Trip Group : 1980s Canals
- Canals 1980 - 4 Counties Ring
For our 4th canal holiday it was decided to take 2 boats for 2 weeks from Rugby and to cruise the "Four Counties Ring", adding the Caldon canal and much of the Warwickshire Ring as well. Cabin boats Guillimot & Greylag were hired from Willow Wren.
- Canals 1981 - Cheshire Ring
By 1981 the popularity of boating had become such that no fewer than 6 boats with over 50 participants toured the "Cheshire Ring". The weather was poor and I did not take that many pictures, however the holiday was memorable for all 6 boats' crews crammed into the "Newton Brewery" pub in Middlewich on the last night.
- Canals 1981 - BCN
A cheap off-season hire of Brummagem Boats' "Kleo" took in as much of the BCN as we could manage. Netherton Tunnel was closed and Dudley Tunnel too small, so we went the long way round to Kidderminster and back, followed by a trip right to the end of the Ridgeacre Branch, now severed by the Black Country Route at Swan Village.
- Canals 1982 - 4 Counties Ring
By 1982 the canal bug had begun to bite, and we managed 3 holidays totalling 4 weeks in all. The first one was in March when we took a Brummagem boat round the Four Counties Ring. This was Helen's first canal trip, and Norah came along as well.
- Canals 1982 - The Big Ring
Many month's planning went into this one, and we hired two 50' boats from Middlewich to do the Big Ring via the Leeds & Liverpool and back up the River Trent and T&M. The calculations showed that with around 9 or 10 hours' cruising, we should make it easily. However, a couple of weeks before we set off, Preston Brook Tunnel collapsed and we had to start out via the Macclesfield and Rochdale canals. With a severe water shortage, we repeatedly found ourselves missing lock opening times, such that it was the Wednesday of the first week before we reached the Leigh branch of the Leeds & Liverpool. Barton Swing Aqueduct then shut for its 2 week maintenance, so we were obliged to carry on round. This we did, and even had half a day to spare for a run up the Leek branch of the Caldon. Not a trip I would repeat as we were setting off at 06.00 and not stopping until 21.00, often without a lunch break.
- Canals 1982 - BCN
A second Autumn trip, taking a Brummagem boat to Worcester andt then back for a couple of days on the BCN.
- Canals 1984 - 4 Counties Ring
After my marriage in June 1984, canal holidays became less frequent as Helen was none too keen, especially with some of the other participants. However, one that was taken was an out-and-back trip from Middlewich to Wolverhampton via the Shropshire Union Canal, along with a loop via Stewpony, Brierley Hill and the New Main Line. This trip is most memorable for the boat getting hung-up on the cill of the top lock at Audlem (I was ahead lock-wheeling so failed to supervise correctly) and bending the skeg and rudder.
- Canals 1985 - Leicester Ring
I managed to persuade Helen to come with the lads on a Spring tour of the Leicester Ring, where we went anti-clockwise hiring "Guillemot" from Willow Wren, Rugby.
- Canals 1987 - Stourport Ring
With Helen 6 months pregnant with David, we spent a week with Mother and Helen's brother Allan hiring "Beauty" from Brummagem Boats.