Sunday, January 31, 2010

Busy Binding a Book

Managed after a long while to get all the pages repaired and the old glue and bits still stuck on sorted out and off.

Reinforced end pages cut out and sewn on to the tapes.

The hard bit is to not get it too tight as the extra thickness of the postcards and the age of the book means that I don't want to mess about too much with it.

Building up slowly and only slightly down on one side but that can be compensated for as time goes on.

Last few pages to be sewn in.

Finished the sewing.  Now to level out between the tapes and put mull right over it to hold it all together with flaps to glue into the boards.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Moored at Doncaster

The paint on the flagpole hasn't dried properly so brought it in next to the fire to finish it off. Instead of fixing it up I went for a local walk instead.

There is a bridge not far ahead of the boat that leads to a car park so had a wander over to take a pic of the mooring.  Quiescence is moored outside of Abigail Jenna but you can just about see my yellow box on the bows and the wide beam Shamrock that moored astern yesterday.

Tim has a problem with his wind genny.  It is exactly the same as mine but while mine is spinning like a good one his just turns into the wind and sits there refusing to go round.  It does not seem to be as free as mine so it might be a bearing problem.

Walking up the road past Tesco I noticed that the Minister (St George) is open to the public today.  In I went to have a look around.  An impressive place and full of stained glass from the 19th century.  The church was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott after its medieval predecessor burnt down in 1853. He was quite prolific in his output and worked on some notable buildings.

Sir George Gilbert Scott (13 July 1811 – 27 March 1878) was an English architect of the Victorian Age, chiefly associated with the design, building and renovation of churchescathedrals and workhouses.

Born in GawcottBuckinghamBuckinghamshire, Scott was the son of a clergyman and grandson of the biblical commentator Thomas Scott. He studied architecture as a pupil of James Edmeston and, from 1832 to 1834, worked as an assistant to Henry Roberts. He also worked as an assistant for his friend Sampson Kempthorne

He designed St Denys Church, Southampton (1868) (Where my family lived from the end of the 19th century) Between 1864 and 1876, the Albert Memorial, designed by Scott, was constructed in Hyde Park. It was a commission on behalf of Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband, Prince Albert

Out of the Minister and towards the A19 roundabout I saw the 'statue' of George and the Dragon made from plants.  It will look much better when spring arrives and there is some growth put on.  He does have a problem in the killing of the dragon for he is missing his lance and the dragon in this case looks as though it is being trampled to death by the horse.  Do they know something of the story that has been kept from us.  Conspiracy!! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Long Sandall to Doncaster

It was a busy morning at Long Sandall.  It seemed as though most of the BW staff in the region seemed to have turned up.

I had a chat with a couple of people that turned up on Wharf II and Nottingham.The reason that they were on the visitor moorings was because of break-downs.  The Wharf II at 20 years + old is in dire need of some TLC.  Gauges keep shutting down and starting up.  OK probably just bad connections but if time isnt given to do minor jobs then they end up as something major.

Nottingham has had a refit and had the engine reconditioned but now and then the electrics are playing up. Time needed to be spent on it.

The dredger William Jessop

The William Jessop was first away and into the lock. Shortly after came the empty barges for the spoil.

From Wikipedia
The first major work that Jessop is known to have carried out was the Grand Canal of Ireland. This had begun as a Government project in 1753, and it had taken seventeen years to build fourteen miles (21 km) of canal from the Dublin end. In 1772 a private company was formed to complete the canal, and consulted John Smeaton. Smeaton sent Jessop to take control of the project as principal engineer. Jessop re-surveyed the proposed line of the canal and carried the canal over the River Liffey, via the Leinster Aqueduct. He also drove the canal across the great Bog of Allen, a feat comparable with George Stephenson’s crossing of the Chat Moss bog with the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. The canal was carried over the bog on a high embankment. 

In 1789 Jessop was appointed chief engineer to the Cromford Canal Company. The proposed canal was intended to carry limestone, coal and iron ore from the Derwent and upper Erewash valleys and join the nearby Erewash Canal. The important features of this canal are the Derwent Viaduct, which was a single span viaduct carrying the canal over the River Derwent, and theButterley Tunnel (formerly the Ripley Tunnel). In 1793, the Derwent Viaduct partially collapsed, and Jessop shouldered the blame, saying that he had not made the front walls strong enough. He had the viaduct repaired and strengthened at his own expense

From 1784 to 1805 Jessop lived in Newark in Nottinghamshire, where he twice served as town mayor

The boat started moving and into view came the empties from just up the canal.  The Derwent was doing the pushing and stashed the barges alongside the mooring for the lock as though it was the size of a mini.  Must have done it before.

Soon the engines of both boats inside were running and with help from one of the BW staff (I bet they don't go to the same Customer Care school at the Railways) gave me a hand to swing the boat around so that I could head up stream to Doncaster. I left Tim to follow along after me as I needed to move to let the BW boats out.

The run up to Doncaster was uneventful but chilly.  I gave the new hat from Kath an outing and it did the job perfectly.

The mooring is just in front of St Georges church (Minster)  you can see here.  On the left is the modern build that holds the art college

From Wkikpedia

It is one of Doncaster's most architecturally important buildings. It was built by architect Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1858. It replaced a 12th century Norman building that burnt down on the last day of February 1853. It was described by Sir John Betjeman as "Victorian Gothic at its very best".
Amongst its treasures are a clock by Dent (the same designer the Palace of Westminster Clock more usually known as Big Ben) and a spectacular 5 manual organ by the renowned German organ builder Edmund Schulze (1824-1877).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bramwith to Long Sandall Lock

The view this evening

Yesterday the throttle decided that it no longer wished to work as per instructions.  I did try to fix it but the aluminium spindle is badly grooved and the grub screw doesn't tighten up on it so I am still running on mole-grips.  I will have to get a new unit at the next chandlery.

By 1030 Chris and Harry arrived.  Learnt all the gossip and got the news of friends in Lincolnshire.  They both kept their hats on as the temperature is a bit low and I hadn't bothered to light the fire. It burst into life on its own so threw some wood on to warm things up a bit. With the sun coming out it became quite a pleasant day.  Chris brought me some reading material.  Nice fellow that he is. Harry - not to be left out - brought the cake to go with the cuppa.As a treat for us boaters Chris went on to Bramwith Lock and opened up for us and having seen us through the lock went on to Barnby Dunn where I would let him have Harry back :-) 

Harry seemed to enjoy the hour that it took to get to Barnby and the swing bridge was opened up ready when we arrived.

Having left Barnby Dunn astern we were now on the look out for some firewood to keep a supply for the next week while I am moored at Doncaster.  It didnt take long to find some trees that had be cut up and left in a large pile on the towpath.  Filled up all the orifices - so to speak - and carried on to Long Sandall Lock.

As it is getting rather dull and not want to travel in the dark we decided to moor up at the visitor mooring that is just the other side of the lock. Using the lock you need to make sure that your boat is well moored.  Lifting the paddles is automatic and the flow coming out is rather powerful.

The mooring is full of BW boats.  Eric is forrard along with two other boats and I moored alongside Nottingham.  

There is also a plastic boat here. It has two AWARE notices on it.  Last licensed in 09/09 it seems to be now incurring a  £20 a day surcharge from 11/09 for over staying its welcome.  The cost will be more than the boat is worth.

A little bit of excitement after we had moored.  The Humber Princess was on its way.  The boat started moving about ages before it arrived.  Tim was on the other bank and it was suggested he might like to move as the tanker does go over to that side it could be awkward.  We hadn't quite finished mooring when she arrived.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thorne to Bramwith

Tim and myself got our boats ready to leave.  Did the usual engine checks - must find where that oil in the bilge is coming from!

Tim turned his boat around and the throttle keep returning automatically to neutral - stopped to get it fixed.

OK. Off we go.

Got as far as the lock and at this point my combined gear/throttle decided to become loose.  As I keep going (no astern) I whipped off the control handle to find that the grub screw had made a nice groove around the spindle and had stopped gripping.  Out with the tool kit and grab the molegrips.  That should keep me in charge till I repair it tomorrow.

I was going to stop and pick up some logs for the fire but with the delays we are now running a little late so its straight on to Bramwith.  Due to the uncertainty of the controls we have stopped at the swing bridge till the lever is fixed.

I have visitors tomorrow.

Chris and Harry are coming out.  Harry is a good friend from way way back.  Our claim to fame was the walking of the complete Hadrians Wall from coast to coast carrying all our gear with us.  The journey took just four days to complete and was well worth the effort.  If anything I would miss out the first 20 miles as the road is onto of the wall out of Newcastle.  Then it goes off into the moors and the scenery and walking is a delight.  Harry? Harry is the sort of bloke that always has a carrier bag or dustbin bag with him and litter picks all the way.  He will never be at a lost for something to pick up with all the peasants that seem to be about these days.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Favorite girls visit

Little Izzy is gorgeous and big sister Abz is taking good care of her.  Izzy seems very contented with life and tends to ignore everyone by sleeping through minor details like visits.  Apart from the little mewing sounds she makes while hunting rabbits or what ever babies do while dreaming she is happy to get a cuddle from anyone!!!

She did wake up a couple of time and said FEED ME but that was it.  

I dont know what she was thinking of here but it did bring a smile to her face.

Once Izzy had gone home Abz was able to put the stool up so that Dash could check out the details of life outside through the window.

Sunday morning saw us up and about after a late night and on the way to the shop we found the old Motte up near the church. Like all of Thorne the area is not used to its best advantage.  Thorne itself has a dreary feel to it and like the motte area is neglected and somewhat run down.

However the motte is just right for climbing up and is quite high as you can see.  It is best to use the steps to get to the top.  These are on the right cos if you climb up the side of the mound you will get your jeans dirty from going on hands and knees.  Won't you Abz!!!

There is a large board on site and it gives you the history and a couple of pictures of how it used to look.

After the motte we got to the shop to buy the necessary items for Welsh Cakes.  This was done after lunch and some are left for a visit on Tuesday from Harry and Chris.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Back in the swim of things

From the bows

I know it looks as though I am in the middle of the canal but that is where the bows are.  I backed into the facilities.

On Sunday morning the ice was, I thought, thin enough to get out and in addition a boat had come down the canal and moored not far from me in the marina.

After trying to get out astern and finding it iced up in the middle of the marina I went back to the start and turned around to make like an ice-breaker - but gently - as I didn't want to do damage to other boats with the two inches of ice.  The ice started to break up but in the end I left the engine running slow ahead and went on to the bows and broke the ice with a boathook otherwise I would still be there.  The marina dwellers were the usual helpful lot with assistance in turning - it was a bit tight and others ice-breaking from the ends of their boats to aid my passage.

Coming to the entrance, or exit in this case, of the marina I found a fishing competition in full swing and because of the melt water bit of a high flow down the canal.  The problem now was getting around the turn for when my bows were well into the canal my stern was still inside the marina and the water was taking me down stream.  No way could I turn and one angler got right shirty with me so I cast doubt on his parentage and his intellectual ability as I went sideways down the canal past him.  One angler, somewhat more intelligent than the other shoved my bows away from the bank so that I could bring the stern in.  I reiterated my thoughts to the angler as I went past a second time. I don't think he was impressed but he did learnt a few new concepts.

Tim has been stuck at Thorne Boat Services for the last month.  He went to open the swing bridge for me.  At first, yet again, it didn't want to play but a jiggle with the key and the flashing light came on and it opened.  Gangoozlers fell in behind him to check out the problem.

Just the other side of the bridge is a 1904 Dutch Barge.  I will have to take a look into some history here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Still stuck - touch of the Shackltons

I am still in the marina at Thorne

Its not as bad as this now

The ice was all around the boat and three inches thick.  It is receding slowly but not fast enough for my liking.  I ran the engine up to charge the batteries and this time had the engine in ahead.  This resulted in a huge hole appearing in the ice astern.  The water in the canal is just a little bit warmer than the ice so all we need is for everyone to run their engines ahead for a couple of hours and the canal will be free of ice :-)

The instant it is possible to move I shall be on my way again.  To start with I might not move far as there is a possible delay in leaving Thorne completely but will get up to the water point and facilities.

The idea at the moment is to go towards Leeds and thence over the Pennines to Middlewich. A side trip to the Llangollen and the aquaduct is likely.  Been over it once but its definitely worth a second visit.

There is also a possible visit from Izzy next weekend. She is such a gorgeous baby and Abz is having the time of her life being the big sister. It will be great to see her again.

Wasting time as usual.  I have been working on some parish registers for Freereg and have completed Owersby and am now working on the Caistor ones.  It is something to do with the time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I'm back

After several weeks away from the boat (hiding from Christmas) I am now back.

At the end of December I was in Barton on Humber being kept in line by Abz while Mummy was in hospital giving birth to her little sister.  The big sister image fits well on Abz who loves every minute of her time with Izzy. Karyn wont be getting a look in if Abz has her way! :-)

Isabelle Amy was born by CS on December 31st at 1005 and weighed in at 8lb 1/2oz. She looked and still does look gorgeous. She had slight jaundice but not enough to be kept in so they were both back home on Saturday when I returned to the boat and the snow.

Abigail Jenna is in the middle of these.  Nice looking (must be getting on for vintage) wagon was delivering log this morning.  Happily I have coal on board.  In the next few weeks when the ice is thawing I will be off to Ferrybridge to pick up some more and then possibly try for Wigan via Bingley.  There might be a stop in Leeds for a few days.

The snow is lying on top of the ice.  You can just see the solar panel on the boat.  I went down and cleared the snow off it.  Not a job taken lightly with the snow on the gunnels :-) I am not linked to the power supply at the moment so need to run the engine occasionally.

The snow is still falling but inboard with the fire well and truly lit I am in shirt sleeves it gets so warm.  Mind you first thing in the morning would be enough to put people off boating in winter with ice on the inside of the windows.

I did mention that there was not much room for error mooring up.  I only have one fender down and that had to be kicked into place.  At least the boat doesnt move a lot even if the ice wasnt there.