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, 20 September 2009

Home again.

Well another holiday over, they go far too fast for my liking. Sorry I didn't blog last night, but I was so busy cleaning and polishing TQ, I didn't finish 'till after dark and was too exhausted to get the laptop out. The paint work on TQ had become very oxidised and had a dull finish, so I used T Cut to remove the oxide and then polished with Craftmaster Wax. Now she shines beautifully. I'm sure the next shareholders to holiday aboard will appreciate it, and its set ready for the onslaught of winter.

We moored just South of the M42 Motorway bridge and it was surprisingly quiet in the night, just the odd vehicle going by, and the sound deadening bridge sides helped to muffle it considerably.

No pix for today, but here's some I took earlier:-

A problem occurring here...

...and here.
About time this was repaired, look at the weeds growing in it.
That piling is not a permanant solution.

Yarningale Aqueduct

This is Lengthman's Cottage, a Landmark Trust building.

Probably has one of the best extensions.

Typical milestone along the Stratford.

Part of the flight at Lapworth

That bizzarre bit on the side at Preston Bagot.

An inscribed lock coping stone.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Two days worth, and I get shot at!

Yes, there was no signal again last night (Thursday), we were moored just above Lock 33 near Yarningale, and its right out in the sticks. Before we got there we made a stop at Bridge 49 to pick some sloes. Its a good year for sloes, they're everywhere, but these were exceptional in that they were huge, about the size of grapes. I stopped TQ right under the bridge and left her there while we scrumped the harvest. We haven't weighed them yet, but it looks like it may be around a kilogram, picked in about ten minutes. All along this canal there are lock keepers cottages with round topped roofs. Many have been spoiled by some unusual extensions being attached. This one at Preston Bagot looks kind of OK in a bizarre way, but is definitely not in keeping with the original building. Others have had extensions built with a poor attempt to keep the style by using new bricks and brand new tiles. They look awful. Here's some pix:-

Most bizzarre

This on looks better, but you can't see the new extension behind.

I thought pigs could fly...

...but this takes the biscuit!

Lapworth Bottom Lock No.27. I know where I'd rather be.

23 locks today.

Friday, and its full steam ahead to get as far as possible so we have plenty of time to clean TQ before we leave on Sunday. We made good headway up the Lapworth Flight and at Kingswood Junction I was walking back from preparing lock 19 when there was a hissing sound went rapidly over the top of my head and crashed through the trees. It was the unmistakable sound of an air rifle. I reported it to the BW man at the scene and he did a walk round the area but found nothing. A bit later Lin heard the same thing. Whoever it is they'll get caught.

Made it to lock 14 and couldn't resist going in The Boot for lunch. And the weather was so good we opted for lunch in the garden. It was wonderful.

Onward, and we had the rest of the flight to do and we are now moored just outside Hockley Heath between bridges 24 and 23. A lovely quiet spot and good telly and 3g connection. We've done our last lock today, and there's one last lifting bridge tomorrow, an electric one, so much easier.

30 Locks and 2 lift bridges. Phew!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009


Slipped the piling hooks at 09:40hrs and headed off down the last five locks to Bancroft Basin. We intended to start later this morning to give time to those leaving the Basin to vacate the premises and make their way up the locks leaving them in our favour. We moored just a few yards outside the Basin and walked under the bridge to see the state of play. There were plenty of spaces but we didn't fancy mooring side by side on the pontoons, so we decided to stay put. Its a relatively quiet spot so we're happy. The Basin and surrounding area has become very commercialised with ice cream sellers, burger bars, river trips and floating restaurants - shame.
We made enquiries about a temporary licence to take TQ onto the River Avon, not that we have time, but it would be interesting to know. £35.00 for the Upper Avon (valid for 15 days) and £55.00 for both Upper and Lower Avon (also valid for 15 days). Not today thank you!

Had lunch in the Dirty Duck. This is a quaint olde worlde pub often frequented by thesbians from the Royal Shakespeare Company. Didn't see anyone famous today, though. I had a cheese ploughmans and Lin had a ham, and we swapped half the cheese and ham to have half each, if you see what I mean.

The wide beam in the distance is a restaurant boat.

The blue and white boat on the far side is an ice cream sales boat.

Tomorrow morning we head into the Basin to wind and then make our way back up the Stratford. Not sure where the next stop will be yet.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The best laid plans...

Well, I was hoping to start writing up this last Sunday evening, but there was no signal from where we were moored. No 3G, no mobile phone signal on mine or Lins, and no telly. Not even a glimmer. Anyway, Sunday we left Alvechurch at around 11:45hrs and made our way North through Wast Hill Tunnel which, incidentally was the slowest journey we've ever made following another boat. We were on tick over and kept catching up with the boat in front, and having to stop to let him go on a bit. At Kings Norton Junction we turned right onto the Stratford upon Avon Canal and left the slowcoach to go on his way to birmingham. The rest of the days journey was eventless, oh, apart from a couple of egits who found it most amusing to spit at us as we exited Brandwood Tunnel. Could have been worse, could have been bricks! We didn't fancy mooring any where along this stretch and it wasn't for at least five miles before mooring became a possibility. We found a spot just past the Blue Bell Cider House at Illshaw Heath, in a bit of a cutting covered with trees, very peaceful. 1 lock. If you can call it a lock. It used to be a lock which separated the two canal companies. Both gates are left open so its straight through now.

The next morning we were up early, well early for Lin, and by 08:00hrs were on our way again. Soon we came to the Top Lock at Lapworth and began our decent, stopping off at the Boot Inn for lunch. well, it would be rude not to. As it was lunch time and we had a million locks to do we thought it best to only have something light so we opted for a ploughmans each. It was too much really, it came on a huge wooden platter with ham and two cheeses, and all the other stuff. Very nice, though. Onward, and we had to force ourselves to get going in the afternoon, so we went straight on at Kingswood Junction after taking on water, and finished the day between bridge 40 and the Fleur de Lys. 29 locks, 2 lift bridges.

Today, and not quite so early and we got away at 08:40hrs, chugged our way down the Stratford to Yarningale where there is an aqueduct very close to lock 34. Here's some pix:-

Yarningale Aqueduct

Low level tow path

Its a lovely spot

Only a little way further on at Wootton Wawen is another aqueduct which spans the A3400 trunk road to/from Birmingham. Its very odd to be cruising over a main road and drivers and passegers are waving at you 20 feet above them. And, would you believe it, another aqueduct, even more impressive, is the Edstone Aqueduct at Bearley Cross. This spans 475 feet and is 28 feet high above a by-road, a tributary of the River Alne, and the twin tracks of the Birmingham and North Warwickshire Railway. It must be a bit odd when walking the tow path to look up at narrow boats cruising by. More pix:-

Edstone Aqueduct, tow path side...

...and the other side

Looking back across Edstone Aqueduct

The weather has been good so far, but today has been quite windy although it's not effected us too badly. We're now moored just below lock 50 for the night ready for the five locks down to Bancroft Basin tomorrow.