Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Harlequin and the bilge

But first I have to show you the photo Jan took of The Straddle yesterday evening.

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This morning involved a brisk walk back into the city to the Chinese supermarket near the indoor market.  There was only one item on the list, ground ginger.  Jan finds the ginger from the Chinese supermarkets much stronger than anywhere else.  Apparently we are going to be rewarded with ‘ginger gems’ <yum>.

Paul (from CV Marine) had recommended The Harlequin as a good local pub for our Sunday lunch.   It’s a 10 minute walk from the canal basin.

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There is a pedestrian walkway alongside the River Don.  The Harlequin has a tired look about it.  Almost as if all the effort is being placed on the beer and food rather than the building.

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A wide range of beers and ciders were available.  I became slightly adventurous and Jan was pleased to find a pub with a good selection of ciders.  The meal was plentiful and very tasty.

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If anyone does go to eat there; a word of caution.  They only take cash!  Fortunately by pooling our resources we had just enough for the food and drinks.

The Aizlewood’s Mill is located adjacent to the pub.  Built in 1861 as a flour mill on the site of the former nursery gardens of Sheffield Castle and alongside Sheffield's first railway which carried grain from the cornfields of Lincolnshire.  It was one of the first mills in Britain to use the iron roller reduction method of milling.  The grain would be carried across a bridge from the railway goods yard into the top floor of the building before descending by gravity though the various milling processes.

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It’s now refurbished and a small business centre.

Our walk took us over Lady’s Bridge which is the oldest bridge in Sheffield.  The first bridge on this site was built in 1150. In 1485 the original timber bridge was replaced by one made of stone.  This bridge could only be used by pedestrians as it had a set of steps at each end.  The bridge also had a chapel at one end dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  It was from this chapel that it got the name Lady’s Bridge.  It has subsequently been widened at least three times and over the centuries has survived a number of major floods which have swept other bridges away.

20160529-P102070320160529-P1020706The arched entrance to the canal basin. 

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The arches provided support for the railway which delivered coal to the basin from nearby mines.

Last task for the day was to do the annual cleaning and repainting of the dry bilge.  When I first painted the engine compartment white the local marina staff suggested it was a mistake and I should have chosen grey.  However my logic was the white would make it easier to see anything requiring attention rather than concealing it.

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A wire brush, cloth and vacuum cleaner removed all the rust and failed paint.

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All this bending over and reaching beyond my toes is starting to get beyond me! Smile

But I got carried away and also managed to paint the drainage channel around the engine compartment hatch.

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I’m now going to have to find the enthusiasm to do the floor either side of the engine.

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