Thursday, 17 December 2009

Barging Along

After a uneventful three weeks moored in Walsall wharf 109 returned via the Walsall locks to the Wyrley and Essington where she headed for her Xmas break at Norton Canes Docks. On the same day Mark Pullinger of CanalScape-London sent out some screen grabs from the film "Barging along", he wanted the boats identified. So I got to work on them and WOW suddenly I as looking at "Barnet" loading!

The shot is in Limehouse dock and steel coils are being put aboard, next to her is the original paired butty "Barrhead". She was identified by the public health number which shows up as 181 on a high res scan.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Barnet to Walsall Town Wharf

Barnet made her way along the Wyrley and Essington to Walsall wharf today. the effect of the part dredging in Wednesfield was noticed, the improvement is very good. 10.30AM start was in Walsall wharf at 3.00PM!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Back to Base

Thursday 15th October saw 109 leave Broad St basin and head along the Wyrley & Essington to Norton Canes Docks.

To our suprise the latest dredging and clearout operation was encountered working in Wednesfield, it is really good to see the W&E being maintained in this way, something we have all wanted for a long time.

If this clearout is as effective as the one last year then the W&E will be better than some so called "cruisway" status canals!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Wolverhampton: Broad St Depot

After a sojourn in Gas St 109 moved via the new main line to Wolverhampton but not before we had a look at the entrance to the neglected and listed interchange basin.

From here we went onto Broad St depot. The approach to Wolverhampton is dismal to say the least, even new developments are in a semi state of decay, so much for the city's canal quarter!

Thursday, 8 October 2009


109 travelled to birmingham to attend the BW AGM, the only boat to do so! There it was moored outside and the meeting saw the reunion of two L&H Patrons, vhris Coburn MBE and Dr David Fletcher CBE seen here with L&H chairman Brian Kingshott.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

W&E Survey

Yesterday 29th CanalScape-BCN undertook a private survey of the Wyrley and Essington from Wolverhampton to Sneyd, the findings are published on the group website

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Black Country Living Museum

109 moved from Birmingham last Thursday to a mooring just outside the Black Country living museum, on the way she encountered a nasty obstruction at Summit tunnel, quite literaly part of the embankment had slipped and was floating in the canal! A massive piece of weed and roots which was only partly visible! 1.5 hours and with two boats pulling she got free, we reported the problem to BW.

The boaters gathering was superb with around 50 boats attending. A very full canal arm to say the least. Great atmosphere, boat, trains and good ale - and of course fish and chips, faggots and peas!!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Deja Vu

Today the trusty 109 set of from "The Boat" at Minworth to Birmingham, The B&F was well down and boat traffic was intense, a slow journey into the city. Arriving at Farmers Bridge top lock there was a sense of deja vu, this was the first time back in Brum since 2002, before mooring up we did the grand half mile down to Salvage turn (the Mailbox) and winded.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Huddlesford Gathering

The gathering at Huddlesford organised jointly by the Lichfield cruising Club and the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Resoration Trust was a great success. Barnet reached the mooring via the Tame Valley and Birmingham and Fazeley canals. On Sunday she moved on to Fazeley where she spent the night in the safe haven of BW Peels wharf.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

En-route to Huddlesford

Monday 14th 109 set out from NCD on its way to huddlesford for the LHCRT gathering. Route was NCD to Catshill, Daw end, Rushall, Tame Valley, Bham and Fazeley. Monday saw a Longwood overnight stop, tuesday they reached "the Boat" at Minworth. Daw End was sticky, depth OK but reed growth choking the sides after Aldridge so making little water available.

Rushall locks had an obstruction fouling the bottom lock gate, crew got this shifted and no further problems were encounterd, boat is currently drawing approx 3ft 2" so all those 2ft drafted boaters who complain about the Wyrley may need to think again!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Gearbox Troubles

Three months after commissioning the Blackstone gearbox failed, luckily sticking in ahead. This warranted a complete removal and strip down.

Parts were sourced from Peter Thompson at Uxbridge and a repair executed. Bob and Laurence worked on this over a period of six days but mention must be made of Brian Davis and Stefan Schulz who both helped with the work and also to Mark Williams who fashioned a special tool needed. Graham Edgson helped source the parts and provide workshop facilities.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Monday, 29 June 2009

Brownhills Canal Festival

A few trial runs but very few problems saw 109 ready for service. Final jobs were to equip the boat so it could be used at rallies and shows to promote the BCN, to this end the boat has a TV which sits in the engine room and plays BCN related films. The first event to be attended was Brownhills waterside show, so 109 and its new lady friend "Vienna" 203 set off and enjoyed a hot weekend in the sun

Returning to NCD the final jobs on hand will be to finish fitting a washing facility in the engine room and to sign write the cabin.

Monday, 25 May 2009

CanalscapeBCN Livery

Over the bank holiday weekend 109 had a livery change. Canalscape is adopting a dark blue and golden yellow livery, reminisint of BW but alterered to suit the boat. The boat is in its final stages of prep before being cruised around the BCN's lesser used waters.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Friends Re-United

Further commisioning runs have been made to shake down 109 before more extensive ventures are made. Some problems showed up which had previously missed our eyes, these have now been rectified and join the long list of repairs which have been attended to.

Friday 22nd may saw Keith Grice on a training run down the arm, put back on board to was "Barney" the black squeeky rat, Barnet's former mascot and now returned to the cabin! Mr Morse the yard cat was not impressed.

Barnet Makes a New Friend - Beauty and the Beast

With repairs to the cabin complete I haven't had much to blog about. So I thought I'd post a photo of Barnet with the other resident working boat at Norton Canes, Sarah's Josher, Vienna.

Sunday, 10 May 2009


The first week of May saw several trial runs of 109 down the Cannock extension, these were undertaken to ascertain the amount of removable water ballast required before more solid loading is put in place.

We need more 50 gall drums for sure so the search is on.

Sparky winding Barnet at Pelsall Junction

Cabin Works Completed

Cabin and engine room interiors are now finished, decoration saw both laurence and is ex working in unison! Laurence scumbling and painting castles, Gill adding the Roses. The Roses were all finished in just 2 hours!

Our attention will now focus on the exterior of the boat, converting the Challenger renmants of livery to Blue and Gold CanalScape - BCN livery.

So far all the work has been funded by the core members, Laurence clocking up some 350 hours working 7 days a week over the last two months or so in order to push the project forward. May was the intended completion date for all scheduled work, this was concluded by May 3rd.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Roses ... and Castles

Barnet at Pelsall Common

Castles by Laurence

Roses by Gill Hogg

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Photo Update

Wednesday 22nd April

Tuesday 21st April

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Back Cabin Scumbled

Laurence today completed graining of the Back Cabin in a record time of 5 hours.

Back Cabin Undercoated

Saturday 18th April
Today Laurence finished the preperation of the back cabin and managed to apply a coat of undercoat. The cabin is now ready for graining tomorrow. As you can see the ceiling has been painted white, to make the cabin lighter.

Cabin, Engine Room, Back Cabin & Rudder Repairs

Since the 5th of April Laurence has worked on the boat whenever possible. This has ensured the wiring is finished, the engine room and cabin cleaned and repaired where necessary. Graham Edgson investigated the rudder problem and found it was out of the cup and wedged aft of the skeg, it has been refitted and is fine.

Repainting of the engine room has commenced and Laurence was joined by Bob Williams who started the prep of the boatmans cabin for re-graining and decoration.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Shake Down Day

After some three weeks working on the boat Laurence had all but finished the rewire and equipment fit out. Just a few minor jobs to do before re-decoration could start. Mindful of the hammering the boat had experienced in the hands of BW, Sarah suggested a trial run to see how the boat would perform.

Sunday April 5th was a fine sunny day, the boat was run astern to the Grove basins, the repairs to the flight plate immediately were noted as the boat steered very well – astern. Winding at the Grove a run was made for Pelsall Jcn, stiffness in the rudder at around 100 degrees became very obvious, this may be due to a bent stock or a problem with the bearing.

Winding and returning to the yard the boat performed well with no significant issues. Work can now be done to see the boat through the BSC and re decoration is expected to start very soon.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

The Inspector Came to Call

Morse the cat, inpects the stern tube.