Friday 6 October 2017


Erin Mae's engine was due a 250 hour service on this trip. We expected to be doing it at King's Lock in Middlewich but, having retraced our steps, decided to get it done at Oxley Marine, just down from Autherley Junction. Philip was on hand to do the necessary.

The first time we met Philip was on an emergency call-out on our very first summer cruise, in 2012 – one of the alternators was no longer working. We had stopped at Gailey, and my best beloved met someone on the tow path who told us to give them a call – reliable, good engineers and they won't rip you off, was what he said. So that's what we did, and Philip came out to fix the problem. Since then we've been to them for one or two things, including the last 1000 hour service, a year ago. It's still a few hours short of the 250 – we haven't done much cruising this year – but we thought we'd take advantage of passing their front door. Well, nearly – they're actually just a bit down from the junction, in the wrong direction. So coming out from the Shroppie I turned the bows left and then reversed the hundred yards or so to their yard, in order to be facing the right way when they'd done.

It was rather startling, in the summer of 2015, to suddenly see Philip steering a boat past where we were moored up in Skipton – one of those "totally out of context" moments. Only later did we find that Yorkshire is indeed his home, and he goes back at weekends. During the week he stays on his own boat at the yard.

So now Erin Mae's engine is set up for the winter. Thanks, Philip. Good service, as ever.


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