Thursday, 21 August 2014

Photo Opportunity?

The weekend of 18th/19th Oct, the "Great Western Society, based at Didcot are running steam railmotor trips down the line from Southall to Brentford, which closely follows the route of the Grand Union down to Brentford.

(I've nicked their picture, but probably fair use, as this is a plug for their trip - book here)

These steam railmotors ran on branch lines such as this from the turn of the 20th century. My mind turned to this picture, I've mithered on about before.

So... if anyone with an old boat, who fancied lurking about at Three Bridges that weekend for the fun of having a few photos? Just a thought...

Monday, 18 August 2014

You don't have you be mad to work here...

One of the few things in Stratford not entirely based on some bloke who wrote plays ( or extracting money out of those here because of him) was another highlight of the trip - The Mechanical Art & Design Museum, full of various machines and automatons - imagine a particularly vivid dream after playing Mousetrap...

a moan about CRT

On Saturday afternoon, just below lock 50 on the Stratford Canal, we passed a CRT workboat, locked up, spewing noxious smoke across the canal. On closer inspection I guess it was some kind of webasto style heater running very inefficiently, also drizzling tar down the outside of the boat. It was all locked up, of course.

I called the CRT emergency number on the back of the licence holder - and got through to a call centre who apparently couldn't care less. They tried to end the conversation before I'd given them the boat details/description, for a start. However, I'd done what I could - what more could I do?

This morning - late Monday morning, that is - I passed the boat again - still stinking the place out, still locked up. Yes, that heater should have run safely unattended, but it seems in a right old state. It's probably running as I type - and who runs a heater in mid August anyway?

Sunday, 17 August 2014

A Little Dark over Bill's Mothers

(Actually, we were pretty lucky with the weather this weekend, but when have I ever let reality get in the way of a good title)

This isn't Mary Arden's house, in Wilmcote. It's indeed a very nice old house in the parish of Wilmcote, a stone's throw from the Stratford Canal, but Shakespeare's mother grew up, it is thought, in the slightly less spectacular one next door. Nevertheless, it forms part of a rather endearing complex that represented our one monetary dalliance with the local bardic tourist industry.

You can read more, by clicking on the bit that says 'read more'...

Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Herbies Were Right

You be right in thinking the title goes without saying, but this time they were even righter than usual: -) There i was, bumbling through middle england when i noticed the charge warning light was on. I shrugged mentally (read that in any way you wish), revved the engine, it went off, and i forgot about it - until the next time, and the next. After a while it wasn't staying off, it would be only off on high revs... I was approaching Calcutt locks, and there's a handy boatyard half way down. I tied up and now whatever i did, that pesky charge warning light stayed on. This was at 4.30; by the time they closed an hour later Tortoise had a new alternator, and i was very glad i hadn't decided to press on and try to see if i could sort it... So yes, the Herbies where right. I'd link to the right post but i'm on a new fangled infernal contraption - which is also why i'm making do with a poor pic (although i was impressed, i'd never seen it go that far before...