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, 23 May 2015

And back to base...

...our last full day today, we go home tomorrow morning.

Here's some pictures of our journey back to Wigrams.

A similar picture is in the Pearsons guide. 
Br. 107.

Busy here at Br, 108.
300 yards to the junction.

And it's TQ,s last day at Wigrams. Tomorrow (Sunday) TQ is being taken to Droitwich Spa Marina.
It's been really good here at Wigrams, everyone has been very friendly and helpful, and it's right in the hub of the canal system which creates a multitude of routes available to explore. Also, especially from my point of view, the availability of different skills being not too far away to help us in our time of need.

The port side has now been polished and looks great, and more brass has been polished too.

You don't see that very often.
I made this, somewhere to tie up the dogs.
A terriffic shine.
Well that's it for now, our next adventure is at Christmas, unless there is a development in the allocations schedule where we might just be able to squeeze a few days.

See you next time.

Friday, 22 May 2015

We've stayed put.

Loads of work done today, polishing mainly. The paintwork hasn't been polished for some considerable time and it showed. It needs doing again very soon to build up a more permanant shine. I have to confess though, I've done the port side and a few bits and pieces here and there where it was particularly bad, but i've not done the starboard side yet. All the outer doors have been off and the hinge pins cleaned and lubricated and most of the brass polished too, including the bits often missed...

The fuel boat Southern Cross (Jules Fuels) came by this morning and I flagged him down. We filled with diesel at a very reasonable price and another moorer nearby bought a couple of bags of coal.

Breasted up alongside TQ.

Sorting the paperwork.

...And on to the next customer.
Many thanks, see you again.
It came over all dark at tea time and we had a few spots of rain. Actually it looked like there was going to be a massive flash and a bang, but it didn't happen.

That's gone over.
...And now I'm having tea listening to Pink Floyd's The Division Bell and my glass is...

...half full.

Doing what she does best. x

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Busy day.

This morning woke bright and sunny and there were a lot of boats on the move. Some came flying past us and one in particular pulled the hooks through the armco on the pilings and jammed them in solid. I had to beat them with the club hammer and a mooring pin to free them. Some people have no respect.

I always set up a spring line wherever possible.
It helps prevent boat movement when the idiots go flying by.
We arrived in Braunston and we moored on Midland Chandlers wharf and purchased a new bow thruster battery. I fitted it straight away and sent the old one back, now we have some power at the front end.

We moved TQ away from the wharf and moored up on the opposite side where there was just enough space to get in.

Then we took a stroll down to The Admiral Nelson for lunch which was very nice. We had a hot dog each with a side dish of chips - delicious and we sat outside in the warm sunshine to demolish it.

We did a bit of shopping in the village and when we arrived back to TQ we reversed back beyond the junction then turned right toward Napton Junction. 

Along the way we were hoping there were going to be some vacant pilings to moor against but two of our favourite spots had been taken, so we found a nice little spot further up and we moored in there near Flecknoe.

Near Flecknoe.
There's been a lot of traffic on the canal today, It took about fifteen minutes to get away from last nights mooring, just as I was almost ready to leave, another boat would come round the corner and I'd have to tie up again and let it pass.

This evenings sunset.

And Lucy?...

More Zedsville!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Hawksbury Junction to near Br. 80.

Hawksbury Junction was cold and windy this morning.

TQ taking on water.

We stopped at Sutton Stop to enquire about a new bow thruster battery,  but they were a bit on the expensive side so I didn't buy one, but they did have an offcut of 40mm2 black cable which turned out to be long enough to fit where I needed it to go. It was terminated at both ends and heat shrink wrapped for good measure.
We also had a pump-out and that was enough for one day, as it was all a little expensive.

At least by now it had stopped raining and stayed stopped for the rest of the day.

We were hoping to moor close to Br. 79 but when we got there someone had only just beaten us to it, so we had to press on and near Br. 80 there were some suitable pilings vacant so we occupied them.

Lucy? Blotto as usual.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Back to Hawksbury Junction

Went to the farm shop at Br. 23 only to find it closed - Aarrgghh! Their website says it should be open, oh! well. so we slipped our moorings and headed toward Marston Junction. I wasn't long before it started to rain, and together with the wind made cruising difficult. More showers than sunshine all the way and it was frustrating besause we could see blue skies all around, and a long line of dark clouds following us.

We stopped near Br. 7 for lunch, and the rain stopped too. Nice bright sunshine returned so we made haste, but it didn't last long.

As we approached Hawksbury Junction it chucked it down with horizontal hail, and once we managed to get moored up okay it all stopped, and the sun came out.

We went in the Greyhound for a quick pint and to book a table for later. Luckily they could fit us in at 5 O'Clock, but we had to vacate by 7, as there was a 50th birthday party booked for thirty people.

We had a lovely meal, I had rump steak (without the garlic thingy) and Lin had 'am eggn chips - just what we needed.

And Lucy?

"Go away, I'm not at home".

Monday, 18 May 2015

Rain - and then some

I suspect most of Britain had a dose of this today, It started about 2am and ended about 2pm and didn't it rice down in between. We left Shackerstone at about 2:30pm and aimed to get to Br. 23 where there is an excellent farm shop so we can get some groceries tomorrow morning.

Arriving at Br. 23 we decided to leave the shopping until tomorrow as we were exhausted and in need of some nourishment.

Lin cooked us Gammon steaks with caramelised onion, new potatoes and peas. It were delicious.


Oh! Hello, It must be tea time.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

I'm chuffed and l'm having a day off.

I changed the oil and filter last night, so that's one more job done leaving me free for today.

We're on our way back and we've stopped in Shackerstone to take the steam train to Market Bosworth and Shenton. The railway station is only a couple of hundred yards from the canal, but not well signed, we had to guess the route.

It's a lovely trip to Shenton where we walked up to see the battlefield where King Richard III was killed. The memorial on the hill is nice as is the visitor centre, although a bit commercialised, it's nicely presented.

Our ride back was in a 1960s First Class carriage with passenger compartments and a corridor, all a little care-worn, but respectable. I remember this type of carriage from when I was a little boy and Mum used to take me to Bristol to see Grandad. Happy days.

I don't know what coal they're burning, but it ain't half smutty. 

I think (If I remember rightly), the engine is No.8303

All photos courtesy of Linda - Thanks Lin.

We're going into the Rising Sun this evening to sample their fayre.
Life on the canals doesn't get much better than this.

And I can confirm The Rising Sun in Shackerstone is well worth a visit. Excellent food and ale, witty banter in the bar and more peaceful in the restaurant.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

It's the end of the line.

No, TQ is fine, It's the end of the Ashby Canal Navigation so far.


Two years ago.
And back to today...

The Waterworks hasn'tchanged much...
...though it looks like someone lives there.

Still a long, long way to go.

There's going to be a bridge here.

N.B. Pole Star visited the terminus...
...and now has to reverse all the way back.

There's a slipway and swing bridge.
We winded in the 'ole next to the swing bridge and now we're here...
No idea where we are - don't care much either.
Oh! Nearly forgot... and Lucy?

Oh! Hello, Just had your tea? Looks like it.

Then, five minutes later...


Friday, 15 May 2015

What a day, and so much better than yesterday

The fire stayed in all night, I loaded it up with a few coal briquettes to keep the chill off. This morning I threw on a couple of logs and it kept going for most of  the morning, at least until the Sun warmed things up a bit.

We were moored just after Br. 6, and at Br. 8 there was a large piece of timber broken away from the side. Originally held to the bank by two feeble chains, one had broken free and the other end was floundering in the bridge 'ole. Some careful navigation required.

At The Lime Kiln we filled the water tank and Lin did some washing at the same time in order to use our water to best efficiency.

Taking on water at The Lime Kilns, Br. 15

The grass is greener.
Through Hinckley we passed the Triumph Motorcycles factory, an almost completely anonymous and very large shed.

An anonymous shed apart from the name plate.

I noticed at breakfast this morning we were getting low on bread, well it just happens there's a farm shop at Br. 23. We moored up and Lin went in to pick up a few odds and ends. Guess what.... she forgot the bread, saw it there but was distracted by other goodies on display. So I went in to buy it, needless to say I wasn't distracted. They have a Camping and Caravanning Club site there as well which appears to be very well looked after.

Sutton Cheyney Wharf was quiet today, usually it's packed with gongoozlers, I guess it will be on Sunday. The garbage was disposed of here and the drinking water was topped up.

Having traveled about 14 miles today we're moored near Congerstone and there's less than six miles remaining to the terminus and that includes a tunnel. How exciting is that?

Just outside the window there are a couple of hares feeding off the grass.

They're in the centre of the photo. Click/tap on the photo to see a larger version.
How do I know they're not rabbits? The ears are too long and they're black tipped.

And Lucy?...

Same old - same old.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Now let's have a look...


The wet window!

An early start and warning - bad weather approaching.

Lucy woke us at first light this morning, she's deaf so she meows very loudly. So Muggins had to get out and feed her. While I was up I had my own breakfast and then prepared to get all on the move.

We cruised up to find the next winding hole and turned TQ to face the other way and cruised all the way back to where we were moored, but we didn't stop, we kept going until we reached Marston Junction and turned up the Ashby Canal. We've now stopped (10am) as it is really cold and is about to rain. No point in busting a gut. We'll hole up here for the rest of the day and see what tomorrow brings weather wise.

And Lucy?

Still in Zedsville.
It's so cold here I've lit the fire.
Nice and warmy.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

What a day. New batteries, and an engine start failure.

We filled the water tank and slipped our moorings a little later than yesterday at around 8:30pm, and said our goodbyes to Dave and Anne as we passed Kernow, even though there was no sign of life at the windows.

TQ at Hawkesbury Junction.
We cruised only a few hundred yards and stopped to relieve the propeller of its accumulated detritus consisting of an old curtain and a shredded poly vee belt. It took ages to unravel the tangle. My trusty prop cleaner helped enormously, but in the end I had to get my hands in there - yuk!

The intention today was to check the domestic batteries as reports have been coming in that there is little life left in them. This was confirmed today when after yesterday's seven hour cruise and turning everything off overnight, (no telly used as we went in the pub), the voltage was reading 12.5v but after one shower, the Webasto on for hot water and breakfast they were down to 10.0v.

So we cruised on up to Star Line Boats in Nuneaton to change the whole pack. Well, things didn't quite go as planned, the batteries were not too much of a problem, after drop testing to further confirm their demise it was out with the old, in with the new, but when it came to testing the charge circuit with the engine running it wouldn't start! YES, I thought, this couldn't happen at a better time or place. It took ages to diagnose the fault, at one point there were six of of us looking into the engine 'ole, all scratching our heads. We were looking in the wrong place thinking the fault must be on the positive side, but it turned out to be a poor earth connection. This was proved by attaching a jump lead to the negative on the battery and to a suitable point on the engine and attempting a start. BINGO! and a lively start it was too. So the negative earth connections were dismantled, cleaned and replaced, and lo and behold it worked. Not quite so lively as with the jump lead, but better than I've heard it start for a long time. So now I'll obtain an extra earth cable and attach it to a suitabla point on the engine and to a point on the hull as belt and braces.

I promised I'd get this plug in for them:-

STAR LINE BOATS in Nuneaton. Very helpful and friendly service, very highly recommended.

Thanks a million, guys.

This is a lovely spot, just outside Nuneaton,
Oh! and Lucy...