Saturday, 5 July 2008

Smoke on the Water

The Cam echoed today not to the grunts and strains of rowers and the howling of coxes, the swearing of irate fishermen and the moaning of narrowboaters, but to a rather different beat- that of a double acting single cylinder Sissons steam engine.

NB President of the Black Country Living Museum finally made it to Cambridge a year late, having been stuck the wrong (or, arguably, the right!) side of the collapsed bridge at Ely last year. They arrived in Cambridge whilst we were shivering and wet in Tishka's, a local cafe, after early rowing outings for both of us.




video



We went back to Kestrel to get into dry clothes, and the sun came out. We headed towards town down the hailing way, on the way to the bank to beg for money, and came across President by Jesus Lock. After a tour of the engine room with the president of the President trust (well, chairman I suppose, but that's not so amusing a title) we found out about volunteering for the Trust; it sounds fantastic, I'd love to learn how to drive and fire a steam narrow boat (note the all-important space! Modern craft are narrowboats) which should be easier than a 5" gauge steam loco; and Amy wants to dress in period costume, including the obligatory boatwoman's bonnet. That might well be our holiday next year!

Amy also wants me to point out the "fantastic whistle" in this video... I suspect she's becoming a bit of an anorak!


video

(big) James also got some nice photographs.

*****

There was also some rowing during the weekend, and the boat I cox, Chesterton M1, managed to a achieve a split of 1:19 for a period of five seconds. We were extremely happy with that achievement, until we worked out later that we would be side-by-side with the GB men's eight for all of four strokes until they accelerated into the distance. There's some way to go before we're at that level, but what we've got will do for bumps!

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