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

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Sunday, 17 May 2009

Home again

Woke up before the alarm this morning and outside the weather looked quite good but there was no hanging about for us today as we had to vacate TQ as soon as we could. So for Lin a major cleaning session (not that it needed cleaning, it was very clean already) and for me a wipe down of the exterior (which I did last night but it needed doing again this morning) and that included the brass. Once done, we took the short trip to Alvechurch Marina, winded and moored up so that TQ could be serviced. We loaded up the car and I went into the shop to pay our dues and then we trundled home picking up the cat in North Petherton on the way. No pictures today (sorry) too busy. Lin and I hope you've enjoyed reading our blog this last fortnight and we hope you'll join us again on our next adventure in September. Cheers for now...

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Our last full day

Started out in Birmingham this morning after these went past:-

Check the speed, the bow is out of the water

This is the reason the mooring bollards are getting loose and some already have "Do not use " notices on them.

This one is a bit slower

And these two even slower

The plan was to go up to the junction and turn into Ouzells Loop and come out near Old Turn Junction. This is where we found out that TQ is too long to go around the acute bend and we got stuck. Luckily a big strong man appeared, and with his help (many thanks) we managed get unstuck. So we proceeded along the BCN for a quarter mile and winded in the entrance to Monument Lane Railway Basin, no problems here. So back to Old Turn Junction and right towards The Mailbox where I tried to moor to take on water but the wind was so strong I couldn't get near quayside. after two attempts we decided to get water at Hopwood. A pleasant journey between the showers, and at Kings Norton we stopped briefly for lunch. Just as well because it rained hard just after we were moored. Onward, through Wast Hill Tunnel and we filled with water at Hopwood and arrived at our planned mooring for the night between bridges 61 and 62.

Approach to Wast Hill Tunnel (North Portal)

Along the way we saw this:-

A narrow boat covered in concrete!

This is our mooring for our last night

I'll blog again tomorrow...catch up with us then.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Not much done today

Had a lazy day today, first we did a recce to see what was moored outside Symphony Court and a few had moved on, leaving some spaces. So Lin went shopping for some essentials and I moved TQ out of Gas Street Basin. As I approached our chosen mooring spot, another boat was heading for the same spot, and we ended up moored bow to bow. I needed to polish the Port side, I'd done Starboard earlier in the week, and I had to do todays work between the showers. We had a lot of rain last night, and I mean a lot of rain, and it continued to drizzle most of the morning and this afternoon the showers are packing in closer to give more prolonged spells. In fact we had thunder and lightning for a while. But I managed to get all the polishing done, thats the main thing. All thats left is the brass work, and I'll try to get that done tomorrrow.

Todays Pix:-

BT Tower in the mist

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Three days in hand and another record (for us).

This happened because we pushed quite hard the last couple of days to try to beat the weather, but it seems the weather isn't going to be so bad after all. Indeed today has been very dull and misty and from lunchtime, occasional light drizzle. We left the Queens Head Inn this morning at 07:00hrs and started to ascend the Tardebigge Flight. We took it in turn doing the locks, five on and five off, and we had a system working which made the flight easier and more enjoyable. Get this - THREE AND A HALF HOURS to do THIRTY LOCKS. I have to admit every one was in our favour, and by 10:30hrs we were finishing off the top lock. Time to stop for a break and as we have three days to use up, we decided we would press on to Gas Street Basin and we arrived at around 17:00hrs to find our favourite spot (Symphony Court) was already fully occupied on both sides. So we turned back and found a mooring actually in Gas Street Basin where Brenda from NB Mr. David recommended we moor next time we visited.

A view along the Tardebigge Flight

We had an interesting experience on the way here, at Kings Norton Junction a working boat pushing a mud hopper found himself jammed in the junction as he was bit too long to go around in one go and the wind direction wasn't helping either. He asked if I could nudge his mud hopper around so that it pointed into the Stratford Canal. No problem, and I carefully touched the side of the hopper and then applied a lot of shove but it wouldn't move, so he reversed back a little and I tried again this time with success, and he went on his way a happy chappie.

Sorted - Got him out of a pickle, happy to be of assistance.

The view from TQ across Gas Street Basin this evening.

We'll move out to Symphony Court tomorrow if we can, but first we'll have to do a recce on foot to see if there's a space.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

What a dirty day...

...And there's more to come tomorrow. Drew back the curtains this morning to find it heavily overcast and it wasn't long before it started to drizzle. By the time we got under way it was drizzling hard, and we had 12 locks to go through to our planned overnight stop. As we were a little ahead of schedule for today, we decided to stop off at the Eagle and Sun at Hanbury Wharf for a light lunch. Mooring here was easy, there was a space right outside, but then we noticed there was a coach in the car park and our fears were realised when we went in. The pub was full of (ahem!) senior citizens in for their weekly carvery. There was a very long queue for the bar and all the tables were occupied or reserved. So it was in one door, out the other and back to TQ for lunch. That done we got under way again and soon came the first of the six Astwood Locks after which came the water point opposite the Boat and Railway. No, we didn't, but we did fill TQs tank with water.

Seen in Astwood Locks, six canoes tied in pairs and full of school kids...entering the lock!...this rings alarm bells to me, but who am I to question it.

Six locks left to go and at the first I spotted this lovely garden. Someone had made a really good effort to create something nice out of what could have been a piece of waste land.

A super little garden

We moored up between the Queens Head Inn and Tardebigge Bottom Lock ready for the flight tomorrow morning, and because the weather forecast is bad - very bad - early. (How early? I'll let you know tomorrow).

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Lowesmoor to The Bridge, Tibberton

Slipped the mooring at around 10:00hrs and made our way out of the basin onto the main line of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. Arrived about 4 miles and 12 locks later at The Bridge. There's some nice countryside along here but its spoilt by the noise from the M5 Motorway.

Its a floating dry dock, a boat within a boat.

In Lowesmoor Basin.

Offerton Top Lock. That's the M5 ahead on the bridge, the noise is horrendous

Can you see my reflection or is it my ghost? TQ shines nicely.

At The Bridge

We went in The Bridge tonight for a meal. Lin had Chicken and Mushroom Pie, and I had a Sirloin Steak. Very well done for me, and it was spot on. A very friendly pub, I'd recommend it, and they serve real ale too.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Not much done again today...

Had an easy morning, breakfast was what we call a Ham Quickie, ham eggs and mushrooms all scrambled together and presented on toast. 'kin delicious. Later Lin decided to walk into Worcester and visit the Porcelain Museum. In the mean time I tightened up the stern tube gland as it was leaking. One turn on each of the two bolts was enough to stop the drip. I also cleaned the external brasswork. Now It'll rain.
We pressed on to Lowesmoor Basin, all of one mile and one lock, and winded 270 degrees to get through the bridge and into the basin. I winded again to bring the stern close to the diesel pump and so that the pump-out cap was wharf side. We were able to self declare on our diesel and I declared a 40/60 split (40 prop/60 dom). We also changed a gas bottle and filled the stern greaser. We'll stay here overnight and we were allocated a mooring next to another narrow boat. The thing is , I had to manoeuvre TQ through a steel gantry in reverse and against the side wind. Somehow it worked perfectly. In the afternoon we walked into the City and did some shopping - just the usual run of the mill stuff.

Our current berth. Note the gantry I reversed in through. And I never touched the sides

A sea of narrow boats in Lowesmoor Basin

Sunday, 10 May 2009

...And back to Worcester

Moored up outside the Commandery again but this time facing the other way. Its a long old haul up the Severn and it took all day to get here. Bearing in mind the current was against us we didn't do too bad. Started out just South of Llanthony Bridge at 09:30hrs and 09:50hrs when we exited Gloucester Lock. Arrived at Diglis Basin 17:45hrs and moored up here at 18:05hrs. Lin nipped out for some fish and chips, a real treat.
This is where we've been...

...And this is where we're going

Much of the Severn is like this, you can't see over the river bank or the hedges. this is what makes it a bit boring. But would I rather be at work? Remember Tewkesbury in the news last year about the floods? The picture below shows the water treatment plant that very nearly flooded.

Tewkesbury water treatment plant. The bridge was built in 1825.

Waiting for the green light at Upper Lode Lock

Lin sporting her new lifejacket.

Its been a nice day weatherwise with some warm sunshine. The forecast for tomorrow is more sunshine but high winds and later in the week heavy rain and high winds. Oh! well.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

We're here

A cold and windy start but not as windy as yesterday. They said on the TV that gusts of up to 45mph were recorded and is expected to die down for today which in fact it had. Made it to Sharpness, but there isn't much there, apart from some outstanding views across the estuary. most of the designated public moorings have been turned over to private, although there is plenty of mooring space before you get to the docks junction. We found the water point on the right immediately before the private moorings. The Cats Whiskers a Dutch Barge featured on TVs Waterworld was moored next to the water point.

This is what much of Sharpness looks like

And this is the view across the estuary

We saw this stunning tug built by R. W. Davis and Son. We want one!

Typical bridge keepers cottages dotted along the G & S

After we filled with water at Sharpness, I had to do an unusual maneovre to get TQ away from the quayside because the wind was holding us against it. First I had to tie the bowline to a post on the quayside and release all other lines. then engage forward gear and full rudder to move the stern out into the canal with the bow pressed against the quay. When TQ was about 90 degrees to the quay Lin released the bowline, jumped on board and I engaged reverse gear and pulled away from the quay. About 30 feet out I engaged forward gear and full rudder and proceeded back toward Gloucester.
We're moored in exactly the same place as the night before last, just South of Llanthony Bridge on the G & S Canal.
Tomorrow is going to be a gruelling journey, all the way up the Severn to Worcester, 30 miles upstream.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Beaten by the weather

Woke up to a dull day with a light wind (not me, the weather) and we decided to press on all the way to Sharpness. Went outside to do the engine checks and the storm clouds were quickly creeping up on us, and it wasn't long before it rained and hailed hard. Hail was bouncing off the roof and under the mushroom vents and falling inside the boat. After it stopped we untied from the cleats and went on our way down the G & S Canal. This is where the wind started to really blow hard. There were white horses on the water and some of the waves were a foot high. Luckily the head wind allowed us some manoeuvrability when we moored at Frampton-on-Severn and it turned out not to be too difficult. Exhaustng journey, though, just because of the wind. Then we strolled into the village, posted a letter and had lunch in The Bell Inn. I had a Steak and Ale Pie with chips and veg, and Lin had a Chicken Club Sandwich, washed down with a couple of pints of Rucking Mole. (spelling is correct) Judging by all the vehicles going by this must be a very wealthy area. Every other car was a new or newish 4 x 4, Merc or BMW, and most of the rest were horse boxes. After lunch we went back to TQ and yes, you've guessed, we crashed.

8.5 miles 0 locks.

Took a few pix today:-

Our current location

Some of those boats behind us must owe BW a large fortune!

The thing is BW don't say how long you can stay!

Former Cadbury's Wharf at Frampton - now its a mill

Frethern Swing Bridge, Frampton-on-Severn

Going back a bit, when we were in Gloucester Dock two fellas who helped us moor up (many thanks) asked if we were going down the Bristol Channel. "WHAT? You've got to be jesting". Apparently a group are gathering to go down the Bristol Channel to Avonmouth and then under Brunels Bristol Suspension Bridge through Portway into Bristol Docks and presumably up the Kennet and Avon. They're waiting for a window in the weather situation to make the trip. What a way to go, and what a long wait they're going to have. Lin says she'd love to do a trip up the Avon and she always looks out for boats when we (often) drive over Avonmouth Bridge on the M5. Not in TQ, though.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Not done much today, but...

...We've moved, to a quieter spot outside the docks. A very short journey just through Llanthony Bridge, and moored up (temporarily) while we filled the water tank again, then we pootled up the moorings a little way to the visitor section. Lin cleaned the inside of TQ and I cleaned and polished the outside...well, on one side, and guess what, I hadn't long finished when the seagulls crapped all over it - twice. I didn't polish the other side, as I risk falling in the cut. I also cut up some wood we collected on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, ready for the fire. And I tidied up the lockers at the stern. They were full of rubbish, packets of green bread and old carrier bags etc. Its been sunny but very windy all day, and now its raining.

Here's todays pics:-

Our current mooring

They raised Llanthony Bridge for us

This is the view from TQ - port side. Its a Maltsters where grain is turned into malt for the brewing industry

Looking back to Llanthony Bridge...

...and look at the shine on TQ...

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Day Four (in the Big Brother Narrow Boat)

WOW! This must be a record, at least for us, 30 miles, 6 locks, three operated by us, and the others operated by British Waterways (thanks fellas). Lin was right, we could do it in one day. Unleashed the bollards at 08:30hrs and proceeded down to lock 3 near the Commandery, our first lock of the day. We planned to stop at the water point, and in the mean time Lin put some bacon under a slow grill, and while we were filling the water we ate our bacon butties. A man with a dog came by to use the other facilities there and left his Alsatian dog tied up outside. The dog couldn't keep his eyes off us while we tucked in to our butties. Needless to say he didn't get any even though his deep, begging, soulful eyes played on our conscience. The next lock is No. 2, a very large double lock and takes a long time to fill and empty, and the same applies to No1. This was the last lock we operated today as the others are operated by BW.

Waiting for Lock 2 to fill

View of Diglis Basin

Another view of Diglis Basin

On to the Severn and its wide and at this time of year flowing slowly. Our first river lock is only half a mile away and we hold back and wait for the lock keeper to give us the green light. There are two locks here and we had the big lock all to ourselves. its very gentle and takes a fair while to empty, and then its only about three feet difference in level. Once out its about fifteen miles to Tewkesbury where the next lock is and the River Avon joins the Severn. Its very quiet, the river is dotted with the occasional club moorings and full of white cruisers af all shapes and sizes. We only saw four boats on the move during the whole journey, and three were narrowboats. At Wainlodes Hill the water was really rough being whipped up by the strong wind, but I managed to take a photo of the Red Lion as we passed. This was one of our first caravan trips in our early days, and they still have their caravan site today. As we passed Upper Parting where the river splits, I rang Gloucester Lock to confirm our arrival and to ensure the lock would be ready for us when we arrived. We shared the lock with a cruiser and it was plenty large enough for possibly six narrow boats. Once in the dock we headed over to the pontoons to moor up.

Massive lock gates at Diglis River lock

The Red Lion Wainlodes Hill

Cliffey Wood, a scene from the Severn

We reached Gloucester Dock at around 16:40hrs and moored up on the pontoon right outside Dr. Foster's (who went to Gloucester).

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Day Three

Slipped the rings at around 09:45hrs. and headed off under the M5 and Offerton Locks. Six in all and spaced much like they are on the Tardebigge flight so we took it in turns and walked between locks. Arrived in Worcester and moored outside the Commandery. We then strolled into the City and did some shopping. First we bought a camera, a nice 7.1 megapixel from Argos and now we're looking for a child to show us how to use it. We went into Poundland, you never know what you might find, we found an all in one remote for the telly as our original doesn't work very well. This one doesn't work either because it can't find the manufacturers code number. Oh! well, it was only a pound. Wine glasses, 3 for a pound, we were down to our last, and a small torch for my tool box.

Later we took a stroll down to Diglis Locks. A lot of development has been happening here and it all looks a bit too new but its been done sympathetically and I'm sure it will improve with age. (A bit like me really).

I've been collecting wood on the way down and I needed a saw to cut it up with, so into Wickes and picked up a pruning saw which folds up like a very large pocket knife. Lin spotted Staples next door so we went into there for some photo paper for laser printers. You can't use ink jet photo paper in laser printers.

Today we've traveled 6 miles, 13 locks.

All the following pictures are taken with our new Canon Power Shot A470.

Our current mooring at The Commandery

Narrow boat approaching Diglis Bottom Lock

Which way shall we go?

The size of these locks is a bit daunting, they're huge.

Two boats swap places between the locks

Tomorrow morning we make passage through these locks onto the River Severn and turn to port (left for you land lubbers) and head for Sharpness. Lin reckons we can get to Gloucester tomorrow. I reckon we can get to Tewkesbury. We'll see.

As an aside, since we've moored here the Police and Ambulances have been up and down the whole time with all sirens blazing. Its now 22:00hrs and they're still wailing on and on. Hope we can sleep tonight, its one of the noisiest places we've moored for a long while.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Day Two (Bank Holiday Monday)

...This is for you, Wendy (who thinks I always have the best weather when I'm on holiday) ITS RAINING! And its rained on and off all day. Pulled the piling hooks at around 10:30hrs and made our way to the moorings at The Bridge, Tibberton, with the intention of having a meal in there this evening, however we were tempted by the Eagle and Sun at Hanbury Wharf at lunch time. (Fatal) We had sausage mash and peas with onion gravy (fatal) and it was delicious. Just a shame there were no real ales. After lunch we made the effort to get to Tibberton and arrived around 16:00hrs. Later the question was asked, "Fancy a curry?" to which the reply came, "Still too full from lunch". So we vegetated in the boat all evening. It was a bit chilly so I lit the fire and it soon became too hot. Still no photos yet, we're thinking of buying a new camera in Worcester tomorrow. Hopefully we can get something that can upload direct to the computer without having to resort to bluetooth as our bluetooth dongle has gone missing.

How about this then... Two British Waterways guys made enquiries with us about low water in the pounds through Stoke Prior. They'd had a report that a pound was so empty boats were aground and listing. We had no problems but one pound was about three inches down, nothing to worry about. They went on their way and we caught up with them again at Stoke Bottom Lock. They kindly opened the lock gate for us and watched while Lin steered straight past some hire boats moored three abreast, through a short narrow dog leg into the lock, quickly I might add, and never touched the sides. The BW guys were most impressed, and I bet that'll stick in their minds for some time. She made a right cods up of the next lock, just as well no-one was watching.

More blogging tomorrow...

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Day One

We had a good journey up the M5, clear all the way, arriving at Alvechurch at around 09:30hrs. TQ was available straight away so we got all our gear transferred. Then all we had to do was wait for Mr. Tesco to arrive, which he did at 11:30hrs. So it was transfer that to TQ then we were away. As I'm writing this I have realised there are a few things I've forgotten. Firstly a brass water connector for the water hose used to fill the fresh water tank. The one on TQ is plastic and is buggered, but we'll cope somehow. The next thing is the card reader for the camera, which means I can't upload any photos to this blog. The third thing is the Bluetooth dongle we bought at Christmas is missing, so I can't upload any photos from my phone either. I are a wazock! On Tuesday we should be in Worcester, so I'll see if I can get a card reader there. The fourth thing is a length of co-ax cable to connect our super duper TV aerial to the junction box on TQ. Oh! well, no telly. It gets tougher.

Anyway, had a good but exhausting trip down the Tardebigg flight, and we're moored for the night between Lock 29 and the Queens Head Inn.

I'll try to find a way to post some pictures soon.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Tomorrow is the big day

It all starts tomorrow, but first I have to do this today, and mow the grass, set up the laptop for Skype (so that we can talk to Lins parents in Spain), send Lucy (our cat) on her holidays, sort out all the gear we need to take etc. etc. so its going to be a busy day. Also we've got two lifejackets arriving today, so someone has to be home to receive those. Busy busy.