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Diary of a Steamboater - February

01 Mar 2015 21:29 | Deleted user

During 2015 Philip Webster is giving us a monthly update on his adventures in Banjo:

As if by magic, the temperature has taken a dive, so the greenhouse heater is doing something worth while, in the boiler! The workshop stove is eating sticks, the new trailer taking shape.

I think they call it a 'senior moment' when you forget something. I forgot the last 50 years when I lifted what should have been on a hook. A couple of days off and a hot bath (that will be two this year), the trailer should be mobile by the end of next week. Or next.

The bung is in and the date set. Feb 20th will see us afloat, Capt. Chris has a large whistle that needs dusting!

King Dick rules o.k. This is not a statement or recommendation of aristocratic rule, but an appreciation of the old tool that I inherited from Dad. This much used and abused adjustable spanner has served at least two lifetimes of active service. It has now found a new use, as a brake shoe lifter. I was not familiar with the brakes on the Bradley axles, so, inevitably , when I removed the first hub a shower of springs rent the air. When all were found and hooked into the correct holes, I needed a 'special' tool to lift the upper shoe enabling refitting of the activating lever assembly. This old fool found the old tool did the job in seconds. A learning morning well spent. The second hub was much quicker!

Didn't we have a bootiful day ! No snags on the journey, launched easily with the extension pole and my feet never got wet. Just as well as the water was freezing.

One lesson learned, coal sacks float! For a short while that is, just long enough to drift out of reach! Fortunately we carry a 'fender grabber', a recycled hoe handle with the business end formed into a hook. I must confess that I have never bought a fender. I have copious stocks of 'rescued' flotsam
and jetsam, all collected as 'navigation hazards'.

So that was winter, I hope. We of tender years remember 1947, and the POW's that dug us out of the snow, in March! This year we have only had a sprinkle of the white stuff, the snowdrops making a better show.

Steaming dates anticipated in 2015 will be every Friday as usual, plus:

20 May - Ladies Day.

5,6,7 June - Steamy Weekend at Buckenham, all welcome

12 June - Passage to Museum of the Broads

14 June - Museum Steam Day

19,20,21 June - Surlingham Ferry, carnival.

3 July - Passage to Beccles.

4,5 July  - Beccles Regatta

26 July - Reedham Race, escort.

19 September - Triple 'B' turn boat on Breydon.

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