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

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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 – 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.

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 

Narrowaboat Ezri – What No Post ?

I am sorry that there has not been Ezri post this week, but I wanted the next to be the rest of Locked Out blog and the walk down into lock 16 of the Peak Canal takes place like I said on the 21 Jan also the day I working (Manchester City are at home) so there will be a lot of running around being done.

So it will hopefully be posted late sunday afternoon, as for Ezri herself she has few days on winter mooring, she ready and will to go were the wind (and CRT) let me, I said in other post that I have been (with help) working on her front door and as that job draws to it close I am in two minds about writing a post one beacuse I don’t want to tell world how exactly how the doors are secured that’s just inviting trouble but I don’t want leave people with the impression that it’s a half finished job and I got lazy and didn’t write a blog post.

But I will work something out and even if I only tell you have half of want has happend or just art work I plan to put on the door I hope you will understand.

As I said at the top of this post ‘Locked Out’ part two will be posted sometime this sunday 22 Jan and hopefully I will have some video to go a long with it. Which I will post on youtube  and link to here.If there is any It will be raw unedited, as I am more comfortable with writing blogs than with presenting a mini TV show.

That’s your lot for this post, amd if you have done thanks for reading and see you nexf time.

Narrowaboat Ezri – Locked Out Part One

This the frist blog post of 2017 from Ezri, I wanted the first one to the beinging of our new adventure around the Cheshire ring but before that can start. I have the opportunity to see how even in this high tech world there is nothing like 200 year old working caftsmanship.

The locks at Marple are undergoing repair and replacement, so have been shut for all navigation which in itself not a small job. All 16 locks have to be checked and if needed drained, locking a lock is just a simple as that you lock the gates in place and that’s that, but want happens to the water inside the lock well after putting blocks in each or sealing the intakes its pumped out further down the system.

But a 200 year lock is not always watertight so there is some leaking thar dose happnen so away around this is to redirect the water past the lock though the over flow or simple empty the above and below the one that needs repair, Using both methhoods this want CRT are doing.


The above photo shows how the CRT are working on lock 14 all the water has been taken out the pound so that the wash wall can be rebilut and then the whole lock gate can be replaced. Then it will be panted black and have it numbers put back on as the winding gate as all ready been add.

Now unlike most jobs like this would carried out with help a huge articulated carne but the lock at Marple run up the side of a very steep hill so the heres were the 200 year tech comes in, there going to use block and tackle to rise and lower the gate into place and then run there testing.

​ As you can guess a job like this will take sometime and reading the CRT notice the work will cost a total of £384,000 and take from the 3rd of Jan to the 23rd of March 2017 now as a boater you would think I would upset that I can’t travel but as long as the junction at the top of flight remands open I can still get on the Macclesfield canal and our Cheshire Ring trip can still go on, if not I can still move along the open parts of the Marple, for the 8 weeks  that its shut.

But on the plus side when CRT reach lock 16 at the top of the hill there are holding an open day On the 21st of January 2017 10am – 4pm which mean I will be able to walk down to the bottom of the drained lock now having used this lock on the way up it will be fascinating to see the lock without its water. Not only that will it hopfully make a good blog post could be a test of you tube video


More infomtion can be found by searching ‘Marple Lock open day’ or going to canalrivertrust.org.uk 

NarrowBoat Ezri – Week Four/Five Of Winter or The Review Log part One

On Monday 21/11 night the rain came, and it came down in such force that it shut down some of the road/train network, so there was a question about getting to Ezri that was anwered in two ways one by the fact I work up on the Tuesday with and cold in my eye (which later in the week became full on flu) I did my best but it didn’t go and my dad did have flu. And the second the train station around the canal was shut so there was no way of getting to Ezri.

So what I though I would do is kind of recap on how the things have been since me and Ezri left Littlebrough and the nightmare that was the Rochdale.

Since the mini engine rebliud at Portland, its all about short runs and trips, from Portland we headed down to just outside Romiley and spent two weeks enjoying the sunshine and just being once agian free to explore, then when that was done it was time head into Marple.

16 locks and 3 hours later Me, Dad and Ezri had made it, when you get into Marple you can head one of two ways left and you end up at Bugsworth the end of the Peak and right is the Macclesfield leading to the Trent and Mersey and the rest of the Cheshire Ring.

We went right so I could fill up with water at the water point there were some really nice people who helped moved a working boat out of the way so Ezri could fit in the place, I had 24 hours there so it was a little being back in the center of Manchester.


The fun bit came when it was time leave and head back onto the Peak again, Ezri is only 35f so I was able to turn her around in the space she had been sitting in. Now the plan was always to head to end of the Peak but stop along the way, because I found out that you only get 48 hours in bugsworth so it would be mad to rush there and then just turn around the next village/town/railway station is a place called Stains in fact there is road out of Marple called Stains Road which follows the canal. On the bend there are new anachor rail so Ezri rested there getting covered in leaves for a few days.

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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