Narrowboat Ezri – The Littleborough Chronicles –

This is going to short blog post, Winter moorings have come to an end that means moving I wrote before about having to go down the network.
A task with some help, I hopefully will be able to do in the next 24 hours. And as its such a short trip I will try a film the whole thing.
There two locks and swing bridge, to do which I have done before on the way down. So Ezri knows the way, if anything goes to plan the video will be up a few hours after. And will post link to it here as well as blow by blow action report.

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Narrowboat Ezri – The Littleborough Chronicles – After the Winter

I am going to break off from updating you about Ezri’s refit for this blog post, and talk about want happens next.
As my winter mooring will come to an end soon, I need to start to think about moving once again and continuing the adventure that is now my life aboard Ezri. My plan is to travel around the whole of north west England’s canal network and it time criss cross the whole country but that’s long term.
However for now I have work out how much of the Rochdale Canal I can still travel,
My first plan was to turn Ezri around a head back up the way I came and head back to Sowerby Bridge in west Yorkshire, then slowly retrace our journey on parts of the Calder and Hebble Navigation staying off the rivers. Because the first time around was one mad blur and it would give a chance for a proper look around.
But with flooding at the tail end of last year, the canal around there has been left in what can only be called post apocalyptic state with whole sections of banking missing, Narrowboats left high and dry and locks in need of repair, so much so the canal and River Trust have put out advisory travel notices.
As you may have work out this means heading that way may not be the best thing to do, I can however travel down the Rochdale Canal and then all the way into Manchester, some of which I did the first time around but only got as far as The Sandbrook Pub then turning Ezri around to the safe harbour of Littleborough.
So between the Pub and Manchester there are a lot unknowns, and even when I get there it looks like money will play its part first on mooring fees to the private company redeveloping the land around the canal and then again if I want to use the Bridgwater Canal on the other side of Manchester for more than a week.
I have worked out that I can turn Ezri around and head up the Ashton Canal and then the long way back to Sowerby which looks fun out in the countryside once again.
It dose leave me a lot to think about in the next few weeks but for now its back to the refit.

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Narrowboat Ezri – The Littleborough Chronicles – The Refit- Carpets

You would think that with all the refit jobs I have given myself to do and the fact a few are taking longer that I thought, I would get my head down and work them one at a time one, but the more I look around Ezri was a paint, I can see how the little things can be improved, that’s how and why Ezri now has carpet. I had been thinking about some kind of floor covering but just the odd car mat or rug here and there to stop the mess from the towpaths being walked though.
But all the ones I saw would have to cut up to fit and in the case of the car mat there would only be black/grey colour scheme to pick from, So one quick trip to a carpet warehouse and I brought a carpet end roll which will not only cover the steps both front and back but also the space were I keep the tool and dragon box.

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Setting a carpet in Ezri’s is just one huge jigsaw, nothing on her is a straight line even if they look and feel like it, so it very much a case of finding the best line you can and measuring from that point, then turning the carpet roll over and with a stick of chalk draw the lines needed.
To carry on the idea of light and space though Ezri, as I painted the rest of the walls my Dad did the three steps down which now kept in place with double sided tape. I am going to paint the wood trim a little darker blue that walls to tie the whole thing together.

Narrowboat Ezri – The Littleborough Chronicles – Luckily Me

Some people say it a pain to work on boxing day, but all I can say it that I thankful for it, because as I worked the Manchester City football match the bad weather closed in on Littlebrough, and the rain poured down so much so the main street flooded.

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As I was working I didn’t know totally was going on, so it was only when I was able to use my phone and see for myself did I see how bad things really were.
Ok the canal is on a higher point of the town, but it has been know to over flow.
Work ended around six o’clock so I was in no fit state to head to Ezri, and be sides want could I have done the whole road was shut and the emergency units would be dealing with evacuating people from there water filled homes or building makeshift defensive barriers.
The worst that could happed would be Ezri slipping her morinngs and be flowing free, or stuck on the bank or towpath.
So I sat at my dad’s and watched the news reports and found out that whole of north west was under water starting in Hebden Bridge and all the way down into the center of both Rochdale and Manchester and even here in bury.

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The only thing is all I could was wait, Ezri is a Narrowboat she’s made to float, there people who have lost there homes and businesses even so maybe a lot more.
I waited until Monday, and me and dad made the trip, we made it out of bury and into Rochdale and all the water had been pumped away so we carried on, still unsure want we would find.
And when got there the only thing that gave any hint that something had been wrong was the broken traffic lights, at the bottom of the road.
As for Ezri she remind untouched, she looked a little scruffy but so would you if you had been stood out in the rain for a few days, stepping inside everything was were I had left it even the small wood block in the door, her engine started first time and she still had power.
After checking all this I got to do something cool which was give Ezri her name, unlike most boats Ezri dosen’t have her name on her side, but now thanks to my sister in law Kaite who had Ezri’s name printed up. Ezri has her name on a sign it maybe a little thing but it means a whole lot

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Even the canal around her was clam Ok 90% of the moor land mud is flowing down it but all in I am very luckily, if I had not changed my mind a few weeks ago and had still been running the canal, I would have stuck in the floods both Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.
All I can do it hope that the people of Littleborough are as luckily as I have been.

Narrowboat Ezri- Tails From the Towpath – Winter Is Here

With fire blazing away, Ezri is so warm I am in shorts and t-shirts but outside is force 2 gale as the winter takes hold which two weeks ago wasn’t a problem. But its moving time again so a plan is needed, I can move back to the quay I was in which down over the Lancashire and Yorkshire border a trip I have done twice now, a matter of 12 locks and one over night stop, in fact its the same thing I did on the way down. But the rains coming so I have to be quick.

To late the rain came, and not only that there flood warnings for the whole of the North West of England so it looks like plan B turn Ezri around and head back to were I had the horse adventure, which is only four locks and that will give me two weeks, so running from point A to B for the winter mouths is do able right.

Now wrong I was the small window of good weather lasted all of three hours, which would have worked if the second lock gate had opened, It just wouldn’t open no matter how hard we tried
Me and me and dad got so wet though that it took three hours to get dry, and the rain came down so bad we’re half blinded by it I can’t be doing that every two weeks.

So its now plan C I have a winter mooring for a little over £200 it starts on the 1st of December and ends the last day February I know there the place and its safe. Its a lot better than moving every two weeks I know there are few people out there saying to should have been plan A.
But when I first looked into the cost of the winter mooring I was quick and didn’t do the maths right, and came out with a huge four figure sum which was a little off putting, having looked at the numbers again I think its the only real solution.

I will get the hang of the whole new lifestyle soon…

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Narrowboat Ezri – Moving Day Part Two

Waking up back at Chelbourne Wharf was a little bit surreal, as if the few weeks at Littleborough were all some funny dream, the night before I had walked along the towpath and worked out were Dad could park the car as he said he would like to help me and Ezri though the remaining locks.
Unlike the last post I not going to name the locks as there are only a handful we past though. Bit we did cross the Yorkshire and Lancashire border again.
Having someone with me was a bit odd, the system I use gets tweaked a lot,
We tie up just before the lock and then walk over to lock itself, most of the time without thinking about it I start to open the paddles letting the water in or out which ever is needed, leaving whoever is with me just standing there to watch.
This happen twice when Dad was helping the first time as I was getting out of the lock and Ezri’s rope slipped out my hand,
So Ezri bounced around the lock until I could get hold of the rope again, I know now I should just thrown Dad the rope and let him tie off but I didn’t just when it muscle memory mode. There was another boat wanting to come down so they were of help to dad in opening the gate
The gap between the lock just after Chelbourne Wharf and the next is a matter of five minutes walk but in Ezri say about fifteen, Its the highest lock in England last I was going up this time were going down.
It was fun just be moving again I even got a few photos the lock its self was bit odd but in time everything worked out.
Now we come the swing bridge I had forgot there was a little footbridge so that made things a lot simpler in fact it took less time that the lock to do.
There was second boat heading down towards us so we had some rest time, only thing was that they make the mistake everyone does, when you come into the lock which ever way it is people try and move the lock gate with paddle down/shut now a gate is around 15 tons and they try to move it against the flow of water.
What I have found is that if you open the paddle or leave it open just a few inches the gate with move more easy because the water is going though not around the 15 tons of wood and steel.
Now we come to second time I mistimed something it was as we were in the second to last lock, Ezri was in the top of the lock and were going down hill I had got off Ezri and show Dad how the lock key, she was tied on and I was getting back to just be with her as she went down.
I wrapped my hands around her rail a stepped out only for her to slid from under my left leg and slip bang I hit Ezri if I hadn’t had my hand under Ezri’s rail I would have ended up in the water suck between the lock wall and Ezri a little bit of close call.
My left side is a little bruised and the wind was knocked out of me for a few seconds but I carried on and got Ezri to her safe place.
We have been here before and there is another boat just up by the lock so things are fine, Dad knocked in Ezri’s mooring pins so now all that left is to reestablish my routine here for the next few days