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.

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Saturday, 5 June 2010

The last leg.

Spent the morning chatting to people in between carrying on with cleaning - or was it the other way round?? Steve also went up to the winding hole so he could reverse TQ back to our spot in order to see to her other side. I walked up to the garage as I’d found out that they now sell newspapers- very handy, as is the postbox next to Hopwood House Inn!
As I cleaned the oven this morning, I discovered that the top oven/grill is missing the inner door glass. This, of course, is the new cooker which was only installed on 16th May. I do not use the cooker very much and hadn’t used the top one at all, so I hadn’t noticed this before.
Another visit to the winding hole so we could set off for Alvechurch about 5.30pm- just after the gas bottle ran out. Tranquility’s berth was waiting for her, so we are now into the last stages of packing up so that all will be ready for an early start homeward bound.
Very much enjoyed our trip as always and look forward to the end of August.
Final tally: Stourport Ring (almost!) and Black Country Ring (almost!!), 127 miles, 149 locks in about 78 hours of travel.

Notice the shine on TQ

Friday, 4 June 2010

Oozells Loop to Hopwood

Forgot to mention that when we were doing the Aston Locks on the way into Birmingham, we crossed paths briefly with Firefly going the other way. This morning the weather was fine, so Steve cleaned the exterior of TQ. I walked to the Mailbox to get the newspaper and a Get Well card and discovered there is a postbox if you go down one floor from Tesco Metro and turn right out of the side door of the Mall.
We cruised round to Sherborne Wharf for a pump-out (£9) and water; also ice creams as it was really hot by then! It was about 12 when we left the wharf and started back towards Alvechurch. We have been through the canal diversion at Selly Oak a few times now, so have noticed the progress of the works. In spite of the lovely weather, Wasthills Tunnel was still very cold and wet… We arrived at Hopwood about three o’clock and moored in the last space available before the water point. As we pulled in, we met David & Margaret ( TQ syndicate members who also have a share in a different syndicate. )
After mooring, Captain continued the work on the exterior while I began on the inside. Later we had a barbecue and pleasant sit down in the evening sun.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Day of rest?

We had a quiet night with no disturbance, followed by an easy-going morning, (apart from his lordship cleaning the outside of TQ!) then went to town. It was lovely and warm so we joined many others and sat outside for lunch. Summer weather…. The three hours of shopping only increased the aching in the bones, which had started after the 36 locks had been completed yesterday. No more locks till next time now. By the way, if you are in a hurry, don’t go to the Post Office in the centre of town. I had to have a card weighed and went to get an ‘order of service’ ticket from the machine, but was given a ticket (Number 127) from a customer who’d got tired of waiting. On it was printed that there were 86 people in front of me! In fact by this time of the day that wasn’t correct as there were only 37. However I quite soon got tired of waiting too, what with the heat and backache- and just put two First Class stamps on the envelope and hope that our son gets the card in time for his birthday on Sunday. I’m sure he’ll be very understanding if he doesn’t. By then we’d had enough of the High Life we’re not used to, so returned to TQ for the evening.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

A June morning..

A misty start!

As you can see, we set off on a foggy morning (7a.m.). It was very quiet and not too cold -for a change- and by 0920 we had finished the Curdworth locks, only bumping (figuratively) into people at the last lock. Not too long afterwards we came into the urban area and I took a walk at Dickens Bridge in order to get a newspaper. This entailed a walk alongside a very busy road, plus a complicated detour over to the far side of the traffic lights in order to be able to cross the road safely, as there was no chance at all for pedestrians at the first crossing I came to. Having purchased the paper and some milk, I retraced my steps over this busy, noisy road but made a slight detour to a post box as I had a birthday card to post. (Always looking for a postbox!) Unfortunately in the excitement of finding one, I made a slight mistake in the choice of the two roads available and ended up on the wrong one, heading towards a roundabout that I didn’t remember. Only a few minutes’ delay, though, as I could se the Captain on the canal bank from where I was.
Oops, back to the blog. We were out of the Minworth locks at 1130 and ate our sandwiches on the go before cruising under all the motorway roads of Spaghetti Junction. What a delight that is- although at one place there were some beautiful wild lupins in the middle of it all. From Aston locks I walked into Birmingham while the captain cruised. We shared the lock work and had no problems apart from BW chaps painting some of the lock gate handles, though they did help work the locks at one place. By afternoon the weather had changed and it was very hot; of course we were then on the Farmer’s Bridge locks, which were rather difficult to say the least, but we got through them and tied up in the only place available in Oozells Loop at 1645. Quite a busy day followed by a good meal and good wine at Pizza Express in Brindley Place.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Easy, easy, easy...

The prettiest footbridge on the cut? (Drayton Manor)

Tuesday 1st June.
We spent a quiet morning on board at the mooring as heavy rain had been forecast and we didn’t set off until 2pm. It was still raining, but a bit lighter. Went through Fazely Junction into the Birmingham & Fazely Canal. At 1710 we moored after Bodymoor Heath bridge. We had tried to moor before the bridge but the water was too shallow to get alonside. Went to the ‘Dog & Doublet’ at the next lock; had a delicious meal and enjoyed chatting with some fellow boaters who were on their last trip after 25 years of boating.

Busy, busy, busy....

The Swan at Fradley Junction

Bank Holiday Monday.
Very peaceful when we set off at 0720, but gradually got busier. Didn’t seem to be many boats around until we approached narrow bridges, aqueducts and locks; amazing how that happens. At Great Haywood Junction we turned into the Trent & Mersey and had an interesting time in the Narrows, with a queue of boats at each end. In Ravenshaw Wood, the masses of beautiful purple rhododendrons were a delight to see. Fradley Junction was extremely busy, not only with boats but hundreds of gongoozlers gathered round the locks. In the evening we found a mooring space right outside the Tame Otter at Hopwas, where we had a good meal. Incidentally, a very quiet place to stay in spite of being so close to the pub’s big car park. (25 miles, just 6 locks).

A Long Day…

Round House at Gailey

Sun 30th May.
Set off at 0720 and before long, reached the highest point on the canal at Compton. As we came to the junction with the Shroppie, a boat turned out of it in front of us- and went rather slowly for a long way! The canals were a lot busier today, probably because of school holidays and Bank Holiday. We passed a boat where there was actually a BBQ burning on the aft deck! Stopped for water at Gailey and a visit to Eileen in the roundhouse shop. We moored after the lock and walked down to Dobbie’s for lunch and a new waterproof jacket! Got the newspaper from the small shop at the roundabout there. No trouble with any locks but as usual it wasn’t easy to find a good mooring so we finally tied up near bridge 98 at 2040, having covered 19.6 miles and done 14 locks.