Sunday was a lot drier if not a little windy and so I re-painted the engine ‘ole and back cabin slides and also gave ‘the biscuit tin’ vent a coat of green. I also gave the large brass mushroom ventilator a good polish. When I got there Ling had gone for the other side of the bridge and Brian told me that they had left about 8.00pm the previous night after I had gone home.Monday was another great day, especially as it was our 13th wedding anniversary and I gave Dawn a really special day down at Minnow working! What more could a girl ask for ( we are going out for an Italian meal tonight though) When I looked at the newly painted slides, the wind had blown loads of bits off the roof of the industrial unit next to our mooring and so those had to be re done. I scrubbed the hose on the front of the cratch then mopped and wiped all the cratch cloths down and then set about fitting the new rockets and even though I say it myself, they look good.
Monday, 31 May 2010
Monday, 24 May 2010
Well Summer’s come at last I hear some of you say, and I know I should not moan, but I’m one of those who hate the sun and hot weather. As soon as the sun starts blazing down, I run for the shade and this last weekend, god it wuz ‘ot. My philosophy is that no matter how cold it is you can always put another layer of clothing on, but when it’s hot and you’re down to your last layer there’s nothing else you can do! Spent the whole week end down on Minnow working. Most of the time it was just too hot for painting but we did manage to red oxide the timberworks including top planks, cross beams and mast and stands as well as blacking the gunnels with bitumastic, getting the second coat of varnish on the back cabin top and the first on the bow cabin, I have also managed to make a start on re-blacking the false floors with creosote and bitumastic. I have also ordered some new cotton line to make a new set of rockets for the cratch as the old ones were worn out and rotten.
One of Minnows sister boats was moored the other side of the bridge ‘ole all weekend, Sarah Edgeson’s newly acquired ex British Waterways maintenance boat Ling, although I did not see anyone on the boat all weekend.
Thursday, 20 May 2010
They sell a good range of food and supplies including organic and ‘green’ foods and products, gifts, boat fixtures and fittings magazines, books and bric a brac to name but a few so please drop in if passing or even for diesel or a pump out. (There you go Viv there’s your free advert) By the end of the hour, Email addresses and mobile phone numbers had been exchanged and even discussions of a mini boat gathering that involved food and beer. Sounds like a good mixture to me, so until then,
Don’t bang ‘em about.Blossom
Monday, 17 May 2010
Whilst discussing the merits of Large Woolwich engine ‘ole tops I thought there may be some reading either Chertsey woman’s, Dove’s or my blog who may make use of a little boat identification as far as Grand Union’s are concerned and so I have come up with this. There are many variations amongst the boats built for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company and when one has mastered the various types identification is relatively easy. First of all the ‘classes’ of boats, while I strongly disagree with classes of boats, I will use them for ease of description.
Grand Union’s break down into three main classes, Town class, Star class and Royalty class these in turn, can be broken down into builders incorporating such yards as Wakers of Rickmansworth, Harland and Wolff of Woolwich, W J Yarwoods & Sons of Northwich, James Pollock & Sons of Faversham, The Steel Barrel Company, Uxbridge and Woods. Again these can be broken down even further into Large and Small and in some instances Middle. ( depending on the built depth of sides) Some were of wooden construction, some were of composite and some were all steel construction, majority were flat bottomed and a few were vee bottomed. All the Small and Middle boats are ‘Star’class and the large boats are ‘town’ class, although some of the ‘Stars’ are other heavenly bodies such as Moon, Comet, Planet, Meteor, Sun, Venus etc. and some of the ‘Towns’ are cities, .such as Birmingham, Belfast, Bristol etc.
Ok clear as mud now! It is no wonder that some people find it difficult to tell the difference so I thought I would add my two pennyworth just to confuse, forgetting for the moment all the wooden boats, as these are quite distinctive and readily identified. The all steel riveted large motor boats split into two groups. These can be identified by their alphabetical names A-H (Aber to Hawkesbury) are large Woolwich boats while H-Y Halsall to Yeoford are all large Northwiches. Another and easier way to identify them is by their construction/design differences.From the counter. All Woolwich counters, both large and small, have only two equal tunnel bands around their counter
From the bows, (Northwich at the back, Woolwich nearest camera) on Woolwich boats the side plates are riveted through the flanges of the stem post on each side of it while on Northwich boats the side plates overlap each side of the central stempost and are riveted through from the side.
Also the top of the stem post on Woolwich boats finishes level with the top of the deck, while Northwich stem posts continue over the top of the top bend and then return to the deck. And so that’s it, at least I tried
Sunday, 16 May 2010
Had a really enjoyable day down the boat on Saturday and feel as though I am starting to finally get on top of the jobs resulting from the Winter and in readiness for the Summer boating season. I really need to get my finger pulled out as we are off in four weeks for a fortnights holiday. We are going down to Middlewich on the Trent & Mersey for the Middlewich Folk and Canal Festival over the 18th – 20th June then going to take a week to come back via the Shroppie, so I have to really get stuck in to get the boat ready. A start, though, has been made with the flywheel cover.
I would have given the cabin top another coat of varnish but, There were far too many ‘sugar fairies’ in the breeze.(dandelion seeds) and as I said to Brian off the next boat to ours, if I had of varnished it would have ended up as a mohair finish!
Friday, 14 May 2010
Making the ocean plait mat for the cabin top got me into the ‘ropework’ mood and so on Wednesday night I decided to make Dawn a mast dropper which she has been going on about for twelve months. She only want’s one so she can talk about it (it’s only because of it’s alternative name which refers to a donkeys appendage.)
They both retired two years ago sold everything and bought a boat to live on and are enjoying every moment. Spent most of the night talking canals on such subjects as ‘cabin roofs’ ‘nice places where to park’ and places with ‘tight corners’ what’s all that about? One thing that did come out of the conversations which I never knew about Paddy was that although I knew he did his stint in the Royal Navy, I never knew he actually spent a year with the RN’s canal based submarine and frigate. Which had been talked about recently on CWF.We popped down to our moorings to show them Minnow and start the Bolinder for them, then it was back to our house for drinks and nibbles.
We had a cracking evening catching up, Thanks Pat & Lucy and have a good trip down the Coventry, and as always, don’t bang ‘em aboutBlossom
Monday, 10 May 2010
Or to put it correctly, we’ve now got a mat for our cabin top.
Let me start with an apology for the previous post was written yesterday and should have been posted yesterday, but we went out with my daughter and son-in-law and my two grand daughters last night and I forgot to post it before I went. So I haven’t gone mad doing two blogs in one day, just catching up so to speak.
It does not matter how careful you are when using a cabin shaft properly, for closing bottom mitre gates when going downhill, knocks, bumps and scratches are inevitable on the cabin top as the shaft is put back. Back in the early 1970’s when Charlie Atkins Jnr was working the tug Bittle for BWB and living at the top of the Old Thirteen in Brum, he made two ‘mats’ to place on the cabin top for the cabin shaft hook to sit on. Clive and Pat Stevens who used to run Battersea and Barnes still have theirs, unfortunately I let mine go with Bingley when I sold her. I have never had another as I did not know how to make them, but I do now. I was browsing the net and came across a site for dolls houses and there, as a door mat was an identical mat to the one Charlie had made me. It was called an ‘ocean plait’ and the article went on to explain how to make a miniature one for a dolls house out of white cotton string, but it went on to say that by using larger diameter rope a full sized one could be made. After spending most of Sunday in the garden moving soil and weeding, I came in at tea time and proceeded to make a mat for Minnow using about 20 foot of 6mm white polypropylene ( yes I know it should be cotton line and scrubbed but this will do for a starter)
The rest of the evening was spent painting a swag of roses and daises on the flywheel guard which has already been painted the same colour as the engine, (Mid Brunswick Green)
Can’t wait until the week end so that I can fit the guard to the engine. There’s just the day tank that I want to decorate with a few roses and then that’s it, no more embellishments. I promise, that it so long as nobody Bangs ‘em aboutBlossom.
Sunday, 9 May 2010
Rain, rain and more rain. Went down to Minnow on Saturday but could not get any of the jobs done that I really wanted to as it poured down most of the day. So I spent the day tatting about in the back cabin. Wire brushed the range then gave it a good black leading followed by brass polishing which included Fiddle rails on range
Four brass bed knobs
Back door handles
Ticket draw handle
Towel rail over range
Nine pot hooks
Star horse brass
Four mini brass windlasses
And not even started on the engine and so do I like polishing brass – no I hate it – but I do like to see it.
Brought the engine flywheel guard home with me as I needed to drill some extra holes in it, as I am moving it further back towards the engine so that it catches any oil that spins off the flywheel. While I have it at home I will also paint it. Here’s hoping we have some better weather next week end and I can varnish the cabin tops and get on with some of the jobs I need to get done before we head off for the Middlewich Folk and Canal Festival on 18,19 & 20th June.
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
Just a quick update really, took the piston down to Minnow on Tuesday and spent most of the morning lying on the cold floor of the engine hole with my hands through the air intakes fitting the big end bearing back together.
Connected, shimmed and tightened the two bolts in the big end then rotated the flywheel several times by hand to check free movement of piston/crank/bearings etc. oiled the big end bearing with the oil can before putting the two air intake covers (Bells) back on. I now turned my attention to the top end and fitted, bolted and tightened the cylinder head. Another new asbestos string gasket for the hot bulb followed by assembly of the hot bulb, the water jacket, the spindle assembly then finally the oil rod control.
By early afternoon the Bolinder was all back together and the lamp was put on. Ten minutes pre-heating and second kick and away she went with a crisp sharpness to her beat. For the next couple of hours I ran the engine and played. The rest of the afternoon was spent ber-bonking, twiddling and tweaking until I was once again happy with the performance. By tea time I had packed all the tools away cleaned all the black oily hand prints off the engine and engine ‘ole and left for home a contented man. And so, because I am in such a good mood, you can bang ‘em about as much as you want !
Monday, 3 May 2010
PISTON RINGS ALL GUMMED IN
With the piston suitably bagged up, I headed off home as my daughter, son in law and new grand daughter were coming over after four.Monday Spent most of the day in the shed working on the piston with paraffin, old kitchen knife and some 200 wet and dry. By tea time all the crap had been removed and the rings all moved freely within their grooves.
ALL CLEANED AND MUCK REMOVED WITH RINGS FREELY MOVING WITHIN THEIR GROOVES.
Dawn is back at work tomorrow but I have the day off so I will be re-fitting the piston etc. and hopefully starting the engine in correct mode so until then, as always
Don’t bang ‘em aboutBlossom.