26th to 28th April 2013 Thursday 26th April at 06:15 was cold but clear with a light but chilling wind. A gravel barge (Battlestone) was heading south on the rising river past West Stockwith Lock mouth as I arrived at the basin. There seemed to be no signs of life at the moorings. I parked…Read More
18th/19th April 2013 On Tuesday 16th April, with an air of anticipation, Python’s crew untied ropes at her home mooring for the last time until October and she set off on her 2013 World Tour. There have been a lot of people who have been very busy on board through the winter, at least when…Read More
Tuesday 18th September 2012
Python is relaunched at Wyvern Marina
Python has had it’s cut down rudder reinstated to full size. The hull has been inspected, some possibly suspect rivets welded, the stern tube repacked and an automatic engine room bilge pump fitted. The boat has been tested to see if the leaks can be replicated. The hull has been blacked by volunteers.
24th August to 6th September 2012
My husband Dave and I had volunteered to crew Python for two weeks of her tour. Going on board at Alvecote Festival, moving her on to Shackerstone Festival and then to Fradley to hand over. Although we have both got lots of experience at steering different boats and we have our own boat, our experience of Python was very limited and it caused us some concern when the news came through from the previous crew that she was taking on excessive amounts of water into her bilge ! We were advised to arrive at Alvecote at the earliest opportunity so we could monitor the bilge pump to stop her sinking! For those of you who are not familiar with Python the accommodation is best described as basic. Camp beds in the hold under the “cloths”. This was going to be our summer holiday! We both enjoy a modicum of comfort and here we are volunteering to take charge of an ancient bit of iron which has the most basic accommodation on board and was slowly sinking. What on earth possessed us to do this? I took a deep breath and reminded myself it was going to be an adventure! I heard my subconcious cry “But I don’t do camping!”
19th August 2012
I rose early on a glorious sunny Sunday morning to await the prompt arrival of my chauffeur, Michael Edwards. After proceeding onward to pick up fellow crew-member Maurice Marsden, we sped swiftly down the M1, A38 and A50 to Stoke and then Market Drayton, to arrive at Tyrley wharf at about 10:30.
4th July 2012
A reasonably early departure and a slow journey across the Pennines (by road) saw us at the boat by late morning. It was raining most of the way, but got heavier as soon as we had finished loading the provisions. The next exercise was where to leave the car safely and, once left, how to get back to Python. We decided to take the car to Church Minshull and arranged to leave it in the pub car park some 5 minutes walk from the canal. There is an Arriva bus every half hour back to Northwich and it was a little over a mile from there to walk back to the boat No problem except the rain was relentless and we got a taxi in the end.
After setting off from Middlewich, the first lock on this deep section of the Trent and Mersey was wide, but there was no boat to share it. Strangely the next locks were narrow and boats appeared from all directions especially at Wardle Lock where quite some interest was shown in Python. Despite all the rain, the Middlewich to Barbridge stretch was slow going and we bottomed under several bridges.
The Badger, where we left the car, turned out to be excellent for food and drink and reasonably priced too.
8th June 2012
Getting up, I was prepared for a two day cruise to Middlewich which I thought was going to be great with the 1 ½ mile long Harecastle Tunnel. Then I heard this from the BBC News “The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for wind in South West England, the Midlands and the South East, and for wind and rain in Wales. Flood warnings and alerts are in place for Wales and Southern England as the weather system moves North East.” We were in for a right trip!Read More
2nd June 2012
Python cruised from Newark-on-Trent past Castle Marina, where we had a brief stop last year, through Stenson, Fradley and Stone and then onwards into Stoke mooring at the Etruria Industrial Museum, which is next to a BW yard, for our first festival – the Etruria Jubilee Canals Festival.Read More