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.