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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Audlem Mill Fendermaking Course March 2013

Last weekend we ran one of our twice yearly fendermaking course at the wonderful Audlem Mill. As always Peter & Christine made us very welcome. We had a full complement of 5 trainees, Jim (Chertsey & Bakewell) Frank & Lesley (Black Swan) and our good friends Dan & Emy. After a brief introduction, we soon got the rope out and started work. The first project was making a side fender, we started off by binding the ropes together with a nice simple packing knot, this took a while for some of us to perfect, but we all got there in the end. Then we started to crown our side fenders & gradually they took shape. We stopped for a delicious lunch of cottage pie (meat & veggie versions available) & by early afternoon we all had at least one side fender complete.

Next we started preparing the core for our button fenders, we used 36mm rope to form 4 cheeses, which we bound with the packing knot again. Gradually we bound the cheeses of rope & the chains together. By 4pm we were all well on our way to completing our cores.

I had a pleasant (pre-birthday) evening, celebrating with Ann Marie, Dan & Emy, having a few pints of fine ale at the Wharf in Macc followed by an excellent italian meal at Briscola in Bollington.

Sunday morning came round all too quickly, but everyone was keen to crack on with their button cores & very soon we all had a good strong basis of a fender. Starting hitching & setting the spine of the covering is one the trickiest parts, so we took some time & care to get this right. By lunchtime our button fenders were starting to take shape. Christine cooked us a wonderful all day breakfast which we all enjoyed tucking in to.

During the afternoon we got into the rhythm of hitching & learnt how to add in more rope using the fendermakers splice. Dan was the first to finish producing a very creditable button fender. With a final encouragement of coffee & cream cakes, one by one we finished our fenders. The look of satisfaction on everyone's faces was a picture as you can see in the photo. We'll be looking out for some very well made fenders proudly adorning their owners boats over the coming weeks.

So a big thank you to Jim, Lesley, Frank, Dan & Emy for being such a good friendly, down to earth bunch. Also a huge thank you to Peter & Christine for their organising hosting & catering, they always make us so welcome at Audlem Mill. If you are interested in canal crafts & books see there website or call in for a warm welcome.
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