Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Problems with lack of water, silly kids and the police

We left Uppermill mid-morning on Monday ...
… I intended to pull over by Tesco’s to shop but boaters are not welcome here, nor at the Kingfisher pub either … oh well, their loss. It wasn’t long after this that something got wrapped around the propellor - a load of plastic banding!
Water levels had been good so far, it was just below this lock that we had problems on the way up but today there looked plenty of water so I went slowly through the pound (stretch of water between locks) but when I got to this bend I became stuck on some underwater obstruction that tipped the boat along ⅔ of its length.  George had gone on ahead to ready the next lock so I rang him asking him to come back.  I managed to put the bow a little closer to the towpath and he was thankfully able to step aboard safely.  Between George using the boat pole and me using a bit of ‘umph’ from the engine we managed to drop off the obstacle and continued on our way.  After the next lock I asked George to steer Rock’n’Roll while I would do the locks as I just couldn’t take any more hassle, I was shaking like a leaf.
So this is George in the unusual position at the helm coming into Woodend Lock ...
… and me in this unusual position raising the paddles!
And I’m glad I was on the towpath as George picked up a load of boaters ropes and a knitted garment as soon as he exited the lock.
Giving Molly break at Whitehead Lock ...
… and closing the bottom gates of Terrace Lock.
The water in the pound below was low as George cruised out slowly and I walked on to Avenue Lock to find someone just about to open the paddles and let even more water our of the pound we were in. I asked him to wait while I went back and open the sluices above to let sufficient water down to allow the boat at the bottom to come up and for us to go down without depleting the water supply any further. While I was doing this a lady came up and she looked familiar, more from what she was wearing than anything else, it was Elaine from nb Bulbourne which is currently stuck behind some broken lock gate on the Aylesbury Arm.

We moved on just one more lock and are currently moored above Bywith Lock at the C&RT Depot at Grove Road by the services where before too long ...
… the BBQ was out and with a glass of wine in our hands were so glad to be still ...

… and the smell from the wild roses was heady in the late afternoon sunshine!
Today (Wednesday) we went for a walk along what the locals call ‘the yellow brick road’...

 … passing the pylon built over the canal which isn't quite as narrow as it looks!
 I asked the workers on this butty (a boat moved by means other than an engine) and asked if an engine was going to be fitted and ...
 … Chris of the Wooden Canal Boat Society told me that he hoped for it to be drawn by a motorised narrowboat or a horse to give outings for the disadvantaged.  I asked him the history of the boat and he’s fairly certain that it was built in 1913, is a Runcorn Wooden Header and originally called Mull, later changed to Hazel.
 Returning from the yellow brick road - a lovely view across the canal and valley ...
 … and home.

A few of the wild roses make home smell so good too!

As I’ve been sorting this blog we’ve had an incident which we’ve had to report to the police.  A group of youngsters mainly girls about 13 years old came down the towpath and one of them jumped onto the bow and banged on the cratch window.  George jumped up and yelled at her to 'get off our boat' and went outside as they ran up the steps by the service building, he ran after them with his phone camera and as soon as they saw him they scuttled off but not before chucking a handful of pebbles and stones over the hedge onto RnR!
A local police constable came to talk to us and looked at the pictures that George had taken but didn’t recognise them but just a few minutes ago he returned with an update.  As he was driving off after calling to see us he saw the group (recognised by the clothes they were wearing) and pulled them over.  He asked what they had been up to and they admitted it was them, he asked who actually jumped on the boat - they told him who it was (she wasn't with the group at that moment).  He took all the names and addresses including the one who'd accessed the boat and a liaison officer will be calling at their homes tomorrow to speak to their parents. Result!!
We had decided that we’d move on tomorrow because of this incident even though heavy rain is forecast all day, but as the policeman has warned them all of the consequences of any further trouble we’ve decided to stay put until Friday.  Not sure though how well we’ll sleep though.


  1. Hi, sorry about the problems with the girls, it was similar to that when we were overnight in Great Yarmouth. Your flowers look lovely though and I hope the wine has helped with the shakes!! Love reading your blog and seeing your photos, makes me feel close to you both. Hope the weather picks up a bit and we'll see you soon. Love you both. Sandra. xxxx

  2. Such a shame when a visit somewhere is marred by such rude behaviour.

    We have been lucky and in the last five years have not had anybody board the boat to our knowledge, nor had anything thrown at her.

    Hopefully you can have some peace and quiet now!

    1. Thanks, we did manage to get some sleep with no further incidents.

  3. I'm sorry to hear that you've had such a unnerving time - I hate it when kids do this stuff - it's rarely happened to us but it makes me so cross when it does.

    Hope the rest of your trip is untroubled...

    Sue, nb Indigo Dream

    1. Thanks Sue, it is unnerving but we soon get over the mishaps when we stop for a few day.

  4. Jill, Matilda RoseThursday, 13 June, 2013

    You really are having a fair bit of excitement at the moment - sadly not all of it good. The trouble is, although as you say it's silly kids, the impact is immense on your feelings of well being and security. It has always been a 'difficult' canal - one that provides many stories to dine out on!
    Try not to let it get to you and spoil your experience x

    1. ‘Difficult’ being the operative word Jill and as you say we’ll dine out on these stories of the ‘orible ‘uddersfield for a long time to come!

  5. Hi Carol and George, Pity you had a bit of a problem, I'm glad to say We only had crab apples thrown at us on The Coventry during our five years afloat. Missing all you boaters already but not the weather. Thank you for being the first to comment on my new blog and we hope the rest of the summer is kinder to you. more sunshine and no more fouled props.

    Love Mac & Jacquie