Today we took "Forget me Not" and "Hazel" to Marple. Our guests were people who have been dealng with depression. It was wonderful to see them enjoying the positive ambience of the boat and the waterway. That's what "Hazel" is for!
At the end of March we organised a trip from Ashton to Bugsworth and back over a long weekend, Friday to Monday. Unfortunately only one couple, Mary and David, booked a cabin, but we ran the trip anyway.
The weather was glorious, if a bit chilly at night. The Friday took us to Chadkirk, where lovely gardens run down to the canal and there's a mediaeval chapel, holy well and is handy for access to Romiley. On Saturday we worked up the 16 Marple locks and along the upper Peak Forest canal, turning off up the Bugsworth arm where we tied in the former interchange basins.
Sunday was an easy pootle back as far as Strines, where we tied under magic oak trees, then on Monday, down the locks again and back to Ashton. Our guests have now signed up as crew.
"Hazel" between Hyde and Gee Cross.
Kim steering at Romiley.
"Hazel" at Strines.
Phil demonstrating where not to stand when steering "Forget me Not".
A tight turn on the upper Peak Forest.
One of the drawbridges.
Peak Forest scenery.
Joan steering "Hazel"
Declan enjoys sitting on the roof.
while granny steers round another turn.
David tries motor boat steering.
While Mary steers the butty.
Magical oak at Strines.
Brewing up on Monday morning.
Aaron works the drawbridge.
Woodley railway bridge.
"Hazel" was restored to be a Well Being Boat, specifically for people who have been suffering from depression, stress related illness and other mental health problems, but really, for everyone who needs a bit of a lift. So far everyone who has travelled aboard her has reported that she has improved their state of mind in some way (even when we ran a trip in torrential rain).
We're now adverising a long weekend trip on March 24th to 27th. There are places available in the back bedroom, £70 a night for 1, 2 or 3, the side bedroom, £60 per night for 1 or 2, and the forward salon £25.00 a night per person with a reduction if you book all 3 places. If you're interested post a comment and I'll get back to you.
"Hazel" was booked for a birthday trip on Saturday 1st October so we loaded up our guests at Portland Basin and towed her with "Forget me Not" to tie near Marple aqueduct. The weather was sunny and the water up to weir level so it was a really good trip with good company. Our guests really enjoyed it. We left them there as some of them were staying overnight, running back to Portland Basin with "Forget me Not" ready for the recycling trip on Sunday morning. Once again this was in wonderful autumn sunshine, we had a great bunch of volunteers and a good haul of saleable stuff to go to the charity shop.
After the trip me, Tony and Aaron took "Forget me Not" back up to Marple ready to bring "Hazel" back on Monday. For the return trip our only guest was Bridget, who was testing the boat for wheelchair friendliness. She's suggested a few modifications but thoroughly enjoyed the trip and I hope she'll be back as a volunteer. Here's a few pictures of the recycling trip and the Sunday evening trip up to Marple
Click on the link for a video.
Here's another video link to click.
The days seem to be rushing by at the moment. I can't believe it was nearly a week ago that we set off back from Bollington. we spent the first day going nearly to Macclesfield to wind then heading back towards Marple. Here are a few pictures from our trip.
We decided to take "Hazel" to Bollington near Macclesfield for a gathering of historic boats. I tried to get some paying guests to help subsidise the trip, but without success. We had the usual problem of concessionary guests dropping out (to be expected when people have depression and similar conditions but very frustrating when you're offering something wonderful for free). At the last minute we got a couple of guests from Greystones http://greystones-ashton.org.uk/ who seem to have benefitted from the trip enormously. It was a lovely sunny trip up the Peak Forest canal. At Hyde we were stopped briefly by a shopping trolley which can be seen in some of the pictures being carried on "Forget me Not". We spent the first night tied near Marple Aqueduct http://www.marple-uk.com/aqueduct.htm
after a really pleasant trip from Portland Basin up the Peak Forest canal. We had a really good group of volunteers to get us up Marple locks where "Hazel", being a butty, has to be bowhauled (pulled by human power) up the 16 locks. http://www.marple-uk.com/aqueduct.htm
At the top of the locks we turned into the Macclesfield canal and, unusually, there was plenty of room on the visitor moorings, so we tied up there.
Next day we had a very pleasant, if windy, run along the Macclesfield Canal to Bollington. http://www.macclesfieldcanal.org.uk/