Saturday, 30 July 2016

Shovelling soot; and our locking system

One of the first things I wanted to do today was to look at last night's quiet monsters, the steam engines by the Shroppie Fly. The driver of the traction engine was cleaning the soot out of the smoke box (as I learnt it was called).

This machine was built in 1914.

Whereas President was built five years earlier. The crew must have read my blog as they were scrubbing the cabin side this morning.

One of the volunteer crew, David, invited me into the engine room where he told me how it all worked. Sort of. It's a fascinating piece of kit - I could have spent hours in there.

But we had a schedule to adhere to, so I returned to Jubilee. At the same time Paws 4 Thought was just tying up, so Tony and Pat came aboard for coffee. We set off for Market Drayton at about 1230 and made good progress up the locks. Very unusually I did the steering into the locks while Jan went ahead to open the bottom gates. Having entered a lock Jan closed one bottom gate while I got off and closed the other one, then we walked up to the top gate and raised the paddles each side.

I got back on the boat while Jan walked up to set the next lock. When the lock I was in was full I put the boat in forward while opening the top gate. As the boat moved out of the lock I walked across the stern to the other side to lower the offside paddle, then stopped the boat just clear of the arc of the top gate. I got off, shut the gate and lowered the paddle, then got back on and steered up to the next lock which, by this time, was ready. A fast, efficient system. We encountered no other boats on the Audlem flight. At the top lock we bought shortbread and ice creams from the stall. Going up the Adderley locks we kept to our system but it was a bit slower as we had to wait for boats coming down. At the Adderley Top I bought a pork pie from the farm stall there. The home made butter was tempting but I resisted. I bet it tasted wonderful!

This lovely old building - stables? - was part-way up the Audlem flight.

I was looking out for kingfishers as we saw plenty on the Shroppie last year. I was rewarded by this one perched on a post. It didn't move as we went past - but I didn't have the camera ready so this is on a long zoom. Grr. Still, I got something.

At Market Drayton we used the services, then reversed back to tie up opposite Malcolm and Stephanie's house where we went for a very enjoyable meal and chat.


Tom and Jan said...

Blacksmith and carpenters shops for maintaining the locks

Halfie said...

Ah - thanks Tom.