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Posts Tagged ‘cafe’

So, who would have thought that we would decide to embark on a career change from Timber Frame Designer & Sales Manager to Fish & Chip Shop proprietors? not us & by the comments certainly not our friends & family!

All very exited now, seems like a plan. Give up two very good jobs, move to a new area work together for ourselves. #boatsthattweet all very encouraging, lets ask them about the area we have found a potential business in…..Stalybridge.  Apparently not “fabulous” but we can see potential however premises need completely kiting out, everything including frying range has been removed, so let’s try to raise some extra finance & find a house to rent, our BIG dog mentioned previously on the blog is still in fine fettle & going strong but cannot manage the boat steps so we will have to rent whilst he is still with us but at least we can get That’s D’riculous closer.

This is the Hudderfield Narrow Canal as it is now restored running through Stalybridge, the potential premises are approx 500yds to the south canalside. We managed to find a suitable house however the way this countries finances are currently means that no extra finance can be raised to support our project.

Now is the time for a re-think, we’ve thunk! We love the scenery around this part of the UK, slightly further north it becomes less Manchester & even more scenic, lets look for some more Fish & Chip Shops with potential & maybe not so ambitious this time.

A quick weekend trip down to the marina in the middle of June meant we could go & do some official viewing around the Huddersfield area.  Beautiful scenery , very impressed & of course Yorkshire is the home of Fish & Chips. First stop was Batley north of Hudderfield, not for us, then Milnsbridge right on the canal just south of Hudderfield, the shop is on the left in this picture of the main street, could be a possible but at the top of our budget.

Next stop Slaithwaite (Slawit) ……lovely, a bit further south than Milnsbridge, feels like you are in the country, infamous Saddleworth Moor very close, Hudderfield Narrow Canal runs through the lower part of the village, natives seem very friendly, well within the budget……..this is the one!

This is where the Huddersfield Narrow Canal come into the northerly end of Slawit & runs alongside the main street.

Towards the south of the village there is a permanent Narrow Boat Cafe called Moonraker, she does a good bacon butty! a nice walks along the towpath. Just past Moonraker there is a guillotine lock. looking forward to getting to know the village better if we can make this dream happen.

This is the outside of the currently closed premises, in amongst the “chimney pots” at Hill Top, one of the higher points of the village away from the main street but only 5mins walk from the canal.

The view above shows how the village is on the hills both sides of the Colne Valley, this is looking toward the main part of the village, we have managed to find a possible a house just 200yds from the shop situated at the middle level just above the railway line which runs through the village adjacent to the canal as always. Getting very excited now!

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Friday 16th March 2012

Woke up surprisingly early considering that we didn’t arrive at Aqueduct Marina until around midnight on Thursday, but we always travel down from Scotland in the evening so as not to waste a minute of our time on nbThat’s D’riculous. It was around 8.30am the sun was shinning in through the cream linen blinds in the bedroom & the marina was calm.

We got the rest of our stuff from the car, this time we brought down some favorite pictures that will be coming with us onto the boat with appropriate fixings to put pictures onto sloping walls! These will get put up over the weekend, meantime some breakfast & out of the Marina, heading towards Barrbridge.

Even though we arrived last night the boat still had a bit of a chill in her so we lit the stove as we were travelling getting inside aired & toastie. (that is smoke you can just see above the roof not mist!) As we went on the sky clouded over a bit but still very pleasant travelling. Caley our spaniel is now accompanying us on our trips so she can get used to boat life…….now, this is not going to be easy! In the canal twice today so we have decided that she must wear a harness (easier to fish out!) & be tied on deck until she realises that jumping in at EVERY available opportunity is not wise!

We moored up just before the aqueduct at Nantwich & decided to take Caley for a walk along the towpath, then back for a well deserved cuppa & a piece of rhubarb & custard cake. Hmmm lovely!

The sun was out again & the skies blue Lochaber sat at the dinette but unfortunately the sun got him!

Some 2hrs later we made dinner, watched a bit of TV had a few glasses of vino then to bed, won’t need that super new electric blanket tonight the boat is sooooo cosy!

Saturday 17th March 2012  

Caley woke us around 8.30am as she heard a couple of joggers running past chatting to each other, so we peaked out of the blinds to see more blue skies although patchy it was dry with intermittent sunshine, good enough for me!

Saturday is market day in Nantwich & as we have never been moored here on market day we decided to wander into town, I needed some batteries anyway as both clocks had stopped! The market was bustling had a Town Crier, not something you see every day.

It was a market worth visiting again, got my batteries & a great wee Bone China combined salt & pepper pot for the boat with a duck on it for only £4.50. Lochaber has to have coffee & cake every time we go somewhere so we chose McCormicks ther are numerous great coffee shops in Nantwich along with many bookshops & an abundance of independent shops all in a compact walking area, lovely way to waste an afternoon.

McCormicks was busy, coffee & cake very good. The walls of the coffee house are covered in a montage of black & white photos, you would need to refill your coffee numerous times to have a good look at them all.

Refreshed after our coffee stop. we wandered back to the market for a further look around & a meander around the narrow streets gazing in the designer shops! On the way back to the boat we stopped for a beer at The Oddfellows pub. We have been there before & will return every time we visit Nantwich, it is a great example of an old-fashioned independent pub, with great Real Ale, a good pint of Guiness & a very welcoming landlord, who know his trade well.

It was now around 3pm & we decided to move the boat across the aqueduct to the winding hole & head back towards Barrbridge for the night, a bit rainy but only a shower, dry by the time we reached a mooring just under the bridge at Barrbridge, just as we were pulling in to moor Caley decided to take the leap of almost death even though tethered & was therefore dangling over the side of the boat, the problem with a Spaniel with NO brains is that they NEVER learn! Moored safely, Spaniel hoisted from water all is now calm & a cuppa is well necessary!

Unfortunately back to marina tomorrow.

Sunday 18th March 2012

We heard very heavy rain on the roof throughout the night & wondered if we would be having a wet return to the marina on Sunday, but we were determined not to complain as the canals desperately need extra rainfall this spring, although the Cheshire area is not as bad as further down south & the Midlands.  When we awoke to the sound of the ducks  this was what awaited us outside.

The most beautiful sunday morning. So we decided to have some breakfast & make a move towards the marina, this is always the hardest time when we are only onboard for a short period of time, but the unexpected sunshine meant that we could take our time along the Middlewich Branch with only two locks to negotiate.

It is quite a busy stretch just out site Barrbridge, a couple of super boats for sale at Midway Boats. Very popular mooring spot along this stretch.

 

We cruised along slowly enjoying the spring sunshine towards Cholmondeston Lock.

 

 

Caley the spaniel was by now tethered on the deck with me, she had driven us mad all weekend with her continual diving into the cut, so she was not happy when we descended into the lock, water gushing all around her!

Next was Minshull Lock, last one before the marina. The nb coming through was flying the Cornish Flag! Good man!

 

 

So, here we are again back at Aqueduct, very light wind today, so getting into the mooring was unusually easy today. Just as we were about to leave after cleaning the boat & packing the car & of course the obligatory cappuccino in The Galley we saw an airship  above the marina.

 

A picturesque end to a lovely weekend.

 

 

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Please let me give you some history to bring things up to date.  January 2012

We have spent the past year & a half falling in love with the canals & its people, most of that time has been learning how to handle a narrowboat properly & courteously, making the most of limited space & learning the etiquette of the canal world. During the next 12 months we are preparing to pack up our rented home, we have already sold our house & move on board fulltime. Since joining the boating community on Twitter we feel closer & more a part of the life style will be embarking on, therefore we think it is time to start our own boaters blog!

Our first nb was a 30yr old 42ft Cruiser style Minden boat called Tin Lizzie. We purchased her in August 2010, explored quite a bit of the Trent & Mersey & we loved her! Now we were hooked!

Moored just south of Rugeley on T & M by Lochaber & Cornish

We both bought & sold Tin Lizzie via New & Used Boat Sales based at Mercia Marina. They were very helpful when we first looked at Tin Lizzie & although we were doubtful of an older boat as a first investment we were assured by Doug, who is not a salesman as such more of a mine of information & recognised face within the boating community (who does all the practical & important things at New & Used), that she was a good solid nb from a sought after builder, Minden & that when we came to resell her we would not have a problem. Every time we visited Mercia Marina Doug was always around with friendly help & advice for the novices! He taught us a lot & we won’t forget that easily. I hope when we become liveaboard & start moving around more that we can go back & say hello.

As you can see she is alot more traditional inside than the new investment, traditional seems a lot cosier somehow.

 

 

          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doug was right when we decided to put Tin Lizzie back on the market in May 2011 they hadn’t even got the photo in the ad before we had a buyer!! I hope we pass her & her new owners sometime as I would love to see how she is fairing, although we now have a new build the older nb’s have far more character & soundness about them, although the tech side is not so good.

We explored a fair bit of the Trent & Mersey with Tin Lizzie & I have put some of our favorite photos on this page.

Below are a couple of pictures of Mercia Marina which I believe is one of the biggest in the country now. It is also the base for the Shakespeare Hire Fleet.

 

 

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