Tuesday 15 February 2011

Basin cut!

Sunday morning saw me up bright and early. Whilst the Memsahib went out shopping in Doncaster I took the boat for her first shake down run of the season. Assisted by friends John and Tracy. Most of Saturday morning had been taken up with mucking out the boat. It was not long before we set off to go up to the Sheffield basin. Before we had made our way through the top two locks, I had three trips down the weed hatch. One coal bag, one balaclava and one jacket. This was then followed by a steady cruise heading towards the basin. 

We had one further stop when an engine alarm sounded. A quick look at the instruments showed that the engine temp was a bit on the high side. I let the engine cool for a while and topped up the radiator with about two litres of hot water. The weather was cool with a continuous slow drizzle, but the shakedown trip proved to be quite worthwhile. We stopped for a brew before winding in the basin and heading back.

The rest of the trip proved to be uneventful, with the exception of one small incident. We came to a pontoon under one of the railways bridges that was being systematically vandalised by three of Sheffield's finest children. I pretended to take a photograph with my mobile phone camera. Their hoods were up in an instant and they soon peddled off down the tow path and into the distance.

Just finished reading another Canal Book this time it was "Anderton for Orders" by author Tom Foxton. ISBN 094771233X
Tom Foxton describes his life aboard a series of working narrow boats. An industry that forged the industrial revolution. Full of observations of the boat people and chronicling the slow decline of canals.  Set in the 1950's and including a 3 year spell when he was conscripted. Tom weaves an interesting tale, right up until the time he buys his own boat to become, one of the last number ones. A good enjoyable read.

Total trip distance was 5 miles and 4 locks plus 1 swing bridge.

Rosies running total :- 128 canal miles, 83 locks and 10 swing bridges


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