Shop front in the summer

Saturday, 30 April 2011


Bloody hell what a busy day,I dont usually work on a Saturday or Sunday but as it is the Norbury festival I thought that I would show willing and come and give some support, It has been a fantastic day, everyone has worked flat out to get the boats turned around,deal with the thousands of visitors that we have seen today and also sort out the five breakdowns that have occured, thankfully not our boats, they were all private boats,far too much has happened today to mention here,so if you want to know than come down over the weekend and join us and i will tell you all about it.

Thats it from me for today

Friday, 29 April 2011

A Royal day

Its been a lovely day for a Royal wedding but given that the weather has been so good today it is a shame that it has been a relatively quiet day at Norbury, I didn't expect it to be busy at all as I suspect that the majority of the nation is glued to the TV, also given the fact that it is a turnaround day today it has still been a quiet day,we did however have the two day boats go out this morning so I dont think that the people were to concerned about the royal goings on, we have only had to of the shared boats turning around today and one for tomorrow, tomorrow promises to be a busy day, we have four boats going out plus a couple of day boats and it is the Norbury festival so lets hope that the weather stays good for that,

Freddie has pumped all of the boats this morning so that will save him a big job tomorrow, and has also blacked a boat, Ralph has been attending to the new flowers around the place, going through the boats for tomorrow, Mick has done an engine service, a boiler service, sorted some pipes out on a boat that had frozen in the winter, Steve has been putting a new floor down in a boat, Bernard has attended a breakdown, serviced a boat, fitted a new starter motor as well as re packing a stern tube and a bit of welding, all of the girls have got on top of the valets and the cleaning of the hire boats for tomorrow, David has been doing 'David' things and I have been doing 'Simon' things.

Nothing of real interest to say about today, but then with the Royal wedding taking place anything that I say wont be very interesting!

That's it until tomorrow

Thursday, 28 April 2011

A scorching day

It’s been a scorcher here today, not that I am complaining!

The boats have been coming through thick and fast today. The cold winter and thick ice on the canal that meant that we didn’t see anyone come through by boat for six weeks seems such a long time ago now. Three months ago we were wearing as many clothes as we could get on and now we are down to shorts and shirt sleeves (shorts after work anyway!)…

I had arranged to go across the Mersey from Ellesmere Port to Liverpool on Tuesday (yes by narrow boat), but unfortunately I had a phone call from Sue last night to say that the trip had been cancelled and she would be crossing on Friday instead as the weather is due to change early next week. So, I’ll have to arrange to do something else on my days off and go across the Mersey another time L. I’m sure that I will get some pictures sent to me during the course of the weekend, so I will post them then.

Talking about the weekend, the Newport and Shrewsbury Canal Trust have their annual boat gathering at Norbury this weekend, with that and the Royal wedding celebrations I am sure that we will be having a busy time. There will be lots going on in and around Norbury, so it will be an ideal time to pay us a visit. We are open as usual during our normal hours (8.30am to 5.30pm).

The lads have all been busy about their daily tasks. Steve has replaced the tables out on the wharf during the course of the day as they were getting a bit tired.

Until tomorrow.



Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Sunny Thursday

Its been a lovely day today although I have been out most of today buying stock so I presume that Norbury has had nice weather like I have had, I cant really make many comments about what has gone on today, I do know that Angela has been putting stock away all day and David has been sorting out the Internet, at long last it looks like we have a new connection speed which will make our lives soooooo much better and hopefully the thing wont keep crashing, time will tell!

I am not around tomorrow so David will be able to give you a much better idea of the the goings on at Norbury and if you are lucky there may even be some pictures, I have a date with the bottom of a big boat down in Southampton at 6 o'clock in the morning.

I am afraid that is it from me for today as I need to get off for my long drive down South.


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The day after the Bank holiday

It has been a fantastic weekend, very busy with people everywhere and then, Nothing! It is like some one has switched the power off, We have been busy all day catching up from the weekend, re ordering stock, putting stock away and all the general stuff that needs doing but after the madness of the weekend it did seem quiet, yet I am still at work late and typing this!

Fred moaned at me this morning for not writing the blog up last night, sorry Fred it was after your bed time when I did write it up, he likes to see what he is up to the next day, well tomorrow Fred will mostly be pressure washing another boat in the dock! he has been busy today doing pump outs, blacking and strimming the moorings, Bernard has been sorting out a dodgy rudder on a boat in the dock and fitting anodes while Mick has attended a breakdown and he has been sorting out yet more water leaks on someones boat, Lee has been painting a brokerage boat and tidying up Ember before she goes out this coming weekend, this is the last chance we will have to do much to her as from this weekend onwards she will be out every week until September; we had several boats come in over the weekend for sale and I was chuffed today as I sold one of them, I only listed it yesterday, that Ain't bad going! all in all its been a good day, except its now raining, time to go home.

That's it from me for another day.


Monday, 25 April 2011

unusual for a bank holiday

It has been very unusual for a bank holiday to have such lovely weather all weekend, we have been so lucky and toady has been even better than yesterday, the wharf has been very busy with people coming out for an ice cream or a drink or looking at the boats, the boats have not been so busy though and we have not seen many at all, I think we have only had a hand full on the wharf all day today, you watch it will be manic later on in the week! We now need to really pull out all the stops as next weekend should be even busier as it is the Norbury festival, lets hope the weather stays like this for then, it will be superb if it is.

No pictures from today, I have taken a few but haven't had time to up load them, if I get chance I will do so tomorrow, We swapped a boat in the painting dock today so there is a picture to put on of the spanking new paint job that has just been finished, me and David have been up dating the brokerage information today and getting another boats paperwork all done, that's three boats this weekend that have come in and gone up for sale, Mayflower has now gone to a new home and I am sure it will look fantastic once the new owners have worked their magic on it.

That's it for today as I am taking Amanda out for dinner as she deserves it because she has been helping out at work all weekend (its the least i can do as she doesn't get paid)


Sunday, 24 April 2011

Rare sight on a Sunday

It doesnt happen very often that I work on a Sunday but this week is a slight exception because it is Easter Sunday, expecting it to be really busy I thought I better show willing and help out, as it was I could have had the day off, it didnt really amount to much today, compared to yesterday and Friday it was a bit of a let down, the weather wasnt quite as good though, maybe tomorrow it will be busier!

Not much of interst to report about todays goings on, the two day boats went out and came back with out any issues, Ralph and Mick undocked two boats and then proceeded to dock two more, Mick then finished off a gas job while Ralph pressure washed the two on the dock, me and David have been looking after customers and doing promotional stuff to do with the new brokerage boats that came in yesterday, two done and one to go, its amazing just how long it takes to do all the paperwork and up load everything on to the net.

Me, David and Amanda (my partner) went to Elsmere port last night to see friends and have a look around the very good turn out of historic boats that had gathered their for the weekend, here is a picture of me and Amanda on one of my old working boats, it was the first time that she had been on to a butty boat and she was amazed that i used to live in that tiny little cabin, the boat is now a credit to Roger Fuller who owns it now, she is looking lovely, I feel privelaged to have owned the boat and loaded it as it would have been back in 1915. Thats it from me for tonight, I hope you all have a lovely evening.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Another sunny day at Norbury

It has certainly been a nice day for the day boaters who headed off bright and early this morning to enjoy their day aboard Victory and Defiant. We’ve still got a few day boats available during this week. So if you fancy a day out on the Shroppie, give us a call and book now – more information HERE! I’ll even do it for £75.00 per day per boat for readers of our blog (Monday 25th April to Friday 29th April only, but don’t tell Simon – hehe :-)). I’ve also discounted the hire boats for the next week or so – Click here for prices.

Phantom, Phoenix, Princess and Ember have all returned this morning, with many of the holiday makers not wanting to leave and make the trip home after having such an excellent holiday which was complimented by the fabulous weather that we are currently experiencing. We’ve turned all of the boats around and Princess, Ember, Sovereign Lady, Shropshire Blue, Rowington and Debdale have all left for another weeks cruise.

The new owners have arrived to collect Mayflower and are heading off on their travels. Hester, Bukittingi and Cornish have arrived for brokerage and I will be advertising them over the next couple of days. So keep your eye’s peeled on our website as you could grab yourself an Easter bargain with a guaranteed mooring here at Norbury.

After Fred finished turning the boats around he headed down to the dry dock to apply the final coats of blacking to the two boats currently on the dock. Ralph has checked the internals of all of the hire boats, attacked the grass that has decided to sprout up between the paving slabs in front of the shop (although there is still more to do) and has done the show rounds on the hire boats. Mick has also been checking internals on the boats and rectified a couple of faults on the shared boats and then has been fitting a replacement cooker to a private boat. Bernard arrived late due to a problem with his vehicle but then has checked all the engines on the boats that went out and has been doing a few jobs on one of the boats that we are currently offering for sale.

I’m off up to Ellesmere Port tonight to catch up with some friends and see all of the boats that have turned out for the boat gathering that is apparently in full swing in the grounds of the Boat Museum. I’ll try to remember to take the camera with me to get a few shots for you.

The weather forecast is for fine weather again tomorrow, so we will look forward to that! Enjoy your evening.

Until tomorrow.


Friday, 22 April 2011

Friday 22nd

Another superb day here at Norbury, the weather again is fantastic, the Gods must be looking down on us and thinking that we deserve some good fortune after the hard winter that we had, the winter months are a distance memory now as we bake in the glorious Easter sun, long may it continue.

All of the boats returned without to many calamities and things that needed doing, they all got turned around again without to many issues, its funny how things work out, if we have a small turnaround we always seem to have plenty of issues yet when it is a big turnaround things seem to go 'tickety boo' long may that statement last, the only major issue that has occurred today is a broken down chest freezer where we store some of our ice cream, , we had a huge delivery first thing so we have had to pack the other freezers to the rafters with ice creams, I will have to go and buy another one soon, When we had the ice cream reps down last year we were amazed to find out that our little shop here at Norbury had achieved the biggest growth of ice creams in the country, we topped our sales buy a massive 1000% increase on the previous year, hard to believe or our sales the previous year were very poor.

Most of the boats have gone now, again without too many problems so that's it until tomorrow when we start all over again, this is pretty much the pattern now for us throughout the season, it doesn't however stop all of the other jobs going on around the yard, Ralph has been kept busy all day with blacking the two boats in the dry dock, Bernard went and finished off the breakdown that occurred earlier in the week as the parts turned up late yesterday afternoon for it, Mick has been kept busy in the engine rooms of the hire boats getting them ready and Fred has been sunning him self while doing the odd pump out, Me and David have been helping customers in the chandlery, people looking at boats and Angela and all of the girls (including Jay)have been flat out cleaning boats and working in the Tea room.

The busiest day so far this year!!

That's it from me for today, I am having a well earned day off tomorrow, I will be back on Sunday though!


Thursday, 21 April 2011

Its officially hot!

Its been a fantastic day, We couldnt have wished for better weather for Easter, I have been in and out most of the day and I have to say that it was officially hot outside just after lunch, We have a big turnaround of boats this weekend 21 in total including the day boats,so it will be the busiest weekend of the year for us so far, coupled with the weather its going to be mad here.

There have been a considerable number of boats around today, still not as many as you would expect given that it is Easter, We would normally see then queuing to get on to the wharf but just a steady trickle, I have even done a pump out today!

Lorraine has been kept busy all day in the tea room with the help of Caroline, We now have a Caroline and a Carilyn, that is going to get a little confusing at times! Lee has been kept busy with putting the final touches to the boat in the painting dock and he has started touching up a brokerage boat that requires a little TLC, Trevor has been cracking on with the sign writing and although it would not be my chosen style it does look very good, Bernard has been up to his neck in rudders,bearings, annodes, stern tubes and welding in the dock, Ralph has also been up to his neck blacking as he has had two boats to do today! David has been doing 'David' things, (I really must see what he gets up to) and Ange has been flitting between the tea room , the phones. the laundry, I even caught her running today, that's a first!

That's it from me today as it is far to warm sitting here so I am off for a cool beer.
Until tomorrow

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A 'hunk' not a rock?

I have always thought of my self as a hunk not a rock but it looks like have I have been given that title by Narrow boat world, click on this link to take you to the article that has been posted on their website I am a handsome chap aren't I?

Well what a fantastic day it has been , the sun has almost been unbearable this afternoon, i don't know what the temperature is but would imagine in the mid 20's wow and its only April, long may it continue, trouble is, the next thing will be a hose pipe ban and restricted navigation because of water shortages, you cant win in this job!

Its been manic today as you might imagine, first thing this morning saw a day boat go out for the day, a boat undocked, two boats docked, the sign writer turn up to write a boat (photos to follow) a timber order arrive and people everywhere enjoying the sun,looking at boats and all this before 10AM! Its been pretty busy all day and I have to say that it has kept Jay and Lorraine on the go all day, Angela is still catching up from her holiday last week (that will teach her to have time off) I have been none stop all day either on the phone or looking at jobs out on the canal.

We have seen a few old working boats through today (the stragglers) bringing up the rear so to speak on their way to the boat gathering at Ellesmere, it looks like it will be a very busy event up there this weekend, shame I am working as I would have liked to go and take a look. I might just pop up there on Saturday night and have a beer.

That's pretty much it from sunny Norbury today, lets see if we are as lucky with the weather tomorrow.


Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Lovely and interesting Tuesday

The weather today is just fantastic and it makes the job lovely, it brings out loads of people and the wharf comes alive! I have had a bit more of an interesting couple of days, as David mentioned yesterday, I went down to Northampton to drop of Bex and co off who are collecting a boat that is to be put on brokerage, Once loaded up I did a bit of boating along the Gayton arm of the Grand union canal, up to the junction where I swung right and on to the main line heading North, the first bridge hole I jumped off and returned to my car and then back on to the M1 heading for home, the weather down there was stunning and the evening sun made me want to carry on boating until dark, but 'ho hum' not for me! Today has also got off to an interesting start as the motor boat Renfrew has been loading timber destined for somewhere down south, this timber is being used for the restoration of Lucy which is an load wooden working boat, Renfrew is off the Elsmere Port first to join in with the Easter gathering first. Here are some pictures. Before unloading the timber in to the boat. after loading the boatAnd finally the loaded boat being made ready for its journey north.

Once the day boats were out of the way first thing this morning Mick settled down to looking at some gas appliances on a boat, Bernard has been fitting anodes, fitting a oil pressure gauge and servicing and engine and Rosie has been blacking and cutting grass; I must tell you about Rosie, Rosie has a long standing relationship with the canal system and comes from a family who are very well known in the industry, she lives in one of the cottages here at Norbury, anyway while Fred is away on his holidays she steps in and does his jobs, I have to say that she is far far prettier than Fred (and much less aggro) Hi Fred if you are reading this, missing you!

Cheers Phil Keep the reminders coming for David about the web cams, one day he might get around to sorting them.

That's about it from me today.


Monday, 18 April 2011

Today has flown by. It's been another busy one, with the sun shining on us until this afternoon when it went a bit overcast. I'm assure that the sun will be out again tomorrow. I am certainly looking forward to that because I'm going off boating for a day or two. I told you about a week ago about the historic boat gathering up at Ellesmere Port and we are heading towards that destination with Thea tomorrow.

There's been plenty of old boats through over the last couple of days, which really is making my feet itch to get away. That's the one downside to my job here, that I can't get away to many rallies as they tend to fall during our busy periods (ie. bank holidays). But when you have a got a boss like Simon - it makes being at work worth while... I'll feel better when I've had a couple of days boating with Sue!

Talking about Simon, he is currently somewhere near Coventry (as the M6/M1 junction is closed), dropping some boat movers off to bring a boat back from Northampton which will be going up for sale here next week. We've advertised Silver Mist today (see she is a very pleasant 30 footer, which I am sure will not hang about for long as she is realistically priced at just £11,999.00 - a real bargain!

I think I can now get off home.

Catchya at the weekend.



Sunday, 17 April 2011


I know, I know, I promised pictures today, but unfortunately I haven’t had the time today to do so. That’s a good thing on my part, although not for you! It’s meant that we have been busy today. In actual fact, we have been very busy J. Jay and Joyce have done a sterling job in the tea room keeping all the customers fed, watered and satisfied whilst Lorraine has been flitting between the reception and covering in the tearoom.

The canal has certainly come to life today, I don’t know if that’s just because the sun has been out or people have decided to start using their boats after the long winter, but we have had boats pulling in on the wharf for diesel, coal, gas, pumpouts and other services throughout the afternoon. That used to be my job when I came here six years ago, although I still get to do a few these days. It’s an enjoyable job really, chatting with the customers and discussing routes etc.

Mick and Ralph have undocked the boat that was on the dock and docked another private boat. Whilst Ralph was pressure washing, Mick has been out on a couple of breakdowns and has also been servicing Sue (sorry, I meant to say Sue’s Alde boiler!)

Once again, I’m sorry that there are no pictures. I’ll try and get some tomorrow for Simon to post, or if I am kind to him I’ll put a guest appearance in on the blog tomorrow.

Until then.


Saturday, 16 April 2011


These weekends come around far too quickly and before you know it we've turned all the boats round and they've gone out! Everyone's worked hard again today and Phantom, Phoenix, Summer Wine, Princess and Ember have all been turned round and are now off to be enjoyed by their occupants for the week. We've also turned two of the shared owned boats around aswell as the Holiday Cottage, so that's certainly kept everyone busyand that's without mentioning the dayboat...

Lorraine is settling in well to her new job in reception and has been looking after all of the holiday makers very well.

There's not much to report today, except it's been busy.

Photographs and more text tomorrow :-)

Have a good evening.



Friday, 15 April 2011

Friday and its turn-around day

Friday comes around really quick and its another turn-around day, all of the boast have returned, that'ss always a good start! No real problems with any of the boats just the usual bits and bobs that need doing so Bernard and Mick have been attending to them, Fred has been pumping them all out and fueling them up and they have all gone out with their respective holiday makers on for another week or in some cases two. Sphinx has been turned around and that has got off without any problems, Jay has had a steady flow of customers in the tea room since first thing this morning and the shop and chandlery has had its fair share of customers as well. The weather has been relatively kind to the lads today, a bit cold but it hasn't rained, there is nothing worse than a turn-around day in the rain, lets hope that the sun comes out to play for the weekend, Its amazing, the wharf has been very busy today yet the rest of the week it hasn't, its almost as though people wait until they see we are busy and then pounce! I am not complaining and everyone is welcome anytime!

Although I am not in work over the weekend I don't get away with doing nothing and this weekend I have to go down to Northampton to complete the paperwork on a boat that is coming in to be put on to brokerage, then down to Southampton to look at another and then up North to look at another,So a busy weekend for me!

Thats it from me for this week, I am sure that David will keep you up to speed the goings on in Norbury over the weekend, and maybe some pictures,

Until Monday. Simon

Thursday, 14 April 2011

No show!

You know when you get a funny feeling about someone? We have been looking for a new engineer all last year and without much success, its amazing that in today's climate it still seems that people don't want to work,or should I say that they don't want work! We have some plans that require an extra engineer and he would also complement the team here, so last year we advertised and had quite a few applicants, one of which was excellent, we offered him a job and then low and behold his present employer offered him a better package to keep him! We then fortunately found what we though was going to be another excellent 'time served engineer' Well he only did two days and decided it wasn't for him! not sure really why but I think the travelling might have had something to do with it, shame as he seemed like a really nice chap and I think he would have enjoyed it here, so back to the drawing board and interviewing again!

Its been a sunny day here today, I have been out at a meeting today so I ha vent seen all that has gone on, I do know that Fred has been blacking, tidying the place up and washing the new van, Bernard has been doing some welding on the boat in the dry dock, Lee has been applying paint again in the wet dock, Joyce has been doing a spot of cleaning and Lorraine has been looking after the Tea room with her usual smile and friendly banter.

The van has been washed by Fred as its being collected tomorrow morning by our old Friend Titch who is going to letter it up with our name and contact details, I am sure David will get some photos of it once its all done; All of the shared owned boats have returned without any major issues so hopefully tomorrow should be nice and easy.

That's it from me today.


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Dull old day

What a contrast to the rest of the week, woke up this morning to a dull cold morning, what a shame as it was looking so promising over the weekend and yesterday! Lets keep our fingers crossed for this weekend; I had done the blog early yesterday but stayed behind last night just to tidy up some loose ends, well I am so glad that I did as I sold a boat! Another early start for me today as we are short on staff again so I thought I would get in early, open the place up and sort out all the usual emails before the staff roll up and start giving me grief! Only kidding Fred if you are reading this.

On arriving at work this morning I was surprised to see that every visitor mooring in Norbury was jam packed full, there were even four boats abreast out side of the pub, but it did start off quiet this morning, Owl left first thing with its happy customers on board, this was the boat that was serviced yesterday, I took it out of the basin just to see how the engine performed, it sounded and performed very well indeed;Fred and Rob went and filled the dock and flooded off 'Cobweb, that was on for blacking etc, Bernard, Fred and Rob have put 'KBO' on for pressure washing and blacking and Fred has spent the rest of the morning pressure washing the hull sides ready to take its first coat of Intertuff tomorrow, Bernard has been up to a boat at Goldstone to fit a new coupling on to a boat, Rob has been repairing a broken exhaust and a diesel leak on the day boat, welding anodes, bow thruster guard and rudder bearing,Jay and Lorraine have been kept busy with a steady flow of customers all day and Lee has been applying paint again all day in the wet dock.

We have certainly seen a steady stream of boats through Norbury today, Wednesday is usually a busier day as it is half way through the week and about half way around the Four Counties ring for people out cruising, given that there has been plenty of boats around nothing really exciting has happened today, so that's it from me today, I cant be late tonight as I have promised my nearest and dearest a meal out tonight to celebrate her new job.

Regards Simon

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Early start today

Because of staff holidays, days off and the fact that it is half term I started the day off at 6.30 am today to make sure that I was ahead of the game before it all kicked off at 8.30,so this wont be a long post today! As I have said before, Tuesday and Wednesday can be very busy for Norbury as it is when people have their days off so today we have the return of Pam, Pam used to work here full time up until she retired about 18 months ago and now she comes in to help out when we are a bit short on the ground, its lovely to have her smiling face back, albeit only for a few hours;Rob the new engineer started today, so make sure you give him a very warm welcome when you see him around the yard.

I was expecting it to be a very busy day today, Victory went out first thing this morning with a family on it for the day, up to the Wharf Tavern at Goldstone for lunch, the weather has been kind to them and the sun has shone for most of the day, a tad on the chilly side compared to the last few days but none the less a nice day, It hasn't really been a busy day, given how light we have been on the ground everything has gone tickety boo with no major drama's Rob was thrown in at the deep end (not literally) and has done an engine service on a vintage engine in a boat today and has been getting to grips with life at Norbury, Freddie has given a third coat of blacking to the boat in the dock and has been strimming the grass up the moorings, Lee has been painting on the boat in the wet dock and Pam and Jay have been kept busy with a steady flow of customers all day, Steve has been doing some work on one of the brokerage boats that needed a bit of tidying up.

That's it from me today.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Fantastic weekend

As the title says, what a fantastic weekend it has been, in more ways than one, I have had a superb time away in mid Wales with some good friends, off roading over a few mountain trails, and the weather was simply stunning, I really hope that the weather stays like it all year, It looks like they had a very busy weekend at Norbury, this is definetley down to the very good weather and the fact that its half term, It carried on today and its been busy all day, the weather hasnt been quite as kind though We did have some rain today but at least the sun shone through late in the afternoon just as we were locking up and going home.

I see that David has posted up some nice pictures from around the wharf over the weekend, I was going to do the same today but rain stopped play so to speak, honest! We have had a few boats on the wharf, still no where as many as you would expect given that it is half term time, I do wonder how many boats are staying on their moorings because money is a bit tighter these days and the price of diesel is constantly going up, it wont be long before red diesel is at £1.00 per litre, narrow boats are not bad on fuel though compared to sea going boats, a small cruiser of about 36 foot with twin diesel engines will use around 40 litres an hour at a cruising speed of about 24knots, you can now see that narrow boats are not bad on fuel.

At this time of year we always have a few moorers leave us and move on to pastures new so we find ourselves in a position to be able to offer a couple of mooring spaces at Norbury, we are going to offer a good deal on them so if it is something that you might be interested in just us a call.

That's it for tonight.


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Oh what a night...

What a night we had last night. The taxi arrived at 7pm and whisked us off to Wolverhampton. We spent the night at a Greek restaurant in the city and what a laugh it was. Dinner was served at 8.30pm whilst being entertained by a Greek keyboard player, by 9.30pm we were being entertained by their resident band and belly dancers with customer participation essential! Unfortunately we had to leave at 11pm, which was probably a good thing, because I was starting to nod off! Apparently after we left, there was plate smashing and a disco until the early hours... I'd certainly recommend it for an evening do for a group (birthday, hen party etc.). I'll definitely be visiting next time I tie up in Broad Street basin, Wolverhampton as it is also within easy walking distance from the cut.

It's been another busy day here at Norbury. Lots of people about, and a few more boats today - the visitor moorings haven't been this busy since last summer. Passing traffic, still seems to be down somewhat though - we certainly haven't had the volume of boats through that we usually expect during the Easter holidays.

Here's a few pictures of the wharf today - I do love it when the sun shines!

The thing that I most love about Norbury, is that there is always something to see. Here's a picture of Vespa that turned up today with one of our motor homes and Phantasy open for display in the background.

Bernard has been back to Higher Poynton today to sort out Peter Underwood's engine. Injector's are back in and the report is that Blackberry Way's Lister SR3 is back up and running. The engine had been "making oil" and was overheating. This is normally down to the bleed screws on the pumps leaking, the unions on the pumps or the diaphragm in the lift pump. Bernard checked all of this on his initial visit and still wasn't convinced, it turned out to be one of the injector's leaking. He removed all three and we had them reconditioned and now they are all refitted Peter can be on his way again - see you at the Port at Easter.

Talking about the Port (that's Ellesmere Port to those that don't know what I'm talking about) there is a boat gathering for historic boats there each Easter. They gather in Chester basin on the Thursday evening and then go down to the Port on mass on Good Friday to enjoy a fantastic get together. They've started to filter through now - so if your travelling south on the Shroppie over the next week or so watch out for some big fore ends approaching in bridges or if you think there is a sunken boat coming towards you, it'll be a deeply loaded "Josher". If you meet a motor boat with another boat following it in close succession, don't try to get through the bridge 'ole after the first boat as it is most likely pulling a butty and the line will quickly catapult out of it's course.

I'll leave you to enjoy the evening and hand back over to Simon tomorrow.

Bye for now.



Saturday, 9 April 2011

What a warm and sunny day!

Well, what a brilliant day it has been today. The weather has just been glorious and we have been extremely busy. Everyone has worked really hard today, especially Jay, Joyce and Amy in the tearoom this afternoon. Lorraine and I have been busy with holiday bookings most of the day and dealing with customers in the shop.

Phoenix, Princess and Ember have been collected by their occupants for the week and the rest of the shared owned boats have departed to enjoy the sunshine . One of the motor homes has also been collected it’s off to south Wales for a few days and then down to Devon – so our name certainly gets about!

Fred, Ralph and Billy have busy turning boats around and Fred has been blacking this afternoon.

Bernard has finished putting a 1.5 BMC back together for a customer who is collecting it tomorrow.

Mayflower is now under offer, as is Chi-cheemaun.

I’m afraid that it is not a long blog tonight, it’s nearly half five and I’m being taken out for dinner tonight – I’ll report on it tomorrow!

Regards, David.

Friday, 8 April 2011

And yet another fine day

Its been a fantastic day today right from the very beginning, the birds started their dawn chorus well before dawn and that was when i knew that it was going to be a lovely day, I was not disappointed and it has been magnificent all day, so much so that I am down to a shirt now! I have been out today doing some shopping, banking and all the usual jobs that need doing when I am out and about, it has been like a mid August day, people out in short sleeve shirts, people with the roofs down in their sports cars, back at Norbury it is even better than being out and about as there are people everywhere enjoying a nice pint at the pub or on our wharf or an ice cream by the water, lets hope it stays like this all weekend.

All of the boats have come back in today without any issues and as I am writing this some of the people have already been and collected them for their forth coming break, I bet they are chuffed that their week is starting is such fine weather! Freddie has been up to his eyes in pooh, well not literally but pumping the boats out, Micky has been doing odd jobs on the boats, Bernard has done some engine servicing and is now doing a cylinder head replacement, Fred has blacked a boat this afternoon, Ralph has been doing odd jobs around the place and getting the holiday cottage ready for its new holiday makers and is now clearing out on of the brokerage boats that has been sold this week, There is always something happening around here!

I have had a request from Angela to say a BIG HELLO to Mrs Lintern who is taking Ember out on the 21st May for a two week cruise, I am suitably informed that it is her birthday sometime around then, So keep your eyes peeled everyone and if you see Mrs Lintern and her family enjoying themselves give them a big wave and say "happy birthday" PS. Mrs Lintern, Dont forget the cream cakes!!

That's it from me for this week, I am off for a dirty weekend in Wales with my partner Amanda, so I will speak with you all next week.


PS. I am off-roading in Wales, before you start thinking otherwise!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Another superb day

I thought after the after the glourious day yesterday that we might have had the lot for this week but I was not disappointed today as the weathere has been siperb again! I have been out most of the day so I am not in the best position to comment as to what has gone on today, I know David has been busy trying to sort out the infernal internet as it is running slower than a boat going down the Shroppie. Bernard has been out on a breakdown all day up on the Macclesfield, I cant comment on anyone else but I suspect they have been kept busy.

Sorry for not posting anything intersting, maybe tomorrow


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Fantastic day

The weather men got it right, they said it would be the hottest day this year and boy were they right, it has been a stunning day today at Norbury, I even managed to get my coat off and have the office door open, Its been really busy with one thing and another and the wharf has seen lots of people around enjoying the sun.

Its a very short post tonight as I still have lots of work to do, so until tomorrow when I might have more time.


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Shropshire Union is not shut!

I think that some people still think that the Shroppie is closed because of the landslide in Tyrley cutting, I had a look on Waterscape today and it is listed as "navigation restricted", this means that there is still some of the landslide in the water but the canal is fully open and the affected area just needs to be passed with a little care, I am writing this just in case people are not sure about the situation. There doesn't seem to be a lot of boat traffic around, this might be because of the general economic climate, the higher fuel price or just because it is still early in the season, looking at our wharf figures it does look like passing traffic is down on last years and the previous years figures,Is there a new trend in peoples boating habits?are more people doing less cruising compared to the past?Are people just staying on their moorings?

Its been a quiet day which has given me the chance to catch up on loads of outstanding jobs,amazingly though the day has flown by so maybe it has been busier than I imagined,just not manic which is how I really like it, Angela has being been busy with more bookings for the boats as well as all of her other jobs, I wont bore you to much as to what Fred has been up to as lets be honest you cant really make blacking a boat sound exciting! Bernard has had his head buried in the engine room of a boat re-fitting its cylinder head and piping up a new calorifier, That's as exciting as its been today! Jay has been promoting the Tea room on the Internet as well as looking after the odd customer and Joyce has been kept busy cleaning boats.

That's the lot, nothing else to report as everyone else is off today and tomorrow with days off, holidays and dentists and doctors etc etc.

That's it from me today

Monday, 4 April 2011

Busy Monday

Its amazing how busy it has been today,I know Monday's are usually busy but wow, it hasn't stopped all day! Over the last few weeks I have seen a new trend of more and more people offering us boats for sale, I would say that we must be having at least a dozen offers a week at the moment and also the amount of people wanting to sell their boats through our brokerage seems to be going up as well, looking at the amount of boats entering the market it would appear that this is across the country, there seems more boats for sale now than I have ever noticed before, We have been busy with people looking at boats too, maybe as the weather has done us a favour and encourage people to start looking. Thanks Bob for the email with reference to Chi-Cheemaun I will pass this information on to its new owners when it sells.

The lads have all been busy as usual, Ralph blacked a boat on the dock and turned Phantom around ready for its holiday makers who were due this afternoon, Mick has been on a private boat today fitting a calorifier and doing other odd jobs, Lee has started striping down yet another boat for a full paint job, Ember and sphinx both came back yesterday and all the people thoroughly enjoyed their holiday aboard the two boats, That's it now, Ember goes out again this coming weekend and she is out ever week up to the end of August! It would be nice if all the boats were like that this year, I'm not complaining though as they are booked quiet well.

We have seen a few boats around today and the wharf has seen its fair share of boats requiring our services, A boat that we repainted the roof on was also collected today and a very happy customer indeed boated off in the direction of Wolverhampton having just bought a re conditioned gearbox off us as well.

That's it from me today, so until tomorrow

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Ball and chain...

Well as the title says. I've had a ball and chain on today to keep me in the office and working on the computer, apart from a quick walk over to the dock this morning to have a look at the boat on the dock. I do enjoy Sunday's at Norbury as I seem to get through so much more work than during the rest of the week. That's down to a number of facts that I won't bore you with now!!!

It's just tipped it down with rain and we have even had hail... That won't of impressed Sue who had not long before been painting round the fore end of her boat. When we take the dogs out for a walk after work, I'd imagine that she won't be in the best of moods :-P

Talking about painting. Now the weather's brightening up and we've got lighter nights - it's about time that I got the paint brush round Ant to spruce her up for the year ahead. That's my own boat. I haven't really got that much boating planned with her at the moment, but it's satisfying to keep a tidy boat and keep on top of the paintwork and keep the rope work scrubbed white. I did do some graining (scumbling) during last week on my "under gunnel" cupboards in the kitchen and dinette area. I'm really pleased with the effect that it has created, rather than a plain colour - I might even let you have a look when I've finished and applied the varnish. I think the next job will be to paint the false cratch and the deckboard...

Ralph and Mick have swapped the boats in both docks today. They've docked a private boat in the dry dock, which Ralph dually pressure washed and put the next boat to be painted into the wet dock. The boat is called William of Ockham and you will no doubt here a bit about it over the coming weeks. She is in for a full paint job - so will be in for four weeks. Full details of our paint packages can now be found on our website here.

Well that's it from me today, back over to Simon for the coming week and I'll catchya at the weekend.


Saturday, 2 April 2011


It's been a bitsy day today. Rain this morning, sun this afternoon - the weather doesn't know what to do at the moment.

We had two day boats out first thing this morning. So today has been Victory's official maiden voyage - They'll be back in about half an hour, and hopefully all will be well... Phoenix has also returned this morning from a week out and Summer Wine has been turned round during the day and has just left with some happy holiday makers aboard.

Fred's been doing 'Fred jobs' - pumping boats out, blacking and roding drains! I do admire how he just gets on with his job, even the most unpleasant ones, although he needs some encouragement at times...

Amy and Joyce have been busy cleaning boats. Mick has finished fitting up the boat that has been painted and is now fitting up a boat called Shekinah. She was only in for her cabin top to be repainted, which Lee completed this week. This meant stripping it back to bare metal, treating the steel, priming, undercoating and top coating it + adding a non slip surface.

Bernard has been doing odd jobs on several boats - far too many to mention, but it has certainly kept him occupied :-)

We've got a whole range of LEDs in stock now. I'm just in the process of photographing them and I think I am going to have to put a separate page on our website to accommodate them all - maybe we need an Eco friendly page.

That's it for today. No photos I know, but I will try and get some tomorrow.



Friday, 1 April 2011

Lost a day

Its Friday at long last, you know what its like when you have just come back to work after a week off! Well this week I have got my days mixed up and thanks for pointing it out Neil, If you hadn't noticed I posted Thursdays blog on Wednesday night and forgot totally to post Thursdays blog last night completely, my only defence me'lord is that I have just come back off a weeks holiday and I'm not quite back in to the routine of things yet!

Thursday was a busy day as usual, all of the shared boats returned without to many problems, the day boat has had all its snagging items finished off, the lads were all busy around the yard and on many boats.

Friday got off to a grey dull start to the morning, My partner informed me that it had snowed over night as she pulled back the curtains this morning, I sank back down the bed and shoved my head under the pillow in dread! I then finally got up and looked out of the window, I thought she had finally lost the plot. "what snow I said"? she fell about laughing, "Its the 1st of April" she said, be warned today!

It has got off to a very busy start as all the shared boats have been in first thing to sort out their diesel and services, we have had two of our boats go out today so Ralph has been getting them ready, Ember and Sphinx both with a party of ten, Mick has been doing the final few jobs on the boat that was painted last week, here is a photo in her new livery, She belongs to a really nice chap called Andy who will be taking her back to her moorings next week.

We have had a new boat arrive for brokerage, It has a funny name, it is called Chi-cheemaun which apparently means 'long canoe' here is a photo of the boat, it is a seventy footer and will
appear on our website over the weekend.

On Wednesday we docked a boat and as part of our usual routine we did a visual hull inspection as well as other jobs, it is interesting to see that this boat is a Liverpool built boat, not very old but it hasn't been out of the water since it was built and I thought that I would post a picture of the hull sides just to show you the state of the corrosion that has taken place, this is why it is imperative to have your boat out of the water at least every two to three years to avoid similar corrosion.

It all seems to happen when its busy, Bernard has been called out to a private boat that has broken down, the boat has just been bought from Audlem and has only made it as far as here and is overheating! It has turned in to a big job and the cylinder head needs removing, pressure testing and a new cylinder head gasket fitting, while it is here they want a calorifier fitting and lots of other jobs as well, that will keep Bernard and Mick busy.

We don't mention everything that goes on here as there would be too much to write about, I cant even remember if it has been mentioned before or not but we also have a holiday cottage situated on the bridge here at Norbury and as well as all the other jobs on around the place we have to make that available for visitors so today it is being cleaned and will be ready for its new guests for the weekend. Ember has got going with Becks and her friends and Sphinx has got off with the stag party!!

That's it from me for this week, over to David for the weekend