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Coal, Diesel, Pumpout, Ropes , Fenders, and Other Boating Consumables to Boats & Canalside Business & Properties. E-mail :nbalton102@yahoo.co.uk or Mobile: 07791345004 or 07976811073

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas

Firstly apologies for not updating the blog sooner, but the last couple of weeks have been hectic to say the least. We loaded Alton at Furness Vale on Thursday 16th of December and the ice was finally begining to thaw. However that night we had another hard frost and woke to a very frost morning. We decided to have another go at ice breaking and made slow but steady progress through to New Mills. Here we were held up with the pumpout pump and pipe work, which despite being left empty, as soon as we refilled them ice started to form in the pipework and valves. After a couple of hours attempting to get the pumpout up and running we had to admit defeat.




In Photo: Ann Marie trying to defrost Carr Swing Bridge (or giving it the kiss of life!)

By this time George Boyle had caught us up and was running in front of Alton breaking the ice for us. He made good progress as far as Disley Lift Bridge as can be seen in the video below.

video

However a few hundred yards further on we were now breaking ice that was unbroken for over 3 weeks and over 4" thick. Our progress slowed considerably and by 2.30pm we were only  breaking 10' to 20' at each run at the ice. At this point we decided that progress was just too slow, so we began to make our way back in reverse from whence we came.


We finally made it back to Whaley Bridge Basin about 6.30pm having winded Alton with the help of Sandbach at Nat's Hole.  Thanks for your help George it was very much appreciated.

Then over the next few days we returned to road deliveries, back and forth we went in out trusty green nissan van. We drove down all sorts of lanes and tracks and found access points to the canal that we never knew existed. Thanks again to all those who helped.

Finally we have had a lovely few days off over Christmas with family and friends. Thanks for all your cards and presents, we really don 't expect, you really are are the most kind and caring customers. We hope you are all enjoying your Christmas break.

Best wishes from Brian & Ann Marie

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Alton's Christmas Schedule 2010

Our schedule for the next few weeks is as follows:-

14th & 15th December:- Road deliveries to Macclesfield, Bollington, Kerridge etc.
16th December:- Road Delivery to Bugsworth
17th - 20th December:- If possible we will be ice breaking delivering from Furness Vale to Marple and on to Adlington. If it is not possible to deliver by boat we will be operating by road.
21st December:- Deliveries to Whaley Bridge, then road deliveries to Macclesfield & Bollington
22nd & 23rd December:- Deliveries by road to Congleton, Kidsgrove, Middlewich, Nantwich, Audlem, Northwich
1st January - 4th January:- Whaley Bridge, Marple to Macclesfield & Fools Nook.

If you need supplies please get in touch or look out for us on route.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Alton Ice Breaking at Whaley Bridge 7th Dec 2010

video

Last week in order to load Alton with coal & diesel, we broke ice from Furness Vale to Whaley Bridge. This video shows how slow going the job was.  

Monday, December 06, 2010

Brian gets refuelled

A big thank-you, to all our customers who have kept us re-fuelled whilst we refuel them. We have had plenty of cups of tea & coffee, toast, cake, mince pies etc. You have all been very kind and kept a smile on our faces over the last few days. You cannot beat the camaraderie of the cut!

In the photo Brian enjoying coffee & toast for breakfast at NB Carbis (thanks Mike & Sue).
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Life on the Road

The last 2 days have been long & hectic, doing all our deliveries on the Peak Forest & Macc Canals by road. Back & forth we have gone with the van, wheelbarrow & sack-truck. By tonight we have finished most of our deliveries.

We would like to say a big thank you to all those customers who have minimised or delayed their orders for diesel. We have stretched out our 1000 litres supply and it is now exhausted. We have been extremely annoyed and frustrated by our bulk diesel suppliers, it seems we are just too small a company to hold any sway with them. We have been let down with our promised deliveries, often phones are just being left unanswered, we have pleaded, threatened, cajoled and we still do not know when we can get a delivery from any of our regular suppliers. Please be assured that we are trying absolutely everything to keep our customers warm. If you do need supplies please get in touch and we will do our utmost to supply you with fuel.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Big Chill

Well after yesterdays ice-breaking, today it has been back out with the van & wheel barrow. We have shifted a couple of tonnes with deliveries to Bridgemont, Furness Vale, New Mills, Strines, Marple, High Lane & Middle Kale. The last journey to Middle Kayle was the most treacherous with a couple of miles of farm tracks to negotiate. Then out with the wheel barrow & sack truck to deliver down the towpath and along the field, over the brook etc, etc.
A big thank you to all those who have mucked in & helped us out today it's been much appreciated.

We are having a well earned, early night tonight, ready for an early start with deliveries by road around Poynton, Adlington etc tomorrow. If you need supplies please get in touch.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Friday, December 03, 2010

Ice Breaking around Whaley

Yesterday we broke ice from Furness Vale to Whaley Bridge to enable us to load at Whaley Basin today. It was very slow going with the ice 2 to 3 inches thick in places. The journey of just over a mile took us 3 hours, constantly having to back up and get a run up at the ice.

Our loads where delayed, with the coal arriving at 2 (due to the air breaks having frozen on the coal lorry). We have only been able obtain 1000 litres of diesel and are hopiing for more deliveries by the end of the week.

Once loaded we made our deliveries around Whaley, but at the junction up to Bugsworth the ice was over 4 inches thick and it was very slow going, breaking less than half the boats length at a time.

Given the weather conditions and shortage of diesel, we have decided to commence deliveries by road from tomorrow. We are asking people to only order the minimum amount of diesel to cover their requirements for the next too weeks so that we can use our supplies most effectively.

If you do need coal, diesel, gas etc please get in touch & we will arrange delivery.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fendermaking Course (Intermediate Level) at Audlem Mill

Over last weekend 27 & 28th October we held our first intermediate level couse in fendermaking  at Audlem Mill. The aim of the course was to provide a more indepth look at fendermaking including different techniques and styles of core building as well as covering using more complex shapes and materials. The fenders produced were vee-bows and tipcats. Our Trainees for the couse where Graham (NB Star), Richard (NB Tawny Owl) and Daniel (NB Emily Ann). Graham had attended our introductory course las year and was a glutton for punishment coming back for more hitching, whilst Richard had some previous ropeworking experience and Daniel had more limited knowledge of fendermaking but was keen to learn more.

On Saturday we looked at the different methods & materials for core building before commencing construction of our cores. Graham was making a tipcat, whilst Richard and Daniel where producing vee-bow fenders.


Above: Graham producing his tipcat core.


Above: Daniel (left) and Richard (right) making their vee-bow fender cores.

By mid-afternoon our cores where complete and hitching the covers could begin. Richard & Graham worked in manila rope whilst Daniel and Brian worked in victory black.

On Saturday evening a few of us from the Canal World Discussion Forum got together for a banter for Jill's (Wrigglefingers) Birthday. We had a lovely evening at the Lord Cobermere Pub in Audlem, with great food, good beer and excellent company. It was great to meet so many forum members in the flesh so to speak and we all had a good natter and a laugh.

After a rather late night we were none too sprightly on Sunday morning, but we soon perked up after a stong cuppa. Now the hitching could begin in earnest. Everyone worked well and soon learnt new techniques for fendermaking. The results of the weekend where very good with Richard completeing his fender in good time and Daniel and Graham just having a little hitching to complete at hope. They produced some great work that they can be very proud off.



Above (left to right) Daniel, Richard and Graham with their work.

Richard has also posted more photos of the weekend on CWDF http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=33461&pid=617315&st=40&#entry617315

Graham, Richard and Daniel were all great students and a real pleasure to work with, it's really satisfying to pass on your knowledge to people that are keen to learn and make teaching fun.

Finally a big thank you to our hosts Peter & Christine Sylvester at Audlem Mill, they looked after us superbly as always with a warm friendly envioroment in which to works and wonderful home cooked food to keep us nourished.

Our next fender making course will be at Audlem Mill on 5/6th March 2011, for more details or to book a place see Audlem Mills website http://www.audlemmill.co.uk/course%20programme.html

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fendermaking & Deliveries by Road

After a busy few day with Alton on the Upper Peak Forest & Macclesfield Canals we're now back at our Fools Nook Base. Alton is however trapped between Whaley Bridge & Bollington due to stoppages. Brian has been busy catching up on Fender orders (see photo), whilst Ann Marie has been lugging bags of coal to keep customers warm (between Bollington & Oakgrove) who we cannot reach by boat.
On Thursday / Friday this week we will be out delivering by road to other customers that we cannot reach due to stoppages. We will be delivering on the Lower Macc (Bosley to Kidsgrove), the Trent & Mersey North (Etruria to Preston Brook), the Middlewich Branch (M'wich to Barbridge& Nantwich) & the River Weaver. If you require supplies please get in touch.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Boatmans Holiday on Archimedies & Ara

Having made a cotton button fender for Tom Hills butty Ara, Brian had a good excuse to hand deliver it down to the Southern GU whilst at the same time taking a chance to see how another Coal Boat Operator works.

He went down by train, only an hour & 45min into London and then back out to Watford where he met the boats Archimedies & Ara with the crew of Tom & James at Iron Bridge Lock near Cassiobury Lock, Watford. The next day dawned cold & foggy and that's the way it stayed all day. They had a few good half tonne drops of coal and it was interesting to see a few famous, historic places & boats as well as meet a few infamous people in the flesh. That evening at a lock in the dark they passed Baron & Taurus (another coal carrying working pair) heading back up the GU. Archimedies & Ara tied below Uxbridge & for a second night Mike Askins (owner of GUCCCo Royalty motor Victoria) became the chauffeur to deliver the crew to the pub for dinner. A good carvery and a natter was had by all.

Today was a fairly early start (6.30am) with a quick delivery then a blast down to Bulls Bridge to load with diesel. After a full english breakfast at Tescos (apparently a tradition for GU crews in days of old) they took the motor down to the top of the Hanwell flight for a few more coal, gas & diesel deliveries. Returning to Bulls Bridge to pick up Ara, James made collecting the butty & turning the junction at the same time look very easy. After a few more deliveries they singled out the pair and Brian took the Tiller of the motor Archimedies, but rubbish on the blades meant things got a bit behind schedule. They finished the day with a few deliveries in little venice with a final delivery to the Warwick Castle Pub, then after a shower and a change, they returned to the Warwick Castle to enjoy a well earned pint and a very good rib eye steak.

All in all, it was a fun and interesting few days, Tom & James where very welcoming and it was great to see how other coal boats operate. So don't be surprised if, some time in the future you see two strapping young lads aboard Alton for a return visit (apparently some of there customers even describe them as eye-candy), so watch out ladies!
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Busman's Holiday in Liverpool

We've just had a lovely weekend off, up on Merseyside. We were looking after our Godson Peter for the weekend and we combined this with attending a party for Brian's Cousin Marianne's 40th Birthday and another for his Mums 70th Birthday, so we are all partied out now!

We had a great day in Liverpool on Saturday, walking around the Pier Head, Liverpool Link Canal & Albert Dock. Then we went on the DUKW WWII amphibious landing craft, Wacker Quacker. The tour of Liverpool & the docks was wonderful with the cheerful and friendly crew. We would recommend this quirky tour to anyone visiting Liverpool.

We then returned across the water to The Wirral for afternoon tea at the Cafe at Woodside Ferry, with a great view of the Three Graces and the Liverpool skyline, Peter even picked out Paddys Wigwam!

On Saturday evening we had a great evening at Tapas Tapas in Crosby for Marianne's 40th it was lovely to catch up with family & friend we hadn't seen in a while and the tapas was delicious.

We had a lazy Sunday morning culminating in us all sitting down around the table for the "full works" breakfast. In the afternoon we returned to Woodside at Peter's request to visit the German U-boat exhibition, which was fascinating (yes we cannot keep away from boats for even a day!).

After delivering Peter back to his Dad we continued on to Brian's Mums 70th Birthday Celebration at Garretts Restaurant, Bebington. We had a wonderful evening again catching up with friend & family including Dave Devvy (ex Mersey Pilot) who is responsible for Brian getting bit by the narrowboat bug! The food was wonderful and a great night was had by all including the Birthday Girl herself.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dam at Clarence Mill

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Bollington Aqueduct Stoppage Update

Yesterday afternoon I called in to Bollington to check on the progress of the stoppage. BW's contractors May Gurney where on site erecting harris fencing. They have installed dams at the woodyard bridge and by Clarence Mill and had drained the canal between these two points. The dam at Clarance Mill took approximately 160 tonnes of clay to construct, I just hope 160 tonnes come back out when they are finished. Hopefully work will commence on the aqueduct soon.

I also popped down to Bosley Locks to check on the progress at Lock 4. There was no sign of any work starting at all and the locks looked to be open to traffic. We will wait & see if this stoppage actually happens.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A day off, of sorts

Well a fairly relaxed day today. This morning we met up with Hiroko, Vaughan & Dave to do some more filming for NHK (Japanese TV). It was a beautiful day and we had a very pleasant walk around Sutton Reservoir doing a bit of birdwatching and a short interview. We are trying to not let this film star lifestyle go to our heads! We then joined the crew for a delicious lunch at the Fools Nook Inn.
This afternoon we have had an opportunity to catch up on some admin and do some deliveries and collect a few supplies.
In the photo the NHK Filmcrew:- Dave (Soundman), Hiroko (Director), Vaughan (Cameraman)
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Stoppages Start

Well another busy weekend for us aboard Alton. On Saturday morning we set-off from Windlehurst heading south on the Macc making plenty of deliveries through Poynton, Bollington and Macclesfield. On Saturday evening we joined Tim and Karen Lane at their Bonfire Party. We had a lovely evening sat around the fire chatting and enjoying a few drinks and some lovely food.



We struggled to rouse ourselves when the alarm went off at 6am, but eventually we got moving to start loading some more stock on Alton before leaving Fools Nook at 8am. It was a beautiful autumnal morning and we made good progress back to Poynton. Here we were joined again by the NHK film crew consisting off Hiroko (Director), Vaughn (Cameraman) and Dave (Soundman). The film crew joined us for the run up to Marple and darkness was just falling as we moored up between Bridges 1 & 2. We joined the film crew for a delicious meal at the Dolce Vita italian restaurant which was a lovely way to end the day.



On Monday morning we woke to heavy rain and buffeting winds, we didn't want to get out of bed but we knew we had plenty of customers waiting for us. We had a busy start with plenty of deliveries around Marple and we the headed along the Upper Peak Forest with wind & rain continuing unabated. We met up with the film crew again at New Mills and they then bridge hopped along watching us getting soaked! We had another busy afternoon in Whaley Bridge, mooring up well after dark. By the end of the day we had spent 14 hours out in that terrible weather and were cold, wet & exhausted, the joys of coalboating!

BW Stoppages should now have commenced at Bollington Aqueduct, Bosley Locks and Hyde Bank Tunnel. For the duration of the stoppages Alton will operate fornightly from Whaley Bridge to Whitely Green (nr Bollington). We will also have supplies available from our butty St Austell at Fools Nook. We will be delivering fornightly by road from Thurday 18th November to Bollington, Kerridge, Macclesfield, Gurnett etc.

Our next run with Alton will be:-

Friday 19th November - Whaley Bridge, Bugsworth & Furness Vale
Saturday 20th November - Furness Vale, Marple, Poynton to Whitely Green
Sunday 21st November - Whitely Green return to Furness Vale

Friday, November 05, 2010

Here Comes the Rain Again (& Here Come Marple Locks Again)

After a great effort by Steve, Mike & Graham at Ashton Packet, Alton now has a refurbished and weatherproof cabin.

We left the Wet Dock at Ashton Packet at Midday with the paint only just dry on the cabin roof. We where hoping for a dry afternoon to try and let the paint completely harden but the weather wasn't co-operating and it bucketed it down most of the afternoon. We made reasonable progress along the Lower Peak Forest reaching the bottom of Marple Locks at 3.30pm as the downpour get even heavier. Our friend Graham (NB Daphne) helped us up the locks and we got into a good routine, reaching the top lock at 5.50pm. This is the 4th time we have done the Marple flight in the last 3 weeks or so.

Today we have done a few jobs on the boat and loaded with coal, wood & diesel at Marple. This afternoon we just had a short journey down to the deer farm mooring at Windlehurst.

Our planned schedule for the next few days is as follows:-

Sat 6th Nov: Windlehurst (Br 8) to Oakgrove (Br 49)
Sun 7th Nov: Oakgrove (Br 49) to Marple
Mon 8th Nov: Marple to Bugsworth & Whaley Bridge.

From Mon 8th Nov until 24th Dec there are stoppages on at Hyde Bank Tunnel and Bollington Aqueduct. During this period Alton will be operating from Whaley Bridge to Bollington fortnightly. We will be delivering by road fortnightly from Oakgrove (Macc) to Bollington as well as monthly road deliveries to all areas we cover including Stoke, Middlewich, Nantwich, Northwich etc.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Alton's Cabin Repairs

Repairs to Alton's cabin at Ashton Packet Boat Co are progressing well. Steve & Mike have stripped out all the area of rot and are put in new boards where necessary.

They plan to finish the work by tomorrow evening and we hope to able to take Alton out of the paint dock by Midday on Thursday.

Alton will be returning to Ashton Packet for furthur cabin repairs in the spring when the stoppages at Bollington & Hyde Bank Tunnel are complete.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Monday, November 01, 2010

Fendermaking Course at Audlem Mill - 30 & 31st October 2010

Over the last weekend we ran our autumn fendermaking course at Audlem Mill next to the Shropshire Union Canal. We had 5 Trainees, Dave from NB Hollinhurst,  Pat & Alan from NB Plan B...C,D,E&F, Paul from NB Honey and Pete fron NB Dragonfly.

On Saturday after a brief introduction, we soon got knotting, crowning a pair of side fenders. Later in the afternoon we started work on building the core of our button fenders. Also on Saturday we had the NHK film crew following us which managed to make headline news on the Audlem Website! http://www.audlem.org/newsitem-1-1-5493.html



Above:- Pat with her finished side fenders


On Sunday morning everyone turned up bright and early and no they hadn't forget to put their clocks back, they where just keen to get hitching. We soon completed our button fender cores and the set about covering the fender, half-hitching 100' of victory black rope. Everyone completed their button fenders and we were very pleased with the final results.



During the course we were all very well looked after by our hosts Peter & Christine Silvester who provided wonderful lunches, as well as plenty of tea and coffee and even cream cakes for afternoon tea!

Finally, well done to Dave, Pat, Alan, Paul & Pete, you where a great bunch to work with and it was a pleasure to work with you learning your new skills.

If you are interested in attending one of our courses the next introduction to fendermaking course is 5th & 6th March 2011 at Audlem Mill. To book your place phone Peter or Christine at Audlem Mill on 01270 811059.


Above:-  Alan, Pat, Dave, Paul & Pete with their finished Fenders.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ann Marie at the Tiller towing a Houseboat on the LPF Canal

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Alton on Marple Locks

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Long Days & Shorter Days

The last few days have been very busy for us working average 14 hour days to get our deliveries done & Alton back at the yard at Ashton for the next round of repairs. We've really noticed the shorter daylight hours now and are glad we have a good headlight on Alton and very good head torches for ourselves.

Alton was launched off the slip by the crew at Ashton Packet in their calm efficient matter. We loaded our supplies and left the yard at Midday making reasonable progress despite a couple of low pounds & non operational ground paddles on Marple Locks. We tied up in Marple about 7pm and Brian retired to the Ring o'Bells to join the crew of The Bell (Pete & Tony) for a pint.

Sunday was a very frosty start and a busy day resulting in us selling out of diesel. We arrived back at Fools Nook in darkness.

Monday morning was another frosty start but we kept warm re-loading Alton with Coal & Diesel. We set off heading north at lunchtime making deliveries as we went. We finally tied up at 8pm at High Lane, very convenient for the Bulls Head for a pint and a chinese take-away for tea.

Tuesday we woke to heavy rain & did not want to get up! It continued to rain virtually all day, as we made plenty of deliveries through Marple and along the Upper Peak Forest to Whaley Bridge and Bugsworth. It was lovely to chat to a few new customers as well as catch up with old ones that have returned from their travels including Graham & Eileen on NB Gemini. It was another very late finish when we tied up at the back of the swizzles factory at New Mills.

Wednesday morning Ann Marie managed to drag herself out of bed at 6am as she knew we had a long day ahead. Brian eventually roused himself from bed at the Disley swing bridge and was almost fully awake when we reached Marple Top. We made good progress down the locks on a beautiful autumnal day, making a few sales as we went. We love to stop at lock 10 to chat with the gentleman who owns the adjoining cottage who has lived there over 50 years and has some great tales.
At the bottom of Marple we picked up a towing job to tow a houseboat to Portland Basin for its owner Ashley. We had a very slow afternoon on the Lower Peak Forest getting well & truly stuck getting out of Hyde Bank Tunnel. We then got a bladeful of rope & carpet near bridge 12, resulting in Brian stripping to the waste and reaching in under the counter to cut away the debris from the prop.

We finally reached Portland Basin as darkness fell, the square bows of the houseboat having made the tow a slow job. We reunited the houseboat with its owner and continued on to Ashton Packet Boat Yard where we have left Alton again for Steve Kelly to start work on the cabin roof.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Frosty Start. Sun 24th October, on the Macc

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Alton being Launched of the Slip at Ashton Packet Boat Co.

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Ann Marie keeping dry under the counter

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Cabin Strings for FMC Motor Badger

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

King Cotton

Over the last couple of days Brian has managed to make a bit of time to complete a few special orders using cotton line. This is a button for a small woolwich butty elm.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Friday, October 22, 2010

Next Run Sat 23rd to Wed 27th October 2010 - Ashton to Fools Nook to Whaley Bridge to Ashton

Over the next few weeks our schedule will be a little out of kilter whilst we are having maintenance work done on Alton at Ashton Packet Boat Company.

Our Schedule for our next run is as follows:
Sat 23rd Oct - Alton launched off the slip around noon, then heading back along Lower Peak Forest Canal.
Sun 24th Oct - Macclesfield Canal, Marple to Oakgrove.
Mon 25th Oct - Loading at Oakgrove in the morning, then returning towards Marple.
Tues 25th Oct - Upper Peak Forest Canal, Marple to Whaley Bridge & Bugsworth, return.
Wed 26th Oct - Lower Peak Forest Canal, Marple to Ashton Packet Boat Company.

Alton will then remain at Ashton Packet Boat Company for cabin repairs until Thursday 4th November.

Whilst Alton is away from base we will still have supplys of fuel available from our butty St Austell.


Above: Alton on the Dock at Ashton Packet Boat Company

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A few Gentle Taps to Straighten the Rudder Stock

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Alan heating up the Rudder Stock

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Sacrificial Chine

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Docking October 2010

Alton is currently on the dock for maintenance and blacking at Ashton Packet Boat Company. Roger Lorenz has been down to inspect the hull, George Boyle has been down to check things out & give advice. Paul Dawson wielded his magic with the welder replacing an area of worn chine angle and adding a sacrificial chine at the engine room. Alan has been kept busy with a few jobs including straightening the rudder stock. Whilst Steve Kelly has been slapping on the coal tar and generally being in charge of proceedings.

Alton will be launched back in the water on saturday ready for another coal run to Marple, Macc, Oakgrove & Whaley Bridge before returning to Ashton for Steve to start work on the cabin.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chine Angle Bottom Being Cut of at Engine Room for Replacement

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

First Coat of Blacking Going On

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Winch at Ashton Packet Boat Company

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Alton on the Slip

Yesterday afternoon Alton was side slipped at Ashton for blacking & maintenance.

The job went very smoothly with the Ashton Packet Boat Crew working like a well oiled team. They worked the winch and trolleys with no fuss, everyone knowing their own job. In next to no time Alton was sitting high & dry on the dock.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Friday, October 15, 2010

Alton Passing Anderton Company Wharf, Middleport

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Back up the Hill

Last week we made our return Journey from Acton Bridge on the River Weaver. After serving plenty of customers at the Acton Bridge Gathering and a run down to Dutton with Alex (Bewitched) & Liam (Ariel), we headed back up River in convoy with Sandbach. We got the 4pm passage back up the lift and then headed north to serve a few customers around Barnton before winding near Dutton & mooring up in the dark back at Anderton for a well needed shower. Monday was a lovely sunny day but we soon realised that we had been lucky to get of the River when we did as the Weaver was closed most of the day due to strong flow and levels about a ft up.

We tied up at Wheelock on Monday night retiring to the Cheshire Cheese for a pleasant evening in the company of George & Irene Boyle (Sandbach). Next morning we had a reasonably early start setting off up the hill at 7 and made good steady progress. We reached the tunnel at lunch time & we were waved straight in. We winded at Etruria below Bedford St staircase before stocking up the hotel boats Oak & Ash with Diesel, coal & gas. We stopped here for the night and Brian walked up to Hanley only to find one of his favourite pubs the Coachmakers Arms had shut (we hear it is reopening under a new landlord soon).

On Wednesday we made our way back through the tunnel and up the Macc, getting back to Fools Nook by evening.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sandbach near Saltersford Locks River Weaver

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

George & Irene on the Lift.

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Ariel at Acton Bridge on River Weaver

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Acton Bridge Steam & Boat Gathering on River Weaver

Well we've had a lovely chilled out weekend (a real change for us). We've spent time nattering over cuppas & pints. There was a good turn out of historic boats including Dukers Parfield & Iris Abbot, river tug Kennet, and narrowboats Alton, Ariel, Empress, Greenlaw, Kenilworth, Plover, Radiant, Rudd, Sandbach, Shad, Stamford, Thea & Victory.

There was a wide variety of steam powered transport including a modern steam powered narrowboat, various traction engines and rollers (full size & half or third scale models) and even an eccentric steam powered milk float. Also in attendance where a selection of Landrovers (including a 110' Forward Control Ambulance), and some vintage tractors and motorbikes. All in all a very eclectic mix.

On Saturday night we walked up the hill & over the canal to the old thatched pub the Holly Bush where we enjoyed a very good meal with George & Irene (NB Sandbach) and Liam (NB Ariel).

Today has been rather damp to say the least, but it was back to work for us. With Liam & Alex aboard we set off through the boat club moorings then down to Dutton Locks where we winded before returning to Acton Bridge to diesel up plenty of the boats at the gathering. This afternoon we have made our way back up river in company with George & Irene on Sandbach and are now waiting at the bottom of the Anderton Boat lift waiting for our passage back up to the T & M.

Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Friday, October 01, 2010

Cheshire Run Part 2

Well it's definately autumn. We have had a busy few days but it's been great to meet a few old customers & friends. Thanks to Roy & Mel on NB India for the proper coffee and the lovely fruit cake. At Cholmsdon we met up with NB's Witchcraft & Bewitched & did some in flight refuelling. Then at Nantwich we met up with the lovely Jane Selkirk & Mac aboard NB Hero (Jane is going to work her painting magic on our very tired water can. Returning through Barbridge we called in to our regulars customers on Elleni trying to escape!

We returned to Middlewich nearly empty (stopping to have a brief chat with Maureen at Wardle Lock, who was feeling "a bit better"). Having reloaded with coal and diesel we proceeded to Anderton, going down the lift on the first passage down this morning. We have had another busy day first travelling upstream, through Hunts & Vale Royal Locks, before just missing the last passage through Saltersford Lock this afternoon.

We are tied up tonight at Barton & will be spending the weekend at the Steam Rally, Leigh Arms, Acton Bridge.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cheshire Run Sept 2010

Well we have had a very busy few days making our way down from Whaley Bridge to Middlewich meeting some lovely customers both old & new. Alton is already looking increasingly high in the water. We plan to deliver across the Middlewich Branch to Bunbury & Nantwich before returning to Middlewich on Thursday to load with coal & diesel. Then on Friday the plan is to go down the lift, head up stream for deliveries up to Vale Royal lock, before winding and heading down to Acton Bridge to attend the steam rally at the Leigh Arms over the weekend.
Renaissance Canal Carrying - keeping carrying on the canals

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More Photos of NB Rosemary from Tony Corrie

A few more interesting photos from 1967:-


Above: Rosemary as bought


Mitzi on the tow path


Rosemary after caulking and blacking