Narrowboat Ezri- The Middlewich Breach Part Two Follow Up

So this is the follow up to the blog post about about The Middlewich Breach, As is the case with anything like this it all comes down to who pays for the rebuild. I am not getting into all that, I am just going to repost two YouTube from Mr Albert Rowe the first one a short 7 minute clip posted one week ago and the second 10 minutes long a posted two days ago. They show a very up close view of the problem.

Next is a link to Middlewich Guardian newspaper and a interview with one of the boaters left stranded by the breach.

http://www.middlewichguardian.co.uk/news/16117390.boater-stranded-after-middlewich-canal-collapse-describes-dramatic-niagara-falls-scene/

Underneath you will find in map for those unfamiliar with the Manchester and Pennine network I’ll canals the Middlewich breach is the arm of the canal that goes from the Trent and Mersey canal down towards Crewe and joins the Shropshire Union the left hand side of the bottom of the map. ( this map was produced and drawn by bec cruddace)

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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- So What Are We Going To Now.

First off sorry for not having something out last week but over the holidays I very unwell and work also played its part.

And to be totally truthful I don’t really have anything set in stone, Towards the end of last year a few things happened on the way back to our winter/home mooring which means Ezri needs a mimi rebuild and later in September we will have her BSS Boat safety scheme certificate, so I thought it maybe a good time to lift her out water and have Ezri re blacked which is going to be a adventure in its self.

That’s not to say Ezri is going sit and do nothing until September, I still a new lighting reel to add and a few other things like a multi coloured bathroom floor plus I do want to head back towards Manchester in the summer then maybe to the Huddersfield narrow canal or a trip down back to Bosley locks now and again.

Its a odd feeling Ezri is my home but when you start talking about this like pulling her out of the water and BSS certification it does make me feel a bit uneasy, that she becomes just steal and glass once again.

If you want to look back at the hundred miles adventure, from last year you can start here with the photos I took

https://www.flickr.com/gp/91786662@N02/ae141V

and if want to watch few of the videos over on YouTube they can be found here

I do hope that when I have worked out a new plan that you will join us for our new adventures, and for now thank you for reading and see all soon.

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 – Icebreaker Ezri.

Well I think kind of like this winter cruising thing, there is not many people about, the water is still and the towpath is frozen. But there is a down side there is not many people about, the water is still and the towpath is frozen.

No really the same the set of reasons that makes winter cruising nice are the same set of reasons why are making progress anyway its quite dangerous. Me, Dad and Ezri made it back on the Macclesfield though the stop lock and to our save place. 

But along the way there were a few things that made me think, the first one being the ice some, some reason I always forget that it possible that the canal can freeze over just a little. At the start of our trip we had brake a fair bit of it, we were lucky that another boating was heading down so much of the ice was broken for us and the locks were set to so it made it easier.

Yet when we left the Trent and Mersey the ice was re-freezing, I had even planed a simple way to use a mooring pin the break some of the ice if needed, but thankfully it didn’t happen, Now with all this ice about things like bits of trees get stuck in the mud in the middle of the water and by the time you see them it a little to late. So Ezri gets a few bumps along the way, I really do my best not to hit anything but with not a lot of traffic on the waterways its hard to see.

And finally there is the cold, Its fine when Ezri’s engine is running there is a little bit of heat but then is becomes a little mad dash to light the fire before that heat disappears,  and the ice returns but I guess that’s want happens in winter.

As always thank you for reading and I hope to see you next week. As make the leap though Macclesfield and push a few more miles ahead.

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 -Shafted !

I am starting to get feeling Ezri doesn’t what to get “back home” anytime soon, but I will get back to that in a little while, Last week I was cat sitting for my sister in law and brother, that meant the time line we have was a little smaller that we Normally have as we have to fight the traffic coming in and out of Manchester both post and pre rush hour. Not only that but find a space to park the car.

I will start with trip to Ezri first navigations quite easy I use Google maps for the 99% of the journey. Its worked find up to this trip down the motorway get of a the Junction then travel through the small village Road dead easy. Only this trip when we got off onto the small village Road there were signs for a closed Road so we waited a few seconds for the Google Map, to reset itself and show us a alternative route which would add 10 minutes on to our journey so we followed this route and we got to a second sign which also said road closed which did not do any favours as the car park we needed to use with just beyond the road closures sign.

We were lucky however because there was a parking place just along the side of the road so we parked the car and headed towards with a car park would it be and it turned out the entire bridge crossing both the canal and the main road was under some form of reconstruction. But luckily once again the construction workers had left a space so we could walk through. And the walk back down to Ezri had started.

On the way down we met the gentleman that we close to a few days ago and he explained that were we were moored was quiet and he enjoyed it which has asked you would because I told him that it was a very quiet place but he’d moved to wheel lock during the previous day. And was then heading up towards the junction. Now I walked slightly quicker than most people and move about in my job so out pace my dad and a few other people.

And being most 10/20 minutes late, in getting to Ezri had made me somewhat you get to get going I got to Ezri untied her and was moving along quite well knowing I would just pull pick up my dad as we went headed back up the canal,

now I’ve written before about Ezri’s Centreline being altered it was done when I was at work and I both had more behind me at some point my rope must have come Undone as they did it in such a way that twice as long as it normally would be, for use with lock that’s ok because you just throw it up and round something. But for mooring up you have to take into account that is extra rope, a fact that I had forgotten when I pulled in to pick up my dad he got on I held the rope and then through what I thought was the full length of the rope across Ezri’s rooftop. and as we pulled away and did about 10 ydrs the rope slipped down the right hand side and quickly within seconds of hitting the water wraps itself around the propeller and the shaft leaving us floating quite serenely down the canal.

And it wasn’t just a case of trying to reverse the rope off as it had lopped itself double over so the only answer was to lift off the weed Hatch cut off the excess rope and begin the painstaking process of cutting inch by inch from the shaft almost blind as you can see into the murky depths of the canal. Both of us get cold, wet and a little bad Tempered at times

All this took time the goal we had of ending before 3:30 went out the window, we did eventually reach were we needed to be and we didn’t run in the dark this time more like the twilight. And hitting the the rush hour traffic and Google Maps sending us pass Jodrell Bank of all places as we headed home back to the cat.

With the last blog post about Ezri’s battery and now this one about her wrapping herself around her own mooring rope, You can tell I am beginning to feel as if she wants to stay out and play just that little bit longer.

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

Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – The Voyage “Home”

I am not really sure how to start this set of blogs as we begin the voyage “home” to Furness Vale, it was meant to be see Ezri, Dad and Me Complete the Cheshire Ring heading through the Bridgewater Canal and the centre of Manchester once again but, the locks at Marple have shut since late September and its now become a case of retracing our journey the way we came. 

Officially the trip is supposed to take three days from the Middlewich visitor moorings, but those calculations have been done at the height of summer and now we’re almost but not quite winter time so we only have a few hours of daylight not only that we are at the mercy of my work as I do not have 3 days straight in a row. And believe me we have tried to do more miles but it would mean running in the in the dark even at 4:30 in the afternoon.

When we began from the Anderton Boat Lift we tried to squeeze in 8 miles and manage to do just under 7 and as we did it became Pitch Black so it was on with Ezri’s main light, running only for 25 minutes and the next day we did try to move once again but Ezri’s is battery had died, getting a replacement from Portland Marina was half a days work. So not the best of starts. Ezri has always run on just one battery, it’s never been a problem before and it will be rectified when we have the structural rebuild sometime in next September.

Now the thing is that I don’t wish to risk repeating myself and boring not only you the reader but myself in saying we did x y and z miles and got here, here and here, there will be a blog of our journey but not in the same style as before, my maths has never been my strong point but I know how I’ve done the 56 miles from bugsworth basin to the Anderton Boat Lift I have the videos and the emails to prove that, I have the idea we are going to short by few miles as was are not going end in Bugsworth once again, but we did do one mile on the River Weaver so I am counting that.

It’s not the way I wanted the blog to be in the end but at the minute it’s the best I can do so I hope you can join me as we retrace our steps and head on our voyage home, As always thank you for reading and I hope to see you next week.


Narrowboat Ezri- The 100 Miles Adventure – The Anderton Boat Lift

Leaving Ezri just up around Marbury County Park, Both me and Dad walked into the Anderton Boat Lift center and on the last day of October and their last week of operations for this year it’s still a very busy place, to our right is the cafe (but more of that later), and the right is the little shop, I asked the lady behind the till and she told that booking for the lift are taken down the stairs. So off I went and meet another nice lady who explain how things work and want times we could have, and that we needed to be at the mooring 15 minutes before time.
So after making sure I understood everything and with both email and text conformation We set off and got Ezri, we worked out the best thing was to put her in the mooring and get something to eat, Which worked out very well as after ordering two coffee and two Panini sandwiches, they called us to the mooring again so the people in the cafe said they would keep the sandwiches for us.
They gave me a safety briefing, is odd really as I the one giving briefing like this, with Dad set in Ezri’s bow we set, and when everything was set and safe I started to flim.

So here now is the unedited video. Of me, Dad and Ezri traveling down the right hand-side of the Anderton Boat Lift.

Coming out of the lift we headed to the left, passing holding moorings and for a good ten minutes we headed almost back to Northwich, Ezri being on the river is totally different for her being on the canal she flows with the water so I have to be careful, we can’t just go with the flow. Anyway all to soon it was time turn Ezri around, and make our way back to holding moorings. We tied Ezri up and walked back into the museum and cafe, and our sandwiches which were made fresh for us. To call the cafe a cafe it doing it diservice its far more than that, the food wonderful and the staff go out of their way to make everyone feel welcome. In fact all the staff do so even if don’t have a boat or don’t want to use the lift I would go just for the day out.
We had lots of time to look at the museum which tells you first about the building of the lift and the counter weigh system, then about how it was saved by the work more amazing people. And now how the whole thing is run by State-of-the-art multi-million-pound computer system. After a good look around and watching the trip boat come down, it and Ezri were the only two boats which used the lift the whole day. I have a lot of photos so please follow the link so you can see them all.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/91786662@N02/07V07L
The return tirp was just as easy and enjoyable and here you can see Ezri getting into the swing of things.

So that was the Anderton Boat Lift which marks the turning point of this journey and start of heading back to ‘home’ mooring. Which didn’t get off to the best of starts but as always if you have been thank you for reading and I hope you can join me for that.