Hello and welcome! Thank you for visiting and therefore supporting our blog!
Please have a look at our website
Facebook page ~ Chamberlain Carrying Co
You can also view examples of my hand painted canal art (Roses and Castles) on my Facebook page Canal Art by Ruth.
If you would like to contact us, please use the icons below each post or you can email us using chamberlaincarrying at and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as we are moored and have a signal on our dongle! Mobile: 07754 003834
We hope you enjoy reading about our lifestyle and thank you again Ruth and Richard

Fradley Junction, Huddlesford Heritage Gathering and back east to Willington (23 miles, 11 locks)

So that's it for this year!  No more festivals and the gift shop is now part way to being packed away until Easter 2016.

But we bought a new boat this year and we are really pleased with her!  Now the panels are blanked off, we can get her and the butty signwritten and then they will then look really smart.

Beautiful weather at the Huddlesford Heritage Gathering as everyone set up on Sunday morning.

Last weekend was our last festival (please click on the above link for fantastic photos of the event) and we feel a little sad, but now Richard has to get back to work to pay for the realities in life; licences, insurance, sign-writing ~ no, I have conceded that we will get a professional in for the job, and of course getting the boats out of the water for blacking....again!

3 beautiful bowtop gypsy caravans

Men messing around in motorised bathtubs.....

It was a lovely show and we have asked if we can attend the next one in a couple of year's time.

Busy Alrewas

Monday morning was diabolical as the rain fell, but we knew we needed to get to Willington for Tuesday for the Trader day at Midland Chandlers.  We delivered some coal to a customer and then began to plod down the locks at Fradley Junction, arriving in Alrewas as the sun came out!

The river was quiet and calm

The little bit of river between Alrewas and Wychnor stood between us and the next lock, but at this time of year, it was behaving itself!

Narrow bridge time ~ with the new elum on the butty, I didn't have to touch the tiller once as we negotiated this tricky narrow bit!

Another narrow bridge hole

Nearing the end of our long day, we were  about  ready for our pizzas (bought when we nipped to the Co op in Alrewas and a good shower to warm us up.

Moored up above Tatenhill Lock for the night on pins

The ranges were still going, so in went the pizzas, bliss...

A new day and our first lock .. done

Up early, we wanted to get to Shobnall Marina, in Burton on Trent, as it opened to buy some paint for a commission I needed to do.

Shobnall Marina on the left

Mission accomplished, we carried on to Willington.

I get the boys back on the boat as Richard passes over the aqueduct after Stretton.  This nearly didn't go to plan as the curb stone was slippy and we all went a bit sideways getting aboard!

A fairly sleepy morning in Willington as we pass the pub

The plan was to get the shopping list done and then moor up in Willington on the '14 days' and pack the gift shop away etc.

Successfully around the entry to the marina, with the approach to the road bridge in front of us and our mooring

New 135amp batteries, just 3(!), 16 bottles of Elsan Blue we have this for sale in the winter, with coal and firelighters), some more LEDs for the new boat and various bits.... ooh hurting a bit, and Richard decided not to buy the main item after all that..the water pump, as the gasket sealant has held a treat!  

Moored in the marina outside Midland Chandlers

Was that a good idea?  We will have the car soon, so we can cross that bridge a bit quicker if we need to!

Back around and onto the canal, we had an impromtu visit from Richard's parents as we are back in 'the Shire' and then the bit we had been waiting for...last night we had a Chinese from THE best Chinese takeaway 'Sun Hall'.  Our life is complete!

Alvecote, Great Haywood and return to Fradley Junction (39 Miles, 12 locks)

It is now the run up to the biennial Huddlesford Heritage Gathering, where we and other traders will be showing off our wares, along with exhibitors in the field and lots of music! 

Leaving Alvecote a couple of weeks ago

We decided that before the festival, we would visit Great Haywood again and hopefully trade for the first weekend in between.

Storm clouds gathering as we pass over an aqueduct

Wiggling through Hopwas

We passed up the 2 locks at Fradley and then the single one at Wood End, before having an unfortunate encounter with a hire boat coming around the corner on the wrong side of the canal!  
The woman on the front of the boat decided to take exception to my husband's outburst of 'flipping idiot', insisting that he swore.  A moored boat bore witness to the woman's tirade as Richard struggled to reverse the motor and pole off the bank as he was well and truly stuck.  His outburst was not aimed at the hirers, who, give them their due, offered to help eventually, but in explaining the situation to the moored boat.  Oh well.  So we won't be on her Christmas list!  The moored boaters laughed and suggested a holiday with her would be the holiday from hell!!

Round the bend at Handsacre

Carrying on up the Trent and Mersey Canal, after mooring on pins for the night, we passed through Handsacre on the outskirts of Rugeley (Staffs)

Armitage Shanks

The remains of Armitage Tunnel ~ strictly one way traffic here!

Large swimming pool in beautiful conservatory in the ground of this house

Trent Aqueduct


Essex Packhorse Bridge in the grounds of Shugborough Hall

Last weekend, we spent a fairly steady 2 days trading at Great Haywood.  Footfall was surprisingly low considering schools were not back until this week on the whole.

Back down through Colwich lock

Early morning, we set off in thick mist, to get down through Colwich lock and get to Rugeley for much needed shopping.

Very quiet this time in the morning except for us gently plodding along

Lovely gardens in Colwich

We managed to get moored up centrally in Rugeley, did the shopping and move the boats out of town for the night.  Randomly, we passed a hire boat with 2 familiar faces aboard from my previous life working in a secondary school 8 years ago!  We chatted for a couple of hours before they headed off to keep to their schedule.  Funny how small a world it is!

Back through the narrows at Armitage

And now we are moored above the locks at Fradley Junction.  Richard has been headhunted by his old firm again to help them out for a couple of days.  It is that time of year, where real life catches up and the prospect of paying bills etc looms heavily!  But then we can do all this again next year.....

Alvecote Festival 2015

Thank you to the organisers of this year's Historic Boat Gathering at Alvecote.  It was a great weekend and thankfully the weather behaved this year!

Wow what a lot of boats!

View across the sea of chimneys

Bit further round taking in the Cheese Boat!

Hasty and Adamant enjoying a 'steamy' tug of war!

The parade of boats ~ down to 'wind' (turn without hitting anything and within the least amount of manoeuvres) in the 'layby' and back again

I think Guvnor was just passing through but she is a beautiful boat with lovely watercans on the roof, so I think that qualifies!

Monarch with Sam on the tiller.  She did well turning the boat without any trouble!

Graham on Minnow, on the other hand, has a reputation for not negotiating quite as accurately his technique.  But this year, he surprised everyone!

Winding breasting up ~ a technique we do often with our pair

Safely back on their moorings ~ steamtugs Hasty and Adamant

Meanwhile, I had promised Richard that I would knit something for him after the jumper I knitted last winter, fitted me better.  I think he likes it........