Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Tyler Wilson and the GPS

A colder day but not rain as I write this post.  This morning we moved off the mooring and winded (turned) to get onto the services.  Actually we were about to move when another boat arrived and went directly onto the facilities moorings.  It would appear they weren’t aware the basin is managed by CV Marine and had assumed they were CRT facilities.  This isn’t the type of recreational activity to adopt if you’re in a hurry and we were content to wait.  Eventually Paul did our pump out and a good rinse for £10 which was excellent value for money.  We then spent ¾ hour waiting for the two water tanks to fill.  Once that was completed we moved back onto the mooring and reconnected to the shore power.  Whilst all that was going on Jan started a steamed pudding in the slow cooker and cooked some piklets <yum>.

After lunch Daniel and made a trip to Tesco via the nearby Tyler-Wilson Boatyard.  This is where Waiouru started her life and I’ve always wanted to return here to thank Tim and Jonathon for their assistance when we had our problem with Ben Harp.  I had previously met Tim Tyler back in 2011 when he assisted us with the recovery.  I’d only spoken to Jonathon on the phone.  Suffice to say we walked through the main gates to see two people standing by a forklift.  I recognised one of them as accompanying Tim at the Crick Boat Show in 2012.  I introduced myself and asked if Jonathon was available on to be informed I was speaking to him <oops!>.  He informed me Tim was also at the yard and working on one of their new builds.  So I managed to meet and thank both of them.

20160531-P1020722One of the three fabrication sheds beside the canal

I also asked it it would be possible to take a photo of nb Oleanna as we knew she was in the yard.  Mick & Pip, she was in the paint shop.

20160531-P1020721 It was a bit dusty as she was being sanded back after a coat of undercoat.  I asked when the internal fit out was scheduled to start and was informed “Maybe next week”.

The route to Tesco took us via the riverside walk and you can see in the next photo how they managed to extend the walkway by suspending it through the bridge arch.

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As we reached Tesco I realised I’d been here before.  In 2009 I had been looking to buy a Garmin Oregon 500 gps and the cheapest seller was in Sheffield.  We planned our holiday route to include Sheffield and I remember purchasing the gps from a car dealership with Pentagon on the wall.  It seemed strange to find a car dealer selling hand held gps units.  On that occasion our visit to Sheffield must have lasted all of 40 minutes.  Now we’ve returned and stayed a week.

20160531-P1020724 Tomorrow we are booked to go back down Tinsley Flight and commence our return to Bramwith Junction.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Meadowhall Centre

Some retail therapy today with a trip to Meadowhall Centre approximately 5km northeast of Sheffield. We took the ‘Supertram’ which is the local light rail public transport system. 

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If any readers travel this way then it might be useful to know the OAP bus pass is accepted for travel.  Saved us £8 for two return fares.  The light rail route mostly follows the canal.  Unfortunately the shopping centre is located adjacent to the Tinsley Flight and as transit through the flight is CRT assisted it’s probably not possible to stop and moor.  Still, the Supertram is an easy way to visit.

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Supertram route

The Meadowhall Centre is built on the site of a former steelworks and with over 280 stores, is the largest shopping centre in Yorkshire.  It was constructed by Bovis and is 50/50 owned by British Land and the Government Pension Fund of Norway and was opened in late 1990.

Jan purchased a replacement pair of shoes in Blacks followed by a trip to Lakeland where she bought a combination pineapple peeler and slicer.  No doubt t will prove to be very useful when we eventually return ‘down-under’.

After our roast yesterday lunch today turned into a bit of a disaster.  The food hall is on two levels with the more upmarket dining establishments on the upper level (no seating available) and the troughs for the peasants stuffing themselves with fast food on the lower (packed like sardines).  We eventually managed to snaffle a table in the ‘Spoons’ and then after looking at the menu realised options were very limited.  In the end we all opted for a burger.  They were delivered very promptly.  In fact I think they beat the sound of the microwave ‘ping’.  Obviously the chef had been having fun playing “hide the lettuce”.  Eventually each of us found our small piece of green stuff under the meat pattie.  I wouldn’t want you to think we didn’t enjoy the meal.  We must have because I had it twice later in the afternoon and Jan had hers three times.

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Not a vacant seat…. but then it was a public holiday!

We missed the first tram back to the boat because I had wandered off to take photos of the adjacent canal.  But they were running every 5 minutes so it wasn’t much of an issue.

Later in the afternoon I completed the last of the annual preventative maintenance in the engine compartment.  Well that’s what my back and hamstrings are telling me!  All that’s left is some tidying up.  After removing all the stored items from the compartment I realised we don’t have enough oil for the next service (a major service) so it will be yet another trip to Halfords when we reach Doncaster later in the week. 

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.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Sheffield Food Fair

The Sheffield Food Fair is on this Bank Holiday Weekend and we decided to see what was on offer.  However there was one object I’d noticed walking back to the boat yesterday which I wanted to identify.

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An extra tall mosque minaret attempting to complete with the church spires?  Today my curiosity was slated when we reached the Peace Garden.

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With that conundrum solved we wandered around the food fair admiring the numerous tasty morsels.  I thought I could see my tipple on the poster but I suspect Jan thought I was number 2 or 3.   

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No free samples! Sad smile

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I do have a sweet tooth but managed to resist… only to regret later!

There was a good crowd who all appeared to be enjoying themselves.

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In the end we opted for the Hog Roast.  A bun filled with a generous portion of shredded roast pork, stuffing and apple sauce.  The pork was delicious but the sauce and stuffing had no taste.  Afterwards we walked to the Moor St indoor market where Jan purchased some locally made sausages and two bags of mince.  A BBQ is on the agenda.

Back at the boat I was prepared to make a start on the annual cleaning and repainting of the bilge when Paul from CV Marine pointed out an available mooring inside the basin.  Two new boats had arrived and were looking for a vacant visitor mooring so we decided to move.  It’s a rather nice mooring in what was probably one of the coal loading wharfs.

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Friday, 27 May 2016

First Impressions

These days Sheffield is at the far end of a canal with a flight of locks at the very end.  It’s therefore probably not surprising that numerous boaters don’t bother to make the journey opting to turn at Bramwith Junction for the River Trent or Leeds.  However we think these boaters don’t realise what they are missing.  Sheffield is proving to be an interesting destination and we have extended our planned stay for a few days to see more.

Today we went exploring some of the city.  The route from the canal basin took us to the main railway station which has obviously undergone a major renovation.  The water feature at the front was rather attractive.

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The new looking indoor market is located in the SE corner of the inner city.  We wandered around the stalls but managed to resist parting with our money.

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Our son wanted to visit the nearby Decathalon outdoor store for a new shirt but came away empty handed.  The walk back to the canal basin was via a different route and this is where we noticed a rather unusual building.  It is clad in stainless steel and appears to have a major vent in the roof.

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On the other side it had a name “the HUBS” and on closer inspection I identified it as the University Student Union

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We were obviously in the university quarter of the city as there was another building around the corner.

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Hopefully it’s sufficiently large for you to read the text.

Walking in towards the centre of the city we passed the cathedral.  You can read about the cathedral here.  What interested me was the contrast between the old part in the right of the photo below and the new to the left.  Why?  I did wonder if it had suffered bomb damage in WW2.

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Wikipedia doesn’t mention damage during WW2.  During the last 100 years the cathedral has been renovated, extended and realigned.  This new extension was completed in 1966.

Paul from CV Marine has informed us there is a food festival this weekend and suggested the Kelham Island Museum is well worth visiting.  Apparently this Monday the River Don Steam Engine will be operating.  It’s a 12,000 horsepower (9 MW) steam engine built in 1905 to power an armoured plate rolling mill.  Much of this armoured plate was used in the construction of the Dreadnought class of battleships.

Mick & Pip,  My plan is to visit Wilson Tyler next Tuesday.  I’ll ask if they will allow me to take some photos of Oleanna.

Vic & Pete,  Yes, we were aware you are very familiar with the location and thanks for the heads up regarding the kiwi burgers.  We can probably supply the beetroot. Smile

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Sheffield Canal Basin

This morning we went for a walk around the canal basin to obtain an impression of its history and facilities.  We’re currently on the 48 hour visitor moorings but have been informed they are actually 72 hour.  Another thing we noticed…. the basin moorings don’t belong to CRT.

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The visitor moorings are on the right as you enter the basin.  They extend under the busy city ring road bridge which means they are not quiet.  Currently there’s only ourselves and one other boat on the moorings.

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Looking into the basin from under the bridge

It would actually be hard for another boat to moor immediately behind us.

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Yes, it’s very shallow.  However the moorings are relatively isolated because the area is in a ‘dead end’ for pedestrians.

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You can see Waiouru and the other visiting boat to the left with the busy ring road behind. The basin turns to the right at the end  where there are finger moorings.   The boaters facilities are on the left beyond the red and blue boat.  There are showers, toilet, elsan rubbish, water and pump out.  The latter is operated by CV Marine.  I also noted there was a cage full of gas cylinders (Paul I’ll check this with CV Marine tomorrow).

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Immediately in front of the visitor moorings are additional moorings for commercial craft.  A very large trip/restaurant boat is currently on these moorings.  We guess it goes no further than the top of the Tinsley Flight.  Even then I’s not want to meet it at any of the bridge holes.

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Around the corner a building straddles the basin.  I recall reading it was built here when the canal company ran out of room.

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The above photo was taken from the far side looking back into the basin.  I was rather surprised the area of canal on this side of the basin didn’t have moorings.  It appears moorings here are at a premium and this part of the basin appears under utilized.

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A few moorings could be fitted in here!

And what is the name of the building straddling the basin?

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There was one other unusual object noticed during the walk.  You might be able to see it in the next photo.

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OK…. a closer look

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It’s an unloading chute (vertical bucket conveyor belt).  My guess is the chute could be lowered vertically into the hold of a boat and remove it’s contents up into the warehouse.  The chute consists of a chain of buckets.

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End of the chute

I know there were many coalfields in the general area but I’m not sure whether this style of chute would have been suitable.  Maybe it was used for grain?