Shop front in the summer

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The sun has got its hat on...........................

hip hip hip horray................................. What a glorious morning it started out to be and I am glad to say that it has remained so all day, blue skies, no wind and not even that cold considering its the last day in November! Wouldn't it be fantastic if it stayed like this all winter? Winter boating when it is like this is just superb, Steve is working well on the moorings today and he is complaining that he is getting sun burnt, You just cant win with the weather in this country.

Its been a busy one here today, I suspect the good weather has helped, Angela has been down in the tea room as well as looking after her other admin jobs as Lorraine is off today, Bernard has been up to his usual tricks and down in the engine rooms of several boats as well as docking a boat with Freddie while Matt has been applying paint on the boat in the wet dock, that's it as Graham is still off, Micky is off and of course David is off too.

That's it from me for another day

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Well after yesterdays temperatures I thought that I would open the curtains this morning and see snow, the opposite in fact, it was really nice, the temperature in the car was 10 degrees, what is going on with this weather, later on this morning the wind picked up, good God it has blown a gale all afternoon, bins flying across the wharf, chairs and tables flying around, it nearly took Cheryl off her feet (she is only little) later on this afternoon it started to rain, at one point when I glanced out of the window the rain was horizontal and I swear it was snowing! I suppose compare to this time last year we are doing well as it was a foot deep in snow with temperatures in the region of -20 bbbrrrrr that was cold then!

Its been a much quieter day today than yesterday but I do find that Tuesdays are generally quiet, David is off so is Angela which has left me and Cheryl to look after things in the tea room and the office,Amazingly we have had a day boat out today, poor people as the weather has not been kind to them at all, it came back early as well and I don't blame them! Bernard and Fred are back in today, that usually provides plenty of entertainment, they have been cracking on with different jobs on boats as well as delivering coal to some local customers, Matt has been preparing in the paint dock again, Mick has also been on several different boats while poor old Steve was working on the moorings, he did cut it Short however once the rain came down, he looked like a drowned rat when he went home.

Talking of home that's it from me for today, I have a nice roaring fire to get back to!

Monday, 28 November 2011


I don't always believe what I read in the papers or what I hear on the news, when it comes to the economic climate really think that a lot of it is media hype and it can quickly lead to peoples confidence in the country being knocked, this can then lead on to a false impression of what is happening, I always try to keep an open mind, however while I was out today it is evident that we are in difficult times, not only have we noticed a slight down turn in our trade but looking our local town of Newport I was amazed at the lack of people out and about, I went out to do the banking and it was dead, I also noticed the amount of shops that were shut or in the process of closing down, you would think that it is a sign of the times, what I don't understand is according to government figures there are more and more people out of work and less jobs out there to be filled, however we have been advertising for a new engineer now for months, we did the same thing last year and had no takers, we did find someone but he was through my own contacts and was being made redundant from somewhere else, this time we can not find anyone that wants an engineering job, its not the end of the world as the hew person is not to replace anyone but is an addition to our team! If any one starts going on about not being able to get a job then tell them to look harder, I know of other people who are actively seeking new employess who cant find any!

The winter seems to have arrived today, although the temperature reading on the car was only 3 degrees it has seemed a lot colder out there today, I was out side this morning with David moving some boats around, Windsor, which is the last of the new hire fleet to arrive and a 57 footer that has come in to be put up for sale, take a look at our website for her details, she is called Lilly Jo and is not very old, We have been quite busy in one way or another today, mainly in the office, the tea room has obviously been quiet but the phones have been keeping us busy in between our normal jobs, Mick has had a varied day on several different boats and Matt has been preparing one of our new hire boats for a complete colour change, that has been the total of the work force today as its Bernard's day off, Fred's day off and Graham ended up going to hospital.

That's it from me for today.

Sunday, 27 November 2011


I dined yesterday evening on a friend’s boat. In the background the television was on which caught our eye from time-to-time. It’s always the way isn’t it? If the television is on, then you just can’t help watching it, in company or not! Anyway, the weather forecast came on and they were giving severe weather warnings for high winds. Well I must say that they certainly weren’t wrong. The boats were bashing together all night long in the lay-by, meaning that the plates that hang on my back cabin curtains were rattling all night. I nearly got up at one point and took them all down, but as there are 30 odd of them it wouldn’t of been a five minute job. Upon arriving at Norbury I spent a good half an hour picking chairs, tables, bins (and their contents) and general stuff up from all over the yard. It settled down by about mid-day, but I have just come in from outside and it has seemed to have gone mighty cold!

I’m sorry that there I didn’t put a blog entry on yesterday, but it’s difficult to find something to write about everyday, this time of year, now that we have been plunged into the winter. Although work is progressing on the winter maintenance on the fleet, nothing “exciting” tends to happen to inspire us to write a long and interesting blog entry. I do know that we have comments that even the mundane daily chores of ours are of interest to outsiders and people that spend much of their time working in the “city”! So, we do honestly try hard to be inspired.

We had four boats come back yesterday, which Fred dually turned around for the next time that they go out. One of the reasons that we do this is that it’s never a good idea to leave their fuel tanks virtually empty, as this increases the chances of condensation, fuel contamination and the likelihood of the Diesel Bug. We also pump the toilet holding tanks out, due to the fact that the sediment will settle to the bottom of the tank making the tanks incredibly difficult to pumpout, flush out and keep clean. It also gives us a chance to look over the boats and if there are any problems, they can be identified and rectified before the boats are next used.

Phoenix was collected by Mr and Mrs Webster, they are regulars here at Norbury and avid blog readers. I do hope that they have a good fortnight away and that the ice doesn’t impound them whilst they are away from Norbury.

Graham was busy putting a new complete stern gear into the boat that we currently have on the dock. He has also now finished plating the one-side of our new dayboat Bounty.

This is how the steel prior to overplating, that deemed it necessary!

And this is how it looks this evening.

Mick has been getting on with the winter maintenance on the fleet, though today he has been putting all the external fittings back onto The Arkenstone. She now needs an internal clean and she will be ready for the customer to collect. Here’s a rather late picture taken this evening of her in all of her glory. I think that you will quite rightly agree that she looks splendid.

The tea room has quietened right off now, but Lorraine did have a busy spell earlier, when she had to call on Ange’s assistance as she virtually had a queue out the door and food orders coming out of her ears. It’s so difficult to plan how busy we are going to be, and to be honest I expected it to be very quite this morning due to the wind in the early hours of the morning, but it just shows how wrong you can be!

Anyway, it’s time to get locked up before all of the light has disappeared.

Until next time.

Best regards,


Friday, 25 November 2011

It's been a steady day today.

Mick and Bernard have been getting on with winter maintenance on the hire fleet. Fred has docked a private boat and pressure washed it. Steve and Aaron have made good progress on the moorings and Graham is progressing with the plating work on Bounty.

Joyce and Lorraine have been cleaning, tidying and generally sorting in the laundry and kitchen respectively whilst Ange has been getting on with her normal busy jobs.

Simon has been out most of the day having a look at some boats that will be coming to Norbury for brokerage - so watch this space.

Matt has been doing some finishing off on the boat that he has been painting.

Not much more to report today, so have a good evening. Until tomorrow.



Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Guest Blog

The Making of a Boaters’ Manifesto

It seemed like a good idea at the time... Kevin Blick, a former canal magazine editor challenged me about some negative comments about BW and the new Trust I had been making on Twitter and Facebook – we need something positive he said.

While I don’t withdraw any of my reservations about BW and the Canal and River Trust I could see that boaters, and especially those who live on the system or spend much of their lives on the water did need to face the new reality of the Trust and tell those creating it what was needed.

So was born the Boaters’ Manifesto. I asked for contributions online, some of you may have seen my request on Norbury’s Facebook page, and then I put them all together. Everyone looked at it again and we fine-tuned it before the manifesto, created by a group of boaters, was sent to the Transition Trustees, the IWA and the members of the parliamentary waterways group.

It is now being discussed by the IWA and members of the parliamentary waterways group and a direct meeting is planned with the Transition Trustees of the proposed new Canal and River Trust.


It says that waterways are about boats and boaters and the Canal and River Trust needs to listen to boaters more closely and have more representatives on the board.

It also demands that before the Trust accepts the legal burden of running the waterways it must ensure proper funding to keep all waterways open, navigable and properly maintained, otherwise it should refuse to do so.

Most controversially, the manifesto says boaters have lost faith in the most senior management of British Waterways and believe that the government should accept the cost of making them redundant to give the Canal and River Trust and fresh start.

Contractors also come under fire and the manifesto says the Canal and River Trust must develop a system of working that values full time paid staff and their skills above the expediency of using cheap contractors in order to maintain the skilled workforce the waterways require.

The manifesto asks the Trust to enforce a simplified set of mooring rules across the entire waterways system without fear or favour and to make it a priority to ensure non-boating users of the system make a financial contribution to its upkeep.

The manifesto also wants the Trust to ensure it is open to Freedom of Information Act requests and suggests that those who live on their boats, several thousand people, should be clearly represented at board level and consulted on all navigational issues.


One of the Transition Trustees, John Dodwell took an interest in the first draft of the manifesto abd told organisers: “I agree with you that waterways need boats as much as boats need waterways. The role of boat owners and others in saving the waterways is undisputed.”

John says the Trust’s Council needs a good representation of passionate and knowledgeable boat owners but does not agree that the five currently suggested is inadequate.

He also doesn’t envisage the Trustees turning down the deal if inadequate funds are forthcoming from Defra. He said: “Personally, I can’t see that the Government will fill the gap to the extent that everything is perfect and there is then no need to seek donations etc.

One key demand of the manifesto is that the Trust should not have the current BW directors at the helm. John Dodswell has told the organisers: “Sorry but getting rid of the current directors now – in the midst of much change – doesn’t make business sense to me. Let’s get the handover to CRT completed first!
He also seems to believe that contractors will still be doing much work for the Trust, saying: “Bear in mind that central contracts mean using bulk buying power to reduce costs. They provide flexibility.”

On the Freedom of Information Act John says: “At one level, the charity world is worried that if the Act applies to this Trust, then it will affect other charities; not being Government agencies, charities are not generally covered by the Act. At another level, the Trust would anyway follow closely the spirit of the Act.”

Anyone who wants to check out the Boaters’ Manifesto can find it here along with John Dodwell’s comments in full or here or on its own website here where you can add your name to a petition in favour of it.


I think the manifesto is a worthwhile document and gives a voice to real boaters – well I would, wouldn’t I?

Getting it together has been interesting, especially as the contributions have all been made online and opinions vary according to perspective. I am pleased that we have got agreement from such a disparate bunch on a simple set of demands.

If the Transition Trustees can move some way towards us there is a tremendous reward in sight for the new charity because experienced boaters who spend much if not all of their lives on the system have already got a great deal of personal and financial capital invested in it.

We need to see a successful organisation running our waterways and doing so in a way that allows our investment to remain worthwhile. If the Canal and River Trust can convince us they are the people to do that here is a great wealth of enthusiasm, commitment and knowledge amongst boaters that can be tapped in a way that BW could never manage.

My next task is to put together a team to present the Manifesto to the trustees from amongst boaters I have only met electronically, each speaking on a section of the manifesto and possibly doing so from a variety of BW regional offices on a video link.

Remind me again why I started this?

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Its been grand!

I can hardly believe how Lucy we are with this weather, it has been a grand day today and as I write up the blog this afternoon it is a stunning sunset over Norbury, its been a very cold day, I had a meeting this morning and we stood on the wharf while having a coffee and boy was it chilly, you just ask Ange because when I came back in i gently touched her neck with my ice blocks commonly know as hands and she nearly jumped through the ceiling!

Its been a busy day in way or another, a few boats on the wharf, Bernard has had a private boat in for an engine service, Fred has been busy down in the depths of the dry dock painting, Micky has been boiler servicing, replacing water pumps, fixing broken ducting pipes, check batteries and checking fridges , he does have a varied day, Steve is making superb progress with the moorings, they are actually in sight of completion, I shouldn't speak too soon as I don't want to temp Providence!

Our thoughts are with Matt (our painter) and his family today as it is a close relatives funeral and I do know that they have all suffered a great loss, I hope his day has gone OK under the circumstances!

It is a week of funerals, I good friend of mine passed away just over a week ago, for anyone that might have seen the lovely gardens and plants here at Norbury in the past, well they were looked after by Pam and Terry, unfortunately Pam passed away and it his her funeral tomorrow, her friendly vibrant and cheeky character will be sorely missed!

That's it from me for tonight.

On that not I will

Monday, 21 November 2011

A bit early

Back to work with a bump, as usual, loads of stuff to catch up on so I am glad that it has been a quiet day today, I am posting earlier than usual as I have a late meeting to go to, if that makes sense!

Last week we had amazing weather down in the South of England, my plans changed a little because of the unexpected weather, my plan was to winterise the boat for the winter and 'put it to bed' with the view of not going to it again until next year however upon our arrival on Monday the weather was so mild I decided that I would have take the boat out for the last cruise of the year and then 'put it to bed' on my return later that week, we were treated to four superb days out on the water with no wind and plenty of sun, it was very quiet which gave us the pick of the best moorings, I think that if you get the weather right then some of the best cruising can be in the winter months, but sadly that looks like it was the last few days cruising for me for this year, I wouldn't mind doing a bit more but because I am now busy right up to Christmas with different things and work getting in the way that will be it!

It looks like everyone has been relatively busy last week at work, well that is what they tell me anyway! Everyone has been busy today, even Cheryl has been busy in the tearoom, I have been catching up with the weeks events and to that end I must get off or I will be late for my meeting so until tomorrow.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Change is good as a rest

I've been in the wet dock for most of the day painting Summer Wine. She's had a lick of paint all over to tidy her up ready for next season. I must say that she has come up really well bearing in mind the original paint job was done some five years ago now. There's just the blacking and counter bands to finish off now, but Fred will do that when she goes over into the dry dock in a week or so. Cheryl has also been in the dock today with me. She has checked through all of the inventory onboard the boat, to ensure it is all present and correct. She has also painted the poles and plank and varnished the deck board (cratch) and top plank.

Ange and Lorraine have done a great job of manning the shop, tearoom and office. I think there has been quite a few customers through the door this afternoon inparticularly.

Mick and Julian docked an old working boat this morning. She's one of the Town Class boats built by Harland and Wolffe at Woolwich, London for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company and is known as a Big Woolwich. Once the water was drained out of the dock, she had a survey which didn't pick any unforeseen problems. Following this Julian has pressure washed her off so that she will be ready to receive her first coat of blacking tomorrow morning.

Mick has been getting on with the gas servicing and landlord certificates that we have to complete each year on every boat that we operate. It takes a while to get through so that will keep him busy for the next few months along with the other jobs that we squeeze in too...

I think that's everything to report for today.

Simon is back tomorrow and I am sure he will be only too willing to tell you all about his adventures whilst he has been off on holiday.

Look forward to speaking to you all on Saturday.

Best regards,


Saturday, 19 November 2011

The day got off to a good start this morning with the dayboat departing shortly after nine in the sunshine. Unfortunately by the time the other boats went out this afternoon the sun had disappeared and it had got a bit chiller. It is now quite bitter outside, let's hope that this isn't the start of the freeze...

We've got familiar faces out on Sovereign Lady today. Mr and Mrs Millington have hired from us on numerous occasions and are out for a couple of weeks. They run a caravan park in Harlech, so have come for a well earned rest!

Give me Time has now been SOLD and I have taken an offer on Tom Sandles.

More to report tomorrow.

Best regards,


Friday, 18 November 2011

Pictures today

I thought that I'd take a few pictures for you to look at today.

Firstly, Matt has finished painting The Arkenstone and we have had her on the dock for blacking and for a set of anodes to be fitted. Here she is nearly complete. Once she has had all of her fittings put back on she will be coming out of the dock and the customer's will be collecting her. Unfortunately I was unable to get on to her (due to the paint on the counter being wet) to shut the doors prior to taking the picture as I wanted to show you the rear bulkhead pattern. It isn't the normal design. It is very similar to that of the Shropshire Union fly boats and I pleased how it has turned out.

Graham has started over-plating our new dayboat Bounty. She has already served several years on the Welsh Canal and has suffered from an incredible amount of corrosion. Once she has been plated she will easily serve for another 20 years and following the paint job she will receive in the winter, along with some internal alterations she will be like new when she goes into service in the Spring.

The window/porthole apertures have now been cut in Kirsty Louise, that's the last boat that we put a cabin on. Matt has cleaned up around them and given the steel some protection ready for the windows to be fitted.

Matt has currently got Summer Wine in the dock for a lick of paint. I hadn't realised how faded the paint had got. It has done well though seeing that we painted her some five years ago now. She has introduced many people to the canal system and carried experienced crew. Once she comes out of the dock she will look like new! Joyce has also been doing some internal varnishing whilst Summer Wine has been in the warm and dry...

Until tomorrow.

Best regards,


Thursday, 17 November 2011

A blog entry from Lorraine today.

Hello everyone. Queen numpty here. It's Lol in the tea rooms.

It has been very quiet today, but there is always something to do to keep me out of trouble ha ha.

Boss numpty head is taking us all out for our Christmas do in December to a casino in Stoke-on-Trent. I am really looking forward to it. I will have to behave myself and not do the Dick Emery famous walk. If you know me you will know what I am on about.

Well I had better get back to my kitchen and tidy up and mop the floor. David is busy and Joyce has been varnishing today amongst other duties and bless her she has been battling against a migrane all day. Well I will love and leave you all until next time.

I will let you know if any of us win at the casino.

Take care.

Lol xx

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Where does the time go?

Blanche announced this morning that there are only thirty eight days left until Christmas. I just don't know where the time goes to. There has been alot of water under the bridge in the last twelve months in one way or another.

I nipped into Newport this afternoon to get some supplies for the tea room and to do some banking. I must admit that I was surprised to see the Christmas lights already up. I suppose they are up in most towns/cities by now, but as I don't venture into these busy places on a regular occasion I wouldn't know.

Talking about Christmas, most of you already know that there is a superb open-air market hosted by Birmingham City Council. The Frankfurt Christmas Market is located in Victoria Square and stretches down New Street. It has always been a hive of activity when I have visited and has a superb atmosphere, especially at night. It begins tomorrow and runs until a couple of days before Christmas Day. If you haven't been before - it is a must. I-for-one will be organising an evening trip there shortly. Further information can be found here. Now there's an idea - why not hire one of our boats for a short break (Monday - Friday) and visit Birmingham in the coming weeks. It is truly the best way to visit this city (as it is also others). I'm sure we can work a good deal out for you!

There's been alot of activity from the staff at work today. I was going to get some shots of them hard at work - only to prove that we do some work occasionally! Unfortunately I lost the light by the time I got outside with the camera - so I will try again tomorrow.

Best regards. Until tomorrow.


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Welcome back

I was sat in the Red Lion last night next to the open fire, that was roaring up the chimney (well it was when we had finished with it!), cosy, warm, with good company and enjoying a pleasant pint of Courage’s Directors bitter when I realised that I hadn’t written a blog. So being conscientious as I am, I decided to type one on my phone. Unfortunately when I went to upload it the Wi-Fi decided to drop out and I ended up pressing the wrong button, deleting all of the text. So I do apologise that you didn’t get a blog entry to read last night, but I did honestly try.

I’ll try again today!

It’s been quiet for the last couple of days at Norbury. Winter is definately here due to the fact that we have seen very little traffic on the canal. It also seems quite cold outside, although the thermometer in the car when I have been driving back and forth from Norbury reads 10°C.

We have welcomed back a little friend. Visitors to Norbury Junction will see that our Mandarin duck has returned. When I first came to Norbury in 2005 he visited each Autumn and stopped until the Spring. Once he had fertilised all of the Mallard’s eggs he used to disappear for the summer. Well he didn’t return last year, and we feared the worst, but it’s great to see him back. Here is a picture of him that I caught earlier.

Simon was concerned that we were (or rather that I was) going to eat the two tins of sweets that he had stashed away under his desk whilst he was away, so when he left to go on holiday he took them with him! One of our customers heard about this and thought that he was being unfair, so promptly went and bought us a tin from the supermarket (thanks Pete, ALL of the staff have enjoyed them!).

Jobs on the boats and around the yard have been progressing well – more about them tomorrow.

Until then.

Best regards,


Sunday, 13 November 2011

I’m glad Ange filled you in yesterday evening with some of the events of the return of the dayboaters. I’m glad that the others don't turn up like that every time that they go out! They definitely upset Bernard. They must have been brave, because I certainly wouldn’t like to upset him!

Cheryl spent most of the morning cleaning the dayboat up, ready for the next time that she goes out. I think that is the first time this year that we have kept the damage deposit for any of the boats.

Julian and I undocked the two boats that we had on the dock and docked Amarige. That’s one of the boats that we have sold recently which is now on for blacking and a set of anodes to be fitted. It also needs a new bottom rudder bearing (cup) fitting, but I will have to give the owners a ring first to get the authorisation to do that. The poor chap has got a few broken bones, from being knocked down by a motorbike outside his own house. The accident happened the day before him and his wife were due to collect the boat from us, so up until now he hasn’t even been able to enjoy getting out on the canal.

There’s been a few boats out and about today, a couple have been on the wharf for services, but certainly a huge contrast to those long and busy summer weekends that seem so long ago now.

Lorraine has been kept busy down in the tea room. She’s had some assistance from Ange and Cheryl at the busier times, but she is superb at looking after the customers who come in for refreshments.

Ange has been busy with her normal office duties, looking after customers and with laundry off of the boats. Now all-but-one of the new boats that we will be operating next year have arrived, the inventory is being checked with a fine toothed comb and all of the bedding etc. is being washed and stored in the warm and dry for the winter months.

Mick is progressing with the diesel stove that he has been fitting to one of our moorers boats. When I went down to the dock earlier this afternoon he had just finished fixing it down and plumbing up the back boiler. He only needs to fit the flue pipe and commission the diesel system now, so I would imagine it will be up and running by this evening.

That’s about all to report from here today.

Best regards,


Saturday, 12 November 2011

After all the rain that we had in the night, I thought that it was going to prove to be a miserable day, but it’s been quite the opposite. The sun was shining by 9am as the boats were returning from their weeks cruises. Although it has gone a bit chilly now.

We had one dayboat go out this morning. Let’s hope they aren’t as late back as the customer’s that went out this time last week! Princess has been collected and gone out for the week, and we have turned around three shared boats.

Talking of shared boats, we have had another boat confirm that they will be operating from here next season. That leaves just one space for a shared boat to be turned around on a Saturday. So, if you want to come to Norbury please do not hesitate to contact us ASAP. We send a warm welcome out to the owners of Still Dreaming and look forward to seeing you in April.

Best regards,


Friday, 11 November 2011

where has the week gone

i just don't know where the time has gone this week, only 6 weeks until christmas and then it will be easter before we know it and we'll be well into the thro's of the season. i am really looking forward to it but we do need extra staff next year for washing and cleaning so if anyone is tempted give me a call.
it has been a reasonable day here today, we have turned 6 shared owned boats around, all have been collected by their owners and one has even gone out for 2 weeks, i do hope they have reasonable weather, but hey if they don't they will be nice and cosy on the boat with the fire going.
fred hasn't been too busy today but he does ask for me to get the keys ready for him on a friday morning cos he's lazy, then when he's finished with them he gets me to hang them back up for him, cheek, i wouldn't mind but he won't do anything for me. bernard has been in and out of the shop like he was on a piece of elastic, crashing through the door, we have asked him not to do it, he wouldn't if simon was here.
it is getting so dark at night now and when we leave work it is like the black hole of calcutta here. we have to negotiate our way through the gate, walk over to the other side of the road, up the side of wharf cottage when the light comes on and then goes off after about 5 seconds. lorraine said she felt like dick emery walking down the towpath last night over the cobbles, i can just see her now wobbling from side to side trying not to fall over, she is so funny. i had to smile today as we sent simon out shopping this morning, he came back with stationery, groceries and wine. the wine he bought was duly checked by lorraine and she had a moan at simon as it was only 8% abv, she said it was just like drinking fruit juice, he said drinking anything stronger makes you walk like dick emery, lol, he calls her lol aswell.
well that's it from me tonight, sorry it's a late blog, byeeeeeeee, ange.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Well I laughed

Well I laughed when I read Angela's blog from last night, I was a little too busy to write one so Ange stepped in and wrote it instead, she has a unique way of saying things, well she has exposed the 'Numpty Club' here at Norbury, when someone gets something totally wrong then they get the title of chief Numpty, Not that it happens very often, well lorraine does get the title more often than most! and I won’t mention Fred as he has had his name changed by deed pole to Mr Numpty, so As Angela said last night if you want to join the ever expanding Numpty club then just drop her a line.

Its been a grey damp day today, one of those days where I could have stayed in bed for another hour at least, but not today though as there was far too much to get done, we had a day boat out first thing this morning, two boats going on the dock for blacking etc and I really needed to get the winter works schedules finished off as I am not around next week and the lads need to make a start on the boats as it is a big job to get 30 odd boats done as well as all of the other jobs that come in over the winter period, Matt has been progressing very well and the boat is looking superb, it will be finished this weekend so no doubt David will get a picture of it as it comes out of the dock, Graham has been busy as well, he has been adding some protection to the base plate of Defiant which if you didnt know is one of our day boats, he then started removing the stern gear of our 'new to us' day boat, the Bounty, it is very worn indeed and needs a new stern bush at the very least, Fred has been blacking and doing the last bit of grass cutting of the year and Bernard has been winterising boats, he is nearly finished and then he will be starting on the winter engine servicing.

That’s it from me for today so until tomorrow, maybe.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

back to the grindstone

hi all, yes it was back to the grindstone today after a week off and what a good week i had too. contrary to popular belief i was not "knocking a round off" it is now too dark to play golf after work and mark was working so i was off on my own til friday, we then went to london to visit my brother in stratford where the new olympic stadium is, it looks really good, we then went to see billy elliot the musical and that was just awesome.
i really can't beleive how many holidays have been booked over the last few weeks for next year and it is nice to see some returning customers, hi to lorraine lintern who has booked "pippin" for next year and also hi to kerry morgan who has booked "princess", look forward to meeting with you again in 2012.
fred has been up to his usual tricks today like doing my head in and bernard has attended a call out as well as other bits and bobs around the yard, fred was hoping to have half a days holiday but that didn't materialise (sorry fred) and mick has been finishing off some private work before we get stuck into the winter works on the hire fleet, we have got lots to do.
we have been quiet in the shop and tea room today which has allowed us to catch up on lots of jobs and for me to catch up on a weeks work, the joys of having a holiday.
simon has been busy going through all the hire boats looking at what work we will be doing and sending e mails back to me by mistake that i sent to him, i daren't send one back to him or he would call me a numpty, we're all numpties here at norbury even his girlfriend amanda, but we're past all that now aren't we amanda ?, we just welcome everyone to the numpty club so if you would like to join just give us a call and we'll enrol you, that's it from me tonight, teas ready, speak soon byeeeeeeeee.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Its toooooo short!

I reckon that the weekend is far too short, but then I think that everyone else also feels the same on a Monday! The week days also seem far too short at the moment! I do like the winter when it is crisp in the air and a nice frost on the ground but I really don't like it dark in the late afternoon like it is now as I am writing this blog! It has been a seriously cold day today, I awoke this morning expecting to see a hard frost outside when I opened the curtains but it was just damp, I believe from David that there had indeed been a frost but then I reckon that because of the distance that he is travelling in to work at the moment he would be up earlier than me.

Its been an incredibly busy day today here at Norbury, we have sen quite a lot of boats on the wharf for services which has kept David on his toes, Micky has been fitting a stove, Graham has been welding in the dock, I have been for a play on our new day boat , what a Laugh that is going to be, I will post some pictures of it this week as soon as I get the chance, Cheryl has been busy in the shop and tea room as well as a bit of stock taking that had been over looked, Matt has been painting, and that is going to look superb when its finished this week, pictures to follow! Julian has been doing a bit of blacking and that's about the total sum of the activities today.

We have our Angela back tomorrow after her week of relaxing, knocking a few rounds off, doing London and generally enjoying herself, she will no doubt be well and truly refreshed after her break, I should just say that she likes her golf!

That's about it from me for today.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

They arrived eventually!

The dayboat eventually arrived back just before six last night! I wasn’t very impressed as I was supposed to be over in Tamworth for six thirty. I can understand the boats being a few minutes late, as you can never guarantee timings on the canal, but to be an hour and a half late is taking it a bit too far…

I was out boating last night, enjoying the fire work displays all around until we reached our destination for our very own bonfire, fireworks and BBQ. A great evening was had by all.

I was up early again this morning, walked Annie and then headed over to work. Although the traffic isn’t usually too bad at the weekend, thick fog slowed progress down this morning. By the time I arrived at Norbury it became evident that the sun was going to burn through the fog and a brilliant day has followed. At one point there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and most people were walking around in short sleeved t-shirts. It’s now started to drop cold again and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a frost tonight.

Mick and Julian have docked one of our new hire boats. Julian has pressure washed it off whilst Mick has been carrying on with the stove fit that he is in the middle of. He has also been out to a break down. One of our moorers experienced alternator problems down at Church Eaton and called for our assistance. They are now up and running again and heading back towards Norbury.

Lorraine has worked really hard today, with a couple hours of assistance from Cheryl. Ange off on holiday, so I have manned the shop, office and telephones whilst carrying on with some advertising work and no end of other bits and pieces I have ongoing. Not to mention a bit of invoicing!

I hope that you all have a good week ahead. I have got some painting to finish off on Ant if the weather isn’t too bad on Tuesday/Wednesday – so that will keep me occupied.

Best regards,


Saturday, 5 November 2011

Didn’t it rain in the night?

Didn’t it rain in the night? It bucketed it down, but I suppose the canal system and the reservoirs need it to top them back up!

We have turned four boats around today and all the holiday makers have gone on their merry way to enjoy a bit of boating, now the canals are a bit quieter.

As I write I am sat here waiting for the dayboat to return. Hopefully they will be back for 5.30pm as I would like to get off on time to attend a bonfire/firework party.

I’ll try and blog a bit more tomorrow, but I am afraid I need to rush off! Have a good evening.



Friday, 4 November 2011

As I was driving into work this morning, the weather forecast was for heavy rain, thunder, lightening and possibly a hail storm. Luckily it has actually been quite mild and dry until about half an hour ago when the heavens opened! This has meant that Steve and Aaron have had to stop work up the moorings because they were just working in a muddy quagmire.

We have turned five shared owned boats around today and got the hire boats ready that are going out tomorrow. The two boats that are currently on the dock have both been blacked. I think Fred thought that it was necessary to black himself too! I’m sure that his wife won’t be too impressed having to do more washing for him…

Opal II has also turned up from Oxford and I know that Reflection is on her way because I saw her in Tamworth a couple of evenings ago. There’s another two on their way that should arrive sometime over the weekend too.

Simon has been out-and-about for most of the day. He should have been back to the yard about three, but he unfortunately suffered a puncture which has delayed him to the point that he still hasn’t returned.

I hope that you all enjoy your evening and I will be back again tomorrow to update you on what’s been occurring here.

Best regards,


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Flat out!

Sorry I didn't post anything yesterday, as the title suggests, I have been flat out for the last couple of days, I have had Angela off, David off, Lorraine off and Mick off today, not that it has been busy, but with four people off you do tend to be a little bit busier than normal, good job it has been quiet!

Not much to report really, I suppose the most exciting thing to happen is that we have had a blocked soil pipe in one of the cottages, not to exciting I hear you say, well not until Fred managed to loose a long section of the roding tool down the soil pipe which at that stage was full of s*** needless to say that when he reported it to me the air too was also full of s*** and lots of other expletives!! they have had to dig up the soil pipe to locate the roding tool, as I am writing this blog I am yet to hear how they have got on, I really do hope that they have sorted the problem, if not the s*** will hit the fan as the poor occupants of the cottage wont be able to use there loo tonight!

Apart from that nothing else too interesting has happened over the last couple of days, we have steadily been taking bookings for the boats for next year, one of the new boats turned up today which only leaves four more to arrive, Fred and Bernard have un docked two boats today and also docked two more, Interestingly for the past couple of years we have had a several empty moorings but this winter we are full to bursting point with moorings, so much so that we have had to start a waiting list again, we must be doing something right, either that or we are too cheap!

That's it from me for today.