Thursday, 25 August 2016

Kennet & Avon V (Bedwyn to Teddington)

Putting posts together takes ages - I'd forgotten. I think Sarah on Chertsey has the right idea - the briefest of notes, daily, to be fleshed out later, Perhaps next time. As it is I expect these witterings to be fleshed out too. There are, after all, a record for me, really.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Kennet & Avon IV (Dundas Aqueduct, Bath, then back to Great Bedwyn)

Mon 1st Aug - Dundas Aqueduct to Bath (above top lock)

A gentle amble into town, the pretty way - the canal tries both sides of the Avon, so valley one side and hill the other. My favourite official long term mooring was at Murhill, on the offside - tucked into the bank, bit of grass, mostly tress. Perfect.

I'd already decided to stop at Bath, so not point locking down on to the Avon, but I found a nice mooring not far from the Top Lock.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Kennet & Avon III (Great Bedwyn to Dundas Aqueduct)

Where was I? Ah...

(these concrete things are on quite a few accommodation bridges, presumably part of WWII invasion preparations, along wth the pill boxes along the route. I like the message on this one...

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Kennet & Avon - II (Newbury to Great Bedwyn)

Newbury is a nice enough little place, even if they do hide the boring but useful shops on the edge of town up a scary dual carriageway. The RSPCA shop looked packed with fun stuff, but failed to be open either of the (perfectly reasonable) times I was passing...

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Kennet & Avon - I (Brentford to Newbury)

Well, I did mean to be a little more organised on this trip, but I'm at Newbury already... ;-)

The K&A is one the of canals I cycled, years ago, and the opportunity came up to take some time off and get over here, so I did...

The strat was a little delayed due to a collapsed water pump on the way down to Brentford; a replacement was ordered from Calcutt, naturally I have a non-standard pulley size, but after bending two gear pullers from Toolstation I took myself down to the huge MSO boatyard in Brentford, who sorted it for me with a certain amount of amusement - and that's without seeing the size of the boat.

Most pictures are on my phone - so may be added later, or maybe not - who knows...

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Odyssey on the Troy Cut*

I know nothing about the Troy Wharf, or indeed the Troy Wharf Trust, so why not write a blog post about it...

It is an easy gentle walk up the south side of the Troy Cut, from above Black Jack's lock, only being forced away from the water just before the basin. Opposite is mainly fishing lakes, we spotted rabbits bumbling around, largely unworried by the 21st century.

I had no idea what was at the end - the basin & boats were a nice surprise. The Troy Wharf Trust Ltd don't really seem to exist on the internet, which is of course fine, the have a nascent website with nowt on it... they do have boats, though, floating...

...and less floating:

Acess seems to be through a gate (locked both times we visited) or through the back of a working granite/marble yard, who we decided not to upset. ;-). Photos are therefore taken through various wire fences, although we did have a good view of a very nice looking outdoor workshop setup:

. The cut itself is listed in Nicholson's as 'unnavigable'. It is certainly narrow and possibly shallow in places, but Mimas - visible in my photo a few weeks ago was spotted at Rickmansworth Festival last weekend, so I reckon it can't be that bad. I'm not convinced, however, there's space for a full length boat to turn, difficult to see on the ground, or indeed on google maps. Also visible is an ex(?)-CRT workboat and a bantam tug - can't imagine they're stranded, either. Couldn't see a name for the wooden boat being worked on, though.

I like that this exists, quietly, away from general radar. Who wouldn't want a quiet little wharf to play with old boats?

* - well, what did you expect? Would also like the offences of being disappointed that no boats are called 'Wooden Horse' (couldn't be more appropriate, bearing in mind their charity objectives, or lack of references to MilliHelens (the SI unit of beauty required to launch one ship to be taken into consideration, m'lud.

Monday, 13 April 2015

A new cup

I kind of hoped I'd get a matching teapot or something with the forth, but alas...

Thursday, 5 March 2015


It goes without saying that Tortoise is a strange boat, and not least in the nether regions. The prop shafts slopes downwards, river-style (there's a bloody great universal joint just to the right of the picture). To the near right there's a plate that the shaft passes through, but serves no useful purpose, as far as I can see, but...

On the left, stuffing box & lock nut. That I understand.

Then - though, the collar with the overlong grub screws (must find some shorter ones), clamps on the shaft. Either side of that, there's a pair of big washers with a ball race in between. I can clamp the collar towards the stuffing box so that the left hand trio have some function, or towards the fixed plate so the other set does - but can;t see a way that both have use. It is possible that the fixed plate it supposed to interact as a sort of bearing, but it can't necessarily support the shaft.

So I'm guessing in the past it has been assembled wrongly, or possibly has bits missing (or even extra, or at least unrequired bits). I'll leave it for now toward the stuffing box as a kind of extra grease water barrier, but all a bit of a mystery.

Blacking soon, so I've the opportunity to at least attempt to replace the stuffing, and try to make sense of the rest of it...

* well, there was no call for a gland pun, was there?

Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Shipping Forecast Radio

Quite often at a car boot I'll come back with something with no idea why I bothered to buy it, and this was one of those things. I think I had a vague thought about stripping a couple of bits from it. A closer inspection the following day revealed it was a bit more complicated than that, as the saying goes...

That's a timer added to the end, with familiar time settings:

Yes, it's been modified to automatically record the daily cycle of shipping forecasts from Radio 4 long wave, and presumably was used on board ship, or at the very least a shore base in communication with sea traffic. Note, though, the very un-Radio 4 errant apostrophe. ;-)

Friday, 6 February 2015

Sofa so good...*

On Wednesday it was a sad day for saggy my old sofa, it got dismantled, yielding firewood, springs and some very nice firewood.

I spotted a date printed on the inside cheek.

Ah, 1975, it's forty years old, I thought.

Febuary, right, ok.

The 4th. What date is it today? It was the 4th.

Yep, my sofa last exactly forty years between construction and destruction. Kind of like a Logan's Run for furniture...

(* always happy to sacrifice meaning for the sake of a pun)