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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Thursday, 19 May 2016

Market Drayton to somewhere in the sticks.

A very early start for us today, we had TQ moving just after 7am, we thought we might be the first, but there were a lot of boats that got away before us. Including a (an) hotel boat and a hire boat with at least four portly men aboard who had been drinking a lot the previous day, both heading in the same direction as us.

As we approached Tyrley Locks Lin said she would steer TQ, I would operate the locks. OK fair enough. Well, at the first lock there was trouble, we couldn't get TQ in, she was almost all the way in but it was the last five feet. "More power" I said, but to no avail, she wouldn't go in. "OK,  reverse back.... keep going.... back further.... OK, that'll do, now go forward.... more power.... keep going.... there you go, you're in". There was something under the water but we got over it.

Through the first lock, into the next, and oh no, the very strong by-wash pushed the bow to the left against the bank and the stern onto a hidden rock under the water. TQ was well and truly stuck; we tried everything to get us afloat, even letting more water through to fill the pound wouldn't do it because it was running out of the next by-wash.
Eventually we managed to get her free and I reversed back some way and took a fast run up to the lock entrance pointing the bow into the cross flow of the by-wash and putting on loads of opposite tiller right at the last second. TQ went into the lock like a rat up a drain pipe. How newbies manage with hire boats I don't know.

Tyrley Top Lock.
Woodseaves Cutting is next, this is so ethereal through here, nobody knows you're there. Heavily wooded and steep sided, only the sound of the birds and the burble of a diesel engine could be heard.

They have high bridges round yer
Tall ships?

They're having some work done.
There have been some improvements to the tow path through here, for most of the way they've done away with the mud and put in drainage and gravel.

This is the famous Bridge 39 in Grub Street Cutting
 Somewhere along Grub Street cutting we spotted an old Land Rover in the woods, ripe for restoration and a little further along a 1938 Daimler drophead. I bet Phil Glenister and Ant Anstead would love to have a go at restoring both of them.
Looking back.

We actually stopped for lunch just after Norbury Junction, it's not something we usually do, having lunch "on the fly" is our thing, but we thought as we started out early today we'd treat ourselves.
Hot dogs with mustard and a tin of San Miguel. Now there's a major danger of crashing for the rest of the afternoon, but no, we go up off our bums and carried on as we heard there is rain on the way.

Soon after we left, the rain started, slow at first and gradually became heavier so we looked for a place to moor. Our spot we bagged earlier in the week was occupied so we pressed on until we found the first length of respectable pilings. Most are plain concrete edges or what looks like railway line bolted to concrete slabs, neither of which are much use for mooring. At last we found some on the end of a cutting with a reasonably dry tow path and the hooks went in. Added bonus, reasonably good interwebby too.

Lucy had another belly full of chicken again:-

I tired, I sleep Zzzzzzzz!
Steady on Lucy, you nearly turned inside out.

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