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Saturday, December 10, 2011

FMC Badger

A few weeks ago I posted a photo of George & Irene Boyle's new boat Badger on my facebook page. It caused quite a bit of comment, with one person in particular stating that the boat was painted in the wrong FMC livery/colours. I mentioned this to George & he very kindly showed be an old photograph of Badger when it was fairly new resplendent in FMC black & white, very similar to how it is today. So I think that's settled that discussion. Thanks George!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Winter Draws on

We set off from Oakgrove about 7.30 on Saturday morning, with the rain falling & a chilly breeze it felt like winter had started. Our first customers where at Gurnett & then in Macc, we were fairly busy & the phone was going with some regularity with orders coming in. The rain eased off later in the morning but came again throughout the afternoon with some very heavy showers. By 6pm we'd reached Poynton & decided to call it a day. Brian nipped down to the Boar's Head for a drink, they had Brain's Merlin's Oak on as a guest ale so he decided to try a pint. Unfortunately it was a very mediocre, with very little taste at all, so I suppose in some ways it complemented the regular Black Sheep & Thwaites Best Bitter that were also available.

We set off from Poynton at 8am with the wind and rain making there presence know again. We had a busy morning in Poynton, High Lane & Marple with lots of people stocking up on solid fuels. We also noticed that more people are now purchasing fuel additives. We now stock Fuelset & Marine 16 , see their web pages for more details on these products.

From Marple we continued down the Upper Peak Forest and the weather turned even worse. We served our last customers of the day at New Mills before continuing on in the dark to Bugworth Basin. We got ourselves in the cabin to get warm, dry & changed into fresh clothes. We decided to treat ourselves to tea at the Navvy, Ann Marie enjoyed navigation chicken, whilst Brian made a pig of himself with the mixed grill. Clean plates all round made it clear we enjoyed the food and were ready for it. On the beer front there were the usual suspects of Black Sheep & Tim Taylor's Landlord but there was also Buxton High Tor at 6.3%, Brian decided to try a pint of this Indian Red Ale and was rewarded with a lovely malty yet hoppy beer that was surprisingly easy to drink. Later we were joined by George & Irene Boyle & we had a very pleasant evening catching up with each others news. Suffice to say we were the last customers to leave as the night just flew by in good company. We came out of the pub to find a light covering of snow had fallen. But we soon settled down to sleep in our cosy warm cabin on Alton.

We reset the alarm a few times on Monday morning but eventually dragged ourselves out of bed by 7.30. We had to sweep the snow & hail of the gunnels before we could start. Our first customers were on Polestar moored in the lower Basin, this was a new customer for us & it was good to meet such a lovely friendly couple who had been helping on the IWPS work party on the previous day. We continued our deliveries with a busy morning around Whaley Bridge & Furness Vale. At some point we realised that our shunting pole had gone missing from the cabin top at some point, so please keep your eyes open for a 7ft ash shaft & with a curly pigs tail hook on the end.

The weather continued to be atrocious with a mixture of rain, sleet, snow & hail. We finally tied up at Poynton wide after serving our last few customers as darkness fell. We had good old Fray Bentos Pie, potatoes & veg for tea & then chilled out in the cabin & got a much needed early night

On Monday the weather seemed even worse, if that was possible! We donned some extra layers, swept the gunnels & cloths of snow & set off by 8. We still had quite a few customers to catch on the way back, so we took it in turns to steer & grab some breakfast, eggy bread mmm! We had some good drops of coal in Bollington & around Macc & we soon found we sold out of Pet Coke, House Coal & various brands of Smokeless, it's certainly good to be busy! So all in all we had a very successful if rather knackering coal round.