So whats been going on lately?
Following "the wedding" we decided to escape for a week and where better than a trip along the Shroppie to Market Drayton and back, taking in the autumn colours on those magnificent cuttings.
The snag was the weather. But we mustn't grumble because the best days weather was on Saturday and the sun even came out as we emerged from the church just in time for the photos. To say it rained at the start of the trip would be an understatement and in two days we managed just four hours cruising as far as Brewood and even there we were kept awake by the drumming on the roof.
But we put the time to good use, chopping and preparing several loads of pear chutney and some very scrumptious pear and chocolate jam, using some pears given to us by a friend from Kent. The problem was that the supply of pears outstripped the rest of the ingredients so I went into the village with a somewhat aspirational shopping list and, having scoured all the shops I returned with oranges, halved walnuts and even 70% coco solids Green and Blacks chocolate. The Wildside production line rolls on and on.
Montgomery October 2013
All that rain meant no photos, but as we passed Stretton Wharf we couldn't resist taking a quick peek at Montgomery which was tucked up under its own canopy. The steelwork on the bulkhead and the new boatmans bar was gleaming and fresh and the holes in the sides have all been patched - it is really starting to take shape and apart from the drain hole in the base plate it is pretty much ready for the water.
Montgomery hold October 2013
The team at Stretton have taken the Jam Butty to their hearts and they are making a splendid job of her conversion. The gunnels are almost finished, the bulkhead is crowned with a very shapely Boatmans Beam, the base plate has been reinforced and plans are afoot to mock up a front deck and bulkhead.
I have to admit that the butty is exceeding my expectation - I think we are all very curious to see her in the water and to work out the amount of ballasting needed. There is a lot of iron in the old day boat section so we will have to wait and see.
Montgomery takes shape October 2013