Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Tuesday 31 January 2012

We have no pulse

Joe is currently in the hold fixing an accumulator to Yarwood's water system.    We had a pressure vessel like this aboard Caxton but putting one on Yarwood escaped our notice so this is the first retro-fit item.  It makes such a difference as it evens out the water flow, eradicating any pulsing caused by the water pump.
Product Description
SHURflo’s Pre-Pressurized Accumulator Tank smoothes water tap pulsations and reduces pump cycling to keep water line pressure up and pump motors cool.  The SHURflo® accumulator tank reduces plumbing system noise, increases the life of your pump and saves battery power.

Monday 30 January 2012

Getting ready for a shake-down

We have been preparing Yarwood for a 'shake-down' cruise early this coming week.  This will the time when we find any bits and pieces that need 'snagging' (putting right) before we up stumps, pull pins and are off again on our aimless wanderings.   We have run all the appliances on board so we know that the washing machine, the tumble dryer and the dishwasher are up to scratch and last night being a brave techno bunny I set up and used the microwave!  Who knows, I could be doing the telly next at this rate...

Joe has found and repaired a leaky fuel filter on the engine; well we hope he has repaired it?
We are having a bit of fun working out the idiosyncrasy's of the stoves and how to keep them running all night but that will come and in the meantime we wake up to a chilly boat but  simply reach for the central heating button..

Sunday 29 January 2012

Booth's aboard...

We had visitors on Saturday.  
We should have these visitors on Tuesday or Thursday  but we were in such a state of chaos that we had to defer them until some form of order prevailed on Yarwood.   By Saturday we were almost there - only the engine room looked like Steptoe's yard by now so when Graham and Evelyn Booth came a calling we were able to locate and break out the coffee and cakies.    Many of you will know Graham from his writing and contributions to Waterways World magazine and Evelyn from her Lockside Antiques business that sells all things for traditional back cabins.   Evelyn has supplied quite a few bits for Yarwood and was happy to offer a novice, like what I am, with some tips about how the traditional back cabin should be decorated.
Graham and Evelyn  in Yarwood's rather bare back cabin - not bare for long though...

Friday 27 January 2012

Two Snake Venom's and ...

Yesterday evening having completed the final bits and pieces associated with handing over Caxton we went for a celebration pint at the local pub, The Weighbridge.   And what a little gem this pub is!  Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) rated and winners of  local Camra Pub of The Year for 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.   Added to the range and quality of the beer is the quality and variety of the home  cooked meals; including a super selection for the vegetarian!  The pub was once a private house, Scarfield House associated with Scarfield Wharf, a former coal wharf and now the home of the Alvechurch Boat Company (ABC). 

We passed this way a couple of times last year aboard Caxton and didn't discover The Weighbridge as it is tucked behind the ABC buildings and not clearly visible from the canal even though it is only a hop, skip and jump from the cut.
If you are travelling on the Birmingham and Worcester canal any time in the future and you enjoy good beer and excellent food do yourself a favour and moor up and give The Weighbridge a try!

We drank a toast to Caxton and to her new owners, Paul and Elaine.
Two Snake Venom's dutifully downed...

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Under garment retrieval service..

I went of at half eight yesterday morning, following the instructions on the SatNav,  back to Caxton to retrieve MY missing undergarments and a lot of other stuff besides.   Coming back I skipped the SatNav bit and the consequent  rush-hour traffic queues through Bromsgrove and the single track country roads with limited passing places of the earlier journey.
I returned with the car stuffed to the roof , unloaded, made lunch, sent Joe on his way back to Caxton for the LAST of the treasures and took the dogs out for a wander south along the towpath towards the Shortwood Tunnel.
The rain of the night before had made a bit of a mess of the towpath but the low lying mist created  quite an atmosphere - Hound of the Baskervillesque  and me with two hounds of the basket-meals in tow...
Oh, lucky me also saw a Kingfisher!
Then it was back to Yarwood to put all the toot away...

The entrance to Shortwood Tunnel on a a moody/misty January afternoon

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Moving in, moving on

Sunday night was our first night aboard Yarwood and our first night sleeping in a 'cupboard'. 
There had been a couple of trips made ferrying our goods and chattels from boat to boat (still more to come) and for the most part Joe has been doing the removal trips and I have been putting things away; that might explain why on Monday morning I have no clean clothes to put on and despite requests/instructions still have no underwear aboard... 
This morning I am doing the first trip back to Caxton, (followed by the flies) , to retrieve my selection of important items as opposed to Joe's which included, engine oil, assorted electrical goodies, tools, empty camera boxes and his underwear and socks. 
Not that I am complaining of course, darling.....

As for the sleeping arrangements...
The boatman's cabin and the 'bed-in-a-cupboard' has proved to be very, very comfortable.   Joe is still in the cupboard as I type this in the saloon; I will let him out soon....maybe

Monday 23 January 2012

My Kingdom for a crane...

Following on from our tales of yesterday and the launch that nearly never was...
After much hanging about the big new yellow crane turned up, (the driver having upset his wife's plans to come a rescue us), and manoeuvred into position.  The confident mobile crane team soon had Yarwood airborne again and gently lowered into the canal..
We had a launch, at last, but it was 4pm by now and we had started eights hours ago and the relief excitement was tempered by weariness. 
We took on diesel and then with Joe and Stuart at the stern and the rest of the group on the tug deck we took our first trip....200 yards in reverse on to our temporary mooring.

By now just to add to the frustrations...the battery in the camera had died so no photo's of the critical bit....
Nephew Jack videoed this though and hopefully he will find a way of sending me the recording so I can put it on the blog.

 Yarwood on her temp. mooring yesterday afternoon

Front hatch doors open showing the internal but weatherproof  'patio' window

Sunday 22 January 2012

Half-a-story is better than...

Half a story is better than no story, to plagiarise a well known song, and, like Yarwood, I am going to leave you hanging on for the finale to yesterday's tale of launch, no launch... maybe launch..

Our day started somewhat earlier than we have become accustomed to we were out of bed by 06.30 and leaving Caxton at 08.00 to drive up to the Barnowl workshop.  The crane had arrived just before us and was preparing Yarwood for the lift onto the lorry. 
The expectations for the day were that Yarwood would be loaded and transported to Alvechurch Boat Centre(ABC)  where the ABC wharf crane would unload the boat and lower her into the canal.  We would then get Yarwood onto her temporary mooring, show family and friends around the boat and then head off for a convivial lunch at a local hostelry.
But, the plans of mice and men etc., it didn't play out as anticipated.

 This crane, this new crane capable of lifting 70tons, soon gets Yarwood balanced and airborne
 Off the ground

 Really off the ground and awaiting the reversing lorry

 Here comes the lorry 


 Ready for the off, it's about 09.20 now and that lorry is 80ft long

Our convoy of Yarwood, followed by Stuart's van followed by Joe and I has driven up the M5 onto the M42 and turned off at Hopwood services at junction 2 and are now wending our way towards the village of Alvechurch.

And in Alvechurch village a VERY tight right hand turn... that took several attempts to get round

 Is he going to make it....without demolishing the shop?

 He did  but what next?

 The access into the Alvechurch wharf is a bit tight for 80' of lorry and tactics are being discussed

 Going for it..

And the next hazard..
We ended up with a multitude of minute manoeuvres, a couple of us hanging on the tree, then the gate, then removing fencing stakes but at last Yarwood is delivered.

Yarwood is strapped up again, this time to the wharf's own and the lift from the lorry begins and then it all stops.  The alarms are going off in the crane, Yarwood is too heavy! 

After much of nothing happening and phone calls to the boss man it is decided that the crane is not up to the job, someone has 'cocked-up' booking Yarwood in.   Stuart has to get another crane in today, or we will be charged a storage charge - this is not going down terribly well as you might imagine.

The wharf crane is used to gently lift Yarwood from the lorry and allow that to go and in the meantime Stuart has asked that the crane we had used to start the day is sent to deal with launching Yarwood.

 Stuart hanging on to Yarwood's stern to stop any swing that will set the alarms in the wharf screaming

 The lorry pulls out from under

And then gently down on some temporary blocks until the other crane arrives in a couple of hours time

Once on the ground were were able to get hold of some steps and provide a tour of Yarwood for my brother Bob and family who had travelled up from Essex and Pip and Roger of nb.Windsong who had joined us from their temporary winter abode on the bank in Corby.
More of which later....

Friday 20 January 2012


Build day 126 - THE LAST BUILD DAY!!!!
Yes, this is the last day of Yarwood's build and this morning she was evicted from the workshop - there wasn't too much ceremony either!

Steve Lambon (of Lambon Boats) turned up to tow Yarwood out of the 'shed'.

 Now you know what Yarwood will look like when she is headed towards you..
The afternoon was spent by Joe and I anyway, loading more kit aboard, while Stuart was taping doors in readiness for transportation and dealing with last minute bits and pieces

 The table cupboard in the saloon - I had just fitted the stools into the cupboard.

and Wilsons of Kinver turned up this morning with the new chairs

Launch day tomorrow!!!

Thursday 19 January 2012

Last knockings..boaty term?

Build day 126
Joe was delivered to Barnowl this morning gripping his overalls - but forgetting his sandwich (it's an age thing) - in readiness for another day of blacking Yarwood.   I have loaded the car with stuff from Caxton and spent the day running back and forth emptying Caxton of our kit and finding homes for said kit aboard Yarwood.  These journey's were punctuated by walking dogs, doing laundry and emptying cassettes etc.  God I know how to enjoy myself!!!

 Stuart had set about the new buttons and tipcats with a 14lb sledge hammer but we still have a bit of a 'sem' but time and age will deal with that... so I believe.

 Another coat of red paint on the bow flair...getting there

 Bungs and cushions in place... and a certain patriotic accent perhaps

I might just add a little more patriotic decor, another cushion perhaps..

 Meanwhile, Stuart has been spraying our stainless steel chimney's of choice with etching primer in readiness for a coat of black paint

And the first coat of black..

Wednesday 18 January 2012

A Rose or three

Build day 125

I took Joe up to the Barnowl workshop this morning with his pack-up and overalls and warmed tins of blacking - the tins had sat by the fire overnight to try to achieve a viscosity suitable for a paintbrush rather than a trowel.  When we arrived Dave Moore was already at work adding roses to Yarwood's side doors and bed cupboard door.

The start of the rose decoration

 And stage two of the rose decoration

 Stage two again

And stage three, finished.

 The pigeon box - Terry is fitting the pigeon box ports and glass

 Pigeon box on situ above the engine 'ole and adorned with it's three bell territ

 Dave Moore roses on the bed 'ole cupboard

 and again..

 Yarwood's registration number painted on

The Club on the back slide

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Paint and Bed Knobs

Build day 124

It's the last minute bits and pieces that were being progressed today, another coat of paint here and another coat of oil for the worktops in the galley and some sealer where the cushion floor meets the galley units.  
Stuart got me to stand on the steerer's step and measured me against the tiller, cutting another inch off it's length so that it felt comfortable.  Joe has brought back a couple of cans of blacking to get them warm enough so he get another coat on Yarwood tomorrow.   The workshop is bitterly coat and the blacking is far too cold to apply with roller or brush, a trowel might work but who wants a stuccoed boat?

 The engine room floor with its new coat of raddle

The traditional bed knobs have been fixed in place

This morning I drove up to Kinver to see Wilson's to get a cover made for Yarwood's tunnel lamp and  they will deliver the cover next Tuesday when they deliver our new chairs. 
Tomorrow Dave Moore returns to complete the back cabin decoration and bring back Yarwood's newly painted pigeon box for fitting and that about completes the build, next step, the launch.