Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – Where did Everyone Go !

One of the the things you notice the most, about retracing our steps is the fact the places that were busy at one time a hive of activity along the waterways, they are now deserted and look some what sad, this weeks trip took us back the arms pub just around the village of Lawton Heath End. 

When we came through the last time it was so busy that we had to push on and stop by the church 2 or 3 miles away however, this time there was not a single boat to be see, no towpath spectator (I dislike the word gongoozler) and dog walkers. It was a if the whole world just stopped, I would have though that being near a pub and the weather being as bad there would have been a least one. Taking advantage of the warmth of the pub

But I have had it pointed that most if not all boaters are very self-sufficient so would not like spending money or be back in their home moorings, but I do have the feeling that some CC (Continuous Cruisers or all year round) would use the place at least once, and save the coal or wood if just for one day.

Were we are now is nice and the people around here are nice and friendly there is even a little notice board with phone numbers on it for things like doctors and local police which is amazing.

With the lack of any real boating going on it does cause a problem because most of the leaves on the trees end up in the canal itself and sometimes there is also a few sticks end up coming down to, and because they are not moved by any passing propeller there sit on the water or sink which does cause Ezri it slow down a little.

But there are just a handful of locks left and we will be back the Macclesfield soon and then after Bosley a clear, simple and easy run ‘home’ and the refit/rebuild can begin again.

As always thank you for reading and I hope to see you next week.


Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – Heron Help Us

Even though we have been on the Trent and Mersey for sometime now I don’t know all of it and all its deep and not so deep parts. This became evident even before we set out because I had made the mistake of undoing the middle rope first and telling my dad to do the same with the front. So Ezri was just tied to the bank by her back rope so I as I undid that one she came out crossing the canal, not good so we were to far over and touching the right hand bank which was a little to shallow so a quick backwards forwards and we were off.

Then almost stopped again as another boat came in to use the water point and then a second boat which was pulling up just after the bridge to go to the shops just a little way down the road, a few feet on we were coming past a small reed beds on the towpath of Ezri when a big heron flew off ahead of us.

Which made me move Ezri a bit more into the center of the canal and as I did so there was a third boat coming towards us so I was able to let them past me on Ezri’s left once they had gone I was able to move back center of the water, only to feel Ezri’s back end touch something under the water.

I did my best not to catch on it and was lucky, after being grounded I hate the though of it happening again. we kept moving and along the towpath I saw the heron again standing there, Now for those who don’t know when I first started out and was well a truly on my own in first few days of getting Ezri a heron saved us on one of the many rivers we did.

And so I always see them as helpful and I give a wide breath and by doing this Ezri moved into the deeper water and the heron flew off again this happened three times on this trip and each time, when I moved Ezri away from the heron in was in deeper water. only a few inches mine but that made a lot different to Ezri. And when the canal opened up and became wide the heron flew off once again but this time behind us. 

A lot of you will say but it was just looking for fish and Ezri was just mixing the water up but I like to think he/she was guiding all the boats over the narrows

Finding a mooring this time was a lot simpler that the last, in a few places there has been want I like to call mooring barrier set in the old brickwork (its just barrier that you can put chains though) but were they can’t do that rings have been put in, and on the wide parts to so that were Ezri now its safe and sound thanks to the heron.

But that’s not the end of our story for this week as we mooring up the boat that had pulled in to go shopping came up behind us so and I looked forward just to see and right at the end of the rings there was small boat it back end out in the middle of the water at first we all thought was just turning around but no it had come away from the bank I was the first one over to it but I couldn’t see anyway on there’s was rail and the gunnel was to small to walk along, I saw the rope was in the water and guessed so was the pin.

The people from the other boat and dad soon came up to, the man had a rope and dad had the Ezri’s mooring pin hammer, the lady from the other took one of the rope and climbed aboard the stranded boat walking along the roof Me, dad and the man pulled in the rope, the boat came towards us and the lady was able to step off Dad whacked in both the mooring pins, As we walked away the lady was someone had left a small hammer in the ground so put on the boat. They say goodbye and we did the same and they were off again.

I am sorry I didn’t get a photo of the heron but I didn’t have the right phone camera on me, my phone takes two hands to work the other on change is just one, anyway here’s a phone of Ezri covered in leaves.

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) =  47 miles  7  furlongs

Miles covered this trip =  1 mile  5 3/4 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) Rookery Railway Bridge No. 158.

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.

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