Book 17

Canal Cruising 2021

An e-Book and website by Cyril J Wood

 

The title photograph shows nb Squirrel moored at Billinge Green Flash on the Trent and Mersey Canal

Contents

Click here for the latest entries or on the required section below to follow links

Chapter 1 - Canalmanac 2021 Part 1

 

Chapter 2 - Easter Cruise 2021

 

Chapter 3 - Canalmanac 2021 Part 2

 

Chapter 4 - Summer Cruise 2021

  Chapter 5 - Canalmanac 2021 Part 3
  Chapter 6 - Autumn Cruise 2021
  Chapter 7 - Canalmanac 2021 Part 4

Canalography 2021

Tailpiece

Return to Introduction

 

Chapter 1 - Canalmanac 2021 Part 1

2021 started off with the country being plunged into Lockdown 3·0 along as well as being deluged with torrential rain courtesy of Hurricane Christoph. Agden... where our boat's mooring is located featured on the Granada TV News and other networks due to flooding of nearby property and the surrounding area. The boat was unaffected due to the canal being on an embankment and well above the surrounding area. I was working from home due to the college I work for being closed except for vulnerable students. Lymm Cruising Club is still hibernating during lockdown and the Committee have decided to carry-over our 2020 positions and proposed cruising programme to 2021. We live in hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic subsides soon and some sort of normality can resume.

Flooded Agden Lane adjacent to our boat's mooring

(Photograph - Sky News)

I was pleasantly surprised when one of my photographs was used in the Waterways World Readers' Favourite Views Gallery. The photograph was of our canal cruising friends from across the pond... Bonnie and Mike Goldberg, steering their narrowboat Californian beneath Bridge 212 on the Trent and Mersey canal at Dutton and a screenshot is included below along with the original photograph. The photograph also featured in the April 2021 edition of Waterways World but they made a mistake in the caption. They said that it was Bridge 22 on the T&M when it is actually Bridge 212... naughty Waterways World!

A screenshot of the Waterways World Favourite Views website showing my Bridge 212 photograph...

... a scan of the My Favourite View from the April 2021 edition of Waterways World...

...and the original photograph

I seem to be receiving enquiries about the history of canals throughout the world... what was the first canal, where was the first lock, etc. so with staying at home I decided to write a short piece for the website about it. It is still in development and I have not even decided on a title as yet (all suggestions gratefully received - email me at cyril.wood@virgin.net if you have any). Watch this space for developments on this subject.

Last year I had been asked to put on another film/slide show for Lymm CC including my History of Lymm CC presentation. During the lockdown 3·0 I had the opportunity to up-date some of my audio/visual presentations. Canalscape was given a complete make-over including new titles, adding a prologue complete with a commentary and an extra piece of music in the middle to accommodate extra photographs that were added. The last track... Orinoco Flow by Enya was previously taken off the Watermark CD but the new version has the extended twelve inch vinyl version... retro or what!

Soundtrack and photograph preparation for Lymm Odeon - Take Two

Two of my other presentations... This is Diarama and Carscape were also up-dated with new titles and extra photographs added. All that we now need is for the COVID-19 restrictions on social events to be lifted (and for members/guests to turn up), the date finalised and we are ready for "Lymm Odeon - Take Two".

The previous Lymm Odeon - Take One presentation

During February we were in the grip of not only lockdown 3·0 but a cold snap as well. We were definitely suffering from withdrawal symptoms from our boat but the enforced staying at home encouraged me to complete some jobs in the house. But my photographic exploits were still taking place and my photograph of sunrise over the Liverpool skyline was used as a weather photograph in the Granada television Weather Forecast.

Granada Weather Forecast screenshot showing my Sunrise over Liverpool photograph...

  ...and the original, un-cropped photograph

A couple of days later, on Saturday the 27th February, as it was a beautiful day, we drove up to Lymm to drop-off some things that we had promised in the Landrover Discovery courtesy car loaned to us whilst our Kia Soul was having RTC damage repaired. When we reached the Lymm CC Clubhouse work was being undertaken on the new Harbourmaster's Shed as well as a few members doing work on their boats after the winter.

Lymm on a beautiful February afternoon

It was good to catch-up with some of our friends and whilst we were there we were saddened to hear of the death of Margaret Hamilton from Thorn Marine at Stockton Heath. This was the third death we had heard of in the last few weeks. Margaret had been unwell for a while and we shall miss this lovely lady and her dry sense of humour. A couple of weeks later we read that Margaret's coffin was being transported from Thorn Marine to BMBC's moorings at Walton by narrowboat then by hearse to Walton Crematorium a short distance up the road. As luck would have it we had to travel to Warrington that day anyway to collect our car after having the RTC damage repaired and so we could pay our respects to Margaret on her way to Walton before carrying on to the other side of Warrington to collect our car.

Margaret Hamilton's coffin being transported to Walton on board Rambling Thorn

There were a few of us waiting to pay our respects... all socially distanced, and at the allotted time we saw Rambling Thorn rounding the bend on its way to Walton. The boat was steered by Margaret's son Nigel with husband Brian standing sentinel over the beautiful wicker-work coffin. As the boat passed we all clapped to show respect for a lovely lady that we shall miss and remember with fondness... rest in peace Margaret.

With the end of the COVID-19 restrictions due to take place in the summer, our thoughts are now turning to our 2021 Summer Cruise. We were initially thinking about a re-run of our 2020 plans to cruise to Stourport but a landslip at Anderton has effectively closed the Cheshire Ring and access to the Northern, Welsh and Midland waterways without a detour up the Rochdale or Huddersfield Narrow canals. We were playing with the idea of heading up the Wigan flight of locks and seeing how far we could manage to cruise but we shall have to see how quickly the landslip problem is solved.

Landslip at Anderton

(Photograph - Canalworld.net)

We decided to change our car after the RTC when a car went into the back of ours whilst Ange was driving, even though the repairs had been completed to a high standard. In our experience, when a car is involved in an RTC it is never quite the same again. Accordingly, we reluctantly decided to part company with our Kia Soul that had served us well over the last eight years. Another Kia Soul, albeit a much later model possessing most the the technological advances that we had admired in the Landrover Discovery courtesy car we had been loaned, was found via the Internet at Stoneacre in Wakefield. We arranged to have it transported to our local branch of Stoneacre and subsequently purchased it,

Our new Kia Soul at Stoneacre in Wallasey...

... and Ange ready to drive it away

Our first cruise of 2021 took place over Easter. Due to the Government restrictions we could not stay overnight yet, so we went up on the Saturday after Good Friday. I had driven up a couple of days earlier to make sure that everything was okay, run the engine and polish the interior woodwork making sure that there were no naughty spiders lurking to jump out at Ange! As soon as we arrived I brought the boat up to the water point and filled the fresh water tank. Not long after we arrived, Paul and Wendy arrived followed by their daughter, her fiancé and grandaughter. We planned to cruise up to Dunham Massey, have lunch on the towpath and catch-up on the latest news and happenings. Paul and Wendy set off whilst I finished filling the fresh water tank. When I was satisfied that there were no water leaks, we followed in their wake shortly afterwards. Initially, it was cool but as the day went on it warmed up considerably and we cruised through Dunham Village in warm sunshine.

Yours truly steering Squirrel through Dunham Village

Bollin Aqueduct Narrows

After turning around we retraced our path to the other side of the River Bollin Aqueduct Narrows and moored next to Paul and Wendy's boat. We all sat out on the towpath, socially distanced naturally, in the warm sunshine. After lunch I fell asleep in my chair and did not realise until a couple of days later that I had a little bit of sunburn! After chatting with our friends and a couple of cups of coffee later we started the engine and made our way back to our mooring after an enjoyable and surprisingly warm day out... hopefully, the first of many in the months to follow.

Moored at Dunham Massey

Socially distanced lunch on the towpath

The next weekend we went up to Agden and as the Government COVID-19 regulations had been relaxed we stayed overnight for the first time this year. An interesting boat passing through Agden was a 23 foot Mallard GRP cruiser called Popalong. We had seen this boat abandoned on the Trent and Mersey Canal a few years ago, then being refurbished at Stretford Marina before being sold to its new owners. It was good to see the boat in good condition and being used. That evening we were treated to a beautiful sunset. Our visit was short due to my having my second COVID-19 vaccination that lunchtime necessitating we left earlier than normal.

Mallard GRP cruiser... Popalong at Agden

Agden at Dusk from our mooring

A couple of weeks later I spent a couple of days on the boat doing some jobs. On the second day I noticed that the engine battery was not holding its charge even though the boat had been plugged into the landline which charges both sets of batteries. The battery had been on the boat since we bought it eight years ago so doesn't owe us anything. Whilst having a chat with Alan Savage he gave me a flier for Alpha Batteries in Rochdale. As I looked at the flier I noticed a photograph of a narrowboat on it. The narrowboat was none other than our previous narrowboat... Total Eclipse and was taken  at Ellesmere on our 2005 Summer Cruise.

The Alpha Batteries flier featuring a photograph of Total Eclipse...

... and the original photograph that they used

I rang them and after being quoted £90 over the phone I decided to  buy a battery from them. They could have delivered it the following day but I didn't want to risk my not being in when they delivered and Ange having to lift it into the house so I decided to drive up to Rochdale in person. Once at their premises I spoke to the sales staff (who sounded like Paddy McGuinness) who confirmed the amount quoted on the phone. I showed him the flier and told him that the narrowboat used to be mine and that the photograph was taken by me. I also said that I should receive extra discount in lieu of the royalties I didn't receive. He told me that the flier was produced by an outside company for a trade show about ten years ago. Accordingly, he did give me an extra discount and paid £80 for the battery. The battery was loaded into the car, went home and would be fitting it when I was next up at Agden that weekend.

Latest Entries

That Saturday, with the new battery fitted and working well I discovered that the Eberpächer central heating unit was not operating. After checking all the connections and making sure that I had not disturbed any electrical cables or connections, I did a bit of research and discovered that after five unsuccessful starts the unit locks until its memory is cleared by an engineer with the correct equipment. It was May Bank Holiday weekend and we had planned to go for a cruise so this problem would have to be sorted at a later date. The next day we set-off for Stockton Heath in warmish sunshine and after stopping at Lymm CC to empty the loo we cruised for a couple of hours until we reached our destination.

An ex-working narrowboat that we met at Agden

Lymm on a pleasant May Day afternoon

Unfortunately, the weather turned cold and we had tea in Paul and Wendy's boat before turning in for the night. The next morning we were greeted with rain which accompanied us all the way back to our Agden mooring. I was soaked to the skin and after mooring the boat Ange peeled my wet clothes off me and made sure that I was warm with dry clothes. After a hot cup of coffee and a quick lunch we left for home. Needless to say, when we arrived home the central heating was turned up! We made plans to remove the Eberpächer and take it to our nearest service agent who I discovered was Anderton Marina. I had a chat with Gavin... their service engineer and arranged to take the unit there a couple of days later. Unfortunately, the weather thwarted our plans continually and I was becoming increasingly frustrated at not being able to sort this out and tackle the other jobs on the boat that were mounting up. hopefully, when the rainy period is over we will have some dry, warm weather that will allow me to crack-on with my plans.

 

To be continued

 

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Chapter 2 - Summer Cruise 2021

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Epilogue to Summer Cruise 2021

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Chapter 3 - Canalmanac 2021 Part 2

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To be continued in Chapter 5 - Canalmanac 2021 Part 3

 

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Chapter 4 - Autumn Cruise 2021

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Epilogue to Autumn Cruise 2021

 

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Chapter 5 - Canalmanac 2021 Part 3

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Canalography 2021

Our Canal Cruising Experiences and Milestones During 2021

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Lymm CC Cruises & Work Parties Attended During 2021
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Tailpiece

The story most probably continues in...

 

Book 18

Canal Cruising 2022

Health and finances allowing!

 

Click to return to Contents

or select another book below...

 

Contents

Click here for the latest entries or on the required section in the Contents below to follow links

Forward
So You Want To Go Canal Cruising?

Introduction

 Book 1 - 1959 to 1982

 Book 2 - 1983 to 1999

 Book 3 - 2000 to 2005

 Book 4 - 2006 to 2007

 Book 5 - 2008 to 2009

 Book 6 - 2010

 Book 7 - 2011

 Book 8 - 2012

 Book 9 - 2013

 Book 10 - 2014

 Book 11 - 2015

 Book 12 - 2016

 Book 13 - 2017

 Book 14 - 2018

 Book 15 - 2019

 Book 16 - 2020

Our Boats
Ruby
nb Squirrel
Adeline
Canals on Screen
Canals Through the Ages (Coming soon)
Photography Introduction
Photographic Experiences
Canalscape Gallery

Diarama Gallery

Photography in One

The History of Lymm Cruising Club

The Duke's Cut - The Bridgewater Canal

The Big Ditch - Manchester's Ship Canal

Shroppie - The Shropshire Union Canal System (In Preparation)

The Manchester and Salford Junction Canal
Mersey Connections (In Preparation)

Wonders of the Waterways

2011 Gardner Engine Rally Report

Foreign Forays - Canals of the World

Worsley Canal Heritage Walk

Castlefield Canal Heritage Walk

The Liverpool Docks Link

nb Total Eclipse

Don't Call it a Barge

Canis Canalus
Shannon

Footnote and Acknowledgements

Site Map
Go to the
Website
e-mail link - cyril.wood@virgin.net

 

"Canalscape" and "Diarama" names and logo are copyright 

Updated 15/05/2021