Well what a cracking weekend overall. Friday we drove down to The Samuel Barlow to celebrate Matt Parrot’s 20th birthday in good company with Viv Scragg and Simon, Martin and Sam, Laurence & Sarah, Dave Ray, Keith Brown, Matt and Kaz, Rebecca Fuller, Joe Fuller and of cause the birthday boy himself, Matt Parrot. Unfortunately, Dawn being a hairdresser, had to work early Saturday morning so she was driving. I must extend a very big thank you to Malcolm Burge who had prepared, well he got ‘Drew to prepare, Jaguars back cabin for us to stay in, which I thought was a very kind gesture although we were unable to take it up. Food was provided with various sandwiches, finger picks and chips and trays of lovely roast potatoes, yum yum. Browny was on form as usual keeping us all entertained along with Lol, Matt and the Fullers constructing a model working boat out of beer mats and birthday card envelopes including mast, top planks and deck board, cloths being provided by Sam Noon’s Fag papers.
Photo L Williams.
All to soon the evening moved on and we had to make our way home. Saturday, after Dawn had left for work, I headed off down to Darley, as I arranged to meet the previous owner Terry, down there at to replace the prop shaft mid bearing. This only took us, well Terry as I only watched, a couple of hours after which Terry left and I carried on with the false floors. By four a clock, I had finished all the false floors and creosoted them, all that was left was the two under the back end boards, but that was going to involve quite a bit of moving of ‘stored ‘ paraphernalia. It was time for me to leave anyway as we were going out tonight to a show night at the Power station Club, woo hoo! Except it was a tribute boy band called West Lives. (boring). Sunday morning saw me cooking Bacon butties for our breakfast then I prepped the dinner before going down to Darley, Dawn was following on later. I started by pumping out the two plastic water barrels used as ballast, about 90 gallons, well the pump I had would not fit in the filler holes so it meant siphoning them into the hold, then pumping it out with the bilge pump. After this I set about moving a whole collection of Useful items as well as three bags of coal, two sacks of wood noggins for the range a sack of kindling and many other items. After moving the two barrels I bailed the rest of the water, leaves and sediment out with bucket and shovel. After leaving this section for an hour to dry off, I gave it a liberal coat of bitumastic paint, then set about making the two floors. With these in place I creosoted them then put the two water barrels back on top and started filling them. During a conversation with Matt on the previous night, he said he was coming up to Great Haywood and was leaving his Josher motor Tench there for a week before moving on up to Stone to load about 18tons of limestone chippings for Alvecote. I told him instead of leaving Tench on the Junction to come up and breast up to Darley, so I was keeping an eye out for him. I had just finished filling the barrels when I saw Tench coming across the Junction and so went onto Darley’s back end to get Matt’s fore end rope.