The last week has been an interesting one for us,on Thursday we went down to see Chyandour to get a look at the progress that John and Mick have made since our last visit.The stove has been placed on the hearth and conforms to all the new regulations,it’s not quite finished though,the flue will be taken out when she goes into the covered dock,and then refitted when she comes out.The guys at Kingfishers take all the bits and pieces off,including the flue and the window frames,when she goes into the dock to be painted,so no part of the steelwork is unpainted.The shelving and cupboards in the lounge have been made and John was busy fitting the skirting while we were there.This is a bit different to other boats we have enjoyed ‘cos they usually have boxed in pipes running along the skirting.On Chyandour,Mick and John have managed to keep all the pipework etc.closer to the hull so there is no need for any boxing.It all looks so much tidier.The lounge and galley are almost finished,just the doors and shelving to be added,when we get nearer to the completion date.The steps at the bow doors are almost done too,as well as our means of to getting in and out,these steps have lift off treads so we that can use the insides for storage.While we were there,Mick was laying the flooring in the galley and the bathroom,not an easy job when you consider how cramped a narrowboat can be,and that was all finished before we left.
Here you can see the stove on the hearth.The silver flue is what has been giving John and Mick the sleepless nights,the new reg’s say it must be double skinned which makes it 120mm in diameter instead of the old 100mm,and it will be painted black when it’s refitted after the outside painting has been done.The cupboard and shelving are top right,minus the door and shelves for now,and you can also see the front steps here.
Above is the flooring in the galley and the bathroom,if you look top left you can just see Micks hairy legs as he places the last couple of pieces of flooring around the vanity unit and radiator in the bathroom.The photo’ to the right shows the result of his efforts.
The finished flooring along the corridor outside the bathroom and a view of the bow doors showing the stove,the steps and the cupboard and shelving in the lounge.
On Friday we set off from Mansfield and made our way up too Reedley Marina,near Burnley in Lancashire.There we took over Ruby,our home for the next two weeks,she is a 50ft Cruiser stern narrowboat that we have hired from Hapton Valley Boats.It is our intention to cruise to Saltaire and back in the two weeks we are on Ruby so there will be more about Saltaire,if and when we get there,in the meantime,a bit about our progress so far.We did cruise for a few hours on Friday and that saw us get as far as Barrowford Locks on the Leeds and Liverpool canal.It was raining quite a bit as we went through the seven locks,and it was hard going ‘cos we were on our own and these are wide locks,big enough for two narrowboats side by side.Also,there seemed to be a bit of a shortage of water,in spite of the rain,and this slowed us too.
Above is the Captain as she guides Ruby on our journey along the canal and,on the right,the approach to one of the Barrowford locks just before we moored for the night,damp but happy.
On Saturday we set off with the intention of going through the Foulridge Tunnel and using the services at the far end,where we could get a shower,this saves us using the one on Ruby and having to replace the water.Foulridge Tunnel is 1640yds long,and,for those who still use old money,that is just short of a mile.You can see right through,but,as it’s narrow,it’s controlled by traffic lights.After showering we decided to walk over the top of the tunnel to see what was there.There is a footpath ‘cos there is no towpath through the tunnel and in the horse drawn days,horses were led over the top to join up with their boat at the other end.
The entrance to the tunnel,all the green stuff is weed apparently,though,to be honest,it looks more like spilled paint.On the right you have me,posing as usual,and behind me is the sluice from Foulridge Lower Reservoir which is above the tunnel.After leaving Foulridge we carried on for another 6 miles and through another 3 locks,not so hard this time ‘cos we shared with another boat,and then moored up at East Marton for the night.Sharing the wide locks on canals like the Leeds and Liverpool make life a lot easier as well as saving water.
On Sunday we left East Marton,the left hand photo’ is the double bridge on which the main road through the village crosses the canal.I think the road was raised at some time,that’s why there are two levels.The one on the right is us sharing the Bank Newton locks with a delightful couple who continuously cruise with their own boat Water Ratz.
Here we are at one of the last locks we did on Sunday,this time at Gargrave.As you can see from the two pictures,the weather was glorious.The second pic’ is us following Water Ratz through the beautiful countryside of the Airdale Valley on our approach to Skipton where we intended to stay for a couple of nights.
Monday is Market Day here in Skipton so we wanted to spend a bit of time in this lovely little town and also,the couple on Water Ratz,John and Sheila invited us over for a real Indian Dinner on their boat in the evening.Sheila,not her real name,I’m not sure how to spell that,is of Indian origin and she cooked us all a wonderful meal,a couple of their friends joined us,and we had a great time.One of the things we have found,on all our narrowboating holidays,is just how many great people there are on the canals.Our Christmas card list just gets longer and longer.
Ok,that’s all for this week I’m afraid,I will be back again next week with more of our holiday on Ruby,take care everyone.