Sorry it's been so long since I posted anything. Since last Spring things have been so incredibly busy that I haven't had time for blogging, which is a shame because I enjoy it. I'm hoping I can start again now as the job is going well and there are enough volunteers for me to be able to sneak off and do a bit of writing every now and then.

"The Job" is the restoration, reconstruction, rebuilding, rejuvenation of the historic 1914 built Runcorn narrow boat "Hazel". It's a job that i've been planning and plotting for ever since we got the boat back in 1988. When finished she will be used to provide holidays for people who are dealing with stress in all its many manifestations.

We got confirmation that we would get some funding for this project at the end of last year, but, having been here before with funding, didn't do anything irrevocable until the money was actually in the bank. This happened in May, so, in June we set off with "Southam" and "Lilith" on an epic trip to Lincoln to fetch two oak logs. 6 days there, a day to load and 6 days back, which is quite some going.

With the timber stacked at Knowl St Heritage Boatyard in Stalybridge, the next job was to get the venerable boat out on to the bank. On 7th July she was towed up the 7 locks to Stalybridge and, the following day, winched up telegraph poles to lie like a beached whale on the slip. Over the next few days she was jacked up and levelled, then the work began in earnest.

It's now the end of September. A new bottom has been fitted, a new stempost has been made, both ends have been spiled, moulds made and as I write Stuart Hughes, my co-worker, and 3 volunteers are dismantling most of the old timber ready to start building the boat up again.