It’s the middle of the month and the latest map updates have just been published.
Our England & Wales map is now at Issue 42 with the monthly updates – nobody else can match that for regular updating. We’ve collected our own updates while cruising over the past month, a few regular contributors have fed me details of the updates they have spotted, and a few customers have been kind enough to email changes they have spotted.
Whatever the source of information, once we’ve made any checks to validate the information and make sure, for example, it’s a permanent change and not just a facility that’s out of action for repairs, it goes straight onto the master map. Then, around the middle of each month, all the maps that have changes on them are reissued.
When you obtain a map from us you not only get the most up to date maps to start with but you the first year of updates by download are included so you can keep them up to date. A small fee (20% per year) will enable you to keep them up to date for future years too.
Compare that with printed books that start to go out of date the day they go to the printers – which could be several months or even years out of date when you buy them – and where you have to pay full price again for the next issue which will already be a few months out of date by the time its printed again.
This month we have updates to the following maps – and it’s unlikely that these updates will be in any of the printed books
I cruised to Rose Narrowboats yesterday afternoon, ready for a prompt start this morning, and moored opposite their base on the Oxford Canal, between Hawkesbury Junction and Rugby.
We are heading into the paint shop and the first task is to slide the empty trolley down the gently sloping ramp.
Then our Waterway Routes narrowboat is slid forwards onto the trolley.
I made sure everything inside would be safe when the boat is tipped a little as it’s pulled up the ramp.
We’re soon on the hard standing waiting for the pressure washing below the water line. As it will be repainted above the water line too then it’s not necessary to be too careful aiming the pressure washer.
The weather was a little overcast and trying to rain but Paul, the painter, created lots of spray as he pressure washed the stern.
Paul is making sure he gets all the gunk off the hull from below the water line. He doesn’t want any of that in his nice clean paint shed.
With a clean hull it’s time to pull the trolley and boat into the paint shed. It’s a good job the doors at the far end open so the tractor can go out that way.
Once inside the decking is slid up to the sides of the boat to make a safe working area.
I was made welcome by everyone at Rose Narrowboats and I’m looking forward to returning later this week to see progress, and take a few more photos.
Our Cruising Maps (available on CD as well as by download) and our Canal DVDs make great ideas for Christmas Presents, but please remember to order in time.
The Post Office publish latest recommended posting dates for Christmas and you need to order from us by these dates for 2015:
UK — Sunday 20th December
Western Europe — Sunday 13th December
Eastern Europe — Sunday 6th December
USA/Canada — Monday 14th December
Rest of World — Thursday 3rd December
If you order from us after these dates we will still post the order promptly, but is unlikely to arrive in time for Christmas. The earlier you order, the more certain you can be of arrival in time for Christmas.
I visited Rose Narrowboats yesterday to see progress as our boat was prepared for re-painting. The preparations are well under way.
The mains input socket was fitted in the roof at the side of the hatch when the boat was new but it kept filling up with water and that wasn’t wise. Sometime ago we had it moved to a better location near the rear door and the hole was fitted with a blanking plate, seen removed and upside down to the left of the photo. The hole is now being filled properly, with the circular piece on the right about to be welded in. Once finished it will be invisible under the new paint which will be continuous grey non-slip over the former socket.
The posts for the rear seat had been straightened and welded back into place so they were upright again.
This earlier shot shows the left hand rear seat pushed forward after it had been struck from behind by another boat.
All the window frames have been removed ready for repainting.
Here’s one of the frames out of the boat.
The seal between the window frames and the boat has lasted but wouldn’t have lasted much longer. There were a few minor leaks where water was just starting to get inside the boat and running down behind the panelling in the boat. It would have been un-noticed there for a while until the damp had started to cause serious damage so I’m glad we had the work done now.
A lot of the existing paintwork should be stripped back by the next time I visit.
I’ve just published the October 2015 updates for our maps of canals and rivers.
Our England & Wales map is now at Issue 43 with the monthly updates. These include the changes we have identified ourselves by cruising along the canal or cycling the towpaths. They also include changes reported by other boaters, including several regular contributors, with a big thank you to them.
The Caldon Canal map is just one example which was updated after I cycled the full length of the canal, including the Leek Branch.
When you obtain a map from us you not only get the most up to date maps to start with but you the first year of updates by download are included so you can keep them up to date. A small fee (20% per year) will enable you to keep them up to date for future years too. Compare that with printed books that start to go out of date the day they go to the printers – which could be several months or even years out of date when you buy them – and where you have to pay full price again for the next issue which will already be a few months out of date by the time its printed again.
This month we have significant updates to the following maps – and it’s unlikely these updates will be in any of the printed books, and probably won’t be for some time.
While our boat is out of the water the hull is being blacked, with parts of it already done. The anodes are approaching the end of their life and won’t last until the next blacking so now is the best time to replace them. The blacking will be completed around the new anodes.
The blue undercoat makes a lot of difference since my last visit. The left hand side is done, with the lining marked out ready.
The name panel will have a red background and the red undercoat is there ready.
The red is on the right hand name panel too. The gunwales still have to be painted here and the grey makes it look unfinished, but Paul (the painter) is working his way around the boat and it will be blue by the time you read this.
Paul has been working around the front doors too.
Once again, the grey along the gunwales makes the left side unfinished – at least until Paul gets there.
The wet undercount around the bows gives a shiny appearance, making it easier to imagine how it will look when finished.
That’s three weeks of hard work completed. Another three to go.
The Barnsley and Dearne & Dove Canals are derelict, with plans for restoration. Together they will form a through route between the Aire & Calder Navigation and the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation.
The maps show the original route with the proposed restoration route clearly marked to show where they differ. Much of the Barnsley Canal route is still available, but it will require some new sections such as at Walton (shown above) where the original route has been built over. Much of the route of the Dearne & Dove Canal has been lost to modern developments, meaning most of the route will be on new alignments, although the Elsecar and Worsbrough Branches are largely intact.
I’ve produced one map covering both the Barnsley and Dearne & Dove Canals. It’s available to download in the usual Acrobat (pdf) and Memory-Map (qct) formats. There’s a choice for the Acrobat (pdf) format
Single page Great for viewing on screen but too large to print
Seven individual pages Great for printing A4 (or A5 if your eyesight is good enough)
Visit the Barnsley and Dearne & Dove Canals map page on my website to download the free maps. Eagle-eyed readers may spot there are discrepancies in the levels, particularly for the Elsecar and Worsbrough Branches between the old and new alignments as the old and new lock depths don’t match. I’m waiting for clarification about this.