Thursday, 11 September 2014

Home again

Thursday 11th September
Setting of this morning from Rodley we must have just missed a pairing. We ended up following a pair down all the locks.
This is a long, arduous run into Leeds, 3 swing bridges, 13 locks and 7 miles. Many of the lock gates are very heavy, quite a few of the paddles don't work, and Lyra being the length she is can be awkward to position to so that the gates can be opened. All in all this is not a journey we look forward to.
When we reached River Lock, the last one of the day, we saw Dave and Jo with Grace and Favour were still moored up at Granary Wharf. Dave came across and helped us with the lock and we had a natter.
We're now back on our mooring at Clarence Dock. We had planned to go out tonight for a meal, but Cath didn't feel up to it so I'm going to pick up a pizza and we'll out, in.
Damon tell me that the new start battery I ordered has arrived so I will pick it up tomorrow.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Rodley again

Wednesday 10th September 2014
What could have been a disappointing evening last night turned out to be not bad at all.
We arrived at the bottom of the Bingley locks after a longish day of cruising. Our intention was to carry on another mile as far as The Fisherman's Rest. We had a good meal here back in about 2011, when we last came down the locks.
Arriving about 3.30 I decided to wander along and check out the menu. To my horror there was a notice in the window to say that due to staff holidays there would be no food after 6.00pm. After the first shock it dawned on me that we could still eat here, just a bit earlier than we planned.
Duly we arrived at the bar for 5.00 o'clock and were served a lovely meal, along with a decent bottle of wine. We got into conversation with a couple at the next table who turned out to be an ex REME mechanic for the Army Air Corps, who had been stationed at an airfield which I had done a lot of flying from myself (gliding and tugging, not helicopters).
Today we continued our homeward journey with another long day to reach Rodley. We luckily managed to team up with a hire boat that had a keen crew to do most of the locks and bridges with.
Here at Rodley I discovered that the town is very poorly served for shopping. I went into town to try to find cheese and a copy of MCN. I found 3 takeaways, 1 Turkish restaurant, 3 nail bars 2 hairdressers, 3 pubs, a furniture shop, a carpet shop, a gents outfitter, a dog grooming service, and a bridle shop. After walking for about 1/2 a mile I asked someone if there was a provision shop in town. Yes, I was told, there's an off licence come paper shop about 200 yds down the road, but it doesn't open until 3 pm. I duly found the place, it was, of course locked up tight, with no indication of when it was open. After waiting until just gone 3 o'clock someone else turned up expecting it to open so at least I wasn't alone in hoping it would. It eventually did, but it was primarily an offy, they had cheese, but no MCN. Ah well, glad I don't live here.

Monday, 8 September 2014

East Riddleston Hall

Monday 8th September 2014
Another cool, foggy morning as we awoke to the lovely views from our overnight mooring.
A few yards down the canal we came across the first of the days' 5 swing bridges.
Today's run wasn't going to be a long one so we pottered along slowly, no need to hurry as we were doing a wash load and charging the batteries.
By the time we reached our destination, East Riddleston Hall, the drying wasn't finished so we decided to have lunch and wait for it to finish before going for a look around the Hall.
We have been to the site before, when we came this way in 2007, not much has changed of course, but the garden has improved. I got a few piccys.
The Hall and lake 

 The view from the garden

 The River Aire, at the foot of the garden

 Dinner is served for this lovely butterfly

Someone left a cannon in the towpath

Sunday, 7 September 2014

On our way back home

Sunday 7th September 2014
A much better day weather wise. Cath had seen some shoes and a rather nice waterproof coat in a magazine flyer from Cotton Traders. There just happens to be one here in Skipton. It's Sunday so they don't open until 11 am and we decided to wait until then rather than heading off back home early.
This gave me a chance to try and remove the dead start battery from the engine compartment so that I could measure it up for a replacement. Any boaters reading this will know that it isn't easy lugging a battery out of the deep dark space that they always seem to be in. I finally managed it though.
Now that I've got it out I'm not yet convinced that it is dead, so must do some more checks before I go throwing money at a new one.
We walked up town later in the morning and arrived just in time to see them open up. They didn't have the shoes that Cath liked in stock, but the coat was there and is really good. It will get a good testing when we descend the Bingley 5 and 3 rise locks. They leak badly and there are fountains issuing from the top gates in most of the chambers.
We set off late morning on our return trip. First we went up to the Springs Branch in the middle of town in order to turn around, then stopped at the service area to dump a can and fill with water. I have to say that the water supply here is wonderful, I don't think we have ever filled Lyra's water tank so fast.
Soon we were on our way, with the prospect of many swing bridges to do. The first of which was Snaygill.
There is a rather nice looking Bistro canalside here, but we didn't get a chance to use it. We were told that the mooring here is very shallow so maybe it was a good thing we didn't try.
We did catch up with one of the day boats out of Skipton, it was full of folk dressed a pirates (very original-not). We opened the bridge for them and they thanked us and carried on, but we very soon caught them up again because they were really going slowly. At the next bridge they did finally manage to get it open and we carried on to get the next one ready. I opened it, but they were so far behind that I couldn't hold it any longer because traffic was building up. So we didn't really get a pairing going.
Just past Silsden we found a lovely spot to moor for the night, great views. So here we are, glass of wine for Cath and a whisky for me, relaxing, lovely.
This is the view from the boat.

One of those days

Saturday 6th September 2014
As the title suggests it was "one of those days". The weatherman promised us overnight rain, finishing up at about 10 am, then sunshine for the rest of the day.
It's not often they're right, and they were wrong again. The rain continued until about midday, we then decided it was safe to go and do a raid on the local Tesco. After hitting the isles and loading our trolley we headed outside only to find it was raining again.
Back on the boat we then waited for it to stop raining so that I could go into town and have a look around, maybe find somewhere to eat for the evening.
The rain duly eased off and I took myself for a wander. The fish and chip shop/restaurant looked just the job, Cath does like fish and chips. No sooner had I returned to the boat but it rained again, and continued to do so for the rest of the afternoon.
Luckily the rain stopped before we wanted to go out for the meal. The fish and chips were definitely up to standard, we enjoyed the meal and then wandered back to the boat for glass of wine and a coffee.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Continuing to Skipton

Friday 5th September 2014
This morning was the first really misty one we have encountered. This truly is the season of "mists and mellow fruitfulness".

Once again we had a lovely lazy start, no rushing at all. We hadn't been travelling long before we came across Laurimar again and paired up for the seemingly hundreds of swing bridges on this section of the canal. (well, there is a lot them anyway)
At Silsden Laurimar decided that they were going to stop for a visit to a laundrette, so we carried on. We weren't alone for more than a few yards as we were joined by Merlin. We have paired with boat before, a couple of years ago I think, but can't remember exactly. There is a hire boat base here at Silsden, and one of their wide beam boats had broken its mooring and was blocking the canal. I jumped off and pushed it clear of us, intending to either re-tie it or tow it to their main wharf for them. Luckily 2 of their staff were already on the way to rescue it so we carried on.
Merlin was a real treat to pair with. The guy was so keen he was running to the bridges and always staying ahead to get there first. I think I managed to get to about 3 of the 10 swing bridges we passed on the way to Skipton. What a star!
I make no apologies for the following piccys. They don't do justice to the scenery we have passed, but I just can't not post a few of them to give a sense of the beauty that is the L&L canal.

We are now tied up in Skipton. Luckily we managed to get a mooring in good place. Just as we arrived a boat pulled out so we dived in.

The Bingley slog

Thursday 4th September 2014
Last night we walked up from our mooring into town and had a lovely meal at Aagrah, an Asian restaurant, part of a local chain. The food and service were excellent, I even managed to find room for an ice cream to finish off with.
This morning we set off at a leisurely time through the iconic canyon of Saltaire's mills, past the deserted visitor moorings seen here on the right. There are so many restrictions on these moorings that very few people bother to use them. Word has it that when they converted the mill into flats one of the residents took a dislike to having boats near his flat, so he kept on complaining to the then BW and later CRT who finally caved in and put a load of restrictions on, the worst of which is no overnight mooring. Memories of folk who buy a house in a quaint village and then complain about the church bells!
Running through the canyon of Salt's mills

We negotiated hurst Lock and then carried on heading for Dowley Gap where another staircase lock awaits us.
Looking through bridge 206  Dowley Gap bottom lock can be seen

 There's a lot of water pouring over the bottom gates

Just before the bridge we had passed our companions from yesterday, Laurimar, and decided to wait here for them to make up a pair again.
As I have said many times in the past, "no good deed ever goes unpunished", I foolishly cycled the lock in our favour expecting Laurimar to turn up shortly, but then along came a boat wishing to go down so I had to help to cycle it again., Then along came the hotel boat Lady Teal, so we let her go before us while we waited.
 Lady Teal, a wide hotel boat offering luxury cruises

Soon the landmark of the tall Damart chimney appears as we near Bingley and the famous 3 and 5 rise staircase locks.
 One of Bingley's landmarks

As we approached the first set of 3 locks Lady Teal was ahead and the lock keepers prepared the lock and waved her in.
Once she had cleared the first chamber I was able to start preparing it for our ascent. Not long after arriving another boat turned up and then another, so we weren't last at least.
A queue is building up waiting for the locks 

Lyra and Laurimar start their journey up the 3 rise. The two women in the picture are CRT office people who have taken a ride with Laurimar to gain experience on the canals. It's a scheme called buddies, started by CRT to get staff out of the office and onto the water.

A view from the edge, showing how deep these locks are.
It's a maelstrom down there as the water pounds in to fill the chamber

Once clear of the 3 rise we continued on the short journey to the bottom of the 5 rise. Lady Teal had stopped for lunch so we were quickly into the bottom chamber and on our way up.
Clearing the top lock we cruised on about half of mile and found a mooring for the night.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

On to Shipley

Wednesday 3rd September 2014
Yesterday I forgot the copy the piccys from the camera to the computer, so there were none for the post. here are a few of them.
 Two of the three Italianate towers at Tower Works, Leeds

 Heading out under the main line rail bridge

We soon remember why we love the L&L canal

Casting off from Rodley this morning we were lucky to pick up a pairing with nb Laurimar. This stretch of the canal has a profusion of swing bridges as well as several staircase locks.
The weather wasn't exactly hot, but at least it wasn't raining, the weatherman had promised some sunshine, but once again their promises are like pie crust.
We dawdled along, taking turns at the bridges, Oddies Swing Bridge was particularly recalcitrant and required 3 of use to shift. All the rest weren't too bad,
At Field 3 Locks we caught up with Lady Teal, a hotel boat, but she was just entering the top chamber when we arrived, so didn't cause any delay at all. At Dock Swing Bridge we caught up again with Lady Teal so we didn't have to open that one.
Rising in the middle chamber of Field 3 Locks with Laurimar

We've now pulled in at Shipley moorings and discovered that there is an Aagrah Restaurant here. We did promise ourselves a meal out last night, so hopefully this will make up for it.
At the moment Cath is wrestling with the automated phone system that Curry's have so that we can delay the delivery of the appliances we ordered from them on the understanding that we would have a house to deliver them to. God they are a real pain in the butt. Push loads of buttons only to find that you have to talk to someone, and the wait time is at least 5 minutes. I think it's a premium line as well, so I'll bet they get a kickback from that.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Moving again

Tuesday 2nd September 2014
Here we are once again on the move. Well, for a little bit anyway.
With the house purchase stalled we decided to take a short cruise up the L&L. This morning we set off from our home in Clarence Dock and started the ascent out of Leeds.
At the first lock, River Lock, which is the start of the L&L canal we came across Grace & Favour yet again. Dave very kindly helped us through the lock, and then did the same for the small cruiser behind us. This was a single hander, very game lad. He walked with a cane but still had a go. We waited at the next lock for him and we paired up for the rest of the day. Brave lad, sharing locks with a 60' steel boat when you're a 25' GRP or wooden cruiser. We didn't crush him, but it was a close run thing in a couple of locks.
There was a keeper at both of the 3 chamber staircase locks, Forge and Newley. The keeper in both cases was accompanied by a security guard. It seems that the local yooofs like to swim in the locks and can get very nasty when asked not to if there is a boat coming. We did see kids swimming in the locks, but no intimidation. The keeper reckoned that the guards do make a difference on the safety side. (for them that is)
We had decided to stop at Rodley for the night, and had hoped to eat at The Railway, a canal side pub. Unfortunately our luck has struck again, they don't serve food on Tuesday nights! A quick dive into the freezer and we dined on a Jambalaya that I had made a few days ago and frozen off.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

£45,000.00 ono.
Fully equipped and ready to cruise/live aboard

Welcome to Lyra, a 60 ft. semi trad style narrowboat.
Built on a Dual Duel hull, 10/6/5/4 steel
She was bought as a lined sailaway with extras from Lees Narrowboats, and launched in 2005. Over the following 10 months I completed her fit out as a liveaboard cruiser.

LOA: 60ft
Beam 6ft10in.

Insulation: Spray foam.

Engine 42 hp Vetus diesel with high efficiency silencer.
The engine bay is lined with sound deadening material.

Gearbox PRM 150

Fuel: Diesel, 200 ltrs.

Propellor Axiom, 3 blade, 18” dia.
Vetus stern seal.

Electrical 1 X 70 amp alternator and
1 X 3.5 Kw Travel Power.
External shore power sockets at both front and rear of the boat.
1 X Victron 2500 Kva combi inverter/charger (120 amp charger)
2 X independent domestic battery banks:
  1. Primary bank consisting of 6 full traction cells, rated at 900 amp/hr @ C5.
  2. (2) Secondary bank consisting of 2 Lifeline 12 volt AGM batteries, rated at 440 amp/hr @C20.
1 X start battery

1 X Hurricane pressure jet diesel heater, rated at 7 Kw.
This powers 4 radiators, 1 towel rail, and hot water via a calorifier.
Hot water is also generated by the main engine.
The heating/hot water is controlled by a thermostat/timer in the saloon.
The calorifier also has a 1 Kw immersion element. This is wired to only come on when connected to a shore supply. It has its own timer and temperature control.
There is an integral 150 gal. Water tank, fitted with a Duratank liner to make it maintenance free.
Water to the taps and shower is provided by a high capacity variable speed water pump giving a constant flow ( it doesn't cycle between low and high pressure like the usual pumps).
There is also a drinking water filter with separate tap.

Lighting All lighting is LED except 1 fluorescent over kitchen work surface.

Gas is provided by 2 gas bottles in a locker at the bow. They are routed through an auto change over valve which automatically changes when the bottle in use becomes empty.
There is also a bubble tester to check for leaks. (a good safety feature much loved by the safety inspectors). Lyra comes fully equipped for long term cruising/live aboard.

Cruising equipment includes:
Mooring stakes and mallet
Mooring chains
Piling hooks
2 bow ropes,
2 centre ropes,
1 stern rope.
2 spare ropes
several lock handles
BW/CRT service keys
water saver key
Anchor with rope and chain attached
Telescopic boat hook

In addition to this there is on board:
A washer/dryer (2 years old)
Satellite dish for Sky+
22” flat screen television
240V refrigerator with freezer compartment
Combi Microwave/oven
4 burner gas hob
2 leather reclining chairs with foot stools.

There is ample storage on board, plus storage seat on the rear deck and two top boxes.

Lyra is moored in Leeds and has a paid up mooring there until June 2015.

BSS until 2018
Licenced to June 2015

For further information email:

Phone 07760273516

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Back home

Wednesday 2nd July 2014
We cast off from Ferrybridge this morning at about 8.30. Luckily we were straight away following another boat, and they were also heading to Leeds so we had help at every lock.
Later we picked up another boat who joined us for a couple of locks.
Phil, on Mr Sandman, the narrowboat which we had started with wanted to stop at Castleford to buy a gas bottle as he had run out. Unfortunately the boat yard there upheld their reputation of being so laid back they are asleep. One of the brothers had locked the office and gone out for the day, leaving all the keys inside. They weren't prepared to cut the lock off the gas locker for a desperate customer. A new lock would be a couple of quid, a dissatisfied customer can cost more.
Once we got back to our mooring I checked our gas to see if we had enough to let him have one of ours to get him out of the s***.
Unfortunately we had an empty bottle to replace as well (we have auto changeover so don't know exactly when a bottle runs out). With us needing one as well as Phil I rang Damon to ask for the car and then went round to his work to pick it up.
All is not rosy in that garden either. He's just spent about £900 on repairs for the MOT and this morning the steering felt funny so he wanted me to take a look. The wheels didn't look right but I didn't see anything to note. Another friend of his came by and he's pretty good with cars so he had a close look and found that one of the suspension arms was rusted almost right through and had allowed the steering geometry to shift a bit.
I borrowed it anyway and drove it very carefully round to a camping shop to get some gas.
Damon has decided it's too dangerous to drive so has left it at work until he can get it either repaired or scrapped if it's not economical to repair.
One lovely surprise this evening was that Phil came round with a bottle of wine to say thanks for the help.
Leeds is gearing up for the Grand Depart, bikes everywhere, yellow everywhere.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Season of the deer

Tuesday 1st July 2014
The beginning of another month and the weather is once again quite good. We rose fairly early and after breakfast we set off to start the bridge strewn short bit of canal from Bramwith Junction to Southfield Junction where the SSYN joins the A&C.
We had a bit of luck on this passage. We met traffic at Kirkhouse Green lift bridge so that was done for us, and then at Sykehouse lock some CRT maintenance men were carrying out repairs to one of the gates and before they started to dismantle the workings they operated the lock and bridge for us. Lovely service. I think the next boats we met coming down may have been out of luck as the men were starting their work and it would be out of operation for an hour or so.
As the headline says, this must be the season of deer. Last week we saw one in the Fossdyke and today there was another in the A&C.

This little Roe buck was certainly panicking, as there didn't appear to be any way out for it. There was nothing we could do for it though as we couldn't get near it to get it out. There are places where it may be able to scramble out, but it was heading the wrong way.
Two more boats came in the other direction and took up the shepherding. I hope all was well.
We plodded on through Pollington and Whitley locks and have stopped for the night at Ferrybridge/
The saga of our house purchase continues as we must now fill in all the questionnaires again for a different solicitor. Oh joy!

Monday, 30 June 2014

At last a sunny day

Monday 30th June 2014
A fine day, if a little cool this morning. The sun soon warmed it up though and I had to put my baseball cap on back to front to keep the sun off my neck, almost unheard off is that.
The canal was covered in duck weed and Lyra ploughed a furrow through it.

We negotiated the 6 swing/lift bridges between Keadby and Thorne, which then left only the troublesome Princess Bridge in Thorne. This time it behaved itself, almost. I managed to get the gates lined up well enough for the bridge to open, and luckily a lady on a boat moored near the bridge landing had warned me that when the bridge panel lit up 'bridge closed' it was lying. At that point you still can't open the gates because not all the sensors have been made. You have to keep your finger on the close button for a lot longer and the bridge finally closes the last inch or two and allows the gates to open. Once again several local people commented that the bridge needs some dynamite to fix it properly!
We moored up on the visitor moorings while I walked into town to raid Sainsbury's. When I got back we had managed to gain a pair for the next two locks and a bridge.
After Bramwith lock we turned the corner onto the SSYN and then moored up for the night.
Cath is enthralled watching Andy Murray play Kevin Anderson at Wimbledon right now.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Back to Keadby

Sunday 29th June 2014
After lovely meal out at The Hume Arms with John and Sarah last night (see photo) it was time to face the river again. The lockie at Torksey had told us that between 10 and 10.30 would be right to set off for Keadby. We had said to ourselves that if the weather was a bit s**t we probably wouldn't go, but we need to get back to Leeds to try and rescue the house purchase, or start looking for another.
The sky was looking leaden, so I decided to put the wet gear on just in case. Good decision! We hadn't been long out on the river when the rain started. It continued to shower on and off for the rest of our run down.
For the first few miles we were pushing the incoming tide, but this changed and from just before Gainsborough the flow started to move with us. By the time we were passing West Stockwith we seemed to be flying, with between 7 and 8 MPH on the speed readout from my phone.

After 4 3/4 hours we pulled into Keadby Lock and have tied up on the visitor mooring here for the night.
The weather has cleared up a little, so we hope that tomorrow will be an improvement.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Farewell to Lincoln

Saturday 28th June 2014
Under a leaded sky we cast off from Brayford Pool and set course back along the the Fossdyke.
There were a few boats moving this morning, notably we came across a small river cruiser trying to tow a narrowboat. He was making progress, but it looked like hard work for him. The crew on the boat reckoned they had a fuel blockage. I wonder if it was the dreaded diesel bug, which seems to affect quite  number of our boats. Once you have it in your system it can be difficult to shift.
We arrived at Torksey at about 11.45 and spoke to the lock keeper. He told us that between 10 and 11 tomorrow morning will be the best time to set off for Keadby. There were a couple of boats due to arrive on the Trent and come up through the lock, so when they were up the lock would be in our favour and we could go through and tie up on the river pontoons to await tomorrow's tide.
Small bit of excitement this afternoon, the roar of a jet engines made me look up and there was a Vulcan, one of the most beautiful aircraft in my opinion. I'll never forget as a young man watching one of these things come overhead low and then start a hard climb, the noise was awesome.
Tonight we hope to meet John and Sue here and go out for a pub meal.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Last day in Lincoln

Friday 27th June 2014
Not a very pleasant day. It was raining when we got up, but it stopped long enough for me to do the 'can run'. A bit later it stopped again so Cath gave me a shopping list and sent me on my way to the local Morrison's.
Luckily the rain held off all the time I was out. I then had thoughts of spending our final afternoon looking around the Bishop's Palace, but once again the heavens opened, so I didn't bother.
I did a bit of boat cleaning, then very lazily sat down with the computer and surfed or played patience. Cath watched Wimbledon. Of course Andy was playing, and won easily.
Tomorrow we'll set off for Torksey where we have arranged to meet John and Sarah for dinner. The weather man keeps changing his mind about what to expect in the morning so we'll just have to wait and see.
Thoughts on Lincoln. We like the place, there's more to see than we have gotten around to.
What we didn't like was the mooring we were given. Just in a position so that scroats could lob cans and cups down on Lyra. Luckily I don't think we sustained any damage, it's just annoying. Bring back flogging I tell you!!
 Anyway, we must get back to Leeds as our house purchase is reaching reaching a crisis point. We are still unsure if things will go ahead alright.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Up the hill

Thursday 26th June 2014
Well, we did it today! The place we wanted to see today was about half way up the steep hill on which the castle and cathedral sit. The special bus which makes the climb to the top for lazy folk like us doesn't actually stop half way up, only at the bottom and then at the top. Cath isn't too clever and walking down hill, it hurts her knees too much, so we opted for the climb. We certainly needed that cup of coffee when we finally made it.
The climb was worth it though. there is an art gallery and a local archaeology museum. Cath went for the art and I headed for the interesting stuff. We both spent nearly 2 hours perusing our bits of the place before stopping in the cafe for lunch.
Having eaten we then decided to bite the bullet and finish the climb to the top. As I commented on one of my earlier photos, they call it Steep Hill for a reason! Wow, what a climb, well it is to two unfit people like us. We saw young women pushing kids in buggies up the hill, it must certainly keep them fit.
Once at the top I took a couple of more photos of the area before we took the bus back down to the main town.
The weatherman has promised rain this evening, although it doesn't look like it a present. We plan to go out for our meal tonight, but on the off chance that the Met Office may have got it right (for a change) we stopped off in M&S and bought something to eat in the boat if it all gets bad.
 As in many English tourist places, horse and buggy rides are on offer

 The main entrance to Lincoln Castle

I have no idea what this gate, between the cathedral and the castle, is called.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Museum of Lincolnshire Life

Wednesday 25th June 2014
Today we decided to go and visit The Museum of Lincolnshire Life, which we had spotted signs for while walking to the water tower yesterday.
Thank goodness for the wonderful hill bus, walking up there would probably take us all day.
The museum turned out to be very well done. Sometimes these smaller, regional museums can be a bit disappointing, but this one was fairly interesting.
There was the usual exhibits of Victorian life, kitchens and parlours etc. However there was also a good sized hall full of machinery, which I'm sure most of you will not be surprised to learn was more to my taste.
A Ruston twin cylinder engine from a pumping station
I didn't know it but the engine maker Ruston comes from around here. They have been around for many years, making all sorts of specialist motors, mostly stationary engines. They also branched out into excavators. My interest in the marque comes from their provision of canal boat engines. It's one of the motors to which many canal enthusiasts aspire. Nowadays they are fairly rare, and expensive of course.
Ruston also made this rotary aircraft engine under licenceth
These rotary engines were strange beasts by today's standards. The propeller was attached to the engine crank case, the crank shaft was solidly attached to the aircraft, so the cylinders whirled around with the prop. One side effect of this arrangement was that there was no engine speed control like a throttle. The only control the pilot had was an on/off switch, all or nothing.

A "Mother" tank
Another thing I learned was that the first tanks as used in the First World War were designed here in Lincolnshire.

On the house front, it's not quite dead yet. The selling agent has said they can find a local solicitor who should be able to complete our purchase in the time scale already set out. It's fingers crossed time, both Cath and I are a bit low about the situation.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

A trip through 'The Glory Hole'

Tuesday 24th June 2014
I wanted to take Lyra down through The Glory Hole, just for the trip. This morning looked as good a time as any so we untied and set off through Brayford Pool.
We then enter the River Witham, under a road bridge which replaced an earlier swing bridge. Apparently the bridge had a dedicated keeper, but it was causing a lot of traffic jams so the road was raised and the bridge taken out.
 Round the corner was get the first view of The Glory Hole. I believe it was once known as The Murder Hole.

 Above the hole is a cafe. Under here there is lovely fan vaulting

 This steel sculpture is called Empowerment and spans the river at a riverside shopping area.

 As can be imagined the swans around here are generously fed, which makes for lots of them. Collective nouns for swans (with thanks to Google): a gaggle, a gargle, a herd, a bank, a whiteness, a bevy, and strangest of all, an eyrar. Take your choice.
 The trip through the riverside shopping area is interesting, and there is mooring here. However, the prime spots were all taken as we came through, so decided to stop in the same place that we did 8 years ago on a stretch of mooring just the other side of the bridge in the picture below.
It seems as though some H&S jobsworth in the council has been "at it". The gate from these moorings has been locked with a chain and non C&RT lock. I rang C&RT to ask why and was told that it wasn't their doing, but the council's as they thought the gate was too close to the road. What a load of rubbish! Like I said an H&S jobsworth!
Rant over.
 We did actually get a mooring where we wanted because while we were down near the lock winding, one of the boats cast off, so we gladly took the spot.

Here's another picture of the sculpture from a better side.
Later in the day we decided to head off back to our powered mooring in Brayford Pool. We hadn't been tied up for more that 10 minutes when the heavens opened and it poured down. What a stroke of luck that was, deciding to move when we did.
On a down beat note, it looks as if the house purchase may well fall through. The two solicitors dealing with it can't seem to agree on the difference between planing permission, and consent to build. It seems as if there's a standoff and we're getting fed up.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Lincoln Cathedral

Monday 23rd June 2014
A fine sunshiny day saw us deciding to take Lincoln's 'Walk and Ride' bus up the hill to Lincoln Cathedral.
This magnificent structure dominates the city. The castle is also up there on the hill, but isn't as obtrusive as the cathedral.
After our wander around the Gothic pile we walked around in the hill top area, and had lunch in a small hotel restaurant.
We spied a large tower up there and were intrigued as to what it was. It turns out to be a rather grand water tower. Constructed around 1911 after a typhoid epidemic in the city. As seems to be the usual case, it came from contaminated water. In this case it was the River Witham. A complete new water system was designed and built, culminating in this extravagant structure.
Speaking of extravagant structures I make no apology for the number of photos of the cathedral. I just love their OTT architecture, usually driven by one man's ego to have the biggest or best.
 The font

 One of many beautiful wood carvings along The Nave

 The Chapter House

 The view from the cloisters

 Flying buttresses outside the Chapter House

 A statue of Tennyson in the garden

 This little imp has been included as a reminder of evil

 They call it 'Steep Hill' for a reason

 Lincoln's grand water tower

The view from the base