Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A Quick Trip Out

(Boat Sickle - posted by Alan)

Sickle's engine leaks "a bit" of oil - we knew that when we bought her, but really had not a lot of idea how much "a bit" was, other than we got her a long way home, and to a couple of shows, without tipping that much new oil in.

Having finally got her near where we live, I not only decided to do a full oil change, (as we had no idea how long the oil in there had been there), but also to clear an awful lot of mess from the engine bilge, (another set of clothes now relegated to "very messy jobs only" use).

Doing this revealed quite clearly that some oil was being dropped from one corner of the engine, but again we really couldn't trace the source, or still have any real idea how much was coming out.

So we decided to try and catch it, whilst enjoying a trip out, (any excuse, hey ?).

Approaching Bulbourne Works
A very pleasant trip over Tring summit, but we found the pub at Bulbourne no longer serving lunch, (we kind of expected that).  So we walked down the Marsworth flight of locks, and had a simple lunch at the Angler's Retreat in Startop's End, (this one seems to serve food throughout the afternoon).

Part of the buildings are now a private iron works
It still seems strange to be boating Sickle around not only the area where she spent much of her working life, but also past the very place she last worked for British Waterways before they pulled her from the water, and actually wanted her cut up.

It is a great shame that the very historic canal workshops at Bulbourne also ceased production of lock gates quite a few years back now, and replacement gates used locally are now manufactured at least as far away as the Midlands, and have to come in by road. 

Crane that formerly loaded the gates
The attractive buildings at Bulbourne remain, though, largely unspoilt, so far, and much of the former hardware around lock gate construction is still in evidence, including the large gantry crane formerly used to load gates to and from maintenance craft. Craft which once Sickle herself might have towed to the required local lock ready for a stoppage for replacement of one or more sets of gates.

Oh, and that oil leak ?......  Well I can confidently say it is leaking a bit, but we are still not really sure how much.  I suspect a longer trip out may be needed very soon, as part of our ongoing investigations.

Cow Roast to Bulbourne Junction and Return
Miles: 6.0, Locks:0

1 comment:

  1. Hi all,
    It was a real treat to see you at Braunston, despite the lack of cruising. I'm sad to say that no suitable gift ideas have turned up at the shop to date, will keep looking!
    Good to see you've managed even a short run out. I hope the plans re dealing with 'Mum's' affairs are going ok. Best wishes for a good summer.
    I'm sure you'll find that oil leak soon.