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to foster and encourage steam boating and the building, development, preservation and restoration of steam boats and steam machinery

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Diary of a Steamboater - May

31 May 2015 19:46 | Deleted user

During 2015 Philip Webster will be giving us a monthly update on his adventures in Banjo:


May day, may day, what a ….......................gay day! With our guest stoker shovelling coal into the boiler like it was going out of fashion, we stormed up the Yare, cutting ten minutes off the journey to Surlingham. Just around the corner past Woods End game over, the HP linkage parted from the weight shaft. A temporary fix with a short piece of six mil. Copper pipe (I wonder why that was in the tool box?) and a short plank, part of the sleeping arrangements and never used, and a piece of kindling, got us to the Broads Authority workshop. A scrounged six mil. Bold secured the broken arm  and good speed maintained whilst lunch of curry, rice pudding and peaches were consumed on the run home.

To be fair, the broken arm has a long rusty side and a short shiny one, indicating that this was a disaster waiting to happen, the L.P. arm was replaced years ago. Perhaps the coffee table should be lifted off more often.


In '95 she came alive,
 And steamed off very slowly.
From gas to oil and finally coal,
Four boilers, two engines and a whistle,

We learned a lot, to do, and not
The knots came one by one,
From many hours of turn and cut
Four boilers, two engines and a whistle.

When freedom came and bonus rained
A Leak from castings pleased us
We gained some ground with boiler round
Fourth boiler, second engine, same whistle

The ducks we left behind at last
Horizons Broadened weekly,
The galley grew some kit as well
Four boilers, two engines and a whistle.

Now twenty years of steaming trips
On Fridays mostly favoured,
A mobile lunch for gentlemen
And lots of chat of days gone by
Four boilers, two engines and a whistle.


I like it when it all comes together, as it should. Our V.E. day went with a swing, and a swig, or two. The menu was familiar, the center of Norwich reached in two hours, who could ask for more.

I did not ask but was pleased to change duties as all worked well and Mr. Mate wanted a spell astern (new puppy fatigue!), No. 2 stoked and I had the rare treat of steering my boat! Mr. Mate usually steers as he is the only one that can concentrate long enough to steer a straight course, he says. I am never happy unless something is wrong and needs fixing, he says! i.e. I like to be busy. No. 2 likes stoking occasionally, No. 1 is in charge of the galley, and feeds us well.

Like it or not we get one more each year, I make mine Ladies Day. It makes a good target date for getting everything working properly, and clean. All went well, a short trip around the Broad and lunch at the Beauchamp Arms, which is now under new management, who seem to know what they are about. The fire was a bit reluctant to burn, tubes must be cleaned, but a bit of extra throttle kept us moving with less interruption, to the chat, and wild life. Creeping through 'secret waters' we witnessed a family of newly hatched signets sampling the world .

Next Friday 5th of June we plan to test the 'new' trailer, wilst awaiting the arrival of guests to our 'Steamy Weekend'. Then on Friday the 12th of June we will convoy up to Stalham to the Museum of the Broads 'Steam Day' on Sunday 14th. June.

Comments

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