hurleston locks where not as busy as we have seen in the past with just a couple of boats on the way up. We exited the flight then took a right turn on the Shropshire Union towards Nantwich
Hurleston Locks.
Leaving Hurleston Locks.
We moored at Nantwich for lunch, before heading in the direction of Hack Green, now quite sunny and warm with the odd cloud now and then we pottered along, up Hack Green locks along the long wide straights typical of the Shroppie to the bottom of the Audlem flight before winding.
Straight and Wide Shroppie.
We had intended to moor at Audlem but all moorings where taken so we went past the large Overwater Marina until we found some piling to moor against rather than the concrete sections. With our deep draught the "Shroppie Shelf" really affects our boat.
We passed Petroc moored at Audlem. 
We passed another blogger moored below Audlem, NBPetroc. See - Petroc Blog
Another secluded mooring.  
Our early evening view.


posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 23rd September 2014 8:50pm gmt



Cars by the Lake - Fornham

Sunday the car club went to Cars by the Lake, at Fornham, near Bury St Edmund's. Gill and I had not been to this Classic and Sports car show before. Luckily the last day of August had turned summery again which always helps at a car show. Having a couple of members on holiday we only had 6 cars on show. I think we met the Classic and Sport car title with 2 classics, The Scimitar GTC and the Lotus 7, and 4 sports cars with the BMW, 2 Jags, and the TF.

Phoenix CVC cars on display.
As per usual upon finishing setting up we headed for the bacon butties and coffee before wandering round the craft show and various other stalls and stands to keep the ladies happy before lazing around on the chairs chatting, and eating lunch and another of Gills cakes.
In the afternoon I wandered around the cars, having a chat with a few owners, and taking a few photos.

This is a TR7 blog so a picture of the only TR7 at the show, very rare as is the VX220 next to it , these where built at my employers Lotus Cars for Vauxhall, I have seldom seen one on the road or at shows since they left the factory, most of them going to Europe, I worked on the facilities and fixtures when the plant was set up for building the VX220 and the Mk1 Elise.


Another VX220 alongside Mk1 Elise from the same plant and period, I prefer the look of the VX220.
A few Porches and TVR's where also on show in the sports car category.
Alvis
Austin with tiny engine.
Compared with the engine in this Bentley Blower
A selection of Bugatti's, I think one guy owned 3 of them.
Up to date with a McLaren 650S super car. £200,000 to you.
Most popular was the Triumph Stag with 2 rows of at least 10.
Ford Model T omnibus.
Another good day was had by all, this was probably the last show we will attend this year, though some of our group will attend a few other shows on their own. Sad to say there was only 1 piece of cake to take home as the group had eaten most of it so my pack up has been a bit short this week.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 03rd September 2014 9:35pm gmt



Stonham Barns Classic Car Show

Sunday we spent the day at Stonham Barns Classic Car show in Suffolk, as usual we had to arrive before 9-30am to park up the cars. We had 6 cars from the club on show which was not bad for a promised windy, overcast day. We needed the event shelter today as around dinnertime we had a few light showers.

Phoenix CCV Club Stand
We partaked of the usual bacon butties for breakfast, before looking around the stalls and auto jumble, nothing found that is needed for the TR7 or MGTF, I should really make a list of part numbers for those items such as filters, brake pads, plugs, etc. Gill and I then had a quick look around the Stonham Barns outlet village and then into the owl sanctuary.
After lunch and the wet spell I strolled around the 300+ cars on view. As usual some very nice examples of which a few pics follow.





Alan and Scimitar GTC in the ring.
Despite the wind and the few spells of rain we had a very good day in pleasant company. Just realised we have only 1 more show to go now before the show season ends which means summer is near its end, we have not attended as many this year due to the TR7 been off the road for welding and de-rusting.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 18th August 2014 8:47pm gmt



Wrenbury to Llangollen July 2014 Day 7

Yet another very hot day, we have been really lucky with the weather. It was shorts again today. After a very welcome full breakfast, it was the last day, so we where using up all the bacon, sausage, mushrooms and eggs. Not in a rush today we set off about 10am with a short hop to Grindley Brook for a water fill and rubbish disposal. We seem to have the timings right for Grindley Brook, no queues again, and a boat just coming up, the volunteer locky told me he had 35 through on the Thursday, mostly going down.

Lovely clear sky at Grindley Brook Staircase.
Stephen was giving some tuition here on locking down, we kept our eye on him, pointing out the white lines marking the cill and the importance of keeping the boat forward of the cill, but not up against the gate and importance of been vigilant.
Staircase Lock Cill,
Stephen watching for the cill.
After the Grindley Brook locks we moved on through the relatively flat Shropshire countryside, then entered Cheshire near Quoisley lock. We moored for a couple of hours before Marbury Lock to do some Brass cleaning, clean the windows, and generally tidy up the boat in the shade of some tree's. Gill prepared a salad lunch which was enjoyed with the last of the Pimm's before we set off on the last leg to Wrenbury.
Our lunchtime Cratch view.
Last lock of the week, Marbury Lock.
Nursery lift bridge, Wrenbury. The home straight.
We negotiated the chaos at the Wrenbury Mill lift bridge then reversed into Wrenbury Mill boatyard to moor up. There then followed the usual loading of the cars with everything not needed for our final nights stay on board, then more cleaning and polishing before relaxing. Wrenbury lift bridge is a good place to watch boaters messing up the approach to the electric lift bridge, quite a few bumps to the bridge walls.
Wrenbury Mill Lift Bridge.
After refreshing showers and changing we spent the early evening in The Dusty Miller, very nice meals here washed down with Strawberry Cider before returning to the boat for coffee and bed.
Saturday morning was the final packing, final cleaning, a couple of small maintenance jobs, then a pump out of both Loo,s, fill with diesel, and change a gas cylinder before handing over to the next share owners.
All in all a fantastic week with great weather, our objective of getting Centurion to Llangollen easily achieved without long days, the boat ran well with no problems, diesel usage was quite reasonable and engine hours was about 36 hours. Stephen enjoyed his first ever week on a narrow boat and was sad to leave, as we all where. No canal fix now until September. Boo! It will be down the Shroppie then.

posted by Andy Healeyhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09521982341196107987noreply@blogger.com 06th August 2014 8:32pm gmt


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