Thursday, July 18, 2013

Partings and meetings at Stone.

On Tuesday we moved on down to moor just short of Stone. Below Meaford Locks there’s a long stretch of piled towpath with a winding hole half-way along, ideal for me to be able to get at both sides of the cabin.

Staffs County Council are working on a big towpath improvement project, upgrading the stretch from Meaford to Barlaston to speed cycleway standard.

New surface….

…and new edgesSAM_6031
We had a bit of a pause while crew moved everything out of the way for us. In fact, with the amount of traffic on the cut, I’d be surprised if they got much done at all!

Anyone who’s walked this length of towpath will know it was in dire need of repair, and it’s good that the local council have taken it on, rather than C&RT.

It didn’t take us long to get to the top of the 4 locks at Meaford, and we had an easy trip down, mooring below at around 2 o’clock.

Meaford Top LockSAM_6034

We’d had a later start than recently, I wanted to get another coat of paint on the coachline first thing.

Plenty of room on the piling below the locksSAM_6035
We turned around in the winding hole and moored just behind Moore2Life (just visible in the distance). I can get the left cabin side flatted, and, with a bit of luck, 2 coats on the coachline this side too.

Yesterday Chas and Ann pressed on down through Stone. They’re heading for Great Haywood for the end of the month, so we knew we’d be parting sometime soon. Meanwhile we’ll be pottering about around Stone waiting for our appointment with the paint shed at Canal Cruising early in August.

I gave them a hand through the first three locks, then dropped in to see the facilities we’ll be using for the final coats before doing a bit of shopping and returning to Seyella.

Unusual for me to sit at the front of a moving boat….DSC_0123

Waving goodbye below Yard LockDSC_0124
We’ll have to adjust to a quieter life now. We’ve been traveling together since we met up at Great Haywood in March. Cheers guys, see you later in the year, all being well.

I had a welcome interruption in the evening, I was wielding my sanding block and wet-and-dry when Tom off NB Waiouru came toddling up. He’d seen Chas and Ann below Star Lock, so knew we were up here, and walked up to say hi.

We had a good chat, mainly topically about painting, before he took his leave and I had another half-hour of shoulder exercise before calling it a day.

This morning I’d had my early run, showered and broken my fast, walked Meg for 45 minutes up around the common, and was just tidying up a bit when there was a toot from outside and Tom and Jan cruised past.

Tom and Jan, and a fine looking NB WaiouruSAM_6036
It was touch-and-go whether they’d actually be able to realise their ambition of owning a narrowboat, but you’ll have to go to their blog to read the story….

It was good to finally meet you, next time it’ll be for longer! Have a good trip.

The rest of the day has been spent in finishing off the flatting on the left cabin side and marking out for painting on the coachlines. I’m going to do that when it cools down a bit. With it being so warm for so long there’s very little dew overnight so not much chance of the paint blooming. Anyway, it’ll be dry in a couple of hours!

Locks 4, miles 3.

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