At 58 feet length, TQ (as we call her) is a steel hull narrow boat built by Colecraft and fitted out by Elton Moss Boatbuilders. Currently based at Aqueduct Marina in Cheshire we're able to cruise some of the most popular waterways in Britain. The Shropshire Union, The Trent and Mersey, The Llangollen Canal, The Four Counties Ring and Cheshire Ring and more.

Our friendly Syndicate decided to go down the Self Management route on 1st March 2012 and so far it has been very successful. Please visit the other pages in this blog to see the new Web Site and if shares are available for sale. (There'll not be many).

I am having to place a watermark on the blog content as someone on Facebook is stealing photos and claiming them as their own. I wouldn't mind if they asked first and attributed it to my blog. If it continues I will name and shame them. I hope it doesn't spoil your enjoyment.

All content is Copyright N. B. Tranquility © 2008 - 2019

Thursday 26 September 2019

The end of an era

It is with great sadness that we have decided to sell our shares in Tranquility due to personal circumstances, and on the 7th September 2019 our shares were handed over to new members.

We have enjoyed fourteen years of memerable holidays aboard our beloved narrow boat, and we will cherish those memories for ever.

We would like to thank all the Syndicate members for their help and kindness over the years, and all the readers who read my blurb.

We leave the Syndicate in the knowledge that TQ is in safe hands and will continue to provide memerable holidays for all the remaining members, and the new members.

Our lives are taking a turn and as one chapter closes another opens, and hopefully some time in the near future narrow boating will play a major part again, but for the foreseeable, all holidays are off limits.

This just leaves me to sign off and bring this blog to a conclusion.

Thanks everyone, it's been a real buzz.

Kevin and Linda.

Tuesday 14 May 2019

Early morning and...

...The sky is full of con trails...

All heading off to sunnier climes maybe?
We did the whole of Heartbreak Hill yesterday, and stopped for lunch in the Broughton Arms in Rode Heath. It was a bit disappointing, the last time we were there the food was very good, but now it only just makes OK. The Hob Goblin Gold was a very nice pint though.

Stopped just above Kings Lock in Middlewich, it would be rude not to have fish and chips from the very fine f & c shop across the road - t'were delicious.

Onward finds us through Kings Lock, left onto the Wardle Canal and it's lock, then up to Stanthorn Lock where we caught up with some guys in their late fifties/early sixties who didn't have a clue what they were doing. As I approached, one of them said "Ah, you must be the lock keeper, [I chuckled] how do I ...?". I explained and they were grateful.

Today I've tightened the stern gland and refilled the greaser; it drips no more.

Moored up now, enjoying the early summer sunshine, long may it last.

Sunday 12 May 2019

Working Sunday

It was really peaceful first thing this morning.

Smoke on the water.

I thought I'd do a few jobs today, as we found ourselves moored in a really nice quiet spot. it was until this arrived in the field opposite.

What a racket, could be heard from miles away.
I changed the oil and filter, inspected the air filter, we need a new one and I'll try to do this before we end our holiday, tightened the alternator belts, they don't squeal now, cleaned out the gutters all round, swept the flue, sealed and painted the Bubble stove.

Looks nice now.
Spanish Grand Prix tonight, here's hoping Valtteri can maintain his lead.

By the way, we're moored on the Macc.

More soon.

Monday 6 May 2019

And now they're fitted.

Finished at last.

And loaded.
I didn't like the stainless steel socket counter sink head screws that were there before so I made some new ones from brass hexagon head screws.

They look much better.

Just waiting for the new gangplank to arrive, should be here a week on Friday.

We had a really good journey up the M5/6, no stoppages, just the occasional road works and although it took the usual three hours it seemed a lot quicker. Probably because we have a new car. I was saddened to see the Vauxhall Omega go, we'd had it for nineteen years, decided it was time for a change, and now we have a Mercedes C220d. It is very quick, I'll say no more...

Well, we're out of the marina, and heading up toward the Peak Forest Canal, at least that's the plan. Currently we're on the Trent and Mersey, we've not been over to this part of the world for about ten years, unbelievable how it's changed, new houses everywhere, and they're all the same.

More soon.

Friday 26 April 2019

They're ready

Yep, all lacquered up and ready for fitting in a few days time.

Temporarily bolted together for packing and transport. 
I used a cork/nitrile gasket sealed with Hylomar. That should keep the rain out.

Friday 19 April 2019

New attachment screws

I didn't like the stainless steel socket countersink head screws that were fitted and I couldn't find what I wanted to make the job look a little more authentic, so I modified some screws.

These were made from hexagon head screws.
They'll look much better than what was there before.

Sunday 17 March 2019

Modifications requiring engineering works

It all started with a decision to purchase a new boarding plank and after measuring up it was found that it wasn't going to fit the roof furniture, it needed to be wider. This is where I come in.

This is what I did:-

Remove the furniture from the roof sealing the holes with CT1 sealant, and take to my workshop.

Removed from the roof to my workshop.
Start with removing the rubber gasket from the feet using a scraper and a file to get any burrs removed. This will help to seat it flat on the fixture.

Clean and deburr the feet.
Make a fixture using a piece of mild steel. Drill and tap four holes M8 through the steel and attach the furniture using four M8 cap head screws.


...and tap M8 through.

This ensures hole centres remain the same after extending the upper part.

I later changed the countersunk screws for cap heads to provide a little flexibility.
Next I milled the spacer blocks I'm going to use to extend the framework.

Mill this end to clean and mill the rebate, then mill opposite end to length and rebate.
(For the eagle eyed, I did square them up in the vice before machining).
  Cut the feet off with a hacksaw leaving them attached to the fixture, and then cut the remaining part in half.

There's no going back now!

Mounting upside down in the machine vice, mill the cut face to clean and then mill a rebate to match the block. Then do the same on the other half.

Machine a rebate to match the block.
This is how it should fit together:-

It's ready for soldering.

 Set it up in a make-shift fixture for soldering:-

Silver soldering the joints.
The metal is so big it acts as a heatsink so butane/propane wasn't going to be hot enough. Enter MAPP gas. If you don't know, Google it.

First two joints made.
Another make-shift fixture required to solder the top bar to the feet whilst the feet are held in the spacing fixture.

L/H joint completed.

R/H joint completed.
And here it is, just needs a bit more cleaning and polishing and a coat of lacquer.

The (nearly) finished item. 
 Now I have to do it all over again for the other one. 😉

Thursday 3 January 2019

Not traveled far today...

...just a few miles further along the Middlewich Branch.

I serviced the engine after I let it cool down for an hour, changed the oil and filter, I didn't want the engine to have old oil with harmful combustion products sat in the engine during Winter Maintenance.

I bought these before Christmas, they were the best price I'd seen for a long time...

There was only four left so I bought them all.
More tomorrow.

Wednesday 2 January 2019

A stroll along the canal and some fish & chips.

We took a walk back to the junction with the Trent and Mersey Canal and turned left to see the Middlewich Boats site now abandoned.

Further up is the Big Lock pub and last time we were here there was a block of flats newly built next door. Now they extend for about another 250 metres.

We thought the pound between the top lock 74 and middle lock 73 was a bit low when we walked out, when we came back...

There was the odd tyre, a large road sign, bits of guttering and loads of fenders. No bicycles, supermarket trolleys, safes, guns or bodies though.

Being as we're in Middlewich it would be rude not to visit the fish and chip shop in Booth Lane. We always have fish and chips from here when we visit Middlewich, probably the best fish and chips in the world.

Later in the afternoon we slipped our moorings and headed out into the countryside.

Tuesday 1 January 2019

Middlewich 180

It was a surprisingly long way to Middlewich, but as we approached bridge 26 we realised Stanthorn Lock was just around the corner and then the former breach site.

This was a major operation and the photographs shown here and other publications don't do it justice. You have to be here to appreciate the extent of the damage and scale of the works involved in its repair.

A big thank you and we'll done for a job completed on time and  (I guess we'll never know for sure) on budget.

The embankment is really steep on both sides.

Looking back toward Stanthorn Lock.

Onward through Wardle Lock and did a 180 in the basin and then back up again through the lock.

It's disappointing to see how scruffy the old lock cottage has become since Maureen's passing. 

If you click on the image it should enlarge enough to enable reading.
The weather forecast says tonight it's going to freeze, but I don't think the cut will ice over, it's been too warm and it'll take a few days of hard frost to bring down the temperature of the water enough.

Monday 31 December 2018

Middlewich Branch

Wended our way from Bunbury to Calveley and stopped to fill the tank with water, and stopped again a couple of hundred yards along to visit the cheese shop. Note to self, worth a visit.

We cruised past our base, which seemed a bit strange, and headed toward Middlewich, found a nice spot to moor, and settled in for the last night of the year.

Today I removed the roof furniture, I have to make a modification to it to accept a wider gang plank.
Although they were fitted with gaskets there was evidence of water ingress, sealant should also have been used.

I have temporarily filled the holes with CT 1 sealant,

No sealant.
Water ingress is evident.
I'll blog about this modification when I do it, now where's my hacksaw?...

Sunday 30 December 2018

After yesterday's weather, back to normal.

That was weird, one day of strong winds and back to calm and dull, which is ok for us.
We had a long way to go today, what we did in two days will be done in one today, so an earlier start was required.

Cheers Cheshire Cat, see you another time.

The start of today's journey.

Slipped the mooring at around 09:30 (early for us) and headed South. First stop to pick up some provisions at Egg Bridge.

They made an effort to style the bridges in those days.

Built in 1770, rebuilt in1937
 All I found was this:- A road-bridge was built over the canal in 1770 so the Egg farm would not be cut off from the main road now known as the A41.  Thus Eggbridge Lane was named!

Shame about this...

Typical of local authorities, come on guys, you demand we bin it, we demand you empty it.

This is the start of tick-over alley.
 We counted the number of moored boats - 121; plus about five or six spaces unoccupied. Let's just suppose the average cost of mooring there is £1500 a year. (It's probably more). You do the maths.

This looks like a new build, and very tastefully done too.

Locks were hard work, that's why Lin's doing them........................Take cover!

The locks are in an awful state up this end of the Shroppie, they leak like a sieve, so much they take ages to fill, and the gates only just open against the weight of water in the pound. The good news is there's bits and pieces lying around to indicate that work is about to start soon.

Bunbury Staircase Locks were the last of the day, these weren't too bad, though they still need work done.

Even the cutbacks are being cut back...

You would only just get a wide beam through here.

Saturday 29 December 2018

And the wind blew...

Didn't it just, especially along the three mile long stretch of moored boats, it was whipping up into breaking waves on the water. The farmer who owns that length of land alongside the cut must be rolling in it, hundreds upon hundreds of moored boats.

We made it to Christleton, managed to wind and moored at the Cheshire Cat. Yes we did go in and had a nice meal. Gammon egg and chips, but they had just sold the last two Wagyu Beef Burgers, our first choice.

It was just too windy to use the camera today, had to concentrate hard and I nearly got blown off the counter by a sudden gust.

What a contrast to yesterday, and tomorrow is forecast to be back to light winds again. We'll see.

More tomorrow.

Friday 28 December 2018

The plan was...

...Lunch at the Shady Oak.

No such luck as it's closed, and has been for a while by the look of it.

Oh well, nothing else for it so moor up, and lunch on TQ. Linda's finest Turkey and Noodle soup followed by a slice of Christmas cake dawbed with brandy cream.

The journey here was pleasant, though the locks were bloody hard work. Beeston Iron lock is particularly in a poor state of repair, we had to tie our bowline to the gate and carefully reverse TQ to assist with opening it.

Here's some pix:-

Approaching Tilstone Lock.

These little beauties were on display at Beeston Stone Lock.

Beeston Stone Lock.

Wharton's Lock.
More tomorrow.