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Narrowboat 'wilvir'

by wilvir

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Whispers on water - a photo journal of our life on the 'cut' dedicated to keeping family and friends informed of our whereabouts.

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Wilvir's Progress

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1. Bunting flying from wilvir's aerial mast. Jim's excuse for an aerial mast is his barge pole sticking up from the bow of Val with the aerial gaffer taped to it. This photo was taken from the towpath looking up at the pound above Appley Bridge Lock.
2. Exhibitionist!
3. Just after taking this photo, Jim was waving his air filter to let me know he had a problem. You can see the M6 motorway in the sky above the tree line with the lock cottage below.
4. Alternator fixed and on our way again with Jim about to come alongside wilvir in Dean Lock.

We left Appley on Tuesday making our way, via Wigan and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, onto the Bridgewater Canal at Leigh, arriving at Abram where we spent two nights overlooking the flash before continuing to Boothstown Basin just west of Worsley.

As we waited to enter Dean Lock on the run into Wigan, Jim picked up an unfamiliar sound coming from Val's engine only to discover an alternator had almost worked itself off its mounts and was about to batter itself to death against the side of the engine. After a judicious dose of profanity and an hour buried in the engine bay, Jim had everything back to normal and we continued our journey.

Though not wanting to point the finger of blame at any particular individual, Jim did point out that a certain 'rescue' organisation had 'fitted' that particular alternator last year; hmmmmm! I think I'll stick to my own DiY 'mechanicking' thanks.
8th Jun 2012, 19:56   comments (2)

The Day of the Thames River Pageant

1. Bedecked with bunting.
2. Homemade Jubilee meringue.
3. Sharing the occasion.
4. Craig made the trip to London and took this photo at Lambeth Bridge of Clare, peeking out of the shelter, with daughters Emelia and Cydney sheltering in the pushchair. waiting for the river pageant to start.
5. Craigs photo of the narrowboats passing line astern.
4th Jun 2012, 17:30   comments (4)

Leaving Rufford

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1. (r-l) Narrowboats 'Val','Silver Knot', and 'Max Babe'.
2. heading towards the final two locks that will bring us up to the junction with the main Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
3. Junction Bridge.
4. Jim and Helen parting company (until Friday).

We reluctantly made our way off the Rufford Arm of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal yesterday, but not before catching up with some old friends who arrived the previous afternoon and who we hadn't seen since crossing the Ribble Link together four years ago; Steve and Barbara with staffs Peggy and Jack aboard their narrowboat 'Silver Knott' and Ray aboard his narrowboat 'Max Babe'.

We parted company with Jim and Helen at Burscough for a couple of days as they set off to visit a local attraction. We'll rendezvous again on Friday as we wait for them in the tranquillity of Appley Bridge side lock pound. Next week we'll be heading for Wigan, Manchester and the Bridgewater Canal.
31st May 2012, 12:30   comments (0)

Evening All!

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1. 'wilvir' looking glossy after we 'oiled' her paintwork.
2. Twilight approaches.
30th May 2012, 10:39   comments (2)


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1. Four days ago - for warmth.
2. Yesterday - shelter from the 12mph wind.

Three BBQs in four days - a record for us! Great fun.
27th May 2012, 10:14   comments (0)

Driven Away by the Dust.

1. Salt, pepper and Dust anyone?
2. A few days before our arrival these boats were waiting for high tide (a rise of approx 9 metres) to transit the River Ribble link onto the Lancaster Canal. A trip we enjoyed so much four years ago.
3. The seaward entrance to Tarleton Lock with the River Douglas at low tide.
4. Reed mace lining the banks of the River Asland from Tarleton to Sollum.
5. Peaceful solitude.
6. Just perfect.

Although we would liked to have enjoyed another day at Tarleton, we were driven off the moorings by the incessant dust clouds from inconsiderate drivers who ignored the 5 mph speed limit on the unpaved 'road' running alongside, the moorings. I even waved a driver to slow down, who pulled up and asked what the problem was and to my reply said 'I know', and sped off. A Post Office van driver also ignored the speed limit until he came back two minutes later and realised there were people onboard and slowed down, albeit to late. We could taste, smell and even feel the grit between our teeth it was that inhospitable.

It got that bad by mid-morning we hurried to take advantage of the shopping available and cast off to get away from the dust, mooring up again at Sollum, which we had left the previous day.

All-in-all a bit of a shame as Tarleton is worth stopping at just for a great meal from the tandoori takeaway, groceries from the farm shop and fresh meat from the butchers, as well as various other shops that should meet most needs.
26th May 2012, 13:45   comments (1)

A Tarleton 'Wind'

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We cruised the short distance from Sollum to Tarleton on Monday where we winded to moor overnight on the visitor moorings before heading South once more.

The title of this post was more to do with winding (turning) the boat before reaching the tidal lock at the juncture of the canal and tidal river Douglas, not the following!

Due to a number of recommendations from local boaters we were visiting Tarleton to experience, what turned out to be, possibly the best indian takeaway curry I have ever experienced in England, courtesy of Tarleton Tandoori.

Great chef, great staff, great menu, generous portions and sensibly priced. All cooked to your own personal taste right in front of you. Thoroughly recommended.

For more info go to:
26th May 2012, 10:07   comments (1)

A walk to Bank Hall, Bretherton

1. A quiet country lane leading to the estate.
2. The rhododendron lined avenue approaching the hall.
3. Blooming lovely.
4. A glimpse of the hall from the tradesmen entrance.
5. The 'grand plan'.

I set off from the boat the other evening in search of Bank Hall, a local Jacobean Mansion and gardens apparently decaying amongst the trees at Bretherton. After crossing the River Douglas and cutting through fields using an old right of way, I came to a lane leading to a long rhododendron lined avenue and the tradesmen entrance to the hall.

Here a sad and sorry sight met me at a chained and padlocked gate entwined with barbed-wire. Leading up to the mid nineties the mansion had literally been vandalised to the point of destruction. Since then a group has endeavoured to secure funding to restore the mansion and grounds to its former glory. But, as is the way with volunteer vanity projects needing expensive and extensive restoration, time has stood still.

Apart from the scaffolding supporting the buildings crumbling facade it appears to be just an open shell of what once stood there. A Google satellite view of the site shows the extent of the work required.

This project has stood near derelict for too long despite good intentions to save it. Wouldn't it be better to bulldoze this near irrecoverable project and the adjacent concrete outbuilding and replace it with a activity and community youth centre or something else that will be of real benefit to the local area?
The original gatehouse, which once led to the mansion, is testament to what once was, yet stands forlorn, unloved and unkempt, despite 'looking' occupied. A sad indictment of our times.

Thanks to, and for more info go to:
23rd May 2012, 11:37   comments (2)