Category Archives: The Tales of Silverdale

A Mooring Along the Way

murpworks - The Tales of Silverdale - A Mooring Along the Way - View from Fotheringhay Castle toward the Church image
View from Fotheringhay Castle toward the Church

We’ve found a mooring along the way…

As mentioned in To Be Somewhere Else and A Penultimate Destination, we will be on the move in the near future. As part of the planning process, we have been scoping out places to stay. One such place, along the way is Fotheringhay. I had wanted to visit Fotheringhay (see musicfan6160’s Fotheringhay blog post) and we got the opportunity the other day.

Fotheringhay is a village in the Cambridgeshire Fenland infamous for the castle where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned and finally beheaded. We found it a quiet, melancholy but peaceful place.

murpworks - The Tales of Silverdale - A Mooring Along the Way - Tree on a Slope image

There are mooring points at the site, within the shadow of the castle motte. Unfortunately, very little of the Motte & Bailey castle remains. However, this will be a useful stop point in our journey eastwards.

murpworks - The Tales of Silverdale - A Mooring Along the Way - Mooring Sign image

There is a water point so we will be able to replenish this supply, at least.

There is a lot of history associated with the place – Richard The III was born here, in the castle, in 1452. Other than the history, there is very little else but houses, however there is a pub. We hope it will be open. It could be a lifeline.

Check back for plans on the preparation and then the journey as it unfolds…

Peace and narrowboats


In Came the Snow 2021

In came the snow and ice in 2021. Is it cold on a narrowboat? Yes, it’s bl**dy freezing when it’s sub-zero temperatures outside, it’s first thing in the morning and the stove’s gone out!

However, once the fire’s lit (third time lucky , fourth time lucky…), the Webasto is fired up and we’ve got thick jumpers on, it’s lovely.

To be fair, we had plenty of warning. So, we had stocked up on coal (smokeless fuel) for the stove and diesel for the Central heating.

I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of snow and cold. “Everything looks so beautiful”, “I love a walk in the cold”, “It’s so invigorating”. I’m more “We’re gonna need more coal and diesel – it’s going to be expensive”, “The towpath will be un-traversable due to the mud”, “When’s it going to warm up?”.

But, for the sake of dispelling my churlishness, here are a few images. They are from the Marina, as in came the snow in 2021

murpworks - The Tales of Silverdale - Silverdale as snow begins to fall image
Snow starting to fall on Silverdale
murpworks - The Tales of Silverdale - View of Marina in snow image
Across the Marina
murpworks - The Tales of Silverdale - Prow in the Snow image
Prow in the snow
murpworks - The Tales of Silverdale - Silverdale in snow image
Silverdale in snow

The snow has all gone now, it never hangs around long and some warmer weather is among us.

rp – peace and narrowboats

Bringing Things Up to Date

September 2020

Bringing Things Up to Date

End of August

Well, I ended August by locking myself in the Marina loo!

I had trouble unlocking the door to get in, getting out was near impossible. The key wouldn’t turn in the lock, no matter how hard I tried. I poked the mechanism with my key and continually tried the key many 10s of times but It wouldn’t budge. I opened the small window and waved and shouted to the Office which was mere yards away but to no avail. Eventually, someone else came to the door, unlocked it easily (I must have doe all the hard work and freed it up) and I managed to escape. I did let him know and the Marina Office and I obtained another key, just in case it was at fault.


No further lock-in episodes.

It turned out to be a glorious month weather-wise. There was sun, warmth and little rain. The mornings were colder but nothing too onerous. We purchased more gas in the form of a large orange cannister from the Marina Chandlery. I drove the old, empty cannister around and drove a new, full one to the end of the marina path. From there, mu and I manhandled it, rolling it along the path and nearly into the canal! Lifting and lowering it into the gas locker aboard Silverdale required Herculean strength. I had to slowly lower it, into the locker, not wanting to scape the beautifully finished inside. It had been cleaned and blacked by the marina before we bought it. The trusty Gas Spanner, purchased last time I had to do this worked a treat and gas was back up and running.

Beside the Seaside

This is also the month we made progress with our project. We’re making a game: Beside the Seaside. It’s going to be a pixel art seaside side scroller and beyond.

mu is busy creating pixel art. I’m learning to use the game engine we’ve chosen for this project and documenting it.

It’s our virtual visit to the seaside. You can follow progress here


We also met with Mark, a boat electrician who used to work at the Marina but was now self-employed – Weedon Narrowboat Services. He came to evaluate our electrical setup to see how we can solve a problem of flickering lights and diminishing 12 volt power. We’re hopefully going to upgrade a bit, bring it up to date.

He’s returning in October to replace the batteries and install a new Solar Controller. This will give us more visibility into what’s going on.

We’ve been watching Rain and Borgen on Netflix and had a lot of Drive-Thru coffees to keep us sane in these crazy Covid times. We also got a new, new Spin Dryer (don’t ask) and a new monitor.

Well, that’s about brings things up to date for September. It shot by but we got a lot of stuff done. October’s calling…

rp – peace and narrowboats

The Pirate’s Lot

Sunday 28 June 2020

The Pirate’s Lot

In support of The Tales of Silverdale – A Pirate Ship In Dark Waters I’ve written The Pirate’s Lot – a poem from an ‘insider’s’ perspective of Silverdale

Hoist up the Mainsail, unfurl the Jib
Dry out the tinder, ensure no damp squib
Pack out the larder with fresh fruit and veg
Take heart me boys for we’re off to The Edge

Say farewell to sweethearts, leave nothing unsaid
For the next time you meet, you may well be dead
There’s no point believing you’re a cat with 9 lives
But through chance or by fortune you may well survive

There’s the Hawser to free and the Mainsail to pull
To the sound of the spray and the sound of the gull
We’ll unfurl to the wind and show backs to the sun
All the better for earning our bottle of rum

Becalmed on a sea of infinite blue
Lashed forward and aft by a storm, hale and true
Coming about or turn tail and run
Such stories be told in the wind, rain and sun

In the dead of the nighttime, just after 3 Bells
When the veil is the thinnest ‘tween this world and Hell’s
The Kraken, the Siren, the Ghostship and more
You’ll wish that the rowboat was headed to shore

This may be added to in the future

If this has at all piqued your interest, head over to The Tales of Silverdale – A Pirate Ship In Dark Waters to support and follow the tale in the search for ‘treasure’.

murpworks - The Tales of Silverdale - The Pirate's Lot - pirate flag sketch image

rp – peace and narrowboats