Shop front in the summer

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Wet Thursday

I think that I am going to go back to The Gambia to the warm climate, While I was away the weather in Norbury was stunning according to David and now look at it, rain rain and more rain, needless to say that it is a bit wet today, I know, we do need some rain but it does dampen ones spirits, my mom said last night that her garden was desperate for some rain,well I hope she is happy now!

Today got off to a busy start, a boat on the wharf first thing for its toilet tank to be pumped out and some diesel, and awaiting an engine service, once Fred had finished opening up and pumping out he then went down to the dry dock with Bernard to float off the boat that was in there, they then proceeded to dock yet another boat for blacking, Fred has pressure washed the hull and now it is drying ready for its first of its three coats of paint, Bernard has had his head in the engine room of a private boat doing and engine service and has also fitted the toilet to the new day boat, just when you think that all the jobs have been done something else needs finishing, it is out this coming weekend so it really does need a toilet!

Even though it has been raining today we have still had a steady flow of customers through the door which has kept Lorraine busy and the cyclists are a hardy bunch that don't seem to worry about the weather!

We have had our brand new works van delivered today, we have decided that we needed more than just one works vehicle, so we have just taken delivery of a Ford Transit Connect in white, keep your eyes open for it in the coming months as it will be sporting its new Norbury Wharf livery which will make it stand out a little.

Thanks it from me today


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Back in to the swing

It doesnt take long to get back in to the swing of things! After having had a very relaxing weeks holiday I came back to work yesterday and have not stopped since, It was a busy day yesterday and today has been equally as busy, the sun had blessed us yet again this morning but this afternoon it has gone over cast and rained, typical now that I am back the weather is going to go horrible!! Despite the rain this afternoon there has been a steady flow of customers in all day, we are definetley seeing more boats on the move at long last and have had some on the wharf today for services etc. Angela has not stopped all day and the bookings for the hire boats have been coming in thick and fast, at one point she said"I wish I could just have 5 minutes between the bookings just to process them" It is amazing just how busy the boats seem to be this year, only another few weeks to go and once Easter has arrived it should get even busier! I have been busy today catching up from yesterday and dealing with the usual day to day stuff that goes on, I have also been doing some final checking of Victory the new day boat which is going out on Saturday, I have been on sea trials around the basin and adjusting the throttle so that it will only make 4MPH, this is done so that people don't go charging down the canal looking like they have left their skiers behind!! The boat still needs a couple more jobs doing to finish it off which Mick will do later in the week. Bernard has been kept busy tidying up loose ends on Victory and welding anodes on to the boat in the dry dock and fitting a new rudder cup and lower bearing, Freddie has been blacking, pumping boats out, checking on all the moored boats here that we look after and making sure that they are all tied up nice and tight, Lee has been striping the grit off the roof of a boat in the wet dock and preparing it for new grit and top coats. David is off today but he never seems to get away from boats and has gone to collect a boat from Penkeridge that we are putting up for sale, he should be back later on this afternoon or early evening. Until Tomorrow Simon

Monday, 28 March 2011

I'm back!!!

G'day folks, I'm back from my global tour, well it was only The Gambia but it was a few thousand miles away. The weather was incredible but I have been told that the weather was glorious last week here! typical I go away and the weather improves, the weather has been superb today and rightly so seeing as its my birthday today, but the down side is I have been at work so tonight i'm off out for a curry with David and my partner Amanda and a few beers after, Thanks for all of the birthday wishes and for the lovely ecard that i got form Vic and Sue, cheers Sue xx

First day back and I have not stopped all day, me and David have been flat out here, the Tea room has had a steady flow of customers and all the lads have been busy with each of their respective jobs, we have even seen a few boats moving today, me and David are just off now to move a boat that we have just bought, so sorry for the short post tonight but.


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Sunday 27/03

Although it's been a grey old day today, it has certainly been busy. The local MG owners club and a group of walkers turned up this morning to keep us occupied. I have never seen the tea room SO busy. Here's a view across the basin just as they were getting ready to depart.

And four of the fifteen cars that turned out.

Mick and Ralph have got the boat out of the Wet dock that Lee has repainted and docked it in the dry dock. Ralph then proceeded to pressure wash her off and get her ready for a coat of blacking tomorrow.

Mick has been removing a hob, oven and grill from a boat this afternoon, and getting it prepared to fit replacement units tomorrow.

Steve has finished the day boat off - well Mick just needs to get in there now to put the finishing touches to the electrics and gas and then the catches can be fitted and hopefully she will be out on Saturday.

Simon is back in the UK and back at work tomorrow, so I am afraid you will have to put up with him for the week. Only kidding... he will keep you entertained and I will be back with you on Saturday.

Until then folks.


Saturday, 26 March 2011

Another day over...

And another day over... Where do they go to??

The sun hasn't shone on us today and it's quite cool, although I suppose it could be worse - it could be raining?

Everything has gone smoothly again today. Phoenix and Rowington have both been collected and are off for a weeks boating. The customers that brought Summer Wine back this morning really enjoyed their weeks boating in the beautiful weather that we experienced - lets hope that this week will bring the same again. We've also had two day boats out. Bookings are picking up now, so book now to avoid any disappointment - ring the hotline on 01785 284292!

Mick has been putting the fixtures and fittings back onto the boat that Lee finished painting, Fred's applied the final coat of blacking to the boat that is in the dry dock and Ralph has done a brilliant job of showing the customers out. Bernard has been on a breakdown and generally getting on with "things that need to be done".

Well we are off to the Anchor at High Offley tonight, by boat. Chicken casserole enroute. Up to Shebdon to turn round a couple of drinks with Olive in the Anchor and then back to Norbury later on.

I'm assured that we are going to have a busy day tomorrow, so I don't think I will stop up too late.

I'll leave you with a couple of images to enjoy.

Ange and Lorraine hard at work.

Pansies displaying some Spring colours!

Until then.


Friday, 25 March 2011

Twice in one day!

It seems strange to be typing the blog again today, the day seems to have flown by - I just don't know where it has gone.

It's been another busy one. We've turned twelve of the shared owned boats around today, without any major problems to rectify. (I've been told by one of the owners to say that Willoughby has got off safely). We've also had one of the motorhomes go out on hire. I think they will all be enjoying some sunshine over the coming week.

Fred's applied the first coat of blacking to George. That's the boat that we have got on the dock at present. Here's a picture.

Lee's finished painting the boat he has in the dock (I can't remember if it's called Gemma, Sophie or what - Sorry Andy!). I've taken a picture so you can admire his handy work.

That's about it for today.

Until tomorrow.



Thursday's blog

I'm sorry that I didn't upload the blog last night, but the internet went down as I was trying - so I thought I would post it first thing this morning, but I'm afraid it didn't seem to save a copy either. I'll give an outline of what happened yesterday and then I will post todays happenings later today - computer permitting!

It was another busy day yesterday.

Fred applied the first coat of Intertuff to the boat on the dock and Bernard fitted a set of anodes. Bernard then fitted the chimney pipe that he had fabricated the day before and then got on with an engine service on an SR3 that we had booked in.

Lee has now finished the boat that he has been painting in the dock, so I will get you some pictures of that later today.

I sent Steve off to Wheaton Aston with Victory. 1. for a shake down trip to ensure that everything was sound and 2. as I wanted to do some filming of a boat passing through a lock. So at about 12 I shot off down to Wheaton Aston in the car to shoot the filming - job done and I was back by 3!

Most of the shared owned boats had returned and we closed as the day started to cool down. It's a shame that I didn't have the camera with me last night. As when I took my dog for a walk down Shelmore Embankment the sky was really red and would have made a fantastic shot of the Wrekin. I'll see if I can capture it tonight (if it happens that is!).



Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Busiest day of the year!

What a day! It is five minutes to five and the first time that I have sat in front of the computer all day! It has officially been the busiest day of the year today and it will certainly take some beating...

This morning started at 8am with a tug being launched down the slipway. That disappeared off under the bridge and up to Goldstone was to collect a boat that British Waterways had impounded. Meanwhile we opened up and set about our tasks for the day.

Bernard set to to make a new flue pipe for a private boat and Steve began to give Victory's woodwork a second coat of varnish. Lee has been finishing off on the boat he has in the dock.

Fred and I undocked the boat that we had on for blacking and docked a private boat to change the propeller. We changed the propeller and flooded the boat of soon after 11am. We then docked another private boat that was due in for a survey, which one of our regular surveyors completed.

By this time the crane had arrived, the waggon and the boat that was towed back. Whilst we lifted the boat out and onto the waggon, Fred disappered to go and get some concrete to fill in the hole that he made yesterday at the side of the cottage. No sooner had we completed the first craning, the second boat to be lifted and stored on hard standing had arrived by road from Reading. So we saw the first boat away and got the second waggon into the yard and the boat lifted off.

Sometime during all of these goings on Fred disappeared down to the dock to get the boat pressure washed off after the surveyor had finished.

Ange and Lorraine have done a sterling job in the shop and tea room today. Not only have they been doing their day to day tasks they have been very busy with cyclists, walkers and onlookers watching us crane.

I've got to say a big thank you to all of the staff that have been in today. They have all worked hard and we are going to stop now, and enjoy a cold (and maybe alcoholic) drink outside on the wharf.

Until tomorrow...



Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Internet connections!

I've got some pictures for you today. I've been playing around with our internet connection for the last hour or so, so I am afraid that I haven't got too much time to write much tonight as I am off out for a BBQ. Yes, it's getting to that time of year.

Fred has applied the last coat of blacking to the boat on the dock today and has been doing some maintenance work around the side.

Steve has finished off the woodwork on Victory and he has now started to apply the varnish.

This was Fred's second project today, he has lifted up the slabs that had sunk down into the ground at the side of the Holiday Cottage and he has now prepared it ready to be concreted tomorrow.

Bernard has done some welding to the boat on the dock and has been working on Blackberry Way this afternoon.

See you all tomorrow.


Monday, 21 March 2011

Promises, promises...

What a glorious day it has been today. I wanted to pick the computer up and take it outside along with the telephone, but there wasn't anyone else in to man the tills! That meant that I had to sit in the office and look out of the window, although I have just managed to grab ten minutes sat on the doorstep having a chat with a good friend.

We have had plenty of people through the doors today, which is amazing for a Monday - it must be the weather!

Jay has been busy in the tea room and I have been run off of my feet with telephone calls, customers in the shop and advertising work, so I am afraid that you haven't got any photographs to look at again today :-(

Mick has been doing some work to this boat and Steve has finished the woodwork on the dayboat. He has started varnish her, so i will get you some pictures tomorrow.

Lee's applied the final coat of paint to the cabin sides on the boat he has in the dock, and will be on roof, decks etc. tomorrow - pics to follow!

That's it for today folks.

Catchya tomorrow


Sunday, 20 March 2011

Rain today...

The rain put in an appearance for part of the day today, but there has still been plenty of customers about to keep us busy, both in the shop, tearoom and on the phone.

Simon has made it to the Gambia. He reports that "it's very warm" - he certainly knows how to wind us up!

Ralph and Mick docked a private boat this morning. Ralph has subsequently pressure washed her off and prepared her for some paint in the morning.

Mick's been working on Victory again and been doing some odd jobs around the yard.

Bit short and sweet tonight, but not a huge amount of interesting stuff to write about! - promise it will be more interesting tomorrow :-)

Until then.



Saturday, 19 March 2011

Sun's out again today!

Today began when I woke up to a sharp frost this morning. It was lovely to see all the boats white over, but with blue sky in the background as the sun put in an appearance. And it was here to stay for the day. By 10 am it was a comfortable temperature outside, so I sneaked out of the office to get you some pictures.

Fred has turned the boats around that have returned this morning and Ralph has applied the final coat of Intertuff to Starcross. Here is a link to Jim's blog and a picture of Starcross on the dock at Norbury!

Mick's making hay whilst the sun shines! He making good progress with the electrical and gas systems on Victory. We've now got a deadline for her to be all but finished. Thursday she will be taken to Wheaton Aston for some filming - that's as long as the weather holds and the rain doesn't come back...

Take a peep inside, I'm sure that you will agree that she is coming along tremendously well, Steve's done a good job.

Bernard has got his head in the dark depths of the bilges on Lavender Lee. He is replacing the exhaust system and giving the engine an oil change.

That's about it for today.

Let's hope that the sun shines again tomorrow. Until then...


Friday, 18 March 2011

Whhhaaaaaaay its Friday

Yipeeeeeeee its Friday, and not just any old Friday, its the start of a week off, I am having a week off now as I doubt that I will get the chance until November, I know I had a week off not that long ago but I would usually have two weeks off together but I couldn't this year because of other peoples holidays, I am such a kind and considerate person! Any way what a lovely day it has been, even with my flu it has seemed like a nice day, the sun has been shining all day, as far as I know all the boats have gone out without any problems, I say this as I have not been around much today, I have been out and about buying stock for the shop, Oh and a boat to be sold, I guess all the lads have been busy or David would have mentioned it, so sorry I cant tell you what they have been up to.

Sorry but this is only going to be a short post as I have nothing else to add, really it should be David typing this as he has more of an idea of what has been going on today.

Until a week on Monday, which incidentally is my Birthday, I will leave you in the very capable hands of Mr Ray


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Enthusiasm injection required today

Well it all started like this; Bit of a grey day first thing, things never do look bright when you have 'man flu' you guys reading this will know exactly what I mean! Arrived at work to find Fred in a grumpy mood(and he hasn't got man flu) so I tried my best to cajole him in to action, that was a hard task! He is a great chap and I am sure that every day he gets up with one aim in mind, and that is to wind me up, well man flu or not he didn't manage it this morning, he will no doubt have another go tomorrow; Everything else this morning seemed to go according to plan, Mick did some jobs, Bernard did some jobs, Fred did some jobs and Lee did some painting, Have you guessed yet that I am a little less enthusiastic than normal?

Thanks to Karen and Jim for your comments, I might not sound too bad but trust me I feel like I have been dragged through a hedge, raped by a bear, whipped by Medusa's hair, trampled on by a thousand Arabian horses, my throat is like the bottom of Gandhi's sandal, and my nose is running faster that the Ganges in the monsoon season, apart from feeling like I have spent the morning in the north pole in my birthday suite and the afternoon sat on mount Vesuvius I don't feel to bad!!

I will post again tomorrow if I don't feel too bad


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Just another Wednesday

Its been just another Wednesday, nothing has happened to get excited about or even write about, it doesn't help given the fact that I have man flu and my enthusiasm is waining a bit! I am writing the blog now as I suspect that once I get home later and in front of a roaring fire, Emmerdale on the TV and a belly full of dinner I will probably fall asleep and forget to do the blog.

Its been a dull day, not many boats on the move, Ive seen about three in total, give the fact that the canal is now open and the majority of the stoppages are off I am surprised that it is still so quiet, maybe its a sign of the times, reading a forum last night about sea going boats it was evident that people are doing less boating on the sea because of the rising costs of fuel, it could be that people on the canal are doing the same? I know that I am certainly driving a lot slower now to try and conserve some fuel, that's probably not a bad thing as i do like to put my foot down.

Fred and Bernard un-docked Ryebank this morning and then subsequently docked Starcross, this is a private boat that is owned by Jim Davies, Hi Jim if you are reading this?(Jim also has a very good blog) If I knew how to post a link I would, Jim moors his boat with us and it is now in dock to have its sides pressure washed and blacked, while in there it will have its rudder straightened and a new set of anodes, this has kept Bernard busy most of the day as there are a few leaks on the domestic water system as well, Lee has been top coating today and I have to say that it is looking very good and you would be hard pushed to tell that it had been brushed on, it looks like it has been sprayed on!

Lets see if tomorrow brings anything different and maybe I might be feeling a bit better!


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Not an exciting Tuesday

Standing with a cup of tea and looking out of my window at home this morning I could hardly see the end of my garden for mist, the drive to work was the same and the mist was rolling over the water in the basin at Norbury, an eerie sight, we just needed a loaded working boat to come gliding along on the still water to complete the picture, no such luck! not even a private boat or a hire boat was stirring at that time this morning.

The day got off to the usual start, emails first, sort out the jobs for the lads, more emails, paperwork, coffee and so on, The three wise amigos have come back today (my dad and his two brothers) and they have started on doing a bit of decorating in the holiday cottage, Fred has been finishing off Ryebank's painting and blacking today, Bernard has been out on a private breakdown to Wheaton Aston, with that sorted he then carried on with the winter engine service on Ryebank. Lee has been painting all day, no pictures as yet, David will no doubt post some this weekend, I never seem to have the time; Steve has been cracking on with the day boat today, again no photos.

That's it from me for today

Monday, 14 March 2011

Nice start to the week

What a lovely start to the week, sun, sun and more sun, when I awoke this morning everything was covered in a good layer of frost but the sun was shining and I knew it would be a nice day and I was not disappointed, as we have said before, the sun brings people out and about and today has been no exception, Jay has not stopped all day and has had a steady stream of customers keeping him busy.
We have had Phantasy go out this afternoon, that is a two berth hire boat and Shropshire Blue which is a shared owned boat; Nothing too exciting has happened today even though we have seen a few boats around and a few people, Ralph has been kept busy with painting and blacking of Ryebank, that is one of the shared owned boats and the last one this winter for its routine maintenance, Mick has being doing some running repairs on Princess, Phantasy, fitting an alternator on to a private boat, putting in the sink waste on the new day boat and sorting out a gas hob, he cant say that he has had a boring day and to top it off he has been to another marina to quote for a partial refit.
I am sure that as soon as the season kicks off properly there wont be enough space to keep you up to date with the days goings on but at the moment it does seem like the 'same old same old' so sorry if it is getting a bit repetitive.
David has gone off tonight down south and will be boating on the Lee and Stort navigation for the next three days, the last time I was down there was 2001 when the National was on, I think that might have been the last time David was there too, I hope that the weather stays as nice as it has been today.

That's it from me tonight.


Sunday, 13 March 2011

A glorious day

I had a great night out last night. I'm sure that we could bore the socks off of most people, but we just love talking about boats and the cut! That's the great thing about having friends around the canal system - you get to catch up with the news from all corners our country.

Whilst in conversation last night, it seems that our businesses have changed in similar ways from previous years during this current climate. The demand for boat building has eased right off, but areas such as boat hire are more popular than ever before. I think that our bookings have picked up as we are now using a couple of booking agents, but across the industry bookings seem to be up due to the fact that more customers are taking holidays in the UK rather than flying abroad due to the current problems around the world.

It's been a glorious day here at Norbury today. I didn't think that it would be due to the heavy rainfall that we had in the night, but by 10am the sun was out and cheering us all up. The birds have been merrily singing and flying down off of the shop roof to eat the crumbs left behind by the customers who have been having tea and cake from our Tea room out on the wharf. It certainly brings the crowds out, a bit of sun - lets hope there is plenty more of it to come ;-)

Ralph and Mick undocked Lavender Lee which now looks resplendent with her bottom blacked, counter bands, gunnel tops and sides painted. They then docked the shared owned boat Ryebank which is the last boat to have it's winter maintenance completed here this winter. Unfortunately it was booked in for work a couple of months ago, but they got stranded in the ice at Braunston, Northamptonshire. Ralph's now pressure washed her off and is busy preparing the gunnels and counter bands to accept some paint tomorrow.

Mick has completed the majority of the internal works on Ryebank and has been doing a few jobs around the yard and on our hire boats this afternoon. He has also turned Phantom around as she is off out tomorrow afternoon until Friday.

I don't know where the days go to. They seem to just fly by! I've sat and done a fire risk assessment for our Holiday Cottage today along with updating some of the information and pictures of the boats for sale and advertising the discounts that we are offering on our hire fleet.

Talking about our Holiday Cottage, it's "upside down" layout makes the ideal place to come and enjoy Norbury Junction and the surrounding areas, to sit and watch the boats pass by, the horses trot down the road and the wildlife out in their true habitat across the rolling countryside (see our testimonials). Sleeping a maximum of eight, Wharf Cottage makes an ideal holiday location for all of the family. Shrewsbury, Ironbridge, Stafford, Alton Towers are all within easy reach of Norbury Junction. To take advantage of this truly superb location and reside at Wharf Cottage for a holiday that will be treasured for years to come please CLICK HERE to visit our booking agents website.

That's it from me today. I'm off for three days during the middle of the coming week, so when Simon doesn't write anything about what I have been up to, it doesn't mean that I am asleep!

See you at the weekend!

Best regards,


Saturday, 12 March 2011

Where do you start?

Saturday... Well where do I start??

Following Simons quote on here yesterday it has been surprisingly busy. We have ended up with two boats going out and one turning around here from another yard!

Bernard had to do some repairs to Debdale this morning. Unfortunately she had struck something whilst out and about which resulted in the top guard being split at the fore end. This wouldn't be a major problem but on this particular boat it forms part of the water tank and therefore meant that the water tank was leaking overboard. The water tank was drained, the boat turned round and facing head onto the wharf had the repairs carried out. This involved grinding out where the guard iron had split and welding it up. A coat of black and the water tank refilled and you would never know that it had happened! I tried to get a picture of Bernard in action, but it didn't come out very well!

Ralph's done a sterling job at blacking and tidying up some of the paintwork on Lavender Lee. I think we will have to get the cabin washed and polished next. Here is a picture of her on the dry dock earlier today.
Fred's been doing "Fred jobs"! Pumping out, refuelling, changing gas bottles and filling water tanks. That keeps him busy, and quiet...

Well I'm off to Tamworth tonight, to see some good friends and catch up with some news. So I will leave you all to enjoy your evening and will report again tomorrow on happenings in and around Norbury!



Friday, 11 March 2011

Whaaay its Friday!!

At last its Friday its 5 o'clock and its, No its not cracker Jack, its nearly time to go home! What a busy day it has been today, it started off with Me and David conducting a final interview for the position of Senior engineer and I am glad to say that we now have our new man (Rob) starting with us early in April, Rob has a wealth of knowledge and has a fascinating marine engineering background, not only in the canal industry but with sea going boats and he will be bringing all this experience with him and joining the team here soon, He will be a valued addition to the merry bunch here, so keep your eyes peeled for him.

We have turned around about 8 boats today which has kept everyone busy, far too many things have been done today to mention them all here, nearly all the boats have gone out except one that we found a water pipe had a split in it so we have had to order a new one, that should be with us tomorrow and then that boat can get on its way, Norbury is not a bad place to stay over night, a meal and a few beers in the excellent pub across the way is all that is required to see the evening off nicely!

It is looking like a quiet weekend as we don't have any boats turning around tomorrow but you never can tell, and if the weather is good then it could all change. The lads have all got plenty to keep them busy and David will no doubt give you an update as to whats going on.

That's it from me for another week, so until Monday.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Thinking hard

Do you ever have days when you have been that busy that you cant remember what you have done, I am sitting here at 16.48 racking my brain as to what has happened today, It has been a superb day in terms of getting things sorted and generally just having a nice day, It has been a busy day with people in and out all day, I managed to move some boats off the wharf to make provision for the returning shared boats this afternoon and I have been taking bookings, sorting jobs out, ordering parts again and generally dealing with customers, suppliers and advertisers, I cant be specific because I cant remember the details!

I knew the nice weather would not last and I was right, it has changed now and the wind has got up which makes for moving the boats around a little difficult to say the least, there has been a chill in the air so I am not taking any chances, I have ordered more solid fuel so that we have plenty in stock just in case, I was hoping that the stock I have left would be enough but now I doubt it.

The lads have been bust all day, Bernard on an engine service, replacing batteries and making a locking mechanism for some doors and fitting a water pump, Mick finished of a hot water boiler service today and has been doing a wiring job on boat as well as fitting a new fridge, lights and door locks, Fred has been painting all day on the boat in the dry dock, he is a moaning old goat but he does do a good job! Fred if you are reading this, you have about 15 pump outs tomorrow, that will make him happy, he is in his element when he is pumping boats out as it gives him an excuse to stand around talking while waiting for the job to finish! Lee has been painting in the wet dock, Jay has been busy all day with customers in the Tea room, Steve has been cracking on with the new day boat and Angela and Lol have been doing training for most of the day; The 'three wise men' have been here for the last few days causing mayhem, They are my dad (Rob) my uncle (Brian) and my other uncle (David) They are all retired and they come down to Norbury to help around the place, usually repairing things in the docks or making improvements around the place but they do cause me some trouble with their antics but it is a pleasure to have them around and their work is very much appreciated!

Its taken me from 16.48 until 17.28 to write this, that just goes to show how long it takes with all the things that need to be dealt with here.

That's it from me for today.


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

How long will it last?

I cant believe it, another superb day at Norbury, people rely will start to think that Spring has arrived if this weather stays like this for much longer, it has been another glorious day, the sun has been shining all day today and that has encouraged me to spend as much time out side as I can rather than being stuck in the office, I had to spend all morning in the office as I was busy with ordering parts for boats and doing paperwork but as soon as the chance arose I shot out side and have been moving boats around and generally mooching around the yard and the boats.

The lads have all been busy, Fred and Bernard un-docked a private boat first thing this morning and then docked Lavender Lee, I would show that name as a link just like David does but i don't know how! Lavender Lee is a brokerage boat and it required docking for blacking and a bit of paintwork to tidy it up, I have been and inspected it and it is in excellent condition and will make a super boat for some on, not badly priced either at 32.5k for a 62 footer of that age, Bernard had to attend a breakdown on the Llangollen canal this afternoon, nothing to serious fortunately, Fred has been pressure washing and preparing the boat in the dock and Lee has just been painting, I will post some pictures when it is worthy of taking some, Steve has been cracking on with the day boat and the same applies, as soon as it is worthy of taking some pictures I will do.

I have managed to do the blog tonight at work and it is now 5.24 so I'm off home for my T, so until tomorrow.


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Sunny Tuesday

I awoke this morning to a very cold morning, another morning when the car need the ice scraping from the windows, but the sun rise was fantastic and i knew at that point that the weather would be superb today and I was not disappointed, it has been just sublime, there has not been a cloud in the sky and at one point even the reflection of the sun on the water was almost blinding, its been a little chilly but that has not stopped people from being out and about and enjoying Norbury, the wharf has seen a steady stream of customers all day which has kept Angela busy in the T room and its great to see people sitting outside enjoying the surroundings. the forecasters are saying that it is not going to last and the weekend will change, shame, and I thought that Spring had arrived, maybe not yet!

I think that the nice weather has encouraged to move their boats, I have seen several on the move today and we have even had some on the wharf for services.

The lads have all been busy as usual, Steve is really cracking on with the day boat and another couple of weeks and he will have broken the back of it, Fred finished off painting the boat in the dry dock and that looks excellent, Bernard had to fit some anodes on to it first thing and then he did the engine checks on a few hire boats, he then attended a breakdown on a hire boat with a sticking pressure relief valve, Lee has been applying primer to the boat in the wet dock, I have been busy all day with quotes and dealing with the day today goings on in the office, all in all a busy day made even nicer with some lovely weather and nice people.

Its not said enough, but thank you to all the nice people that have been in today and thank you for your business.


Monday, 7 March 2011

Another fine day

The weekend seems to go so fast and then 'bang' and its Monday again, but what a fine day it has been, I have been out and about today doing jobs that have taken me out in to the sticks and in to town so I have seen a wonderful contrast of both the countryside and the city in the sun, Norbury has been basking in the sun for most of the day which has bought in a steady flow of customers to the T room but I have not seen one boat on the move all day, the moorings seem quite full as I drove over the bridge on my way home, but I think that they may have been there since yesterday.

I see that David has done a sterling job of keeping you posted about the weekends activities and i also note that Ember has returned, and with only a few snagging items to be sorted, I am very pleased with that and our customers were also very pleased with the boat, so I would say that it has been a sucess, lets hope that all of the holiday makers due out on it feel the same.

Ralph has been busy today antifouling a narrow boat in the dock, its unusual to have a steel narrow boat on the canal with antifoul paint but this customer specified it, there is a bit more work involved in the application and the cost of the paint is much higher, I am not too sure it is worth the extra cost but at the end of the day it is the customers choice, Mick has been busy sorting out Ember, Lee has been busy with applying the first coat of hi-build primer to the boat in the paint dock.

Its funny to see the basin devoid of boats, especially after the long winter where it has been full to over-brimming and now virtually empty as most of the boats are out, it wont be like it for long and they will all be back this weekend.

Thats it for now, lets see what tomorrow brings


Sunday, 6 March 2011

Glorious afternoon at Norbury

Its been a glorious afternoon here at Norbury today, following a gloomy start.

Here's a picture looking into the basin from the foot of bridge 38. It tells you quite a lot about what we have been up to recently if you look closely! You can see that the basin is half empty, that's as half of the fleet are out on their travels. We've got a good range of boats up for sale over by the wet dock. Unfortunately the diesel price crept up on Friday and is now 74.9ppl, lets hope that is comes down as quickly as it went up, but I don't think that is going to happen by watching the news... The shop and tearoom have been busy today. Carolyn has been in command in the kitchen and Lorraine has been "thrown in at the deep end" in the shop, but is learning the ropes and doing a sterling job. Ralph has been attacking the gardens again this afternoon - they will look splendid this year!

Take a look in the wet dock. Lee hasn't been in over the weekend, but this is how he left the boat he is painting. It is now prepped and has been treated with a rust inhibiting oil that we use. That will mean that it will be ready for him to start apply the primer tomorrow.

Down in the dry dock Mick and Ralph docked a private boat this morning and Ralph has dually pressure washed it off and cleaned the dock out. This boat is painted in International antifouling, which is a new product to us. So I will be down in the dock in the morning helping Ralph with the first coat.

I've been invoicing today, so if you receive an invoice through the post in the next few days, I'm sorry, but it is necessary for our business!

That's about it for today folks, back over to Simon tomorrow.



Saturday, 5 March 2011

A damp day in Norbury

It has been a damp day here at Norbury today. Given the weather conditions we have still been surprisingly busy.

We have turned three of our hire boats around today and a further three of the shared ownership boats have been collected and are on their way off on their travels for the forthcoming week.

Ember went out on her maiden voyage yesterday afternoon and (touch wood) we haven't heard of any problems. I'm sure that she is in capable hands. Luckily the first customer to use her is one of our regulars. Simon didn't only miss out on a meal the other night, he also missed out on toasting the maiden voyage of the boat. Ange and I were happy to step in, so we enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine out on the wharf with the ten occupants aboard Ember last evening. She will be returned tomorrow evening.

There's not much more to report really today. Most of the staff have been involved with turning the boats around and ensuring that everything is 'just so' for the customers.

Well that's it from me today. I will get some pictures of interest for you tomorrow.

Best regards,


Friday, 4 March 2011

Busy Friday

As the title says really, it has been a very busy day today for lots of reasons, one the sun has been shining, two, lots of boats have been going out and three, because we have had plenty scheduled in for today and then someone wanted to come and view my car that i was selling, that took a couple of hours but it paid off as i sold it, so very pleased about that.

As I said, lots of boats were going out today and I must say it is nice to see the place buzzing with people, familiar faces and some new ones, sorry to anyone who turned up for their boat and it wasn't quite ready or there was a small problem; to be honest most people turned up far too early and we hadn't finished getting them all sorted, I suspect that everyone thought that as some of the boats hadn't been out for such a long time that they would all be ready, not the case and there were still a few jobs to be completed as well as some of the boats to be 'turned around' Please please please remember in future that we guarantee to have the boats ready by 3 0clock so leave it until as late as you can to come to the boat.

Ember has gone out on its maiden voyage today, so fingers crossed that all goes well with that and Princess goes out on her maiden voyage tomorrow, well its not quite a maiden voyage but it is the first time that she has gone out as a 'Norbury' boat so fingers crossed for that one as well. Fred has earned his wages today, Friday is about the only day that he works really hard, I now Know why David has instigated chips on a Friday, just to keep Fred going! I was not too impressed when David announced that the chips were on the way as I am on a bit of a diet (holiday soon) so none for me!! Just a bowl of soup.You know how mean some people can be? they even sent me a picture of a curry last night when a certain person who will remain nameless went out with Karen F, well thanks guys, I have given in and am off out for one myself tonight(so much for a diet)

As you can imagine all the lads have been busy and we also had a breakdown on one of our hire boats that went out last week, nothing serious, just a broken bilge pump, Bernard to the rescue and they were on their way in no time at all.

Well that's it from me for this week, I will leave you all in the every capable hands of David for the weekend, and I am sure he will have more time to post some pictures.


Thursday, 3 March 2011

Quiet Thursday?

I am not really sure if it has been quiet or not today as me and David have been interviewing most of the day so we haven't really been around to see whats going on, I do know that Rybank has now joined us for the coming season, this is another shared owned boat and I am glad to have them with us, so that's it now, we have all the boats here that are coming and they have all started to go out as normal now, we have around 10 boats out over the next couple of days and I think that they will all be out shortly.

Sorry for such a short post today, i will try harder tomorrow.


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

just another day

Nothing exciting has happened today, the weather was grey and dull until around lunch time and then when the sun came out it was simply superb, It would have been fantastic if there had been some boats on the move but I think I have only seen two all day, I wonder if people still think that the canal is shut at Woodseaves? Well it is open now just in case you were wondering!

Fred and Bernard docked Aprilas today, which is a private boat off our moorings, for blacking, Fred pressed on and got the hull all cleaned down while Bernard did a welding job on Steelaway which is one of the new shared owned boats that has come to Norbury for this season, Lee has been preparing the paintwork on Sophie which I found out today was actually called Gemma but is having a name change and will be called Tetley, good job we dont have the task of signwritng it as I don't think we would have got it right some how! Tuesdays and Wednesdays are always a bit thin on the ground staff wise because of us working seven days a week so roll on tomorrow when things are back to normal and everyone is in. I have been sorting out the chandlery today amongst other things and am just about to start preparing for interviewing tomorrow, we are interviewing for a new engineer, now that we are operating more boats we really do need an extra pair of hands.

That's about it from me today


Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Spring is in the air today

The day started a bit grey and overcast and didn't look very promising but as the day has progressed the weather has improved and as we speak the sun is shinning over the basin and the birds are twittering away, it is a little cold and I know that the forecasters have said that temperatures will be dropping below freezing again before the weekend, I hope it isn't too cold for too long as it can cause problems with the boats, we are still repairing damaged filter, water pumps and pipework from the last cold snap.

There have been a few boats on the move today and it is nice to see some life at long last, is it me or do we seem to have had a loooooong winter? It is nice to drive to work in the light and its lovely to drive home in the light, roll on the really light nights when we can all sit out side until very late in our shorts and T shirts.

All the lads have been busy as usual, Fred with blacking and varnishing, not at the same time, he is good but not that good! Bernard has been doing a bit of welding on Princess just reinstating the wear chines at the rear of the boat, welding up a split in the stem post and shortening the prop shaft as it was excessively long and very close to the rudder, Steve has been cracking on with the fit out on the new day boat and Lee has been prepping Sophie all day

I have been proof reading the new brochure and generally catching up on paperwork, Ange has been busy today in the Tea room amongst her other jobs, she is like a beaver and never seems to stop and last Joyce has been cleaning the boats and generally getting them ready for the weekend, another busy weekend ahead with about 9 boats going out.

That's it from me today.