The Invisible Tap. 28th June

Tilly Trees to Smith’s Bridge 14

Happy Birthday to my Big Brother, my only brother. His birthday meant there were celebrations to be had onboard Oleanna too this morning. When I was a kid I would be given a present on Andrews birthday as he would get presents on mine due to it being Christmas Day. Today for my other birthday I was offered a cooked breakfast.

A touch of ketchup on the side

We’d fallen short on suitable things for a full spread, but managed quite well. I grated a touch too much potato for some hash browns and Mick cooked some mushrooms and scrambled egg. Due to the amount of potato, we had free form hash brown rather than cakes. Very nice.

That’s a lot of window for a small boat

Pushing off at about 11:30 we wanted to find somewhere with less tree coverage, today was set to be windy and at times very windy. We considered only moving a short distance, but in the end moved on to Higher Poynton.

A proper telephone

Passing Lyme View Marina we noted a big banner advertising their new launderette then waited to spot familiar boats. The blue Narrowcraft Boat is still on line along with the boat with a proper telephone (Post Office 746) under someone’s pram cover, wonder if it’s connected. We used to have a red one in our kitchen in the house, it would ring and occasionally get answered, but everyone on it was quite faint (wonder if an engineer could have fixed that!).

People, lots of people

The long line of boats on the approach to Higher Poynton is still there. The length of towpath is popular with continuous cruisers as it is close to a road and is 14 days.

Connecting the hose

We pulled in under Brownhills Bridge where a water point sits opposite the winding hole. Blimey the towpath was busy, plenty of walkers about and the benches either side of the tap were filled with interested people. There was enough room for us to hop off and get the hose filling our tank whilst answering numerous questions.

Filling the tank

Mick headed off with rubbish whilst I did other jobs including putting a brush of Fertan on the mended gas locker hinge which after last nights rain had already started to turn orange!


So many people about. Many were stopping at The Trading Place for chilled medication or a coffee. The chap in the shop was busy on a project blocking the doorway so orders had to be requested and then passed out past the hazard tape.

Four boats sat in the short arm at Braidbar Boats. Two primed hulls sat very high, awaiting engines and most probably ballast. Then two highly shiny newly finished or almost complete boats, another two sat out of the arm on moorings across the way. We were surprised that four of these boats were semi-cruisers and more shockingly they all had chrome fittings!!! What will the owners do to fill their time now they no longer will need to polish the brass at frequent intervals?

Wonder which one would have been headed for Crick Show

Once the tank was full we pushed away continuing a bit further before pulling in to moor. NB Cleddau sat on her mooring, waiting for Sue and Ken to take her out on a cruise. Under Smiths Bridge we pulled in where the towpath growth seemed a touch shorter than elsewhere and before the huge pylon crossed the cut.

We’ve yet to meet Ken and Sue

We’ve been here before and this mooring required extra shore leave rules for Tilly. Four years ago Tilly had vanished at this mooring, out before breakfast and not seen until after dark. She had us walking round the whole area calling for her all day as the wind eradicated her scent. So it was just as well she didn’t seem too keen on all the walkers on the towpath today and didn’t venture too far from the boat until of course the walkers thinned out with the heavy rain!

But it’s raining!

A birthday phone call to London was made, all is good with the London Leckenbys. Andrew had opened his presents in the monring, then they’d been for a long walk, returning to cook a stuffed fillet of pork as the ice cream maker was churning some chocolate chip, vanilla and almond crunch medication. What a shame we couldn’t join them!

Before the woofer got swept away

How to spend the afternoon? What to watch? I suggested, tongue in cheek, Little House on the Prairie. Mick found the pilot film on Youtube. We managed quite a lot of their journey to the prairie, all the time concerned that their small woofer seemed to have to walk all the way behind the wagon, through winter and spring. We lost interest once the dog had been swept away by a river, a sulky daughter was making her father pay by walking the remainder of the way to their new life, head hung low making Michael Landon feel very guilty.


Next choice I wasn’t allowed, not surprising really, Some Mothers Do ‘Av ‘Em. But my third choice was possibly the best, Roobarb and Custard. We watched a whole episode of the 70’s wobbly cartoon.


A roast chicken then distracted us, maybe it was just as well!

0 locks, 2.35 miles, 1 tap, 1 full water tank, 1 monkey, 186 to 189, 2 semitrads, 0 brass, 1 cat with a fan club, 1 cat staying close to home, 1 soggy moggy, 2kg roast chicken, 2 cheeky boaters.

6 thoughts on “The Invisible Tap. 28th June

  1. Kenneth Deveson

    Well, Pip, how good it is to see Cleddau, albeit via a photograph on screen! Thank you very much. Our ‘Techno Son-in-Law’ lives relatively locally and he has checked her out a couple of times since we were last there in early March…
    I do really enjoy your blog, both for the canal perspective and for your involvement with theatre.
    The link you posted earlier this week about the young Red Arrows in Scarborough I’ll be sending on to the Cal Guy grandsons, both avid Red Arrow fans who saw them in action over San Diego last September.
    So thanks on several counts!
    Enjoy Bugsworth – it will be our first destination once we cruise again…
    Sue/ Boatwif/ nb Cleddau

    1. pipandmick Post author

      Thanks Sue, glad to have been able to bring you a sighting of Cleddau. She was still floating when I walked past yesterday too! Half way to Bugsworth today as places we’d ear marked to stop at were already full with familiar boats from our trip this way four years ago. Glad you enjoy’d the Red Arrows. I was heftily involved in their production of Orpheus a few years ago, helping make the giant puppet which towered over Valley Bridge in Scarborough.
      We’ll warm up a mooring at Bugsworth for you.

      1. grampyd

        Pip, when the Red Arrows they flew the Folland Gnat which was powered by a Bristol Sidley Orpheus jet engine. Any relationship to the Orpheus production?
        PA to Boatwif

  2. Dave (Scouts)

    Hi Pip. Depending on if it was a 706 or 746 it either wanted a new Receiver-inset 4T or a strap moving if it was 706.

    1. pipandmick Post author

      Mick says that it might even have been an 8746! We’ll look when w’re next at the house
      He’s fairly sure it wasn’t the receiver and thinks it was something else. Maybe he’ll have another look at it whilst I’m redecorating the house on my own!

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