Although the boat felt cold and damp I didn't light the fire straight away as I knew the chimney would have to come down to get under the low bridge at the marina entrance and I intended to go out for at least a short run as the batteries seemed very low and in need of a substantial charge.
Firstly I needed some diesel, which meant reversing off the jetty between two lines of boats, turning, going over to the far corner and reversing again up towards the fuel pump, taking care not to hit the part-sunken boat moored conveniently alongside it! With fuel tank full I had to wind again before leaving the marina. As it was almost time for lunch I didn't go far and tied up just past the Anderton lift. Here I decided to light the fire, but as soon as I got it lit I noticed a crack in the stove glass. The four bolts that hold the glass in place were seized-up pretty solidly but I did manage to remove the damaged glass, which I thought would enable me to get some lubricant underneath them. I still didn't seem to be having any joy however, so before I went any further I decided to check the spare glass we'd bought last time this happened only to find that it was several sizes too small!
By the time I got back to the Marina the chandlery had closed so no chance of a new glass. Even worse, when I shut down the engine the batteries were in no better condition than they had been four hours earlier! So with no heat and hardly any light I abandoned plans to stay overnight.
On the way down I'd come by train to Warrington and a bus from there. This is the quickest, and most economical, way to do if the times are right, but I hadn't been planning to return in late afternoon. I could get to Northwich on the bus, but a train from there would cost an extra £7 and involve a diversion via - and change at - Chester which meant that I might as well hang about in Northwich until the next bus to Warrington at 19.00.
There were two redeeming features of the day:
One was finding the "Lower Angel" pub in Warrington to pass the time between the bus arriving and the Lancaster train. It's a gem of a place - every bit as good inside as it looks from the outside in the photograph. It also sells beer from the Tipsey Angel brewery which specialises in recreating old brews from local long-gone breweries, which are much more to my taste than modern pale and blonde ales.
|Lower Angel, Warrington|