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.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Up The Junction.

With one hand on Ezri’s tiller and Dad stood to the bow, Our trip begain. She knows the way and all I have to do is make her stay in the middle just to be on the safe side with Dad looking out for anything to big. We reach the frist moving bridge and I tie up Ezri and off dad gets keys in hand

Before we set I moved most things to as near the bow as I could so that I can just see the top of Ezri’s rudder just under ther waterline yes I know its ment to be above but I don’t have that kind of thing to counterbalance her engnie just yet.

As Dad opens the bridge I check the outlets and off we go again, Ezri always hates stopping once were the other side, no really she does no matter how slow I take her she always over shoots the tie point I want. The next bridge is the same, we tie up dad gets off opens the bridge Ezri get though, down goes the bridge and off we go. But this time I reach inside my coat a take out the best phone in the world even my old Nokia Series N8 its stood with me at bottom Niagara Falls and the top of Rockerfeller Center. It has the best camera and video I have ever used as its all one hand use. The date and time are all mess up but that’s something to work out later in the posting.

Ezri’s running fine and we will be pasting the Swizzel sweet factory soon so want better time to test out the video. If this works want your seeing and hearing is just pure raw shot video Ezri keeping her couses and the back of my dad head as passed a steel working boat.

Now I not going to give you blow by blow for each bridge as I had done that before, and to keep saying I did this and Dad the other, would put you off. So I will pick up the trip around somewhere in the middle as I tested the camera again as you can I didn’t quite get my hand out of the way.

Now when reached the last bridge Dad walked back to New Mills for the car, so that left me to make the rest of the trip on my own, it was just like the old times but odd thing was I wasn’t counting my movements or feeling scarried like before I stood there just enjoying the ride, Ezri took over she made the turn herself no she really did, I felt the tiller move under my hand she even leveled out and so I took the camera out again.

And as I put away the camera, Ezri pulled off pretty niffy trick just to keep me on my toes, I really think it was because I had just told her we where not going to stop but she hit a low hanging tree which in turn tapped chimeny pot which then bouced on the roof something which I have a few times before but this time however it bouced twice and with a soft splash fell into the water, lost never to be seen again.

The whole point of this trip was to cross the The junction and head on to the Macclesfield Canal and then to the stopping place, So once again I will let Ezri take over as I worked the camera. No wil did hit the side wall she made it a cross nicley and was a little surprised when we carried on, in fact I felt the change of water level so I was once again on my toes, but Ezri sailed over most things.

We reached the stopping place in the middle between High Lane and Marple, it wasn’t until I stopped did I notice that the other boats around Ezri had been at Carr Swing a few times before to so she was with friends.

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) = 20 miles  

Miles covered this trip = 6 miles 

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge

So if you have done thank you for reading/watching, and until next time.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure -The Undiscovered County.

Soon it will be time for us to leave the Peak Forest Canal and head into the unknown, the undiscovered County of Cheshire. By crossing the Marple junction and joining the Macclesfield Canal and heading south from were we are now its trip of 6 miles and 3 3/4 furlongs.

But I will get back to the trip in a second, I talked before about water geting into Ezri so to solve this, she now has three small pegs in her side were the outlets are and on the inside four metal ties on the pipe work, so that should stop the water comming in, And yes the pegs in the holes will come out if and when they need to. But with water level being so high in the canal and Ezri being back heavy she will end up filling again soon. So the pegs will have do for now and at the very least want Ezri to be dry so I can see what wood or bits will needed replacing. 

Now back to the trip, here on the map I have marked out the area that Ezri and Me have covered so far on this 100 Miles Adventure in purple, The map was desinged and illustrationed by Bek Cruddce (search Bek Cruddce or read my Mapped Out blog post) I will be marking the map every 20 miles or each time we past though a town or city in purple but I will be adding a little gold dot which will be a photo or video place. All this not were we are is were we have been. Just to be on the safe side.

But before that can all start Ezri is facing the worng way and needs to to turned around, the best way I worked out was to move forward open the swing bridge and use the fact Furness Vale Marina begins just after it, the Marina is a very wide area and Ezri very small. So with help from my Dad, opening the bridge and watching out for me, we were able to turn and head the right way. 

The only thing was when past though the bridge Ezri tapped the left side and bent one of the pegs and lost the other two. So I am going to see if I can find end caps for the inside them and make sire there are shut for next time. We did carry on and made it all the way to our stopping place but that’s for next week, I have video so I want add that in. 

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) = 14 miles  

Miles covered this trip = 500 yards

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, Carr Swing Bridge
So if you have done thank you for reading, and until next time.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure -Mud, Wind and Fire.

Of all the days to pick I chose Monday, because on moving day I be at work and don’t want to get in bother with CRT and one sooner is better that one day late. I have to make sure there is space of Ezri because winter moorings are still in place, so I need to makes sure I am on the right side of the signage, if not its a long run to bugsworth of two days.

Thankfully there was a space a little way out of New Mills, a lot of people without winter mooring have the same idea, so it was a walk back to Ezri. Which on a good day would a fun little (for me) trip. 

But today with last few days of rain its made the towpath a patchwork of mud and tarmac, I walk quicker that Dad so ten minutes into the walk up to Staines and Ezri I walking on my own getting wet though as the rain started up again, and losing my eyesight has my glasses became too wet to see through. It did become a bit wade when I got to the mud, so much so that I was starting to think about finding another place for Ezri to be. But in the end I wasn’t sure how far that would count as a move.

Getting to Ezri I found out that I was covered in mud, my shoes were black and my bottom end of trosuers were the same, but it didn’t really matter Ezri was dry (discounting the intake hole) a quick check and pulling up of the chains and we were off.

It doesn’t mattter if I have made the run before or Me and Ezri do a few hours sail I always try and find out how long we do, And this trip is no exception canalplan told me the trip would take 2 hours and 6 minutes a matter of 4 miles and 1/4 furlongs, Beginning at two and ending at four, As it was still raining Dad was inside Ezri facing the way we had come but as we started the wind started up.

And in no time we were at the frist bridge, Dad lifted it and I held Ezri in place, I  let her slip thought a little as I needed to tie up on the bank again so Dad could get back on, the rain was lighter than before but it was a little work, All I had to do was stay in the middle, the easy thing to do as like before there was so much water.What wasn’t so easy was the fact Ezri is back heavy so I knew that her rudder would tap a few things. Second was the intake hole I couldn’t tell if were filling with water. 

I asked my Dad to keep an eye on it just in case, and went back to pushing on, we made the second bridge, and in five minutes were off again, there are few narrow points between the second and third bridge so Ezri did bouce a little, and there was a little mud bank at one of turning areas, so when reached the last bridge I had an idea Dad worked it and I pushed the bed/couch into the center of Ezri and right up to her front did help a little I could see the top of Ezri’s rudder.

The wind had been pushing us a long as we made our trip, we even incounted a A fiberglass boat which was being blown about as her crew negotiated working one of the bridges, but was only when we had tied up  safely in place and was able to look at my phone did I see how it had helpped. Canalplan said two hours, Ezri had do it in one, at no point did I push her engine or anything like that in fact I slowed down more that once. There is something about the Peak Ezri just loves it, she knows when to slow, when to turn when to do almost everything I just turn the key.

We did take on some water so I going to have make wood plugs of the intakes, I can’t find cork or rubber ones there just to make sure I don’t fancy facing a lock just yet. As for the fire well my Dad said I would just get covred in mud trying to get to work the next day so. I had a night of central heating and television.

If you have done thank you for reading, I have no idea want next week blog is going to be about yet but I hope you can join me for it.

Total Miles covered so far (Start point Bugsworth) = 10 miles  3 1/4 furlongs

Miles covered this trip = 4 miles 1 1/4 furlongs

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth, Strines Road Narrows, 

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure -TowPath, Trainline, Turing.

Even though Me and Ezri didn’t move this week, this blog is a long one so make a brew, sit down and relax, and I shall begin.

Ezri is letting in water, Now that sounds bad and, 48 hours ago it was a nightmare I had no idea why or how, but in the small shower room cupboard there was about three inches of water, the wood making up the cupboard socking wet too 

Like most narrowboat there three water outlets for the brown water, two sink and one shower and used brown water is pumped out though those hole, well one of these hole is just touches the waterline so any movement the hole gets dunked into the canal and lets water into Ezri. Because the pipe line is not air tight seal around the outlet, 

So with my Dad’s help there was a bit of mad dash to turn Ezri around so the water outlets were facing towpath side so if and when other boat came past she wouldn’t fill with more water, just tap the side of the bank and the anchor barrier. 

Once I had worked out how stop the water comming in and cleaned up, I went around Ezri making sure there no other holes, I tapped all the way around her using both my hands and the push pole feeling for any breaks and watching for bubbles, finding nothing, I then went to the engine bay were I clean out all the water, leaves and another mess. The coollet in the engine is a anti-freeze water mix and is blue but the water I got out the cupboard was black brown so it comes in from outside.

Happy with the job I went back in only to find Ezri once again full of water my wieght when sitting to the bay had dunked the outlet in the water so I proved a theory without meaning to. All also tested a second theory by just sitting Erzi’s very center still and calm listening for running water or dirps and hearing nothing that prove to me that it has to be one of the outlets. And as such I do have a solution make Ezri water tight again so I will keep you posted.

Now for something completely differenet, a trip on a train from Marple to Manchester. Its a trip I done before but this time with no fixed time scale be anywere or any real goal, just a bit of a ramble. I waited until 10 am so the rush hour would be over a walked around the mile and bit into Marple, the round trip ticket cost me £5.10 which was classed as off peak.

The trainline out of Marple follows the canal so as you leave you can look down not only on the Marple Aqueduct (which is also under reconstruction) but down the hill to were Ezri was many mouths ago, and were we hope to go back soon. Seeing the canal like that though trees or just by quick flashes makes me see as my home, a place of safety. I just wonder want other people see it as.

The trian I got out of Marple was what is called pacer train, simply a bus body on wheels run by the Northern Rail company. The train starts at New Mills Central calling at Strines, Marple Romiley, Bredbury, Brinnington, Reddish North, Ryder Brow, Ashburys and then endding at Manchester Piccadilly. And ghost station Belle Vue.

Not having to go to work when I got into Manchester was kind of cool, like said at the start of this bit I had bit of a ramble around updating the map of Manchester I have in my head starting outside Piccadilly station and just walking around. Hither and yon until my feet got heavy and my bag full of shiny new DVDs

If I passing though Sackville Street I always walk though the small park and take time and stop next to (Sir) Alan Turing OBE FRS who for the last 16 years has sat watching the world, a world he helped save when he worked at Bletchley Park during the Second World War pioneering the science of computers. In fact he’s the father of computer scince. I am not going to list the man life story because I want people to find out for themselves how this great man lived.

I say (Sir) like this because you can’t kinght dead people, and anyone who worked at Bletchley Park or who puts there life infront of others should be given a title

 There is a second memorial to this man in the city, one which I pass everytime I work its the A6010 or Alan Turing way. Which passes Ashburys station and that brings us back to train and heading home back to Ezri. 

If you have done thank you for reading, I have no idea want next week blog is going to be about yet but I hope you can join me for it.

Miles covered so far = 6 miles 2 1/4 furlongs

Places been/Stopped- Strines

New Layout…

As you can tell I have had a layout change, I was trying to make it so that each blog post would one colour – Ezri’s post blue, Bookends’s red and All the right words’ brown but that didn’t work out. But want I did find was a word cloud and links to set up twitter, flickr and Youtube. Thery should on the right hand side of this post.

A word cloud is really just a list you can click and that fillers all the post which have that word in them like pressing David McCallum should just show all the Bookend post and same if you clicked Ezri just her post would show.

I wanted to make thing easy for people so that they could get the right place, some people just want the book stuff or others just want the narrowboat things. And I didn’t want you to have dig thought pages you didn’t want.

Plus having the links to Youtube and Flickr will save me a bit of room here, I can just post one photo here from flickr and the rest you see over there by pressing the link, and if miss a video the link will take you to the Ezri playlist.

All The Right Words will have five more posts and will end with audio drama after that, I am not sure what to cover next, another Michael Caine film (Alfie) but that two flims and one book mybe a John le Carre (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) one book, two flims and audiobook, or crime author R D Wingfield (Inspector Frost) four books, ITV Television series And a handful of audiobooks but I am not sure really.

As for Bookends we still have the rest of Once A Crooked Man to get thought and then Mr Stephen King so I hope you stick around, if the new layout doesn’t work for you let me know and I will try and change it. 

If you have done thank you for reading.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Many Bridges to Cross 

Its lazy start to moving day here in Bugsworth the trip only going to be 3 hours long, no rush. My Dad is even here to help with the four bridges. Ezri is a little upset we have to move, we have to slip out backwards from quay a simple thing put her engine into reverse and hold her tiller in place. No she keeps move to the right, I try again, still backwards to the right, so I let her going and she taps the side and we end up in the center of the turning point.

I have to do a three point turn to face the right way, like I said before we’re the boat here so there’s no to hear me turn the air a little blue. My Dad will meet us at the frist bridge until then its just me and Ezri.

Out of Bugsworth turing turing right Ezri finds her feet we are the only boat moving and I am working out were Ezri should be in the water when she makes the move herself is a little flick on the tiller and we’re thought the narrow part without any fuss. I said I would try documet everything I see so start fishing around in my coat for phone so I can take a photo of the abandoned sunken boat which is still there, but Ezri makes clear to keep my hands on her tiller.

We pass the boat so sad, and ten minutes Ezri relents and let me reach for my phone I take three photos one of the perfect water reflection of the bridge and then two of Ezri as we are just about to pass under it. The frist one doesn’t work but the others do.


I always forget want order the bridges are in two use the anti-vandal key one uses the BW key and the other uses the winless, but I had given Dad everything but the heavy winless so when we reched him it was a matter minutes and Ezri was the other side. He got on and off we set again. It was a little odd passing Ezri ‘home’ morring and seeing she could had ever fit in the small space.

Anyway back to the trip and the second bridge, I pull Ezri into the side tie her up as Dad works the bridge is this one of the anti.vandal key, we are though in minutes and dad’s back on, it was raining a few days ago and now its helping Ezri she’s really flying I can feel her slip over all the things under the water.

There are few narrow parts which Ezri likes playing with, she will always end up on the wrong side and tapping the side just for fun.  She even almost knocked Dad down when he was standing at the bow. As we carried on we saw a few boats all warm with their fires on there just somthing amazing about traveling like this.

Third bridge and Ezri doesn’t want to stop, I pull into the side rope in hand and she still keeps going forward. Her engine is in idle but no she’s moving, a pull on the rope and she’s rain in. The bridge done and we are off now this bridge is a bit of blind bend and you have to careful. As we made the bend there was another boat right in the center of the water heading towards me, I moved to the left so that there would be room to pass but he came closer, which only gave us inches to pass each other.

One more bridge and we would done, and then something really odd happend, It may sound crazy but from then on Ezri took over all I did was lightly touch her tiller, she sit in the middle of the water, slipped around the floting trees, didn’t make the scraping sound when I asked to slow down for a few other morred boats she just was.

The last bridge is the one were you use the windless, Ezri by this time really wanted to keep going as I push out her bow she almost sailed thought gap on her own, half a hour later we were moored up, we have two weeks here until we make the a shorter trip back the way we came just so don’t get trapped in the works that are still going on at the locks.

Miles covered so far = 6 miles 2 1/4 furlongs

Places been/Stopped- Bugsworth Basin.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure -Bugsworth Begins

We leave our winter mooring at Furness Vale Marina and go backwards to Bugsworth, I know that sounds worng but starting here makes it easy to work out miles travled and with the changes to Ezri is a can act as a test bed, plus I not touching the works at the other end

The whole trip is 1 mile and 7 1/4 furlongs (I have no idea want a furlong is I work in metric) 45 minutres in total.

Now Ezri has been sat for three months facing into the bank, with another boat behind, So go out backwards is not an option but  with a little bit of fidding, Ezri is out of the space and facing the right way. The one thing people forget is that boat in an instant thing you have to plan two or three minutes ahead and let Ezri do the work.

I had time walk the route from Bugsworth to Furness Vale so I had rough idea of want Ezri would be facing on her way, along the Peak there many boats 99% of them are looking after and lived in but there some which don’t fall in any other two categories such as the boat pictures here,

 When I first came passed it a few months ago tt was up lright and was locked up but abandoned as you can see the winter most have got to it and the ice cracked the bottom of it so here it sits. What will happned to now that it become a danger to boaters and the environment in general who knows.

The trip was easy one Ezri glided her way round the boat and ticked over nicely, I could feel her wanted to push on a keep going, I sure she was showing off a little went did head into Bugsworth and when we had a boat turn around in front of her back off even before I told her. 

Anyway back to Bugswoth, I worte about it being there a internet black hole (well for me anyway) and I love it the way it works is like this you get 48 hours if want to stay long you talk to the nice Warden/Custodian of the suite (he has he’s own at the end of the lower basin) and for a small donation to the Bugsworth Basin Heritage Trust you can stay longer and that’s want I have chose to do.

It’s still regarded as winter time on the canal so Bugsworth Basin is a lot more deserted from the last time we came here and I was able to pick anywere along three basin on the right hand side, the last Ezri was in the Middle basin, this time she picked the arm just off it in the quay.

The mooring rings are meant of much larger boats than her, but Ezri likes quays we have until tuesday 7th when its back out as we slowly make our way the junction where the Macclesfield Canal meets the Peak Forest. 

I will miss the paceful nights and do nothing days but work calls on sunday (Manchester City v. Swansea) and that’s what life is all about contrast.

Miles covered so far= – 1 mile 7 1/4 furlongs.

Places Been -Furness Vale Marina.

Narrowboat Ezri – The 100 Miles Adventure – Introduction

So our winter mooring has come to an end, and its time for the new adventure to begin. 

The rough plan of action I’ve drawn up, is to do want is called the Cheshire Ring  which is 97 miles (or as much as we can) which takes in six canal around the Manchester and Pennine area, I say rough because the Bridgewater canal in not run by the CRT and there could be a myriad of factors stopping us doing the complete round trip

We will cover all the of Peak Forest once again starting at its very end, Bugsworth. I call it the end because here there is no link or junction to anything other that the Peak itself.

The end (Bugsworth) marks the begining of the 100 miles from there its a trip to the junction were the Peak meets the Macclesfield, this will be the shake down run working all the bugs Ezri may have picked up over winter time, taking on fuel, the new light setup and all little bits and bobs.

But not only that, with the work on Lock gates at Marple not endding until the 23 of March I not sure I can cross the junction just yet, so Ezri get to find her feet a little before the full 97 miles adding in the extra it should a nice round 100 miles

Now I will documenting the whole hundred miles, I will be writing, takinig photos and filming. The writing and the photos will be the simple part and will be one week behind. Posting a blog post here, marking on my map were I have been, But the fliming will maybe two or three weeks uploading to Youtube from the middle of nowhere is little hard. But I will work somthing.

I am not really a showman or as talented as many of the YouTube Stars (or should that be  BoatTube Stars) so the flim will be raw single shots, the only thing that will happen is that I may add public domain music to take out the sound of the wind sometimes or my own voice 

The videos will be linked here and play here to so don’t need to have logged into YouTube to watch them, I will write about anything you need to look out for. The same goes for the photos which should only days behind, I have a flickr page so the photos will be there, I am not to sure how I will spilt them up yet but I will try and keep them in some order. 

I will posting hopefully every Wednesday around six o’clock GMT. Under the title 100 miles Adventure so I hope you will able to join me for that, and if you follow any of my other post (All The Right Words/Bookends) they will carry on, same day they are now Friday and Saturday and at the same time 7:00 pm and 3:00 pm. So if have done thank you for reading.

Narrowaboat Ezri -Mapped Out..

Last weekend I worte about two sets of locks being replaced and renewed, one on the Peak Forest the other on the Ashton. When I was at the Peak Forest open day I was handed a small fold out map showing the whole Manchester and Pennie canal network.

The map was desinged and illustrationed by Bek Cruddce – Cartography and Illustration and given out by members of the Canal and River Trust to many members of public and as such is public domain in fact on Miss Bek Cruddcd web pages she has the full network of canals there to view. All the maplets are now available at Canal and River Trust Welcome Stations, offices, museums and towpath events, or contacting the Canal and River Trust region offices

Having spent many hours pouring over internet pages and print outs when trying to explain to other people were the canals are ‘in the real world’ and being that google maps can’t tell a river from a canal.  The maplets are very useful simple yes but they show the main points and the National Rail Stations which is always good to know. Even other water ways not run/looked after CRT.


I am not saying that you stop using things like Canalplan, waterexplorer or the Collins/ Nicholson’s canal guides if you never been to a place/area before local knowage is the key when heading into the unknown but I would use them if need quick point of reference or if planning spend a lot time ​in that area. They can useful. I will using my map to mark out the parts the trip me and Ezri are planing this year just so you can keep up.