Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – What went before.

Last weeks blog post was about crossing the divide between the Macclesfield Canal and the Trent and Mersey which got me thinking, after two year on Ezri how many other canals which make up the two thousand mile length network have we completely covered.

The funny thing is that I never kept a complete record (just are few notes and Condensed diary dates) when I did the trip from Blue Water marina in Thorpe West Yorkshire to my eventual destination of Littleborough in Lancashire.

I knew my starting point and had a vague the idea of my end destination, but really no idea what was really involved, so it was one big push, afraid if I slowed down that I would have been left behind and lost from the people who were help me, But now I know better. 

Yet sad because with all the rushing about I missed all most everything and its only when I watch other people’s YouTube videos or see a Mention of a lock do I just about remember the trip, the heat from the sun as it was high in the sky and working the wood 2 by 4 paddle on the Aire and Calder, all memories which wish I could hold on to longer. 

When I do think about things its amazing that I was able with help cover so many parts of the canal network even crossing the Lancashire Yorkshire border more than once.

The First Three Weeks
New Junction Canal 
Aire and Calder Main Line
Aire and Calder – Navigation – Wakefield
Calder and Hebble – Navigation

The rest of the year
Rochdale Canal 99%
Ashton Canal

The 100 mile Adventure
Peak Forest
Macclesfield

The following is a simple map showing our movement this side of the Pennines, the red shows the first Adventure and the Purple shows the new 100 mile adventure we are still continue to do.

the map was Illustrated by Bek Cruddace, for More information go to Bekcuddace.co.uk.

That’s your lot for this week, and As always thank you for reading and I hope you can join me next when head up the Trent and Mersey.

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Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – TopHat and Tales

The more eagle eyed views/readers at home would have noticed that in my last Ezri video that she was missing het top hat from her chimmey, thanks to a over hanging tree it now sits at the bottom of the Peak Forest Canal

For a little over two years it sat proudly on Ezri and helped to keep out the all the bad weather and the smoke off the water. So it was a quick trip back to Portland Marina for a new one, but that got me thinking in the two years me and Ezri have join forces  many blogs/adventures/tales.

Well it turns out that this post will mark 100, and 21 video’s on YouTube I really never though that it would have got this far or that people would read them. 

They started just as a way of reconding the things I had seen and done those frist few days as me and Ezri worked our way across England, From Blue Water Marina to the Littleborough Quay but now have grown into much more. Little groups of stoies like the Littleborough Chronicles, Tales from the Towpath and the rest all make up the life and times of Narrowboat Ezri and her one man crew.

I was once told that changing Ezri’s from Luice would be bad luck and all that history would lost. To which I said well I don’t really belive in luck and as for history Me and Ezri will make our own.

And in the last two years that’s want we have been doing, the people I have meet the places I have seen from being the middle of nowere to the hart of the city, there is a lot more history to come for that I can be sure of that.

So if you have been reading from the very start thank you and if you new here I hope you will got back and read a few of the old post. But as always thank you for reading and see you next time.

Narrowaboat Ezri – Locked Out Exrta Exrta 

So on the same of the open lock at Marple I had to work at Manchester City Football, Now the Ashton Canal runs past there, and something I enjoy is to walk past two of the lock as I head into the ground.

Well imagine my surprise when walked past the lock to find that CRT were also replacing the only wooden lock gates on the Ashton, the lock was shut off so that no-one would end up inside it and work had stopped lunch.

The only different to the work set up this time was its on a smaller scale to Marple but the principal remained the same, drain and divert the water then lift out the old gates using a winch. ​

Then they will put the new ones after running the same paint trick as 200 year engineer did. Being that they had just stopped for dinner there was working boat tied up with the replacemet locks gates inside them.


Its amazing want happens on the canal at winter time. Even when people think everything is shut down.

NarrowBoat Ezri -One Week Of Winter.

With the frist week of winter most over, but it finds me not on Ezri keeping warm and toasty by her fire, but cat sitting for my borther and sister in law. Its a srange thing being in house I can have hot water when even I want it, Switch on all the lights, computers, TV, Xbox you name it without fear running down a battery.there is even a gas fire

But yet want I find myself doing is sitting down reading and listening to podcasts and when its to dark to see I put the small lamp and when I cold put the fire on low, and feeding the cat when he needs. Almost mirroring he life aboad Ezri I even still using my boxes

I have had to work both at the start and the end of this week to, so I walked and gave me The opportunity to pass both the Rochdale and Ashton canal, even in the cold light of day the Rochdale is shockingly scary and downright dangerous, its hard to belive that anything could even flot in it, let alone navigate.

When we (me, dad and Ezri) came down from Littleborough that day/night we just kept going pushing and pushing on one lock after the next, not really knowing or caring just trying to get into Manchester. And want I saw on my way to work filled me once again with feeling of dread and foreboding.

Its like some has cut huge concrete ditch into the remains of industrial landscape and just let rot, there is hardly any water and what there is full of rubbish, yes it winter, yes do get get the odd bit of rubbish in all most every canal, but around there its somekind of past time. And that just the bit I passed on the way to work I would hate walk the rest of it.

As for the Ashton that a total different thing altogether there are only five street and park separating both canals yet here the canal is wide, free flowing many of the locks are freshly pained and in working order and want rubbish there is all in litter bins. There is even a new flower garden. But I guess that’s people rection to canals in space of a few minutes walk.

As for Ezri she’s safe in her winter mooring, in the end CRT didn’t let me have one so I called two of the marines on the Peak one of which had room, the trip there took all of ten minutes, so there she sit waiting for the winter work to start and her feel like home again.

Narrowboat Ezri – Lady Luck and Ezri.

Luck has played a huge part in my life with Ezri,

I was lucky to find her at the price I did, I was lucky to have amazing, wonderful people who helped me reach Leeds and teach me so much in those frist few days, 

I was lucky that day on the river when a heron show me the way and turings I had to make, I was lucky when the winter floods came that Ezri was save,

Lucky to get off the Rochdale canal with Ezri in one piece. And the last huge bit of luck was find out about Andy of G.I.D Marine Services who serviced Ezri just after I was able get to New Islngton.

And on to the Ashton, then to Portland Basin and on to Peak which is now Ezri’s home base 

At this point my luck did change not slowly but with a bang. 

We come to last week when Ezri became a black smoke cloud then blew her water intake cap, you see I have been scarried open the weed cover so I didn’t know about the build up of crap wrapping itself over the propeller which only found out later.

The plan was to move Ezri about 2 hour trip no locks just a swing bridge I have even got new morring chains, we did the bridge even had help and then.

Lady luck changed her mind smoke started to come up though deck plate the old exhaust pipe had give up join was letting, fumes into the engine bay.

We had stop and try and get back to the basin which meant turing Ezri around a matter of ten mintues lady luck still wanted to play so, ten mintues became half an hour and then crap on the propeller kicked in.

The black smoke became white for about ten second and Ezri blew the water cap then her engine stopped thankfuly Dad was on the towpath so we pulled Ezri back to the morring.

Our luck changed once more but this time back on our side Andy was working at Portland so I was able to explan what had gone worng and hand over Ezri’s keys

A few days ago he checked Ezri over and even had her running but her pipe work had melted and split  so needs replacing and even braved the weed cover and show me crap which was one scarry mess.

Lady luck has play around with me and Ezri a lot and so far we have got on very well but I bet she’s not given up just yet 

Narrowboat Ezri – Shipshape and City Life

I said there would a Ezri blog post so here goes, a little recap.

My dad and me moving Ezri down from the Rose of Lancashire, to New Islington just off the Rochdale. For all the pain and full story see the last Ezri Blog.

With me working five nights over the next two weeks England V. Turkey, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay twice and then AC/DC all at the Manchester City Stadium I saw no point in moving Ezri. Which in the end was the best option in the long run.

Now that meant everything that I had planed was moved forward, Ezri’s engine needed to be looked at whatever happed so with a few calls I was able to find someone to come a check Ezri’s out. A nice guy called Andy would be here Monday morning

Sleeping in the heart of Manchester is a little strange, Ezri is my home I am surrounded by all my own things, feeling safe and happy, that never changes but what dose are the sounds and actions outside

When I was out in the middle of nowhere the only sounds were those I made myself, But here there are people walking home, the Metrolink and even the odd car making its ways up the old cobbled streets, that now used for traffic calming.

I could talk all day about the regeneration of the place but let’s get back to Ezri, Monday morning rolls around and Andy turns up, I explain things and he set to work.

The only two things I know about Ezri’s engine were the water goes and to turn the greaser screw after use, but thanks to Andy I now know quite a bit, We also discovered that who had Ezri before me had tried to do things on cheep, gluing the control panel into place being one thing, and the fact Ezri has two batteries but only one is wired into anything.

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Watching Andy take bits of Ezri off all coved in black oil was both amazing and a little shocking, shocking because he said its miracle they even still worked and got us here. The amazing part was finding out what each part did.

So with Ezri now running better that ever the next thing is to move her once again, I have to put a little bit of fuel into Ezri just to make sure I have but the last time I did that was almost a year ago.

The thing of it is that I have a extra week thanks to CRT working on the first two locks of the Ashton, being in the hart of the city is fun and I meet a lot people, but Ezri and I want to get going again. Exploring the rest of the canal network.

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Narrowboat Ezri -A long way down…

Ok, want started out as a simple plan which should have taken three weeks is now into its fourth.
I will just recap a little.

Ezri couldn’t go up the Rochdale canal, because of works going on around me, which got me in a little bit of trouble with CRT.

So I looked around and found Droylsden marina which would help me in long run as place to be safe, I put myself on the waiting list but for now I can on the Peak Forest or just before it at the Portland basin

Droylsden is on Ashton Canal which runs though Manchester and traves past the football ground, But to get there I had past though few war zones.

The first thing that happened was I had the canal drain from under me and Ezri had sit at the bottom of the canal for to days.
The second was after spending two weeks at The Hopwood Arms Ezri had been turned around, facing back the way she had come, but that was a simple job to fix and off we went.

The plan was to get to the Rose of Lancashire the pub (not the visiting moorings as they are a lie they is no water point) which did but not with out getting stuck after stopping an over full lock and almost missing the place turning Ezri around. 

We made it but Ezri did show a few signs of wear, working out were to move her to next was a bit of a job, the canal plan web site is all very well but some of the information is out date and the the photos are to.

I will explain want I mean, the canal web said the next save place for over night mooring is The Boat and Horses just outside Chadderton one lift road bridge were Ezri was at the rose

Well no is not, the water is far to shallow to even think about move one inch out of the center let alone trying to moor up which is all concrete blocks with no ring or even space for pins. And the only I found this out was go down there on foot, the day before,

So the trip got one hell of a lot harder add to fact, I am now work so I have leave Ezri looking again at the canal plan was mistake number one, should it tell you the locks, even gives you routes and times on how long but once out dated information.

The trip was meant to take five hours, passing though 20 locks down though the end of Chadderton  Failsworth, Newton Heath, Monsall, Milles Platiting and Ancoats,

Now at high of Ezri first she did five and a half miles following to other narrow boats, from the small village called Altofts to the town of Dewsbury, As said before Ezri was showing signs of wear which should had do something about,

OK I did something I poured water into engine and we set off not smarts move but when your get pushed for time a few other things you just have go.

We did first lock which went well, and were half way though the lift bridge, when as went up in the air a ambulance came down the road all lights flashing and screaming there was nothing we could do I pushed Ezri though and the bridge came down.

I should taken that a sign there and then, after things got worse ever lock was a fight, if it wasn’t pulling things out of the water it was trying to get the gates to work. And many time cound’nt even moor up start the lock before dad reached me. Just sit in middle and hope Ezri did catch on something. Dad even fell in which made me even more on edge and scared

Not only that but people stopping to watch and passing comment as Dad did the lock gates as went down in lock with Ezri. I would like to say two words “F*** Off” no really if your not helping keep your mouth shut and move on.

Out of the 20 people who we passed yesterday we had five who helped or let me know about up come problems thank you thank you.

Then Ezri gave up half way though one lock her engine started to make a very odd sound but in the end were crawling a long, at half six we meet a guy from CRT just outside Monsall who help Dad back to the car which left me to do the lock. That’s when I worked out Ezri there most be something really wrong with Ezri 

We had four lock left and it was eight pm we had started at half ten am, I know we broke the rules and ran late but there was no were moor up and no way I was stopping, just I left the last lock Ezri hit something right in the center but her front rope is that long I threw it over and Dad help me off.

By quarter past nine we made it to New Islington two lock shy of the turning for the Ashton and locked Ezri down and she safe

After ringing the New Islington people I found out I have two free days there which are today and Wednesday I go back to work on Wednesday afternoon, I will see about staying a little long. Because the way Ezri is now it was take an 12 hour even to make it after way up the Ashton let alone all the way to Portland basin.

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