With a gas bottle empty we’d thought about cruising out to Alvechurch to get it replaced and give Tilly some much needed countryside. How I fondly remember trees! But when we woke and checked the forecast for the day we changed our minds. 20mph winds, nowhere near as strong as on Sunday, but still not that easy to handle a narrowboat in.
After breakfast we made ready to move, one thing that couldn’t wait was water. Mick tried calling Sherborne Wharf a couple of times but nobody was answering. However when we looked out we could see a widebeam moored at the services, someone must be there. So we pushed off (well we didn’t need to push much as the wind did most of it for us) and headed through Sheepcote Street Bridge, pulling in behind the green widebeam.
The BCN is narrow, so what is a widebeam doing in these parts?. Well it’s the office for the new development on Icknield Port Loop and they’d come for a pump out and top up of diesel.
Once the chap was finished with them we got some more coal, topped up on water from the tap with good pressure, bought a new bottle of gas and disposed of our yellow water. Blimey it was chilly out there, just how are the roses going to fare?
We moved along retracing the now familiar route to Monument Road Bridge where the wind assisted us in winding, then back round Oozells Street Loop to return to our mooring. We waved at NB Waterway Routes, you never know Paul might have been watching as we passed.
The wind was now really quite blustery, at times more so than it had been with Ciara, there was also the occasional flurry of snow. So for the remainder of the day Tilly was confined to quarters. I might be wanting some boot polish if the snow continues.
The afternoon was spent doing some work. Sideways trees were made for my model and extra layers to help change the seasons. I’m thinking that the greenery on the sideways trees might be quilted fabric, which has different fabrics added over the top.
My main concern is the method by which the seasons are added and taken away. This will be done by the actors and needs to be simple so that we don’t end up watching two people carefully placing rings on hooks for five minutes and then later removing them for ten minutes. My actors are great at acting, but having learning disabilities makes some tasks take a long time. But I’ll discuss this with Amy the Director who knows peoples strengths better than me and this is what a white card model is for. Only one piece left to make and the model will be finished, just the costume designs to do now.
During the day C&RT stoppage notices have been coming in. Also the boating Facebook groups have been filled with photos of the storm damage caused by Ciara. The Pennine waterways have been hit badly as they were during the Boxing Day storms in 2015. Some boats have been left high and dry once the waters receded. In other places there has been damage to the canal infrastructure. Footage of the Figure of Three Locks on the Calder and Hebble shows huge mounds of detritus above the top gates and where the bywash normally is has been totally washed away.
Then the penny dropped with me. Figure of Three Locks is east of Huddersfield and west of Wakefield, making the only currently navigable route into Huddersfield the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. My show in the summer is in Huddersfield, then a week later in York. We’d planned on mooring in Huddersfield for the production week and then cruising to York. Right now to do this we’d need to go back through Standedge Tunnel and cross the Pennines by the Leeds Liverpool Canal. As much as this would be a lovely cruise to York it would take us far too long (109.5 hours) in the window between shows!
Of course things may change between now and the summer. So we will be keeping a close eye on the stoppage notices over then next few months. Currently it looks like I’ll be commuting to work.
0 locks, 0.68 miles, 2 bags coal, 1 straight, 1 wind, 1 right, 1 left, 1 full water tank, 1 empty wee tank, 1 gas bottle, 4 snowy moments, 2 soups, 4 sideways trees, 1 penny dropped, 109.5hrs instead of 27hrs, 2 boaters waiting to see what happens, 4 days till the next named storm!