This week has been another good one for us because we’ve managed to get out and about a bit to see a little more of the local area and we’ve also had a good result from Kingfisher Narrowboats.On Wednesday we decided to go out to the Peak District for a look around a couple of the towns and some of the scenery.Our first port of call was Bakewell,the home of the famous tart,and it turned out to be a delightful little place to spend a few hours.We walked around the town and we were surprised to find lots of tidy little shops down side streets and alleyways.A very picturesque little town,clean and well looked after.
On the left is the River Wye as it flows through Bakewell and on the right is a picture of Monsal Head Viaduct as you look up the valley just outside the town.
From Bakewell we drove up to New Mills,a small town alongside the Peak Forest Canal,apparently,the commercial printing of Calico was invented here in the early 1820s.Our reason for being there was to call in on Trafalgar Marine Services,they have supplied the ropes and fenders for Chyandour and we wanted to get some matching rope for spares.After New Mills it was down to Buxton for lunch and some more browsing around a town.I drove through Buxton many times years ago,when driving from Derby to Manchester for British Road Services with loads of Lawnmowers or Plaster.The only motorways heading north then were the M1 and the M6,so between the two we only had the “A” roads,there wasn’t the volume of traffic then either so we got about ok.Anyway,Buxton was just one of the hundreds of towns that I didn’t see anything of,other than the roads and the odd warehouse or Builders Merchants,so,here we were,trying to see a little bit more.Some of the places we had hoped to see were the Crescent and the Pump Room which were built at the end of the 18th century and based on the Crescent in Bath.Unfortunately,after being empty for 20 years,they were being refurbished so it was a bit of a building site.We did go into the old baths though and they have been turned into a nice shopping arcade,still with the tiled walls from when it was the baths.
Above is couple of pictures of the tiles in the old Thermal Baths in Buxton and below how the baths used to look,around the 1850s,and as they are today,just a display in the shopping arcade.
After Buxton,we headed back towards Mansfield via another town from my driving days,Chesterfield,the town with the amazing crooked spire on the church.Chesterfield has changed and I could remember little of what it used to be like,It’s been some thirty odd years since I delivered there,but we did enjoy our visit on Wednesday.There’s loads of shops and what looked like a huge market,if the number of stalls is anything to go by.Unfortunately market days are Monday,Thursday,Friday and Saturday,we picked the wrong day,lack of research is my excuse.We managed to get a picture or two of the spire,before heading back here to the caravan.
Above we have Chesterfield with the famous crooked spire to the left and Knifesmith Gate in the town centre on the right.
Thursday was the day we went to Silly Sids in Derby to get a 4ft mattress for our bed on Chyandour.We had looked about a bit for mattresses before we went to see them,and they had by far the most sensibly priced ones.They are going to deliver our mattress to Trent lock for us tomorrow.From there we decided to go into Derby itself,it’s another place where I lived for a while when I worked for Derby B.R.S.and there’s been loads of changes here too,with new roads and a new shopping centre.The Westfield Centre is huge,with stores on three levels,it’s a place you could spend all day browsing round and Lisa ensured she got as much time as we could spare.
The best day of the week for us though was Friday.This was the day we had waited for so we could get some serious shopping done at Midland Chandlers on their Freaky Friday.This is a 20% discount day and as a result their prices are very attractive,even compared to shopping online.We wanted a TV and wall bracket as well as some additional mooring equipment for Chyandour.Thanks to Mick and John from Kingfishers the TV had been put to one side for us so we wouldn’t be disappointed and we also got all the other stuff we wanted.After our shopping spree we went into Long Eaton for lunch and to waste a few hours before we could go to Trent Lock to see Chyandour.We intended to stick to our promise to stay away from the boat till late in the day,to allow Mick and John some space.I had lived in Long Eaton over forty years ago before moving to Derby and I’m ashamed to say I remember very little of how it used to be.We had a good walk round but nothing seemed familiar,nowdays Tesco and Asda dominate the town.
Our visit to Trent Lock was well worth the wait.John,Mick and Jan had done some amazing things since our visit last week.Chyandour was out of the covered dock and we could see her in daylight for the first time for nearly a month.Her paintwork is brilliant,Jan Deucher has done a fabulous job for us on top of the great base coat from Mick and John.We also saw what Jan had done to the inside of our back doors,we had asked for a couple of things but the result is excellent,she has helped give us something we can be very proud of.The Cratch cover had been fitted earlier on Friday and the anchor had been delivered from Ride the Waves chandlery in Bromsgrove,along with a few other bits that we needed.Inside Chyandour the carpet fitter had been busy and here again we have had a great result,the carpets have been supplied and fitted by Ron and Caroline Tansley of Conquest Carpets from Sawley.A lovely couple that it has been a pleasure to deal with.The icing on the cake for us though was,believe it or not,the bed,this has been designed and built by John and Mick from scratch.The whole base lifts up so that we can get to the storage beneath,and all the pipes etc. have been boxed in beautifully,it’s a work of art.I will not go into detail because they want to make a feature of the bed in their future builds so the construction is a bit of a secret.Apparently,if I tell anyone then I’ll have to kill them.
Above left is the bed in the “down” position,there is also a clever arrangement with a couple of doors so we can get beneath the bed without lifting it every time.It lifts very easily though,just one handed.On the right are the rear doors that have been hand painted for us by Jan,there are no others like them.
There she is,outside for the first time for a month,all the paintwork finished.On the left is the stern and on the right the bows and the Cratch cover.You can see the weed is still covering the surface of the Erewash Canal here,Canals & Rivers Trust were trying to remove it but I guess the eradication of it had to take second place to a serious pollution incident that happened further up the canal a couple of weeks ago.There was a fire and the water that was used to extinguish it entered the canal,the Environmental Agency saved over half a million fish but sadly they couldn’t save them all,some quite large fish were lost.
Today,Monday,we had a quick trip down to see Chyandour and to wait for the delivery of our lounge chairs from Recliners Direct.We Looked in on their shop, in Leyland in Lancashire in March,and then ordered the recliners from them at the end of July.Their service is excellent,we received a text this morning giving us an ETA and they were delivered on time on the day that we asked for over two months ago.Lisa can now relax,she wasn’t sure they would fit through the front doors on Chyandour,they did,just.We had a look at what Mick and John had done over the weekend and most of the doors are now fitted to the cupboards and the wardrobe.No photo’s though,we want to wait till our boat is finished on Friday and Kingfishers own blog is posted.We will have more on our own blog next week as well.From Trent Lock we called in at Ikea,near Nottingham to get a few more things and then made our way back here to Mansfield.
That’s all for this week I’m afraid,we will be back again next week,after the weekend that we have waited so long for.Next Monday I will be posting from our new home,nb Chyandour.Wish us luck and take care.