Rudely Woken By A Choked Chimney.

Yesterday we left our mooring outside of Great Haywood Marina. We only travelled the minuscule trip into the Marina for Sani duties, and a diesel top up.

The diesel tank was brimmed with just 50 litres of diesel. While we were there we made a reservation to stay in the marina for a week at the end of January. John also had a chat in the boatyard regarding having Cyan’s bottom blacked. Blacking was only done around September 2017, but it looks like it needs doing again urgently. Ideally the end of March would be a good time when danger of ice should have passed.

We returned to where we were moored, only this time Cyan facing the ‘other way’ round, with easy access to the chimney. We’d planned to give our chimney an urgent brushing as we had an issue a couple of nights ago where we were woken by the CO alarm, it was showing we had Carbon Monoxide in the boat. A pretty dangerous situation!

It was rather shocking to see how much the chimney had been blocked.

John gave the chimney a good brush with the huge bottle brush, he rattled a chain down the chimney, and he clawed at the clinker with a metal hook.

It was a good job well done! We made a promise to give the chimney another sweep in a couple of weeks, and not to leave it too long next time.

This morning we left our mooring, stopping a short time at the Junction where the Staffordshire and Worcester canal branches off. After filling the water tank, and disposing of rubbish, we set off, turning right onto the Staffordshire and Worcester canal.

Anglo Welsh hire boats look to be waiting for their first crews of the year.

We stopped just after the widest part of ‘Tixall Wide‘, and facing a splendid building. It does look rather spooky though. The building is ‘Tixall Gatehouse’ a Grade One listed building. For two weeks in 1586, it was used as a prison for Mary, Queen of Scots while her previous residence was searched for incriminating evidence. Originally it was thought Tixall was going to be Mary’s permanent jail, but Elizabeth I had planned for Mary to stay in Fotheringay Castle instead.

The Gatehouse was also a place where the assasination of Charles II was plotted.

Built in 1555 by Sir Edward Aston, this gatehouse was once the grand entrance to an even grander house.

The main house was rebuilt, demolished and rebuilt again over the next 3 centuries, until in 1928 when the house was demolished, with the material re-used to build the Saint John’s Church Chancel at Littleworth.


Near to where we are moored, there’s a memorial patch in memory of Beau the Bassett Boater, a much loved boater’s companion. It’s lovely to see the primroses.

6 thoughts on “Rudely Woken By A Choked Chimney.

  1. Glad you’ve got your chimney swept and can breath safely now.
    Tixall Gatehouse is a Landmark Trust property so you can stay there. The view from the roof must be amazing.
    Pip

    • Yes I noticed they take guests, I imagine it would make a great weekend treat. I can’t make out the top floor though. Looking through the top floor windows we can see right through to the windows on the other side, as if there’s no roof on the building. Last night all three floors had lights switched on, so it must have a roof. Perhaps it’s a ballroom or something?

  2. The top floor is one big room, two bedrooms a bathroom and staircase in the towers. First floor has two more bedrooms, bathrooms, living room and kitchen. Not sure what’s on the ground floor, you can get onto the roof.
    Here’s a link
    https://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/search-and-book/properties/tixall-gatehouse-12604/?ZJjYEWg8T5Uilneb2kJmmS/wLBbpScPDJYxdP2APYnhur5iUfvR+RzGrKeXUVdcXIUCd1sQYoKrS1l9ntQyI3vPm7S0HVfJ/ucW7orgz6VtJ1Nuyyioz5+2cGGhfU/2tVkqEIJMyt23FBY3T56XSvqhXqWdvm3Br2A2VnigaoIo=#tabs=availability

    • Good link that…. thank you! We’ll be renting a car in a week or so, so hope to take the opportunity to look at it up close. Was watching a programme on TV tonight ‘Digging for History’ or something like that, there was an artist impression of what one of Henry the VIII’s palaces would have looked like, the dig was in Enfield, and the artist’s impression was pretty much the same design as the house.

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