Marston Canal run

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Adrian Dale
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Location: Tasmania, Australia

Marston Canal run

Postby Adrian Dale » Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:35 pm

Talking of rivers and canals I thought it time I let everyone in on my plans for the summer 2016 in the UK. A few are aware that I intend to take a dingy from Wolverhampton via Bristol to London docks using Marston powered motors backed up by an SD.
The start date is the 5th June 2016 at the Sunbeamland factory site situated on the junction of Paul Street and Jedda Street, Wolverhampton.

Starting Point on the canal system in Wolverhampton, is at the Dixon st. Bridge on the Birmingham Main Canal.
Join the Staffs & Worcs Canal approximately 1 mile north of Kinver. Follow the Staffs & Worce to Stourport on Seven
Enter the River Seven at Stourport on Severn. Follow the river downstream to Sharpness Canal and enter the canal.
Join the tidal Severn estuary at Sharpness. (Attached document “Safety Guidance for Small Boat Passage for the Seven Estuary”) small-boat-guidance-severn-estuary.pdf
Enter the Kennet and Avon Canal at Bristol
Join the Thames at Reading and follow the river to Gallions Point Marina Woolwich London
Estimated time, based on total distance of 300 miles at average speed of 3 mph for 6hours /day, is 21 days plus 4 rest days. Plan four weeks on the canals/river. For timing each lock is adjudged as the equivalent of one canal mile.

I will post a detailed time table of the estimated night stops so that others may join along the way.

AJ
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THCL500J8
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Location: Logan City QLD Australia

Re: Marston Canal run

Postby THCL500J8 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:34 pm

Mom, i want to be AJ when i grow up.

Mate it a tough life, but i know you can handle it.

Good luck with the next great seagull adventure.
TC - 1960 LLS - 1961 LLS - 1966 THCL - 1968 EFNRL - 1986

Horsley-Anarak
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Location: Surrey

Re: Marston Canal run

Postby Horsley-Anarak » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:49 pm

That sound like a great trip, I am still keen to do some of the Kennet and Avon with you Adrian.

Only problem I can see is who looks after the engines when we are in the pub?
There are some great pubs around Bradford upon Avon, I have had a "lock in" at the Cross Guns Avon Cliff a couple of times.

I can also offer river side assistance if you break an engine, can lend you a more modern Seagull or Two.

H A

Adrian Dale
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Location: Tasmania, Australia

Re: Marston Canal run

Postby Adrian Dale » Thu Nov 19, 2015 3:26 am

Allegra wants to cycle the tow paths so may be she can be persuaded to guard the engines!!! I am really looking forward to this, I have never had a proper holiday in the UK since I was a kid, I am always either visiting or in the past working so now a retiree I am looking forward to enjoyment and fun. Its going to be a great summer.

AJ

headdownarseup
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Re: Marston Canal run

Postby headdownarseup » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:16 pm

I'm keen as mustard as you know A-J and will try my very best to join you from Bristol (maybe even show you some of the sights in and around Bristol.Good bacon butties served by the harbourside by the way) I wont be going quite as far as you but hope to do at least some of the journey. So, for the moment you can DEFINITELY count me in. The more members that can join along the way, the better (and easier) things will be as i'm sure we'll ALL be looking out for each other along the way.
Now, which motor/s am i going to use?

I can't wait...
:P

Jon

Marston fanatic
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Location: Bermuda

Re: Marston Canal run

Postby Marston fanatic » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:09 am

Dear Adrian,
Both you and i think similar.
I think it would be a great idea to do a canal run using fractional HP Seagulls and starting in Wolverhampton where it all began.
I am 100% up for it.
we could manage craft that can be carried past the locks. We can organise a B & B pub en route or camping at pubs along a route. it could be made an annual event, even for a charity of choice.Remember they were tested on the canals at Coven and on the River Severn.Surely we can run the heritage?
Im up for it if you still are
Stuart

headdownarseup
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Re: Marston Canal run

Postby headdownarseup » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:41 pm

Sorry Stuart, but i think you'll find this has been put to the back burner indefinitely.

A-J had quite a serious stroke last year which has left him almost paralyzed down the left side to date. He's doing well with his re-hab and physio but i think it will be quite a while before we see the old fella back to anything like he was before.
I was very keen at the time he wrote this, but having had a long while to think things over about this i'm not so sure. It won't be without its difficulties if anyone was wanting to have a go at it. Particularly the open water section from Sharpness canal to the Avon estuary. All with a massive tidal range, hidden sand/mud banks and big currents. Not the sort of thing to be tackled by an amateur in a small dinghy and an ancient outboard motor of questionable reliability. Gives me the willies just thinking about it :shock:
Canals no problem at all.
Hundreds of lock gates to open and shut along the way so you'll need to be strong and fit to do this.
Then you'll need to allow around a good 6 weeks from start to finish to complete this.

Recently i've done small sections of this from the south of Bristol where i live. Locks, locks and even more locks. You'll need a lock key as well for a speedy transit through.
Yep, there's plenty of practice with lock gates for sure which will slow down your progress for a good days mile munching along the byeways.
Quicker and easier in a group of small boats, the bigger boats will often get out of your way and speed you through which helps.
Bankside or towpath camping i think was the order of the day for much of this trip, although if anyone were thinking seriously about this i'd look for pubs and b&b's along the way that could put you up for the night.Then there's what to do with the boats and those precious Marstons while you're sleeping. Lots of scumbags in this country that wouldn't think twice about stealing an old outboard motor. Lock it or lose it. Lots to plan for in advance.

I'd be up for doing some of it from Bristol for a week or so, but the entire journey from Wolverhampton to London is no small undertaking believe me.

Jon

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Rob Ripley
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Re: Marston Canal run

Postby Rob Ripley » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:32 pm

I did the Falkirk - Edinborough - Falkirk trip a couple of years ago, only saw two Seagulls. Heavy weed all the way!
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headdownarseup
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Location: bristol

Re: Marston Canal run

Postby headdownarseup » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:26 pm

Here's a hard working seagull i spotted last year on the canal south of Bath. This was on a small section of the proposed route nestled between a few live-aboard narrow boats.
Enjoy
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Charles uk
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Re: Marston Canal run

Postby Charles uk » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:53 am

Only around 300 miles of water, the Severn with the tide might be quick but would need a safety boat.

20 miles a day 15 days with Century backups & luck.
Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot.

headdownarseup
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Re: Marston Canal run

Postby headdownarseup » Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:08 am

I think A-J's original plan was to do this entire trip under Marston power mostly, with a wartime SD as a backup just in case anything went wrong.

The canal sections on the face of it seem fairly easy by comparison. The tidal section close to me i can see will cause no end of trouble, and as Charles has pointed out, a safety boat would be a very wise precaution.

Having had over a year to ponder on this now i think anyone wishing to have a go at this would be very foolish to attempt the Severn section without a good knowledge of the tides in this area, the hidden sand/mud banks and anything else that could go wrong.

I can see the charm of wanting to try this with a Marston, but after 70+ years for even the youngest of these outboards, an epic journey such as this will surely test both man and machine. (i think i can guess which one would break first)
Romantic idea it may be, in reality i think you'd need a very big pair of *&%$£ to take it on in the first place.
Canals are one thing, no real currents to speak of and never very far away from dry land in the case of an emergency, BUT in open water in a tidal range that's up there as one of the highest in europe in an open dinghy powered by an ancient outboard motor of questionable power and reliability you can quickly begin to see my concerns.
I think i'm with Chas. (or at least partly) in opting for a more modern power plant. A Kingfisher perhaps for the dangerous bit in the middle, but a Marston....... nope. Use the old 'un on the canals for sure.
But then again A-J is a very experienced sailor to begin with, so perhaps coming from him it sounded much more doable the first time around.

I take my hat off to anyone that decides this is for them.

Jon


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