The Tuesday Night Club Official Web Site

The Tuesday Night Club on Tour

Index

The 1979 Canal Holiday

This was a two week multi crewed trip, starting from Peak Forest canal Cruisers at Macclesfield. Crew for the two weeks were Neil, Linda, Julian Edgington and Mike Brown. John Fleming was on for the first week, replaced by John Rushbrook. The cruiser sterned all steel narrowboat (believed to be a Fernie hull) was powered by a air cooled Lister SR3. Peveril Castle was 45ft long. 

Sunday September 9th - We left home at 9.00 in two cars, Julian's cool metallic green Capri and John Fleming's crazy Bond Bug. We picked up Mike Brown at 10.20 from Leagrave and were up to Macclesfield for a pub lunch. We were soon at the out of town Peak Forest base and chugged off in Peveril Castle at 15.20. We headed northwards and stopped in darkness at High Lane. This was essential, if you are considering doing what we did, at this time of year! Neil as ever did all the steering in the dark with no headlamp on. We went to the Bull's Head I think.  Many basket meals were scoffed,  as well as that strange light coloured ale dispensed in electric sidewinder pumps - Boddingtons's! If we only knew then what would happen to this nice regional ale!

Monday September 10th - We left early, being keen and wanting to get to Manchester. John Fleming was in fine lock wheeling mode and we just flew down the Marple and Ashton Flight's. Plenty of water and no troubles. No fear of yob attacks then! We got to what we referred to as "Manchester Basin"! - this was the disused Paradise Street Wharf, at the end of the Ashton Canal, just before the wiggles that take you to the top of the Rochdale Nine Locks. At this time Castlefield was even more unwelcoming than here! As in 1977 we were the only boat on this abandoned wharf. There was junk everywhere, scattered about the wharf, but we did not see any strange blokes hanging about! After getting out of the crumbling entrance gates, we re-boarded them up and trundled off in the direction of Piccadilly.  We went to a couple of pubs, and a restaurant bar "The Cafe", which according to Linda's diary was a bit like "Strikes"???? Does not mean a thing to Neil! 

Tuesday September 11th - We started going down the Rochdale Nine as it opened at 9.00. There were no "helpers" on the flight and we were left to our own devices. Tons of water all flowing over the gates as in the now normal fashion. In under and hour we on the Bridgewater having shifted into "overdrive" (Neil had removed throttle stop limiter!) The SR3 soon cleared it self out of years of under stressed crud and we flew down this wide and fast canal. At one point we took an angler's tackle away - yes the whole job, rod as well! We can not remember what the official working times of Preston Brook Tunnel was at the time (If any), but we went straight in. That night we got to Acton Bridge and went to The Rheingold Restaurant (We do not know if this is still here or called by the same name), over the other side of Acton Swing Bridge on the River Weaver. Linda recalls having some very nice trout. On the way back the lads stopped off at the Horns pub - Neil and Linda went back to the boat.

Wednesday September 12th - Acton Bridge to Middlewich for lunch at The Big Lock pub. We also stopped at Anderton Lift and took a lot of photos. Still not been down the bugger! Bad weather all day. Carried on up the Middlewich Branch and stopped for the night at Barbridge. Went to the Jolly Tar pub - not too inspiring. 

Thursday September 13th - Carried on down the Shroppie to Hurleston and then started the Llangollen Canal. Grot weather until Wrenbury. We stopped here for lunch and went to the Dusty Miller, new (then) Robinson's pub. The afternoon was better weather and became sunny. We carried on until Ellesmere, where we arrived at 20.00. That night had fish and chips and went to pub.

Friday September 14th - We ended back at Ellesmere after just going across the Ponty skylight aqueduct. There was no where to moor in Trevor so we started back. That night we stayed on board having a large Chinese takeaway. Played Risk board game in evening - as usual it got nasty at the end!

Saturday September 15th - Surprisingly hot day. Only got back to Wrenbury as boat conked out just before. we pulled boat up to bridge to make it easy for the boat yard bloke to find us. In the interim Neil had to reset the throttle stop back as it was! The cheery boatyard owner soon arrived in his trusty Morris 1000 van (in same colour as boats!) Neil suspected a fuel problem, probably due to our increased consumption! Boat yard man soon had diesel every where, then used easy start and decompressor trick to get engine to fire up quickly, so it bleed its self. After a few clouds of black smoke it was chugging again and he even filled up our nearly empty diesel tank from oil drum in the back of his van. Diesel everywhere! After he went Neil released throttle stop again. That night we stayed put as the Dusty Miller proved a good venue. Ate at pub.

Sunday September 16th - We left Wrenbury fairly early as it was another fine day. Soon off the Llangollen an back on Shroppie main line southwards. We dropped John Fleming off at Nantwich. He was to get a bus to Crew, then train over to Macclesfield to pick up his (car?) This was in true TNC style, at a bridge hole, we did not actually stop! We did Hack Green, Audlem and Adderley Flights and stopped for the night in Market Drayton. This was in our "normal" spot of on the embankment, just out of town. That night we went out to meal at Freddie's Chinese Restaurant - excellent meal in a lovely old timbered building (Unfortunately this is now closed after a kitchen fire - main old building still there, but not a restaurant.) Neil and Linda went back to boat yearly, while the lads went pub crawling.

Monday September 17th - Left Market Drayton fairly early as we had arranged to meet and pick up John Rushbrook at The Boat pub at Gnosall. This we did indeed, but stayed at pub too long! After this we shot off, destination Wolverhampton. After the dog leg bit of the Staffs and Worcs between Autherley and Aldersley Junction, we got started on the Wolverhampton 21 locks at 19.00, with light beginning to fade. There was no one about and with Neil steering all the way, we did our best recorded hack up the 21 ever, of just under one and a half hours. This involved fairly motoring into locks and all top paddles up just as bottom gates were shut. All locks were of course pre wheeled by the fresh Mr Rushbrook. Plenty of water about. Fish and chips on the boat and early to bed for Neil and Linda. The lads went out briefly to the pub, believed to be the Great Western Arms.

Tuesday September 18th - We left early as we wanted to be clear of Birmingham by the night. We took a slightly obscure route. New Main Line to Albion Junction. Gower Branch to Bradeshall junction,  then Old Main Line and down Smethwick Locks. Of course the "set" place to moor in Birmingham was Cambrian Wharf, at the top of Farmer's Bridge 13 Locks. (Brindley Court and the NIA were just an evil derelict sight then.) We stopped here briefly for a lunchtime snack and pint. Can't remember what pub it was, probably just the Long Boat (AKA The Flapper and Firkin.) We carried on down Farmer's Bridge 13 (Another best run for us of 40 minutes.)  After this we carried on down the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. Aston Flight was not remembered as being as grotty as it is now. There were many more factories hemming in the canal on this flight and made it feel much more intimate. that night we got to Bodymoor Heath and an excellent night at The Dog and Doublet pub. (despite bad reports, we still find this a good venue) 

Wednesday 19th September - Left fairly early (It is Julian that is the early starter, and Neil the night steerer!) Sunny in the morning, got bad in afternoon. We turned left at Fazeley Junction going up the Coventry Canal. Left again at Fradley Junction, going up the Trent and Mersey until Sandon. Neil did a good hour and a half of night steering. This was in his favourite conditions - pissing rain! That night we went to another Dog and Doublet pub! This proved interesting as it was in the middle of a power cut. They still rustled us up some food although we were well over time. Due to this we stayed well past closing time!

Thursday 20th September - Started early as we wanted to fit in Caldon canal again! Windy, but sunny all day. After having turned onto the Caldon at Etruria we did indeed get to The Black Lion, Consall Forge. We ate on the boat first (Linda had got food ready while under way), then retired to a completely deserted Black Horse! the old dear welcomed us, the fires were all burning as though just waiting for us. Amazingly after we were in a few minutes we heard another boat arrive. A large party of lads then bundled in. This crowd were the nutter's that had recently bough the impossible to restore "Duke of Gloucester" BR Standard 8 Stem loco from Woodham's scrap yard in Wales. They were an incredible bunch, we for one believed that one day they would restore this heavily cannibalised steam loco. (They did indeed, Julian and Neil have been behind it on a mainline excursion - it is one of Neil's favourite steam engines,  it was the pinnacle of British Express steam engines, a prototype that was still born.) They had come up Caldon to visit the infantile North Staffs Preserved Railway at Cheddleton. Talked for hours as there was no closing time here!

Friday 21st September - Another early start, as we had two days to get back to Macclesfield? NO! after last night we slept in and shoved off at 10.00. Also stopped at Stockton Brook and went to Sportsman pub for lunch. Stopped at Etruria as totally out of water. Arrived late at Harecastle Tunnel for early morning start.

Saturday 22nd September - Went through as soon as tunnel keeper arrived. After the Tunnel we had the infamous "TV aerial incident", well we did keep reminding Mike that the bridges were low around here! Turned left at Hardings Wood junction, to go North up Macclesfield Canal. (As you will know, this is as the Macclesfield goes over the Trent and Mersey, via the Red Bull Aqueduct. We stopped in Congleton for pub stop and had a Chinese takeaway lunch. It predictably then started raining for the normal soggy assault on the Bosley Flight. That night we got to Royal Oak Swing Bridge, after a bit of Neil's night steering. Unfortunately the Fools Nook pub proved to be that - no food, just as well we ate well at lunch time!

Sunday 23rd September - We got back at 9.05. The Boatyard guvnor immediately checked the aerial mount. "So you did not go through the Froghall Tunnel this year, then." was his surprised exclamation. He asked where we had been then gave a funny smile! We were home by 12.30, after dropping off Mike Brown. We got our deposit back. This was probably the most we have ever thrashed a hire boat and it stood up to it very well. The boatyard owner did remark how well the engine was running now, he put it down to his fuel system clear out - we put it down to a good thrash!

Pictures taken on Neil's quite good Topcon SLR camera. Duff film / prints. They were always brown. Lost negatives. Paint Shop Pro used with all stops out to try to match Mike's and John Rushbrook's good slides!


Marple 16 Flight. Lower Peak Forest Canal.

Marple 16 Flight. Lower Peak Forest Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Marple 16 Flight. Lower Peak Forest Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Marple 16 Flight. Lower Peak Forest Canal. Linda looks onward. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Marple 16 Flight. Lower Peak Forest Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Marple Aqueduct. Lower Peak Forest Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Marple Aqueduct. Lower Peak Forest Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Marple Aqueduct. Lower Peak Forest Canal. Neil in mid air! (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

The new M67 deviation and bridge. Lower Peak Forest Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Dukinfield Junction. Huddersfield Narrow Canal went off to Right, Ashton Canal to left. Lower Peak Forest Canal.

Guide Bridge. Ashton Canal.

Looking back at Fairfield Top Lock. Ashton Canal.

Swing Bridge No14, Droylsden. Ashton Canal.

Claydon Flight. Ashton Canal.

Ashton Canal.

Waiting for the Rochdale Nine Locks to open. The timber bulks, protecting the "towpath" appear to be old Rochdale balance beams.

Rochdale Nine Locks. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Rochdale Nine Locks.

Rochdale Nine Locks. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Rochdale Nine Locks.

Still has some commercial craft tied up at Pomona Dock on the Ship Canal. Bridgewater Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Pomona Dock. Transport Command Comet! Bridgewater Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Fully working Anderton Lift. Trent and Mersey Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Anderton Lift. Trent and Mersey Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Anderton Lift. Trent and Mersey Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Anderton Lift. Trent and Mersey Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Anderton Lift. Trent and Mersey Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Anderton Lift. Trent and Mersey Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Anderton. Moored opposite Stanley Arms pub, we did not visit it, though. Trent and Mersey Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Hurleston Locks at the start of the Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Hurleston Reservoir. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Hurleston Locks at the start of the Llangollen Canal.

Wrenbury Mill and Lift Bridge. The mill was burnt out and has just been restored, after a fire. They are painting the new corrugated iron black. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Lift bridge near Wrenbury. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Grindley Brook Locks. (On the way back.) Mike and Julian pose for picture. Llangollen Canal.

Grindley Brook Staircase Locks. (On the way back.) Llangollen Canal.

Grindley Brook Staircase Locks. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Believed to be just above New Marton Locks. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Chirk railway viaduct, Aqueduct and Tunnel. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Chirk railway viaduct and Aqueduct. Julian E, ohn F and Neil steering. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Chirk Tunnel. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Chirk Tunnel. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Fron Lift Bridge. Froncysyllte. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

First view of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Llangollen Canal. (Slide taken by Mike Brown.)

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Llangollen Canal.

The Shroppie Fly pub at Audlem Wharf. Audlem Flight. Shropshire Union Canal.

Audlem Flight. Shropshire Union Canal.

Audlem Flight. Shropshire Union Canal.

Tyrley Flight. Julian E does mid flight correction to miss by-weir flow! Shropshire Union Canal.

Tyrley Top Lock. Mike B and Julian E. Shropshire Union Canal.

Continue with Canal Holiday 1979 Images..


Tuesday Night Club Members | The History of The Tuesday Night Club
Home Page | "Earnest" | "Beatty" | Canal Restoration