Monday, 9 August 2010

Long day's journey into Long Eaton

We are now the last remaining (albeit somewhat involuntary) guests of John and Sheila... over the this morning and yesterday the crews of Petrel, Lacerta, Sharpness and Bath have quietly slipped away, although their boats remain; only Sharpness with us out on the canal, the rest n the private arm. The gazebo has been packed away, the empty beer barrels removed, and no trace remains of last night's happenings except, of course, the railway track leading to the shed where the tram and its coaches now sleep. Did I dream it all, I wonder...

So today we had to get to grips with practical matters, and Trevor (owner of the steam locomotive) ran us into Long Eaton to show us where the bearing shop was. We never investigated Long Eaton last year when we were on teh Erewash; I think we might have stopped for a paper. It has the usual collection of shops in a soulless pedestrianised high street, but very few people using them - a glance through one of the alleys showed why - the vista opened out of a gleaming new Tesco Extra. Ho hum.

I was expecting a man in a brown coat with a pencil begind his ear, but in fact the bearings counter was staffed by a woman (Sue) in a Trent Valley Bearings t-shirt, who very quickly got to grips with what we needed and told us they would get the bearings etc in for tomorrow. Meanwhile I had noticed a leaflet on the counter saying that among other things they also did machining, sso we left the shaft with them too. Sue rang back later to say that they could remake the shaft, at what seemed a reasonable price, so we have asked them to do the lot. We even popped back later with the casting so with any luck they will assemble it aall too - and that should be done by Wednesday.

With hindsight a secondary purpose of the Great Trent Thrash was o find out any weak points, and if this is the only one - and the oily exhaust is cured - that doesn't seem to be bad going.

This evening we made our way over to the New Inn for dinner. We ate there last year and found it most acceptable; this year was no different, and the beer is good too. Whilst in town I nipped into a house clearance shop. I have never seen so many pianos. I wonder f they ever sell any, or if they have just been collecting them, since about 1953. I selected six nearly new books - four of them hardbacks - and was charged all of £1.20, so was pleased with that.

Today we have been getting on with little jobs - I have done some washing and all the exterior brass (and bronze, as I now believe the portholes to be), while Jim has wielded the scrrewdriver. Tomorrow I shall finally varnish the paintings on the back cabin hatches, and get on with the interior paintwork, with the set of rather super brushes I bought this afternoon.

A funny thing happened today too... Yesterday, a boat was tied up next to us and was tied to Chertsey's mast. When moved by a passing boat it dragged the mast out of position (it's not fixed at floor level yet), also shifting the deckboard considerably. We planned to try to put it right after visiting Long Eaton this afternoon - but when we got back, someone had already done it.... Truly, Shardlow is a place of mystery.

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