Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Thursday 20 August 2009

Purring like a baby once more ...

Having been lulled into a false sense of security by yesterday’s weather, we slept in till 0930 this morning as it was so dark outside we thought it must’ve only been around 7 or 8am! Ah well, we’re not rushing anywhere.

Our first port of call was the Chandlery a few yards up the canal, and Barry was ecstatic to find two replacement fuel filters for the engine there. It’s been a bit of a challenge to start the boat recently and I’ve been afraid of us stalling or flooding the engine as one can do in a car that doesn’t start easily. It was a blooming expensive visit with diesel, a new gas bottle, a map for the Cheshire Ring and other odds and sods – total bill over ₤188! Yikes! The beans on toast diet is looking likely in the near future …

White Bear Marina at Adlington that lightened us of some of our hard earned cash

Could do with a new bung from the chandlery opposite

Poor old sunflowers are starting to fade from lack of sun ...

Tall, slender & graceful

One man and his dog on a boat! Magic

We’d arranged to meet some friends this evening who offered to take us out to dinner; how lucky are we to know such lovely people? We stopped for a couple of hours along the way to visit Haigh (pronounced "Hay') Hall, a splendid Manor House and gardens close to Wigan. I walked there early afternoon leaving Barry to do the male engine maintenance thing (happy as a pig in s--t!) and replace the fuel filters, which he accomplished during the time I was away and now the engine starts first time and purrs like a baby.

On the approach to Haigh Hall there is a small passenger railway with rides for ₤1 which I thought I’d have a go on to cheat and see the grounds from. On alighting into one of the carriages a small voice said “Look at that lady mummy, she’s getting on the train without her children!.” Bless her, out of the mouths of babes and all that! I said that my children were all grown up and now I was a child again, which she found puzzling but amusing and waved furiously at me as the train left the platform.

The fairy forest walk to the Hall

Train ride around the grounds

A lovely ride thank you

Haigh Hall is another wonderful building, but is not open to the public to view. It’s hired out for weddings and other events (, but one is able to access the entrance and the old staircase which are both magnificent.

Haigh Hall

Barry took a bike ride to the Hall after I returned to the boat and then we set off to our mooring point of New Springs, right next to the commencement of the 21 locks to Wigan that we’ll face tomorrow.

Side of Hall looking out towards Wigan

Part of the Wigan skyline

The chandelier in the foyer area

Looking up at the central dome above the staircase
Count Dracula in the painting

The stairway to ....

The dome

Main stairway

Sandra getting creative

Must be the coat of arms

Back through the forest

The mooring parking place for our visit to the Hall

Barry the diesel mechanic

A cheery lot of day hirers on the way back

Jean and Jeremy collected us at 7.30, and we set off for The Red Lion at Haigh for a delightful meal. We had a very enjoyable evening; I haven’t seen Jean for almost five years and have never met Jeremy, so it was great to spend time catching up and getting to know one another.

Sandra, Jeremy & Jean well fed and appropriately watered

A big day tomorrow then, I hope the lock keeper is going to be available to help us through the 21 locks …

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