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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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Helping to keep our waterways litter-free:

Drought, pollution and illegal fishing all threaten our waterways. Spotted something that looks wrong? See it, say it, save it. Call the Environment Agency (EA) Incident Hotline: 0800 80 70

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Coming and Going

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This is Brian and Ann-Marie aboard narrowboat 'Alton' going about their fortnightly delivery run last weekend as they passed us moored above Strines.

They keep us supplied with essentials throughout the winter months as they ply their trade along the Upper Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canal. Its always a pleasure to hear the beat of 'Alton's engine and the klaxon heralding their approach. A cheerier couple you couldn't hope to meet, regardless of the weather and often wearing a rather fetching camouflage of coal-grime. Proper traditional!
27th Nov 2011, 15:26   comments (0)

A View from The Galley

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What a glorious morning!
27th Nov 2011, 12:16   comments (4)

Definitely a Chill in the Air

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We left Strines on monday heading for Whaley Bridge at the end of the Upper Peak Forest Canal, where we serviced the boat and did some shopping at Tesco before heading back to moor at Furness Vale. The mouthwateringly nostalgic aroma coming from the canal-side Swizzels Matlow sweet factory (they of 'Love Hearts' fame) at New Mills snaps me back to a memory of my childhood and a threepenny bit burning a hole in my pocket.

Since arriving here and despite my continuing problem with gout I've managed to walk down into the Goyt valley and follow the river through the Torrs Gorge below the town of New Mills to the splendour of the view from the Millennium Walkway and the river tumbling past beneath. This should be one of 'THE' destinations for anyone visiting the area and can easily be reached in minutes from the New Mills visitor centre and car park above the gorge. You can virtually taste the industrial heritage of the town and it is ever more tangible standing on the Millennium Walkway looking across the river at the Torr Vale Mill.

In the three years since our last visit little if anything has changed and the landscape looks even better and more defined, which may be as a result of the tree debris that had built up in and along the river then, having been cleared away.

Still going strong is 'Archie' the innovative Torrs Gorge Archimedean Screw micro hydro-electric scheme powered by the Torr Weir. A community project generating 70?kW of electricity, which is supplied to the Co-operative supermarket. Any excess is fed back into the National Grid. Brilliant!

The local industrial history along with the legacy of the flooding in 1930 and 1872 is testament to the ingenuity and hardiness of the people who brought lasting prosperity to the area and leaves me with nothing but an overwhelming admiration for what they achieved.

Go to this Wikipedia link for a very interesting overview of New Mills and its history

Gout is continuing to plague me daily although the pain now dulls enough to allow me to sleep at night and by gritting my teeth I can limp through it enough to walk a couple of miles with Gunner. Blood tests came back to say I have raised Uric Acid levels and I'm to be prescribed something to hopefully fix it along with something for a high cholesterol level, which I've ignored for years as it was considered to be hereditary. Both my diet, fitness and lifestyle should exclude both problems but seemingly not. Oh well, onwards and upwards. Hopefully the 'upwards' won't be for a few more years yet though.
25th Nov 2011, 19:41   comments (1)

A Balmy November

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1. A favourite mooring at Strines.
2. Strines 'winding' hole.
3. A stroll down to Strines.
21st Nov 2011, 10:07   comments (6)

The Strines 'Conga'

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Photo: (l-r) narrowboat 'Trotters Independent Traders', 'Suits Us', 'Rosie' and 'Wilvir'.
20th Nov 2011, 19:40   comments (1)

Moored up In the Gods

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This is the view this morning from where we are moored above the village of Strines hidden in the valley below. You can just make out the fence posts marking the footpath in the middleground of the photograph leading down to Strines from the towpath.
12th Nov 2011, 12:41   comments (1)

A Hero Amongst Many - Monday 27 May 1940

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My father was bosun aboard T.S.M.V Royal Daffodil during the evacuation of Dunkirk. The following is a short extract from his workbook written at the time:

'We left for Dunkirk at 1000 to embark troops. Arrived Dunkirk at 1630 and embarked troops with bombs dropping all round. Left Dunkirk at 1715, arriving Dover at 0030 Tuesday morning to disembark troops and wounded. Left at 0200 for anchorage and finished at 2.30am.'

Thanks to Wikipedia for the following:

Royal Daffodil rescued 9.500 men in seven trips. On 2 June 1940, a bomb passed straight through her and exploded under her. The explosion caused a hole in the starboard side, and the Master ordered everyone to port side, which raised the hole out of the water and enabled a temporary patch of mattresses and wood to be applied. Royal Daffodil made it safely to Ramsgate and disembarked the evacuees. Later she was sailed to Deptford under her own power and repaired. As well as the bomb, Royal Daffodil also survived machine gun and torpedo attacks.
10th Nov 2011, 17:41   comments (5)

Wilvir is Purrrrrrrring

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1. A grey start to the day yesterday.
2. The 'Trading Post'
3. The landscape begins to fall away as we leave Marple.

We left Bollington yesterday morning and headed for Strines on the Upper Peak Forest Canal, arriving at 3pm.

On the way, we refilled the water tank and picked up a new gas bottle, to replace our empty spare, at the 'Trading Post', Higher Poynton, which has just recently changed hands and is now under new ownership. This is a little haven for boaters needing that little something and a welcome watering-hole for towpath walkers seeking refreshment and a sit-down.

On reaching Marple we serviced the toilet at the BW facility and turned northeast at the junction where the Macclesfield Canal joins the Upper Peak Forest Canal. The views across to the rising foothills of the Pennines as the canal rides a 500' contour on the gentle southern slope of the Goyt valley are just stunningly beautiful.

We both turned and smiled at each other as the land fell away to expose the tops of trees and rural homes to our left and to our right continued to gently rise above us so that we were now being looked down upon from the few homes dotted above. We love it here and it is probably our favourite pla?e on the canal network. In the three years since we were last here there is little if any visible change. Homes and businesses may have changed hands but the landscape has so far remained stoically resilient to the attention of developers since our last visit.

On the subject of 'my' gout, on Monday I had to seek the ministration of the medical profession at Bollington who were most helpful. My gout medication has now been changed and exploratory blood tests required to determine a more satisfactory outcome to lessen the impact or prevent a further occurrence. So we will be returning to Bollington next week. Meanwhile I'm still limping on a swollen foot and still suffering nightly pain that draws me from my slumbers enough to cause me to have to swallow another 800mgs of Ibroprufen just to take the edge off it and get back to sleep. Oh well, it can't go on forever, can it?

As an aside, the anti-inflammatory drug Diclofenac, which I have now thankfully stopped using due to its side effects, was found to be responsible for killing vultures in India. Apparently the vultures were feeding on dead cattle routinely treated with Diclofenac, which killed the vultures by poisoning their kidneys. This came to light after it was noticed that deceased human bodies left to the vultures for Hindu religious purposes were not being eaten. This predicament highlighted the problem of the declining vulture population and brought them back from the brink of extinction. Cattle farmers are now encouraged not to use Diclofenac. However, it is routinely prescribed to the human population with all its possible side effects. I'm just glad I'm not a vulture.

This blog title is purely down to a gentleman with a discerning ear who happened to be walking the towpath at Marple as we passed by. His exact words were 'it sounds like she's purring'. A great compliment for an engineer like myself to hear.
9th Nov 2011, 11:31   comments (1)