NarrowBoat Ezri – Into The Blue

Today I spent the day laying across Ezri’s rooftop with a small tin of blue paint and brush, beginning paint the hatch top, the runners and her hand/rope rails. Ezri is a dark blue and the idea is that I will highlight what I call her moving parts with a lighter blue, so people can see were to put their hands and Ezri will not look like a patchwork of rust held together the dead leaves and twigs. Ok she not that bad but there a few places that don’t look to good.

There is a myriad of people who say that you have to use expensive marine paint, if want to paint anything on a narrowboat and equally the same amount of people who says use expensive metal paint, to do the same job. I fall some were in the middle, Yes for under the waterline and just above it and Ezri sides and roof use marine stuff but for want I doing a small tin of Hammerite paint will do.

And yes I know will work because two things, the first being right at the start I paint some yellow Hammerite on Ezri’s hinges for the gas locker, (the idea was I would slowly use Star Trek starship colours to make Ezri the same as shuttle craft but there just battleship grey, red yellow and a little very little blue. I want Ezri to standout but not that much) and until my Dad painted over them they were as good as three years ago. Second its all just shaped metal, the hatch cover and the gas locker simple metal sheets so the Hammerite works a amazingly well. The hand/rope rails same thing and it would look odd not to have the light blue all the way down.

However I am not going paint the rail on Ezri’s back deck, it won’t work I just want highlights painting the whole thing would be to much but if I paint the engine wood panel cover in very similar colour should work and link the whole thing together. And when Ezri been out the water this coming September I may look into get paint for the rest of her.

By the way in the last blog I talked about Marple Locks which have now since reopened but with a size restriction notice on the top number one lock, I don’t think Ezri will trouble fitting down or even coming back up but we have got in a moment pattern which I enjoy all the way to Bosley Lock with four swing bridges in the way and that’s it. So happy days and besides there is no real rush to get back into Manchester. As always if you have done thanks for read and hope to see next time of next narrowboat Ezri blog


Narrowboat Ezri- The Middlewich Breach

Sometime time on the 15th of March 2018 the embankment of aqueduct on the Middlewich branch of Shropshire Union canal collapsed, causing the water to drain into the River Wheelock leaving around 20 boats sat on the reminding canal bed. The canal is currently drained between Stanthorne Lock Wardle Lock on the south side of Middlewich town center a distance of just over three quarters of of a mile.

The brach was constructed in 1827 nearly 200 years and runs a distance of 10 miles in total linking with the Trent and Mersey

The canal and river trust said CRT engineers are on site today trying to understand the cause of the breach and will be making an initial assessment regarding how to progress repairs, likely timescales and costs.

The following video was filmed by Julie Sharman and if you go to her YouTube page there is a first response video to

it’s unknown at this time how long things will remain like this. and want action will be taken.

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure -The Voyage ‘Home’ 

Unlike the other story I know, this one doesn’t have any humpback whales, clocked starship or swing around the sun time travel, but what it does have is four swing bridges, low laying fog and one almost fall. But really in all  seriousness, Ezri is once again back at her home mooring and in a few weeks time I will start to draw up a list of jobs and projects that will need doing before we can set out once again.

But I am getting ahead of myself, I left you as Ezri was moored on just a little way onto the Peak Forest canal, and it had taken quite a bit braking ice to get there. So retruning after a days work it was time to set off again but evne when with Ezri’s engine kicking in a the first time at asking we only got about 200 yards thanks to the now re frozen ice being 4 inches thick, she was going nowhere.

The ice melted after the rain around 48 hours laters thanks to the rain and we tried again, now the new way we have been working is that Dad helps me start Ezri and then heads off to the end point and Me and Ezri in simple words try the catch him up, as he walks back down towards us, Now so far that’s been easy but today we had four swing bridges to deal with.

Double checking I had the right things to open and shut the bridges was the easy part, the not so easy is to single handed do the bridges, the way I did it was to moor on the left with the red center rope check what tool was needed return to Ezri and using the huge front rope I walked her to the right hand side of the canal and tired her off on the small tie point I know there was another way to do this but Ezri’s center rope doesn’t reach, after opening the bridge I pulled Ezri’s though slowly then closing it I jumped back on Ezri and off we go.

I use this way twice because the middle bridge is powered and on the left handside is control panel, and for the last bridge I was able catch up with Dad so he was able to do it for me, The trip was much slower than it was, as their was very low laying fog ahead which meant I couldn’t see very far which did make it hard to see not only the towpath but the moored boats but being slow didn’t cause any trouble.

And once Ezri was in her ‘home’ mooring it marked the end of the 100 adventure for this year, a year which saw Me and Dad travel the full length of the Macclesfield canal, about 5% of the Trent and Mersey run up and down on the Anderton Boat Lift. Then back again meeting lot of amazing people along the way. 

I have no idea what next year will bring and want will happen for our next big adventure yet, but its not going to be the end of the Ezri Narrowboat blogs as I have a few more things hopefully happening next which I hope you can all join me for that I promise there will be more photos and even more videos

So thank you for joining us on this adventure and I hope you can join us next year, until then have wonderful winter time and a happy new year.

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – All for the want of a key

One of the major Milestoness on the trip back to the Peak Forest Canal is the 12 locks of Bosley. And this blog post was going to be all about, me and my Dad passing though them in less than two hours and getting to he royal oak lift bridge before half four in the afternoon. 

But I am going to take a giant leap forward both in time and space, I am writing this on the day its ment to go out the 13 Dec, Bosley locks was the 5 and Ezri is no longer on the Macclesfield she safe few miles from ‘home’ Because between then and now something happened something that could and should have ended the whole trip.

This all happened as I was making my way towards Macclesfield and then through it getting to Bollington Wharf.

Inside most if not all narrowboats there are two keys which act as links with both the engine and the battery, well one of Ezri’s key links broke so the battery wouldn’t throw the power all the housing had come away and the cable fell out.

Now without power Ezri can’t move. All of this I was yet to find out

You see there is a second Swing Bridge just as you come away from Bosley locks which is been open for the last two years but today for some strange peculiar odd reason someone has come along and shut it now the way things have been working dad has dropped me off at Ezri and then proceeded to a place several miles, further on where I would meet him and we would work out our next course of action if I had to come off Ezri for work. So he had my BW key. I passed one narrowboat and was informed of the fact the bridge was shot but I believed I would be able to open it using my windlass as most of the bridges on the peak Forest at windles control no such luck so.

And my phone didn’t have a signal so there’s no way of informing dad to turn around and come back the key, So my work mind kicked in so I tied up Ezri turn off the engine and went back down the towpath to the gentleman that inform me of the locked Swing Bridge and asked if I could borrow his key which was thankfully a yes and so we walked back to Ezri. He open the bridge and I tried to turn Ezri’s engine back on but she’s stubbornly refused to tick over so there was nothing for it but lift the engine lid. Where we both saw the broken key,

For the next half an hour the gentleman worked to get Ezri’s engine running again, I watching on trying to take in a understand want he was doing. And after few false starts she was running again. I thanked him over and over and we said goodbye and I was off. I did forget one vital thing which was to ask him his name. But I will be forever grateful to him. It a running repair but it will see us home and safe

I did make to meeting my Dad and I even made to Bollington Wharf, Ezri did have one last punch to throw but I just think that was temper.

Next weeks post will be the last of 100 miles Adventure ones as I hope Ezri will be in her winter mooring by next week I am sorry that the last few have rushed and Condensed but the trip it has been just that I will go in more detail soon So as always if you have been thank you for reading and I hope to see you next week as we end the 2017 travel blogs.

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – The North Wind Shall…

Now before we begin, Two things I know that Hurricane Ophelia is not the north wind but it sound better that windy day and the other is that unlike the other blogs this one takes place over two day’s.

Me and my dad have got into a pattern of moving Ezri every Tuesday is began because in the summertime most of the boaters were out and I would at work (99% of football matches take place on Saturday) So come the Autumn time we have a good working practice Saturday move Tuesday, However this fell down this week I was cat sitting for my bother and sister in law and as Manchester City are in a small competition called the UEFA Champions League and they play on a Tuesday night so to move Ezri and be at work at three in the afternoon takes some doing.

Simple just move the moving day to Monday and that’s want we did last week but this week Hurricane Ophelia wanted to play her little game, along the Southern coast of Ireland and through the Lowlands Scotland turning the sky red with ash as she went by, So weather warnings came into force and it was better just to wait the storm out, Ezri is on rings and chains in the almost the center of Middlewich so I thought it would be better just to leave her safe than out in the middle of nowhere.

And then Tuesday the aftermath the center of Middlewich and the junction Navigation was shut because of a few downed trees, so even if I wanted to move I couldn’t. I am not sure how it will take clear the trees if done by Wednesday afternoon we shall be fine

That brings us to the second of our little problems if we don’t move by the end of the week in the right direction we shall not be able to the Anderton Boat Lift when it shuts on the 5th of November coincidentally yet another day I’m at work.

There has never been a timetable for the 100 mile adventure it was just to do 100 miles and the Anderton Boat Lift was really a marker point but now we only have 10 miles left to get to the Anderton boat lift, Then make the return trip before winter really kicks in it would some what sad not complete it.

This wasn’t the blog I wanted to write at the start of the week, and its not a happy outcome or a travel story this week, but sometimes that’s how it is. 

So that’s your Ezri adventure for this week as always thank you for reading and I hope come back next week for the next one, and will find if we are heading the right way.

Post script – The Navigation notice on the Canal and River Trust website has now gone we shall see on Thursday 

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – Room For A Little One.

Being only 35 foot long Ezri is able to move about into spaces which other boats find hard, but is also leaves her unable to moor up on less uneven sides of the footpath. So the plan to travel a set number of miles doesn’t always work out the best example being last week’s blog post about carrying on slightly further than we planned this week’s blog post is in the same type of thing we had planned to do a handful of locks and stop just around the Bend away from the small village of Malkins.

Walking to Ezri the bank looked Ok I would have to use since as there’s no barrier mooring Rings set into the ground but that would be fine done as I have done it before no problem, So that’s want I set out in my mind, The Trent and Mersey is busy water way in fact I think we incounted around 12 maybe 15 boats as we made our trip. We helped were we could and were helped in turn to. As we left one of the working double locks the single handed who was heading up floated his boat into the lock and calm as you like stepped to his left and to the middle of the locks and up the stone stairs. Pushing the lock gate shut as crossed the small bridge, Without once reaching for a rope I bet if tried that Ezri would end up bouncing around the lock or slipping out.

The only time we took is easy was when travelling under the M6 motorway with the lock just before it it’s amazing to watch all the fast moving manic traffic above you as we slowly work the lock and thinking about the people who would have done the same thing but when all that could be seen was just empty fields.

But as we carried on it became slightly obvious that the bank would not be to welcoming to Ezri so we carried on and as we came out of lock number 10 we saw mooring rings set into to the bank and a nice clean clear CRT sign saying 48 hours slowly we past this in the hope it would soon end and it did just before Wheelock Wharf there two sets of rings just past the second 48 hour sign which now pointed the way we came, using one centre pin we were able to moor up safe.

Ok so that’s your Ezri adventure for this week as always thank you for reading and I hope come back next week for the next one.

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) =  46 miles  2  1/2 furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  2 miles  1/2 furlongs.

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge, Bancroft Bridge No 8, Higher Poynton Winding Hole, Braddocks Bridge No. 19, Lane Head Winding Hole, Clark’ Change Bridge, Leadbeater’s Bridge No 40, Royal Oak Swing Bridge No. 49, Locketts Bridge No. 53. River Dane Aqueduct (12 locks) Congleton Bridge No 61, Buglauton Cattle Aqueduct, Biddulph Valley Aqueduct, Kent Green Pipe Bridge Knowsley Lane Bridge No 95. Coopers Bridge No. 135. Rough.Wood Bridge No. 146 (10 locks) Arclid Aqueduct (10 locks)

Narrowaboat Ezri – Locked Out Part Two

The line of people was all the way up the hill and getting longer. The weather was ice cold, its 10:30 am saturday but no-one really care there all wating to get into Lock 14 of the Peak Forest Canal at Marple. The Canal and River Trust have stopped there work on the lock and opened it up to public. ​

Me and my Dad join the line and as we wait members of the CRT hand out little fold out map showing the whole on the Manchester and Pennine Waterway, were we are in relation to rest of the next work and they do they best to explan wants going plus keep saying sorry for how cold its. Along the railing there is art work done by the primary schools around Marple ​

As we move down near to the lock a men dressed in 18th century top hat and tails he walks over to a second men dressed equally oddly one is Principal engineer Benjamin Outram the other is Thomas Brown they are telling gatthered about there roles in the bulding of the Peak Forest. Living history at its best. Wasn’t able to get there photo as they were walking to top of the lock flight and it was almost our turn to enter the lock.

The CRT have set the lock up so that you can walk frist to the cill and there is young lad explaing about the work he’s been doing and the fact they have to use 18th century materials lime plaster and reclainmed bricks which make up the lock floor place on top the clay foundations.

So we head deeper down, to the gate itself I had been trying to take photos in portrait format photo so you get the full scale of size and was taken back a bit when the second engineer begain telling us about how the gate works and how they stop the water from pasting though the gaps. I did try swich back to landscape but it didn’t work but here its any way

Well simply put the lock gate work on the ball and socket joint the lock gate is then hung  and then paint is add to one side so when shut they can see the high spots of the wood touch the stone wall, wood working tools are used and the high spots removed so the gate fits and a water tight seal around the pivot point is formed.

We didn’t have much time for a lot of questions because there were more people comming down the stairs and I wasn’t want to ask but next time I try a little better. When reached the  top of the lock the line of people was even longer so CRT were a little busy for the rest of the day but I enjoyed it 

Narrowboat Ezri – Leaving Littleborough – Part Three

The last part of leaving Littleborough, Tuesday morning me and Dad returned to Ezri and much our relief Ezri was now floating and had this time she’d stayed locked in place.
I ran my checks and Ezri’s engine kicked in first time, but after the last few days, I was in little hurry to move off so when I handed over both my lock keys to my dad I drop the smaller into the canal. (the small handcuff one)
I am did my best to find it but all got for my trouble as two bruised ribs and a very wet jumper.
There was no way I was leaving Ezri there so even without the the key we headed off, we got to the lock and Dad said I should call CRT again, which I did only to get my location wrong. I did my best to call them back but it didn’t help. So after half an hour I called Portland Basin and asked if they had any handcuff keys and thankfully they did.
I knew without a handcuff there was no hope of getting Ezri out of Rochdale, so giving up trying to call CRT  back we locked and walked back to the car an other half a hour and then headed to Portland Basin, around trip of an hour taking directions from my phones sat nav.
The very second I stepped though the door at Portland Basin my phone rang which was CRT and I did my best to explain what the past days had been like.
Dad was able to buy two keys, and we set off once again.
Getting back to Ezri my phone rang again, once again it was CRT I told them of what had happened, and now that I had a handcuff key I should be Ok.
By now it was half past eleven and a job that should have taken a hour was now three hours long.
Switching Ezri’s engine I found out that she didn’t sound to well, she would move but some what slowly but moving was better that standing still.
We did the locks and were off, Me and Ezri headed down the canal and Dad went back to the car.
Ezri did all asked of her and when past under the motorway I gave out a cheer because everything after the Sandbrook was new and it felt such a relief be out of the hell that was/is the center of Rochdale.
But just after Castleton the wheels feel off again you see there were two more locks, Dad had parked the car at the Sandbrook but when he walked away the only path he could find just kept putting back in the car park so he did the only thing he knew which was take the car to were Ezri and were heading to.
I didn’t waited I carried on with the lock only to find it was drum lock which meant to had to turn it one way to open the lock gates and then another way to shut them, which would had been fine but it took he so long to work out I was getting more and more pissed off.
Four days to move this far not a happy bunny, and when I did get back on Ezri and try to move her out I found out I had open both lock gates.
So off I got once again damaging my ribs again, to open the gate which didn’t at first what move I hate drum gates, but in the end we were though and as tied Ezri open so I could shut the lock, Dad came around the bend.
He had walked from the car to meet me, by this time it was three o’clock we both hadn’t eaten and Ezri was starting to run slow, we made though the next two locks and even under the motorway again, but then the last lock.
The water when in but try as we couldn’t get the gates didn’t open, so we waited and waited in the end once again I rang CRT who thankful turned up, and in seconds saw one of the paddle had been left open

So here and now I would like to say a huge thank to evey one of the amazing Canal and River Trust people both on the ground and in the offices that help me and Ezri out that day.

Ezri and I made it to safe harbor and so far so good, her engine will need to be looked at once we get down to Portland Basin and few other things to but all in all things are looking good.