Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Family visit......The Anderton Lift and a game of Narrowboat pinball!

So, My son David, fiancée Anna, Grandson's Ruben and George arrived after a 4 hour journey from Southampton we all pitched (haha....joke....geddit....pitched...tents go on a pitch.....oh, ok never mind!) in and quickly got the trailer tent up and sorted.
Strict supervision required when George has a hammer!

Nice and easy Ruben.....

Trailer tent all sorted, we kitted the boys out and then we're off to  our home to go and wind (turn the boat around) Swamp Frogs ready for the next
days cruising.
2 yr old and a 4 yr old holding 16 tons!

Hmmm.....2 captains? that won't work!

The next day we were up and ready for our days cruising and a visit to The Cheshire Ice Cream Farm. If you are anywhere near and have a couple of kiddies then go, well worth a visit, free to go in, lots to see and do and a million different flavoured ice creams to try.


Next day we spent at the camp site trying to run the boys out of energy as being on the boat they ended up with tons of energy at the end of the day, not sure if it worked tho......

Suzie worked very very hard and kept them entertained but then became knackered herself! so the next day we just cruised to Tattenhall Marina to fill up with Fuel and water ready for our departure. On Sunday morning we all packed the Trailer tent up had a Sunday lunch in The Shady Oak and that was that. 5 days of great fun, a little bit of rain, a few tears and a wonderful time catching up....It's the hardest part of living on the boat is being away from all the family and we were both very sad to see them leave.

Onwards with our journey tho and we made tracks the next morning to continue northwards to Adlington on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. on the way we came across the Anderton boat lift which drops boats from the Trent and Mersey Canal down onto the River Weaver and is now a scheduled ancient monument.....we just had to do it!

......and us on our first river! (albeit for 40mins)

With the Anderton Lift done we then moved on to Preston Brook Tunnel which is 1239 yards long and opened in 1776. it's only about 10ft wide so your passage is on a timer so you don't meet another boat coming the other way!
Southern end

....and our exit at the northern end. Suzie took this picture
AND it's upside down!

We pushed on and spent a couple of days in Lymm and experienced our first game of Narrowboat pinball. Basically, there is moorings both sides of the cut in Lymm with about 18ft gap left inbetween so not bad but we were alongside a boat that was just leaving so I pushed Swamp Frogs out into the middle of the cut (normal practice) to allow the moored boat to leave. Ahead of us was a boater coming through the bridge, I signalled for him to stop as did Suzie who was on the bow. This boat took no notice and  just kept coming....."he's gonna hit" I shout to Suzie, talk about stating the obvious! so, straight into a Widebeam moored on the other side of the cut! he bounced of that and his stern then came in and hit a fibreglass cruiser then his bow came straight at us and BINGO he hit all 3 off us in the space of 10 the guy passed me he failed to acknowledge me and it fell to his wife to say sorry.....round the bend they go leaving 3 very "peed off" boaters only to smack straight into some trees ripping off his pram hood (justice).....if that wasn't enough he then ploughed straight into NB Artu, smashing crockery in their galley!!! The couple were in there 70's I guess, they belong to Lymm Cruising Club and there boat is called Hide Away which is pretty apt as there is a lot of people looking for them! have been warned! Having left Lymm we turned the corner and were greeted by a couple of Kingfishers, Suzie just managed to capture them (she is getting quite an expert now with the camera)

On the way to Horrocks flash Suzie was on the Tiller and a chappie walking the Towpath said "Hi" she turned and said hello back only to see it was Alan Hansall (Tyrone, from Corrie.....I was gutted not to see him as I am a big Corrie fan too!) We stayed at Horrocks flash for 2 nights (don't ask me why it's got the name flash? it's a man made lake created when they built the M6) we stayed here for 2 nights to get some rest as  it is just a mile away from the Wigan Flight which is a mind boggling 23 locks in the space of 2-3 miles..... Up early the next day we moved on towards the Wigan flight. we shared the locks with NB Orchid which is a shared ownership boat built by Milburns (they get everywhere) who built Swamp Frogs 3-4 hours later and 23 locks we were at the top. Suzie did all the hard work in getting us at the top.....Well done darling.

Since our last blog we have done 83 miles, 38 locks and Preston Brook Tunnel (1239 yards long)

This gives a grand total of 329 miles 100yards, 208 locks and 8 tunnels (tunnels over a 1000 yards only).


  1. It was fab to meet you in Lancashire.
    Great blog! The boat in the picture from the river Weaver is now moored where you were on White Bear. They are stuck this side of the Blackburn locks until they re-open. Looking forward to your future blogs. Still trying to get ours up and running. Will let you know when I've managed it.

  2. ......Likewise Heather, it was great to meet you and Mike and we both look forward to meeting up again in the new year with you guys in your nice shiny new boat too! Good luck with the build and get that blog up and running as we want to read your story as it unfolds.....
    Rob and Suzie

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