Thursday, 27 July 2017

More boat names

  With all the travelling we have done this year I have collected hundreds of unusual and fun boat names . I will try and put on the blog as many as I can over the next few weeks.   Enjoy !













                                                                                            Happy Days

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Great Haywood

IMG_5421After a couple of days moored below Aston Marina it was time to move on . We pulled pins at 08.10 and said goodbye to our friendly neighbours. Hopefully I will meet up with these Calves again in a couple of years time when they are cooked medium rare then smothered in a delicious peppercorn sauce and surrounded by chips ,Peas and a few onion rings. (Carolyn thinks I'm terrible but where do you think your steak comes from ).

IMG_5425This is always a good sight as you approach a lock . Its a group of volunteers painting everything black and white on this lock .They were a happy bunch and we had a good bit of banter as they helped us lock down .They did have one little moan about the paint they were using as they said ”it was environmentally friendly and they had to use it, but was a pain in the arse neck to apply as it kept running and didn't want to adhere to the lock surfaces”.

IMG_5438After a good cruise we arrived at Great Haywood and picked up a mooring just after the junction with the Staffs and Worcs Canal. Inca is the last boat you can see.

IMG_5429This is the bridge that crosses the canal at the junction and you can see that the old canal companies had their own ideas about how bridges should be finished . On the left The Trent and Mersey canal liked to have brick coping where as the Staffs and Worcs on the right canal preferred stone coping.

IMG_5440After a walk around Great Haywood village and a shop in the local mini market we went and had a look around Great Haywood marina just in case Inca wants to spend a few months on a secure mooring in the Winter .We had a very friendly welcome and have put our name down just in case Inca needs a mooring . We are also going to look at Barton Turns marina , Mercia Marina at Willington and Sawley Marina as we make our way towards the River Trent as we have had good reports from fellow boaters about all of them

IMG_5442On the way in to Great Haywood marina you have the farm shop which includes a pick your own Raspberries and Strawberries. Carolyn had a go at me for eating the Raspberries instead of picking them and putting them in the punnet. Yum Yum

IMG_5445But then I caught her having a sneaky Strawberry or three. We must remember to pick up some clotted cream on the way in next time and not on the way out so we can enjoy it with our free fruit .

IMG_5455After a couple of days at Great Haywood we thought we would see if we could pick up a mooring at Tixall wide which is only about a mile away . So we reversed back up to the junction and turned onto the Staffs and Worcs canal.

IMG_5494After a very short cruise we were lucky enough to pick up this mooring on the wide . Not only did we have an amazing view from our front room window but we also got a mooring with no over hanging trees which is great for the solar panels giving us lots of free electric…Just the ticket

Tixall wide is a body of water that forms part of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal near Tixall in Staffordshire, to the south of the former Tixall hall .  The hall was, at that time, owned by Thomas Clifford, the fourth son of Hugh Clifford, 3rd Baron Clifford of Chudleigh, and the grounds had been designed on the advice of the landscape architect Lancelot "Capability" Brown The lake was probably created during the construction of the canal in 1771. It is said he "gave permission for the canal to pass through his land on the condition that it was made ... wide enough to look like a lake from the house" and thus in order not to spoil the view.Many Boaters moor on the Wide,and the towpath is a very popular overnight mooring spot, or passing through the Wide you have an excellent view of the magnificent Elizabethan gatehouse that is the only remaining part of Tixall Hall.

It has also been suggested that the canal was routed to utilise a lake that already existed, in which the angler and writer Izaak Walton had learned to fish.

IMG_5496A little later a boat moored up behind us and Carolyn said “ I know those people on that boat “  So off she went to say hello . Half an hour later she came back and it turned out that she had seen them on the TV programme Escape to the Country just two days before . The lady told Carolyn all about their experience on the show which was made around Lincoln. What a small World it is.

We have now had a few days chilling here on the wide and tomorrow we are off again towards Rugeley where we will need to do a large shop to refill the wine cellar and I guess some food shopping as well.

                                                                                                          Happy Days

Friday, 21 July 2017

Boat names

A few more boat names for your perusal .


Carolyn says that’s me.





Carolyn also says that’s me .



You never guess what ????? carolyn also thinks that this sounds like me !



Nothing better than a bit of Tootling.


Thats good as the kids have gon and you can get on with your life ….or maybe not.                                                                                                         



IMG_1936That’s me most of the time .


IMG_1986Winter ‘Spring ,or Summer it all tastes good to me ,



IMG_2140It is.

IMG_2146I know a few of these …

IMG_2156It just has to be slow on the canals .. Chill out !!!!

                                                                                                     Happy Days

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Ferndale for sale


Some more of our friends are selling their boat and this time it is Ray and Diane's lovely boat Ferndale . If you are looking at buying a boat this is another one that's well worth looking at . Details are listed below.

NB Ferndale


Heron Boat builders




55 foot (16.77m)


6 foot 10 inches (2.08m)


2’ 2” (0.67m) approx.

Air Draught

5 foot 9 inches (1.75m) approx.


Isuzu 4LC38


Engine Alternators 1 x 70 amp/hr. 1 x 110 amp/hr.

Starter Battery

1 x 12 v x 110 amp/hr. starter battery                                

Domestic Batteries

4 x 6 v Trojan 395 amp/hr. domestic batteries (Linked in parallel and series to supply 12 v x 790 amp/hr.)


x 4 (2 each bow and stern)

Sterling Alternator to battery charger

AB 12210 210 amp/hr.

Sterling 3000 watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter

plus 240 volt landline

Water Tank

900 litres Stainless Steel

Diesel Tank

150 litres


2 x 13kg bottles

Heating (1)

Reflecs 3.6kW Diesel stove with own 50 litre tank; two chimney extensions; standard chimney top and ‘H’ chimney top

Heating (2)

Mikuni MX60 diesel fired, 3 radiators, 1 heated towel rail and hot water calorifier (also heated by engine)


Washer/ Dryer

Candy CMD146 Washer and combined Condenser Dryer


Vanette GG2200

Gas Hob

4 Burner Vanette 4000-2


Porta Potti 365 with 3 cassettes


All 12v LED

Rear Bedroom

In-line bed with memory foam mattresses, 4'6" x 6'3 (1 mattress)


Pullman Dinette converts to double bed when required

Saloon or lounge

2 recliner rocker chairs, 1 footstool, 2 sets drawers, 12v TV,  bookcase surrounding radiator, book shelves


Shower over bath, vanity, wall cupboard, pump out Sealand toilet


Galley style with vanette wall oven above the 2-door fridge/freezer. Washer under hob. Pull-out pantry

Rear Cover and Cratch

Black cratch cover and Black rear pram hood cover (2012)

As of 19th July 2017, nb Ferndale is on the market for sale; we are not setting a price or price range, we would like sensible offers to be made and arrangements to have a look through the boat can be made.
This is an all inclusive sale - all items on the boat (apart from personal items) will remain.

We are not in a position that we have to sell immediately.  

                                                                                              Happy Days

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Headless Woman

IMG_5323We pulled pins from our mooring below Red Bull at 06.45 as we wanted to get to Harecastle tunnel for 08.00 when it opened . On route we stopped at the services and yet again another service area that is well maintained so unlike many of the ones down South.

IMG_5335After 5 locks we arrived just after 08.00 and as you can see Harecastle comprises two separate and parallel tunnels described as "Brindley" and the later "Telford" after the engineers who constructed them. The tunnel was built to transport coal to heat the kilns in the Staffordshire Potteries. At 1.5 miles (2.4 km) it was once one of the longest canal tunnels in Britain.

Today only the Telford tunnel is navigable. The tunnel is only wide enough to carry traffic in one direction at a time and boats are sent through in groups, alternating northbound and southbound. Ventilation is handled by large fans at the south portal.

You can also see that the water here is orange .It comes from the Iron ore which leaches out of the rock .The tunnel is 2,926 yards long and as soon as we get the nod from the tunnel keeper it should take us a bout 35 minutes to get through to the other side.

IMG_5338Carolyn is not that keen on any tunnels but out of all of them she dislikes this one the most simply because of the noise of the fans and the stories about it especially the following ones .

According to legend a young woman was decapitated in the Telford Tunnel in the 1800s and her body thrown into Gilbert's Hole, a coal landing stage within the tunnel. The man had hacked the woman's head from her shoulders with a piece of slate until it was removed.

It is believed that she now haunts Harecastle Tunnel, either in the form of a headless woman, or a white horse, and her appearance used to forewarn of disaster in the local mines. Some boatmen took long detours to avoid the tunnel, and today the tunnel keepers relate tales of occasional mismatches in the number of boats going in and coming out. Such tales are, however, fanciful, as any such discrepancy would result in a major search operation.

In fact there is no record of any such murder, and the story seems to have been inspired by the murder of Christina Collins in similar circumstances near Rugeley.

The association with another canal ghost 'Kit Crewbucket', who haunts the Crick Tunnel, would also seem to be spurious. Locally the Kidsgrove boggart is known as the Kickrew buggart because of the local dialect in which Kidsgrove is called Kickroo or Kickrew. (As The dialect is not written down, the spelling is optional.)

IMG_5356Out the other side and it’s now a cruise through Stoke which should take about 5 hours .

IMG_5360Passing Middleport pottery which was described as ‘The Model Pottery of the Staffordshire Pottery Industry’ when it was first built. It was designed to make all production processes more efficient and to improve conditions for the workforce.They still make pottery here and it also has a visitor centre with tea rooms.

IMG_5374A fine looking pair.

IMG_5377There are 5 locks that take you through Stoke with the first being at Etruria but I just love this one which is number 37. It’s not for the Graffiti but I just think it’s so good how the railway bridge had to be built around the lock balance beam.

IMG_5393After a good 8 hour cruise we picked up this mooring next to the Wedgewood factory for the night .

IMG_5398Pulling pins the following morning at 07.15 we were soon passing through Barlaston and passing the Plume of Feathers pub which is part owned by Actor Neil Morrissey who is famed for Bob the Builder, Boon and Men Behaving badly.

IMG_5401Well that's a shock . Every time I look in one of these information boxes they are empty . Well done people of Stone for filling this one up.

IMG_5411We had wanted to spend a night in Stone but the moorings were full although I did manage to drop Carolyn off to do a quick shop and then pick her up at the end of the town heading South.

The picture above is at Aston Lock and it marks the halfway point of The Trent and Mersey canal between Preston Brook and Shardlow

IMG_5414Just along from the lock and past Aston marina we picked up this mooring, Carolyn is checking the Internet and we have 10 megs which is just the ticket . With the Cows and Sheep as our nearest neighbours and the grass having just been cut this will do us for the night.

                                                                                              Happy Days