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Index

The 1995 Tour

Index

Manchester Ship Canal, River Weaver, Chesterfield Canal, Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation and Erewash Canal.

1- Braunston to Birmingham. Grand Union Canal / BCN.

The Main reason for this year’s Tour was to “do” the Manchester Ship Canal, River Weaver, Mersey Estuary and the Stanley Dock Branch up to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Early on in the year the Maghull Breach on the Remainder section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal put paid to any salt water experiences, so we contented ourselves with planning to do the Manchester Ship Canal (including Upper Reaches) and the Weaver, then come off at Ellesmere Port and back to BW system this way. 
We managed to persuade the MSC Harbourmaster that we were going to do the trip solo (Has any one done this since?) and sent off for the relevant documentation. Beatty’s next Boat Safety Certificate was obtained a year early from Jim Mac Donald of Cassio Wharf. Being a member of MRINA, we got a free “Certificate of Seaworthiness” thrown in! Jim came from those parts and seemed more interested in looking at the Mersey charts we had to get than going over Beatty! Other items that had to be purchased were a pair of long lines, (due to drop in locks), and stern and front navigation lights. A pair of second hand air-horns and compressor were also fitted, as the beepy horn had proved useless at even waking up bridge keepers on the Gloucester and Sharpness canal, last year. 

The MSCC also wanted to see proof of the following on board 

An adequate anchor and cable.
At least two warps each being not less than 50ft in length. 
Such navigation lights and equipment for signalling by sound as will enable the pleasure craft to comply with the International regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea and with the Company’s Bye-Laws.
At least two fire extinguishers of a foam type approved by the Ministry of Transport and maintained in accordance with the Ministry recommendations. 
Sufficient life-saving apparatus for as many passengers and crew as the pleasure craft is designed to carry.
An Admiralty chart or other chart approved by the Company for the Harbour and adjacent waters. 
A copy of the Company’s Bye-Laws for the time being in force. 
A current tidal almanac. 
1 Million Pound indemnity insurance. 

Having sent all this stuff off and fee (11.32 minimum charge + 11.32 per lockage requested  + VAT)) We received back in a few days the two permission’s to travel. Once your details are lodged with MSCC you can request further passages a few days before travelling. The Certificate of Seaworthiness only lasts for a year.

Our contacts for the trip:

RR Bailey – M.S.C.C. Harbourmaster (at Eastham)

SJ Carr – M.S.C.C. Eastham – 0151 327 1461 (this is the guy we dealt with)

Mr Chambers – M.S.C.C. Eastham – 0151 327 1683

Mike Webb – In control of Bridgewater Canal and Upper reaches of the M.S.C. – in Manchester- 0161 872 2411 (have to deal with him to get Pomona Lock opened)

Latchford Lock – 01925 635249

Project Officer for Salford Quays – 0161 848 8601

BW Sutton Bridge – 01928 733051 – to get locky out to work Weston Marsh Lock – entrance to River Weaver from the M.S.C.

The regime has altered since we did this. The Harbourmaster is believed to have changed and operates a DANGEROUS "Pair of narrowboats breasted up" policy. Reports of other peoples more recent experiences would be welcome.

The boat was moved up to Fenny Compton Marina, via the Thames in the Whitsun week. A boat moving weekend then followed a week before we set off, to get Beatty down to Napton Visitor Moorings.

Start of Tour

Saturday 8th July 1995

Got to boat the night before and had meal and a pint in the Folly Inn. For the first week the crew consisted of : Neil, Colin and the Fleming Brothers, John and Paul.

Started off at 07.05, not bad morning, fairly sunny. Got to Napton Junction at 07.45 and headed left up the Grand Union Canal towards Birmingham. Arrived Stockton Top Lock at 09.00 and had a solo run down. Itchington Bottom Lock at 09.45. Non stop run continued down to Leamington and arrived at Cape Bottom Lock at 13.50. Budbrook Junction with Saltisbrook Arm at 14.10 and start Hatton Flight solo at 14.15. 
No one about! John Fleming and Paul got out the mountain bike and we had a clear run up Hatton, only catching up a solo boat in the last two locks. The respectable 2 hour time was taken and at 16.20 we were moored up on the water point at the top. After water top up we moved back onto the always empty Permanent Moorings. That night it was a meal and beer in the Boatman pub, a few locks down from the top lock.

Sunday 9th July 1995

Another nice morning, started off at 07.40. Out of Shrewley Tunnel at 08.10, the cutting sides had recently been cleared of vegetation and tidied up revealing a lot of interesting rock strata. Passed Kingswood Junction at 09.15 and decided to go in to Birmingham the “mans way!” – straight through on the Grand Union. 
Knowle Flight Bottom Lock at 10.30 and Top at 11.05. Fair amount of crud in cuttings before Tysley. Camp Hill Flight Top at 14.20 and Bottom at 14.45. Below the bottom lock there was a lack of water situation and this persisted right up to Ashted Top Lock (15.55)– had to fill up many pounds. Had really good assault on Farmers Bridge 13 locks, 16.15 to 17.05 and moored up for the night at Birmingham, St Vincent Street 14 day moorings – 17.15. That night we wandered around the city and went out for a curry.

 


Braunston Arches.

The Boatman pub at Braunston.
(the old steamer deck restaurant has now gone. Pub totally refurbished as the Mill House.)

Calcutt Locks. Grand Union Canal.

The Boat Inn at Birdingbury Wharf, just before the start of the Stockton Flight. Grand Union Canal.

Stockton Top Lock. Grand Union Canal.

Stockton Top Lock cottages. Grand Union Canal.

Stockton Flight. Grand Union Canal.

Stockton Flight. Grand Union Canal.

Just below Stockton Lock No 11. Blue Lias pub in distance. Grand Union Canal.

Looking back at Wawickshire Fly Boat Co moorings and Lock No 12. Grand Union Canal.

Lock No 12. Grand Union Canal.

Itchington Bottom Lock No 13. Grand Union Canal.

The Cuttle Inn at Cuttle Bridge No 25. Grand Union Canal.

John, Paul and Colin. Grand Union Canal.

Bascote Staircase locks. Grand Union Canal.

Bascote Staircase locks. Lock No 16 in distance. Grand Union Canal.

Foss Locks. Grand Union Canal.

Leaving Radford Bottom Lock. Grand Union Canal.

Bridge No 40. The Leamington visitor moorings are just after. Grand Union Canal.

The railway Aqueduct at Myton. Grand Union Canal.

The River Avon, from the aqueduct. Grand Union Canal.

Delta Marine Services at Warwick. Grand Union Canal.

Kate Boats hire base at Warwick. Grand Union Canal.

Cape Bottom Lock. Warwick. Grand Union Canal.

The Cape of Good Hope pub at Cape Locks. Warwick. Grand Union Canal.

Budbrooke Junction. Saltisford Arm moorings. This arm used to go under the railway and into Warwick. Grand Union Canal.

Hatton Bottom Lock cottage. Grand Union Canal.

Hatton Flight. Grand Union Canal.

Hatton Flight. Grand Union Canal.

Hatton Flight. Grand Union Canal.

Hatton Flight. Grand Union Canal.

Hatton Flight. Grand Union Canal.

Hatton Flight. Grand Union Canal.

Hatton Flight. At the top we catch up a solo boat. Grand Union Canal.

Shrewley Tunnel. Grand Union Canal.

Shrewley Tunnel. Grand Union Canal.

The newly refurbished Heron's Nest pub / restaurant. Grand Union Canal.

Arriving at Knowle Bottom Lock. Grand Union Canal.

Knowle Flight. Grand Union Canal.

Stephen Goldsborough Boats at Knowle Top Lock. Grand Union Canal.

In the Tysley - Olton Cutting. Grand Union Canal.

Grand Union Canal.

Camp Hill Top Lock. Grand Union Canal.

Camp Hill Top Lock. Grand Union Canal.

Camp Hill Flight. Grand Union Canal.

Camp Hill Flight. Grand Union Canal.

Camp Hill Flight. The slow filling lock re-sited during the 1980's road improvements. Grand Union Canal.

Camp Hill Flight. Grand Union Canal.

This was the state all the way up the Ashted Locks, Digbeth Branch. BCN.

Ashted Locks, Digbeth Branch. BCN.

Ashted Top Lock, Digbeth Branch. BCN.

Farmers Bridge 13 Flight. BCN.

The Tour Continues...


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