Life, photos but not the universe

Further adventures on the cut.

But no more toilets, I promise.

I mentioned dredgers, and things wrapped round propellers, in my last post*.  In the past, in some of the heavy industrial areas, we have encountered many shopping trolleys and bicycles  Once, we found an entire bag of laundry wound round our propeller and once rescued a suitcase full of clothes from a lock.  Well, to say rescued, is a bit of an overstatement.  I don’t think anyone would ever have wanted to wear or use the contents again.  On this trip it seemed that we had set off in the dredging season and were delayed several times by dredgers with crews of workmen, apparently moving the enormous flatbeds by hand and rope**.  It took a while to get past this one.

While we were waiting, Barney chatted to one of the crew and learnt that in Birmingham, they had dredged up guns, swords, 9 safes (with the backs cut off), cars, small trees and at least one dead body.  Ah, but not the crew of this dredger as Barney, the fount of all canal wisdom, tells me it’s too wide to get to Birmingham.

This is because the Erewash Canal, where this photo was taken, has wide locks but after a short distance, the Trent and Mersey has narrow locks***.   We were very lucky to meet a couple going the same way as us soon after we left the Trent and started up the Erewash.  They were lucky too because wide locks are a lot more work than narrow ones and if two boats can go through them together it all becomes much less exhausting.  It turned out that their boat’s home mooring is just outside the marina where ours is moored and they recognised the boat, if not the crew.  A very nice couple they were too.  It was a pleasure travelling with them.

There they are watching us set off up the River Trent.

which is very wide

Quite a change from the tree-lined confines of the canal.  This is the Trent and Mersey approaching Fradley Junction.

It’s been a cold week hasn’t it.  I decided that the time had come to get all my woolly trousers out and put my tee shirts away (since I was unpacking holiday stuff anyway) and then last night it got warmer again.   I’m boiling now.  And we’re going out for dinner because a friend’s pub has new managers after a long and troubled period with the last incumbents so we’re going to be supportive.  Pleasure with pleasure (I hope) so now I’m going to fling clothes about and mutter a lot.  Will the pub be cold?  Warm?  Hot?  Surely not too dressy-up???

Impossible to tell.  I’ll let you know.

*No not dredgers wrapped round the propeller.  (Comma inserted hastily).

**Eventually we realised that the flatbed had a motor and was able to move ponderously in random directions.  Steering appeared to be done by pulling the ropes from the shore which is only a little bit less surprising.

***There is an immensely complicated explanation for this which requires maps and historical knowledge to make it even slightly comprehensible.  I shan’t bore you with it.  Not today anyway.


October 30, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. No wonder those safes were thrown away. There’s not much use for a safe without a back.

    Await with interest the explanation for wide locks and narrow ones. In my simple mind I assumed the width was dependant on the width of the waterway.

    Comment by Zig | October 30, 2012 | Reply

  2. Ah I’ve done Fradley. I returned OK which is the same as one of those safe’s hitting the water (back safe and sound!).

    Oh please yourselves….

    Comment by Rog | October 30, 2012 | Reply

  3. That bottom photo looks like a painting. Gorgeous.

    Comment by Liz | October 30, 2012 | Reply

    • I see no photo of a bottom! Have I been censored?!

      Comment by Zig | October 31, 2012 | Reply

  4. Ooh that’s going to tax my simple mind Zig.

    Did you go to The Swan Rog? (*Laughing*, I wish I had your way with words.)

    Thank you Liz. On a good day the whole journey is like floating though a painting.

    Comment by Mig | October 31, 2012 | Reply

  5. Zig and I have been cheated!
    Guess that’s what happens when you post late!
    Fine then–no bottom shot for us.
    We’ll just look at water and trees and boats and …….. stuff!

    I’ve now imagined narrow vs wide locks to be a plot to stop pirates from sneaking in!
    I’m certain I’m right.


    Comment by Mel | November 2, 2012 | Reply

    • I can see that thin locks would hinder the larger pirate fraternity, but the skinny pirates would slip through both the thin and the wide locks … wouldn’t they? I think it’s a plot by the pirates to trap two boats in one wide lock therefore twice the booty!

      Comment by Zig | November 2, 2012 | Reply

  6. Sorry Zig and Mel but you can’t let just anybody see these things.
    As for pirates, I’m sure they were rife on the cut (usually described by boaters as The Bosses) and there was definitely an element of bootiful increase involved in the introduction of wide locks.

    Comment by Mig | November 3, 2012 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: