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Techy and I were recently Uri Geller'd at a canalside tearoom! :chuckle:

Post about it -
#14,607
Follow-up post -
#14,610

The cutlery arrives before the food and is delivered in a metal tub with the napkins. So we'd have noticed right away if the fork was bent.

Techy used it to eat some of his meal. He couldn't have eaten with a fork bent at right angles!
The bend seems to have appeared while we were buttering our toast.
 
We liked the Tavern but the way there was a bit treacherous.
It involved cycling on the horrific A49, not a choice I'd normally make.
Maybe come on the lanes via Wrenbury and then for the last couple of miles get on the canal at Marbury to avoid it; ?
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Anything in it about the Leeds Liverpool were it passes behind Rufford Old Hall ?
Slightly off topic but the mention of Rufford Old Hall makes me shudder. The first attempt to go there and then current Ms Me starts a major row (out of nothing) so I simply turned round and dumped her at home. Second attempt resulted in both nearside tyres blowing out simultaneously (contractors wagon had dropped a bag of nails ). Third attempt - Ms PeteS had a full leg plaster on but wanted to go, so after much shoehorning her into the car, we set off only for me to start with very violent back pains a couple of miles down the road (kidney stone) so she had to call an ambulance whose crew when arrived paid more attention to her than me (one of the crew starting chatting her up, assuming apparently that I was her father). I dare not try to get that place again!
 
Slightly off topic but the mention of Rufford Old Hall makes me shudder. The first attempt to go there and then current Ms Me starts a major row (out of nothing) so I simply turned round and dumped her at home. Second attempt resulted in both nearside tyres blowing out simultaneously (contractors wagon had dropped a bag of nails ). Third attempt - Ms PeteS had a full leg plaster on but wanted to go, so after much shoehorning her into the car, we set off only for me to start with very violent back pains a couple of miles down the road (kidney stone) so she had to call an ambulance whose crew when arrived paid more attention to her than me (one of the crew starting chatting her up, assuming apparently that I was her father). I dare not try to get that place again!
:rofl:
:nods: Cursed.

There're couple of places where Techy's had repeated bike mechanical failures.

One is the back of Reaseheath Agricultural College, most notably during lambing when visitors are being shepherded heh across the road and we have to dodge the jaywalkers.

It's Lambing time again, which I mentioned to Techy just before his pedal crank decided to separate from the frame.

What did he expect? :dunno:
 
I walked it last year and as far as I remember that bit was fine (I can't remember what time of year it was though).
Very muddy in a couple of places when I walked to it from the other direction on Saturday, (but it always has been).
Heh, as I'd suspected, sounds like crap then! :chuckle:

Towpaths have to be paved to cycle on safely for any distance.
Yup, I know there are adventurers out there who don't mind getting covered in crap and might even enjoy a choice of falling in or colliding with a barbed wire fence*, but having tried it I'm not keen.

*I chose the fence. Didn't end well.

We did approach via quiet lanes but had to take the last stretch on the A49.
There's a cycle path there which we'd assumed was worth crossing the road for as it would certainly take us to the Tavern turning.
It turned out to be short, unkempt and downright dangerous. Yup, I have indeed kissed worse.
 
Heh, as I'd suspected, sounds like crap then! :chuckle:

Towpaths have to be paved to cycle on safely for any distance.
Yup, I know there are adventurers out there who don't mind getting covered in crap and might even enjoy a choice of falling in or colliding with a barbed wire fence*, but having tried it I'm not keen.

*I chose the fence. Didn't end well.

We did approach via quiet lanes but had to take the last stretch on the A49.
There's a cycle path there which we'd assumed was worth crossing the road for as it would certainly take us to the Tavern turning.
It turned out to be short, unkempt and downright dangerous. Yup, I have indeed kissed worse.
I've not been on the canals for over a decade since my wife died (no crew to work the locks ;) ) but I do remember the appalling state of the towpath in places. One that is (or was) pretty good is the restored part of the Montgomery canal south from Queens Head bridge - I walked it several times back in the day.
 
Maybe come on the lanes via Wrenbury and then for the last couple of miles get on the canal at Marbury to avoid it; ?
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Cheshire is so great for cycling and ghosts.

En route to Willeymore we passed Combermere Abbey, where the ghost of the late owner was reputedly photographed on the day of his funeral.

Further north we have Marbury Country Park. Used to take my kids there, mainly on the off chance of meeting the galloping ghost of The Marbury Dun, the finest horse that ever run.

Or perhaps that of the Marbury Lady, who legend has it was an Egyptian mistress brought back from foreign travels by Lord Barrymore.
She died at a great age of natural causes, or alternatively young of a broken heart, and there are various accounts of the haunting which crucially involve the disposal of her corpse.

She was buried under the stairs or in the grounds or even mummified and stored in a cupboard, or thrown in the Mere, interred in the churchyard and her bones later retrieved and kept in a wooden chest in the house because her ghost demanded it...

The Marbury Lady was seen walking the grounds or sometimes rising a white horse.

Anyway, the mansion is long gone and nobody knows where the bones ended up, and I've never found the Dun's grave, but it's still a lovely spot. :)
 
We've noticed that the female crews are sent out to do the donkey work while the men perform the more important task of steering with a hat on.
And also get down into the freezing cold canal to cut the fishing lines off the propeller. But yes, I had a hat on. I usually do.

TBH I don't know why Trina didn't want to drive the boat - she was a petrol head on land. I think she enjoyed the opportunity to chat with whoever else was hanging about the lock. I can assure you if she wanted to drive she'd have had no hesitation in insisting.
 
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And also get down into the freezing cold canal to cut the fishing lines off the propeller. But yes, I had a hat on. I usually do.

TBH I don't know why Trina didn't want to drive the boat - she was a petrol head on land. I think she enjoyed the opportunity to chat with whoever else was hanging about the lock. I can assure you if she wanted to drive she'd have had no hesitation in insisting.
I've always found the boat people to be a funny crowd - I've hiked many miles of towpath, and will generally say hello to everyone I meet - but the boat people seem to be a closed community, some will respond to my greeting in a fairly guarded way, many will just turn their backs so they don't have to greet me, or just ignore me. Maybe I just have that kind of face :hahazebs:. As always, there are exceptions.
 
I've always found the boat people to be a funny crowd - I've hiked many miles of towpath, and will generally say hello to everyone I meet - but the boat people seem to be a closed community, some will respond to my greeting in a fairly guarded way, many will just turn their backs so they don't have to greet me, or just ignore me. Maybe I just have that kind of face :hahazebs:. As always, there are exceptions.
You never met my wife. She was, let us say, a forceful personality. In the nicest way. I'm something of a loner - to have someone one in my life who could engage pretty much anyone on anything was a revelation (if that's the right word)
 
Yep those staircase locks have wrecked many a happy marriage.

:omr:
Hard work, all those locks. I love it. A beautiful sight. :)

Here I am at the Bunbury Staircase.
We donutted a passing TV crewe there a few years ago. :cool:
The second and third photos are from the show. Techy has the yellow shirt and the pink clobber is mine.
 

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I've always found the boat people to be a funny crowd - I've hiked many miles of towpath, and will generally say hello to everyone I meet - but the boat people seem to be a closed community, some will respond to my greeting in a fairly guarded way, many will just turn their backs so they don't have to greet me, or just ignore me. Maybe I just have that kind of face :hahazebs:. As always, there are exceptions.
Where we live there are mainly hired boats so we see lots of enthusiastic day trippers and holidaymakers. They are WELL up for a wave. :)

We sometimes take a squash break at a lock, greet the boaters, see them into the lock and then pedal off to another lock further along. They scratch their heads a bit when we're already there. :chuckle:
 
I guess it might be common, nationwide, for each canal to (supposedly) have a resident ghost. Accounts of the one by my place sound really clichéd, and this makes me suspect that the story is nonsense (i.e. a ghostly lock-keeper, who is apparently seen swinging a lantern or something similar). It comes across as the kind of off-the-cuff, made-up tale children tell in order to scare each other.
 
There's some association of British water ways with the uncanny in fictional form: Robert Aickman co-founded the Inland Waterways Association along with LTC Rolt who wrote numerous ghost stories, along with non-fiction about canal and water ways.
LTC Rolt also wrote books about railway gruesomeness such as accidents and ghosts.
 
I've always found the boat people to be a funny crowd - I've hiked many miles of towpath, and will generally say hello to everyone I meet - but the boat people seem to be a closed community, some will respond to my greeting in a fairly guarded way, many will just turn their backs so they don't have to greet me, or just ignore me. Maybe I just have that kind of face :hahazebs:. As always, there are exceptions.
I wonder if they get the same, "It must be such fun to live on a boat...!" from every passing soul that they just turn their backs to prevent eye contact
 
I wonder if they get the same, "It must be such fun to live on a boat...!" from every passing soul that they just turn their backs to prevent eye contact
Maybe some are just holidaymakers from big towns where people don't say hello to each other. I'm from a small town that has changed a lot over the last 10 to 20 years with London overflow. You know who is an "old local" (increased ethnic diversity aside) from whether they say hello when you meet them either early in the morning or in the countryside on the outskirts.
 
When I was young, we sometimes used to ride the horses in a wood at the top of which was an old canal route. I was thinking of this earlier and had a google because I might have been misremembering, but I found a map that showed the ‘old canal’.

Anyway, it was a strange wood as it was, then, mostly pine (My uncle did some Woodland Trust work there later and the trees are now more mixed) The pines made it quite gloomy but there was a track, lined with ferns in the more open parts where you could ride. But the top of the wood where the old canal had been was eerie. There was still some water there, and moorhens etc, but both my horse, my aunt’s and a friend’s pony would spook as soon as they got near it, no matter what the weather or time of day. In the end, after I nearly got bolted with, we didn’t go up to the top again.

It was a pleasant ride up to a point, if very quiet, but once you got near the top the atmosphere became very oppressive, yet it was the edge of the wood. It could be the nicest summer morning, yet it always felt dark and ‘grey’ and threatening.

I never heard anything about ‘why’ that part was so uninviting but we’d just avoid going up there. We’d ride so far and turn back.

The Wilts and Berks Canal Trust have now leased the land and want to do a clean up of the old canal after removing the rubbish that’s been dumped there over the years.

The wood is locally called the Fox Covert (which is what I always called it) but otherwise Uffington Gorse Wood.



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Wilts and Berks Canal Trust
 
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