Summer Hoildays

Effingham’s 2 Week Summer Holiday

Miles Travelled: 181
Locks Completed: 149
Windles lost to the canal: 1
Broken Glasses: 6
Total number of phones in the canal: 1 (Sorry Andrew)

Off On Effingham We Go….

Well the summer is well and truly over now, with the frosty morning and chilly evening. What better time to sit beside the lit stove and reminisce about the lovely two-week holiday we had on Effingham.

Day 1 – Alvecote – Brinklow

Setting off nice and early we left Alvecote Marina, where we had left Effingham on the Bank Holiday weekend. Our plan was to travel as long and late as we could so that we could make it to Birmingham a day early, to allow us a day exploring.

Day 2 – Brinklow – Long Itchington

Day 3 – Long Itchington – Top Lock @ Hatton

Eeekk… That’s a lot of locks!

Day 4 – Hatton – Hockley Heath
Day 5 – Hockley Heath – Gas Street

We had a lovely sail from Hockley Heat to Gas Street and moored up in Gas Street basin (Something we regretted that night). We had lot of people asking if we were a trip boat! Wanting to get on and go for a sail.

After a quick clean up, we decided to go out for a meal and a wonder. Mmm Pizza. We headed back to the boat to watch a movie and settle.

Gas Street was very busy that night, we had a gang of young lad get onto the planks on the boat!! To say the least we were not happy! Going to sleep we were slight uneasiness, but never the less we needed sleep.

Around 4am there was a loud bang, as someone ran along side the boat hitting it, and carried on to the boats behind us. At least he only hit the boat, right? Wrong 30 Minutes later we noticed we kept hitting the side, popping our heads out to check, someone had untied our front line! It was not a good night.

In Gas street we got to meet Collingwood and Anson, the only other boats built in the same style of Effingham.

Day 6 – Birmingham

What a wet day! It poured and poured and we sat and waited. We were to be joined by the rest of the Historic Boats, so we could all sail together in convoy to the Black Country Museum tomorrow. Whilst we were all in Birmingham we followed tradition and went to the pub for a curry!

Whilst having our meal and a few pints we watch the students celebrating fresher week. We saw everything from The Thunderbirds, to a Lobster and tins of beans! Every costume going.

Day 7 – Birmingham – Black Country Museum

After a fun night in Birmingham we set sail for the Black Country Museum. Doing it the Effy way instead of following the Birmingham New Line we followed the old line. Taking all the loops, we could find it was an interesting sail.

Our one worry was if we would fit the locks going up on the old line. When we first came to the locks there was already a problem with the second lock. We all had to sail backward back to the junction. Just as we got to the junction we where told it was clear again, so back up we went.

The first lock was a tight squeeze, having to lift all the ffenders up and keep the tiller pointing to the right, we just about managed to close the gate with just millimetres to spare.  The second lock was the worse of them all! Although we fitted in again with just millimetres to spare, the gate lock wouldn’t shut!

We had a foot gap left to close the gate, we tried to open and closed the gate a couple of times, trying hard to shut it. We tried to flush out whatever was stopping the gate from shutting. In the end we got the poles out and started raking the floor. Finally, after 20 minutes of trying we got the gate to shut! Onward an upwards!

Finally, we arrived at the Black Country Museum, our home for the weekend. Time for a well-deserved pint and some food.

Day 8 & 9 – Black Country Museum Festival

An amazing weekend with everyone. We explored the Black Country Museum, going down the coal mine, enjoying our fish and chips. Overall it was a brilliant weekend.

Day 10 – Down Wolverhampton 21 – Get Coal- Wheaton Aston

An early start to the day, we set off at 6am ready to tackle Wolverhampton 21. Some of the pounds on the 21 were low, but that was no problem for us, as we had our good friend Andrew with us. Cycling ahead to set locks we flew down them without a problem.

At the bottom of the locks we took a left heading to John Jackson’s yard to collect coal that he needed delivering to the Weaver. Effy’s first proper load of coal for many years and a first time for us to steer her loaded with 7 tons of coal. To get to John Jackson yard we had to reverse! After the last lock before the yards, we winded in the winding hole and set sail in reverse.

Arriving at the yard, Lynx and Australia were also getting loaded full of coal. Once loaded we set off, heading for Wheaton Aston.

Day 11 – Wheaton Aston – Top Audlem

Another late night, but we wanted to get to the top of Audlem so that we could set sail early in the morning. We had tea while we sailed, and enjoyed ourselves.

Day 12 – Top of Audlem to Middlewich Branch
Day 13 – Middlewich Branch to Anderton

We are nearing the end of our journey, which is always sad, as we love being out on Effy. But also this was a great day for us too, as it was the first time, and most likely the only time our two boats met. Moored along side each other it was nice to have Sheba and Effingham together for the first time.

Day 14 – Stayed at Anderton

We had a days break, giving us some time to go collect the car which we left at Alvecote marina. We had a quick lunch before travelling back to Effingham

Day 15 – Anderton to Acton Bridge

Down the lift we go, with our friends on Mervyn. It’s was Mervyn’s first trip on the Weaver, and it was very exciting. There was nothing better than making lovely bow waves and we even got to go down a massive lock.

Effingham Was left on the Weaver ready for the Acton Bridge steam festival. We had a lovely holiday and enjoyed every moment of our sail.

View all of Effingham Holiday Photo’s

One Big Weekend

Alvercote Marina

One Big Weekend

What a weekend it has been for Effingham, sunshine, beer and boats. What more could you ask for!

This August bank holiday weekend Effingham has spent her time down in Alvecote Marina. Joining in the fun at Samuel Barlow One Big Weekend event.

But Before Effingham could join in the fun, she had a trip from Yarwoods, where she spent some time getting spruced up a little, to Alvecote.

31st July

Starting with her quick trip up Anderton Boat lift on 31st July, and mooring up at Anderton ready for her next trip. With having to work the sail must be spilt up into smaller sails, and try to move her as far as we can each time we set sail.

2nd August – 4th August

On August 2nd Effingham spent 3 days sailing from Anderton to Great Heywood Junction. Of course, with a few pub stops in between.

Harecastle Tunnel
Harecastle Tunnel

18th August – 19th August

With one more journey to make from Great Heywood Junction to Alvercote Effingham set sail on the 18th for her late-night sail.

Late Night Sail
Late Night Sail

Mooring up at 2.30pm she had covered quite a distance, not to far away from Fradley junction. With one last leg of the journey to go, we set sail at 6am to reach Alvercote around 11am. Time for some food and a pint!

Fradley junction
Fradley junction

Whilst at Alvercote we loaded up Effingham with 1 ton of coal off NB Whitby, not quite a full load, but it’s a start!

25th August – 28th August

Yay… Bank holiday weekend! With means boat festival time! What an amazing weekend it was, with some amazing people and boats.

Eekk, Effingham’s first attempt at turning around didn’t quite go to plan, and she may of hit the bank just a touch 😉 . But there was always Sunday to try again, which the second time did much better.

Effingham and Whitby attempted the 360 turns. What a show that was! With neither of the boats successfully turning the boats right round (without hitting another boat too!).

At night it was lovely to see the illuminated boats, listen to the music and drink with our friends.

Soon enough Monday came around. Feeling a little worse for wear after the night drinking we decided to watch the parade. It was lovely to watch all the boats turn around, and even the 3 boats ( 2 motors and one butty) turn around.

We had a lovely weekend, lovely food & drink. We will see you all again next year!


Summer Time

Summer time is here and so are the list of summer jobs.

Summer time is here and so is festival season. After having a lovely weekend at Lymm it was time to put Effingham in Yardwoods for a few weeks and give her a spruce up.

Painting Effingham’s load numbers

Since we first had Effingham the load numbers on the front have needed to be painted back on, which are a bit hard to paint when you’re floating in the water.

Since being in Yarwood’s basin, and having a Kayak with us, we decided that one of us could get in the Kayak and paint the numbers on the front.

On the first sunny Saturday in Yardwood’s, very hung over I should add, we took to the water with a paint brush in hand to paint the load numbers.

Tying the Kayak up secure with a rope from the Kayak to Effingham, painting the load lines began.

Painting Effinghams Load Lines

About 45 minutes later, the load lines where nicely painted.

Effinghams New Load Numbers

Time for a play in the river on the Kayak and a few pints for a job well done.

Painting the Planks

Effingham’s planks haven’t been painted since the first coat of paint they had when they were first purchased. With having them in the sun light they have started to fade, so it was time to paint them.

First thing first we needed to get them down, but that was no problem for Devon.

With the planks down and the sun shining we got to work painting the planks, with a tea break in between, the planks took no time at all to paint.

Painting Effinghams Planks

Planks painted, it was time to set off to Anderton boat lift, with our picnic, to go do the On Top of The World Tour.

On Top of the World Tour

Effinghams has spent many years from when she was first built going up and down Anderton Boat Lift carrying salt, coal and other material.  So it was time to see the lift from a difference angle.

Anderton Boat Lift

We had a brilliant guide who took the two of us around, explaining each different life stage of the lift and why certain thing where changed. It was a lovely insight into the lift, and well worth the money.

The tour took us from the bottom of the lift, up to where the boat enter the lift, to the old control room, then up onto the top of the lift where all the old gears wheels are, before making our descent back down.

It was an amazing experience, and we would recommend it to anyone, money well spent!

on top of the world tour


Lymm Historic Transport Festival 2017

There is nothing better than a good old festival, friends, food and best of all drinking!

Saturday 24th June 2017

Setting sail on the Saturday morning from Booths Town to Lymm ready for Lymm Historic Transport Festival, we had 17 miles to cover.

Booths Town to Lymm
17 Miles Sail

Our sail took us through Worsley, Salford, Sale, Dunham Massey before finally reaching Lymm.

Arriving fashionably late after everyone as normal, we moored up ready for a night of food and drinking.

Sunday 25th June 2017

By far both of us had a hangover.. heads pounding and not wanting to get up, we where both awaken by the arrival of the parents. Painkillers and a sausage butty down us we where ready to face the day ahead.

Not letting the rain stop us we explored what the festival had to offer, looking at the classic cars and the steam engines.

Steam Engines

Heading back to the boat for a cuppa, to dry off  and have some lunch, we were grateful for the warmth of the stove (which we didn’t think we would light again till the winter).

Soon enough the weather cleared up, meaning we had time to clean Effys’ brasses ready for the parade. Brasses done, we where then ready to set sail to turn around for the parade.

The wind was not our friend for when we where turning around, but we (Well Dev) still managed.

NB Effingham

A lovely parade to say the least, with a cheering crowed as we sailed back through Lymm, before mooring up for some tea.

NB Effigham Sailing through Lymm

After tea Effy set off sailing for one last trip of the day with her buddy Mervyn to a place called Moore about 5 Miles away.

After a lovely day and weekend with friends and family, its time for one last beer.

Thank you everyone for a lovely weekend, and the organisers of the Lymm Festival.



Exploring Effinghams Past

How often do you get to find treasure? Everyone’s treasure is different to everyone elses. Just like this information about Effingham is no less than 24k gold to myself.

Not too long ago I received an email from a gentleman who captained Effingham in the 1960s for BW. They where located at Anderton lift and were known as the NW fleet. He has gotten his old diary and noted other trips of interest, and he is kindly shearing it with me.  I will be shearing it with you.

Some trips of interest include;

Parbold on the Leeds and Liverpool with concrete piles
Bentonite to Wolverhampton via the Staffs and Worcs

He has already given us some valuable information:

“When working boats travelled empty we put water ballast under the cabin and engine room. We put enough to put the counter flat on. The expression we used was to give us fan hold. Pumping out of the water happened before we loaded.”

As well as an insight into Effingham in her younger days; carrying Feldspar from Portugal, loaded at Weston Point Docks on the R.Weaver with 20 ton of it. She made her way to Dolbys potters millers in Stoke on Trent, there they where crushed for the glaze on pottery.

Effingham loaded with Feldspar from Portugal, loaded at Weston Point Docks on the R.Weaver with 20 ton of it.
Effingham loaded with Feldspar from Portugal, loaded at Weston Point Docks on the R.Weaver with 20 ton of it.

It’s not very often we get to find out more about Effingham and what she carried, I look forward to finding out more about her and the adventures she had, and I will shear them on her for everyone else to enjoy too.

Burscough to Liverpool Docks

Total Number of Locks: 6

I have been looking forward to this sail for a long time, and the time has finally arrive to set sail and head for Liverpool.

This will be the first time I have taken Effingham into Liverpool, or even past Heaton’s bridge! It has been a good while since even I have traveled by boat into Liverpool.

Setting sail on Thursday 27th April myself and my fellow crew member Megan, who had joined me for the first leg, headed towards Heaton’s Bridge.

Burscough Facilities
Burscough Facilities

As always, first stop is at Burscough Facilities to empty out and fill up. A lovely evening sail, with a bit of a chill in the air, but nice to be moving as always.

Finally, after reaching our destination, Heaton’s Bridge, it was time to moor up for the night and hit the pub for a well-deserved pint or two.

Up bright an early the next day, Friday 28th April, breakfast had, brasses cleaned and ready to set sail once more. A different crew member joined me today, Martian, who enjoyed steering a Historic Narrow Boat.

After a few hours and a swing bridge or two, I final arrived at my destination for the day, Mersey Motor Boat Club in Lydiate.

Moored Up By Mersey Motor Boat Club

Saturday 28th April, the final leg into Liverpool! Setting sail nice an early we headed to the first CRT bridge, Hancock’s Bridge, Wango Lane Aintree. Within minutes of setting we where already  stopping! The first swing bridge we came to was broken!

Having to wait for CRT to come out at 8am, we settled down for a well deserved cuppa. Soon enough we where off once again, back on course for Hancock’s Bridge.

Getting there for 9:15am, we wait for the bridge to be opened as well as two new first time crew members to join us.

With our crew totaling at four, and through the CRT controlled bridges we were ready to head to the Eldonian Village.

Getting to the top of the locks for 1pm, we had enough time for a cuppa waited for CRT to let us down the locks and our final descent into Liverpool.

Sailing Through the Pier Head and into Mann Island Lock. Wind was a bit nippy!

Through the Albert Dock and we are here! The Salthouse Dock, Liverpool. Time to Moor up for the week and get ready for our Beer Festival!

Moored Up at The Salthouse Docks



Late Night Sail

11th April 2017

A peaceful sail from Heatons Bridge to Burscough.

With a crew of 3 we set off heading for the winding hole at Scarisbrick Marina.

After turning around to head to Burscough our first crew member left us, to go for a pint of course.

After a lovely peaceful and calm sail in the night air, we finally arrived at Burscough.

Hello world!

Effingham has begun her new online journey with a brand new flashy website! How exciting considering that when she was first built there wasn’t even the internet!

With her new blog up and running, you can take a trip with Effingham where ever she travels to.

Our gallery will be filled with lots of amazing photos of all her trips out, as well as all the old images from when she was much younger.

There are a few big trips planned for this year, along with festivals.

One last thing, Effingham was lucky enough to be part of the joint winner of The Hemelrtk Award alongside Enterprise No 1 this year (2016), an Award for the restoration of iron/steel/composite narrow boats. Effingham would like to thank everyone at the Historic Narrow Boat Club for this award.