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  • clivenmel

Nov 15th

Normal 0 false false false st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} We left Shebdon Wharf on Friday morning.  It was a bit dull and cloudy but it certainly wasn�t cold, in fact it doesn�t feel like November at all at the moment!  So we retraced our steps so to speak, back along the embankment and through the cuttings to the Tyrley Lock flight and then on to Market Drayton where we moored up almost in the same place that we had left on Tuesday.  Just as we were tying up a lady out walking her dog stopped and commented on how lucky we were to be moored here and what a fantastic view we would have of the fireworks this evening!  It turned out that The Grove School in Market Drayton was holding its annual bonfire and fireworks display that very evening and our mooring was right at the end of the school playing fields.  Well she was right, we had a spectacular view and thoroughly enjoyed the display whilst we were tucking into our spaghetti Bolognese!  The bonfire was absolutely huge and was still glowing many hours later.   The reason we were back in Market Drayton was to meet up with Jean and Glynn again.  They came to pick us up about 12.30 on Saturday lunchtime and took us to explore the places where various members of the Meakin family used to live.  It was quite a nostalgic tour for Clive, remembering the places he had visited as a child.  One of the places of interest was a house which had once been three cottages but has since been knocked into one.  When Clive was a child his Auntie Ada lived in one of the cottages and his Uncle Jack (Jean�s granddad) lived in the middle one.  Whilst we were standing out in the street looking at the house, the current owner came out into the garden so Glynn explained what we were doing.  She immediately invited us into the house and got the deeds out to show us.  She had all the documents relating to the three properties dating back to the year dot.  It was wonderful to see these amazing, handwritten documents with seals and stamps on them � something we rarely see because normally they are held by the building society or bank.  But these were really amazing.  As it turned out the lady of the house is Jill Wallace and her late husband used to be the Town Cryer of Market Drayton!  Jill is also involved with the local museum and is a bit of a historian herself.   She is a lovely lady and it was great to meet her.    We ended up in a pub (surprise, surprise!) called the Hippodrome � it used to be the local cinema and they have done a brilliant job of restoring it, its fantastic inside.  We enjoyed a nice lunch and a drink, then we went out exploring again and finally, after a visit to Jean�s mum and yet more reminiscing, we ended up at Jean and Glynn�s house.  We had a really lovely evening with them, poring over old family photographs and Jean and Clive swapping family tree information but before we knew it, it was one o�clock in the morning!  We all decided it was time to call it a night and Jean and Glynn ran us back to the Talbot Bridge where our boat was moored � only it wasn�t!  We had the shock of our lives � having waved goodbye to Jean and Glynn we set off across the bridge and realised that Lady Arwen was not moored where we had left her!!  Then we saw her, floating free at the other side of the canal, a couple of feet off the bank!  PANIC!!!  We then realised that her stern was bumping up against the bows of another boat on a private mooring and Clive managed to climb onto the moored boat and get on board � phew!  We were very nervous about starting the engine at 1.30am but really had no choice, fortunately it isn�t an extremely loud engine so it wasn�t too bad.  Anyway he managed to manoeuvre the boat back across to the towpath side of the canal, but when it came to mooring up we discovered that the stern rope was not there at all, it had been nicked!   Fortunately the bow rope was still on and I managed to grab it and tie up at the front and we had to tie up using the centre rope as well.  After all that excitement we were very glad to fall into bed!  It was perfectly obvious that some little toe-rag had taken great delight in casting the boat adrift and we were very lucky indeed that she had drifted right over to the other side, goodness knows what we would have done if she had been right in the middle of the canal!    This morning Clive went for a wander up to the boatyard, which is just beyond the bridge where we are moored.  He went to see if they had any rope to replace the one that had disappeared.  When he explained to the proprietor what had happened it seems that this is not the first time and the guy also has a pretty good idea who it is that is doing it, a 13 year old boy who lives just around the corner from the bridge!  He strongly advised us to contact the police and report the incident because this sort of thing gives the locality a bad name, which is a shame as Market Drayton is a lovely place and very proud of its link with the canal and the history that goes with it.  I have to say, Clive would really like to get his hands on the little so and so � he would happily ensure that he �accidentally of course� ended up in the canal! We strongly suspect that our stern rope is in there somewhere, but ten minutes �fishing� with the boat hook proved fruitless.   Ah well � its all part of the adventure!

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