Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A surprise visitor and a change of plan.

We moved down to Anderton on Sunday, to wait for the arrival of a visitor on Monday. Howard, Mags’ son who now lives in Ireland, decided to make a flying visit over to see the family before Christmas. He arrived on Monday morning, and stayed the night. Mags was kept in the dark (with difficulty) so she was delighted to see him.

Howie and a sleepy Meg
I’ve already mentioned the fine walking around here. There are several carved sculptures scattered around the park.

Beaver

The boat lift, salt works and a salt barge in stone.

The boat lift
The main entrance to Anderton Nature Park
The colours look a little off as these were taken on my phone, and I had the light set on “incandescent” rather than “outdoor”, which gave them a blue cast. Doh. I’ve had a bit of a play in my photo software, but they’re not quite right.

We need to get diesel and coal, so decided to have a run up to Thorne Marine at Grappenhall on the Bridgewater. We could get what we need locally, but we may as well go somewhere different for a few days. So, after waving Howard off, we set off ourselves.

Howard’s car is in Ireland, having it’s MOT (it’s called ITC over there, apparently), and needs some parts. He was quoted nearly £400 with a 3 week delivery over there, so we had a ring around and ordered them from the local ford dealer. Less than ½ the price, within 3 or 4 days. H had to fly back for work tomorrow, so I was to collect the bits and post them on. No problem, we’ll be up to Grappenhall and back before they arrive. Or so I thought.

We came out of Saltersforth tunnel, after about an hour, to receive a voicemail from the dealer. He’d pulled a few strings and got the parts this morning. They were ready to collect.

So we went on to the next winding hole, about a mile, turned around and came back through both tunnels, mooring up at the edge of Marbury Wood again. This is about the closest spot that’s pleasant to moor. It’d be nearer at Wincham, but then we’d be right alongside the main road. From here, Meg and I had a pleasant 2 mile each way walk to get the bits, mainly through the nature park.
We’ll head off again in the morning (sunshine and showers forecast), stopping at Barnton to drop the parcel off at the Post Office.

I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who’ve heard that the government is proposing to include BW property in it’s £16bn asset sell-off to reduce the public debt. British Waterways are becoming more dependent on income from this source, as government grants are cut year on year. Losing this funding would be potentially disastrous for maintenance and future restoration projects. It’s not being over dramatic to suggest that less popular waterways may be closed to concentrate the available budget on those that see more traffic. After all the hard work that’s gone into restoration and improvement over the last 40 years, it would be criminal to let it all slip back.
If you feel the same way, please sign this petition. The more pressure we can put on, the more chance the powers that be will reconsider this proposal.

Locks 0, miles 8

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