Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Its been a bit busier today, we even had a queue of boats on the wharf this morning for services, I reckon that folks are gearing up for a cold spell, Bernard has been complaining about the cold today and to be fair so has mick, and Fred, Fred has had a nice steady day today, a bit of blacking before his breakfast, humped a few tons of coal (I do try to keep him active so that he doesn't feel the cold) He has turned a hire boat around ready for its departure on Saturday, Bernard has been on and off several boats today, lagging exhaust, engine servicing, welding a rudder cup, Simon has been thrown in at the deep end (not literally) we have Phantom out at the moment and they have ran it out of diesel so Simon had to go and sort that out, it isn't the easiest of engines to bleed and get going again and it was his first breakdown to go to, Matt has been painting yet another hire boat, he will be sick of them by the time he is finished, only another six to go and then that's it for another year, Micky has been finishing the re wire on Peters boat, that's all done now so he can now crack on with the gas on Pippin when he returns from his gas course on Saturday, I have gone boggle eyed after spending several hours collating email addresses for our new mailing list for the new Norbury news letter and Angela has been quite busy in the tea room as well as collating email addresses and doing all of her paperwork, its amazing just how much paperwork is generated in this job.
That's it from for today, I hope you all stay warm tonight!
Monday, 30 January 2012
It has been a very quiet day today indeed, the phones have been reasonably quiet, the shop has been the same, the tea room has been virtually empty but there is always something going on here, Peter has been in today to do some promotional work for us, David has been in and out of the office today,he has been however trying hard to stay inside in the warm, but without much success, Micky has been on Pippin fitting the new Alde gas boiler that is required, Matt has finished off the painting on Sphinx and Steve has made further headway with the part refit that we are currently working on, so that completes the sum total of today's activities really, lets See what the rest of the week brings.
Talking of how quiet things have been, I was in Newport this morning and that too was very quiet, Sat morning I went to Stafford and that was uncannily quiet, the chat on Face book over the weekend has been quiet, where has everyone gone, has there been a national holiday and no one has told us!
I'm off home now for a nice quiet night in so until tomorrow
Sunday, 29 January 2012
Ange and Lorraine have looked after the shop today, whilst Joyce has completed the spring clean on Ember. Joyce did have to lend a hand in the kitchen over the busy period at lunchtime, but she has virtually finished cleaning the boat now. I don't seem to have got anywhere fast today! By the time I had finished in a couple of meetings, updated the brokerage adverts, fixed my computer (yet again!), shown a number of customers over the boats for sale, replied to emails and answered the phone the day seems to be over. Hopefully my computer will work efficiently now and I can have a full day infront of it tomorrow...
Mick has been hard at it in Peter's engine room again today, connecting up his new wiring, inverter/charger and fitting a new alternator. Peter sent me this picture not long ago captioned "Mick hard at it and doing a great job" - another happy customer :-)
Well I am sure Simon will keep you updated during the forthcoming week and I look forward to speaking to you next weekend.
Saturday, 28 January 2012
Mick's been hard at work doing the electrics on one of our moorers boats today. Peter, along with his partner Nicky own a boat that was built back in the 1970s by Malcolm Braine. It is a good strong boat and they have been making some vast improvements. A traditional boatman's cabin has been fitted and earlier this week it was grained. I had an inspection yesterday and it really does look a treat. I'm not a great fan of modern boats; as my love and passion lies with historic boats, but I must say that it stands out against the crowd. I'm looking forward to a trip out on her when she's ready to go boating - first stop the Anchor!
Fred and Simon docked a boat this morning, which Fred has pressure washed and then he got on with some internal works on the hire fleet. Simon has been doing some jobs on the boats and has been replacing the bottom rudder bearing on Phoenix. Bernard has serviced another engine and been running the engine up on Sphynx, that we have recently had reconditioned.
That's it for today, have a good evening and we will catch up again tomorrow.
Friday, 27 January 2012
Thursday, 26 January 2012
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
We welcomed Simon to the team today as a new engineer, Simon brings with him a wealth of knowledge from the motor industry, as well as having run his own successful business, and he has a passion for boats, he is currently building his own boat so if you see him around the yard give him a wave.
It hasn't been quite as busy today although Tuesdays can be a bit quiet but we have had enough on to keep us out of mischief, Bernard has been fitting anodes, sorting out a few jobs on Sphinx and has also been doing some safety certificate rectification works on one of the boats that was sold the weekend, Micky has finished with the re wiring job and has now moved on to a boiler fitting job, Matt is painting as usual and Fred is moaning, as usual, bless his cotton socks! He has been down in the dry dock blacking, varnishing and a whole host of other jobs on boats, the weather has been too bad today for Arron to crack on with the moorings but I am sure he will have a goo tomorrow.
That's it from me until tomorrow
Monday, 23 January 2012
The lads have all been busy on different jobs, Matt has started on Phoenix winter touch up, Mick has been on a rewiring job, Steve has started on a bit of a re fit and that has been the sum total of engineers in today except we have had a visitor in the form of Jim who came in today to help out with the blacking of a couple of boats that are on the dock that we have just sold, its amazing just how many people we end up with helping out, my two uncles came today to lend a hand, we call them the 'Chuckle Brothers' I think you can imagine from their name the sort of mischief and trouble they cause, at the end of the day they do help out and it is very much appreciated, all we need now is my dad to turn up and then we would end up with the three wise men, well more like the three musketeers!
One of the things I love about this job is the friends we all make in the course of our normal jobs and how nice they are and how funny they are, I know that David mentioned that everyone from work and several customers went out on Friday for a social evening, it was a shame I could not make it but I needed to go down to Southampton to do a job this weekend, this weekend saw one of our good customers and now friends Peter and Sandra, they came up and took Summer wine out for the weekend and I know that they all had a lovely time. We wont mention Lorraine, That's for another day!!
That's it from me for today
Sunday, 22 January 2012
It quietened down this afternoon and Lorraine was able to get on and do some tidying and cleaning in the office and shop whilst Joyce looked after the steady flow of customers in the tearoom.
I've managed to get the brokerage paperwork sorted for Old Henry and she is now advertised on our website. This boat is ready to step onto and sail away. Click here for further details www.norburyhire.co.uk. We have also completed on Patricia M and Lillian Rose. Heather Belle is under offer - just one day after I did all the sale particulars. Is the economic climate picking up???
Mick has been working away on one of our moorers boats, doing a bit of re-wiring and installing a four stage charger. Aaron and Steve have now got all of the deckboards laid on the moorings, as promised. I'll set to tomorrow organising some gravel.
I've still been battling with my computer. The damn thing has decided that it hasn't got a genuine copy of windows installed although we bought it pre-installed. I might have to take it to the doctors in Newport to get it fixed, but I fear that it is going to cost in excess of £100. If anyone's got any bright ideas, I'd be only too willing to listen (and learn)!
Saturday, 21 January 2012
Have a good evening.
Friday, 20 January 2012
It looks as though we have sold another boat this afternoon. I am intending on docking and blacking her tomorrow along with another boat that is going on for a survey. I am also in the process of advertising another boat "Old Henry" which will be live on our website tomorrow.
Everyone's been busy with winter maintenance today, so there isn't anything too interesting to report.
That's it from me tonight.
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Been a busy old day, Matt finished off the painting of the boat in the dock so Fred, Matt and I have spent a couple of hours swapping boats and moving brokerage boats around and then Fred spent a while tidying up the boats in the basin, it looked like they had been tied up by a blind person as they were all over the place, we lifted an engine back in to one of the hire boats today and Bernard has been fitting that back up, Fred has been doing a bit of varnishing in between moving boats, Angela has been holding the Fort while I have been outside and Lorraine has been cleaning the boats, its a massive job at the end of their winter maintenance as they have also stood over the winter so they need a good going over before they go out, and they are starting to go out.
That's it from me for today
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
It hasn't been an overly busy day today, not many people around and the phones have been quiet, I have caught up on everything that was outstanding for me to do, I can now turn my attention towards advertising and promoting, jobs that often only get half of my attention because of more pressing jobs, the lads however have all been busy, poor old Fred has been outside moving boats by himself for most of the day as well as humping some coal to some good customers at one of our local pubs, Bernard has been in engine rooms all day, Mick has been doing the winter maintenance on Ember, its amazing just how much wear there is on the boats, but Ember did have a good season last year, Matt has been applying paint and poor old Steve has been working outside on the moorings, not really much more to report about today so I will say goodnight for now.
Monday, 16 January 2012
Sunday, 15 January 2012
Until next week. Best regards.
Saturday, 14 January 2012
After coming round this morning with a coffee from a cosy night’s sleep on the Ant it was soon time to head to work to open up for the day. After flinging open the cabin doors my breath was taken away by the cold air that hit me. It’s amazing how warm you can be in the confines of a boat’s cabin. We had a hard frost last night which had left the cabin tops of all of the boats frozen over and the decks slippery. The temperature was well below 0°C and it has stayed that way for most of the day.
Mick and Bernard got on with preparing Phantom and Phoenix for their occupants that collected them this afternoon. It soon became apparent that there was a fault with Phantom’s charging system and upon further investigation Bernard and I put it down to a faulty alternator. We did some modifications to the brackets that support it and managed to fit a standard alternator that we keep on the shelf in the shop. Not long after it was time to strike the engine up and check that all was working correctly. Hey Presto – it worked fine…
While I had my head in the engine bay on Phantom, Ange came across the yard to tell me that the customers in Wharf Cottage had a problem with the heating. Upon investigation there appeared to be a fault with the boiler itself. A call to our normal boiler engineer followed; unfortunately he was away for the weekend. Simon was about on the yard and managed to locate another engineer through one of his friends. He was here within minutes, identified the fault and got it up and running temporarily. He will be returning over the next few weeks with a replacement part and to give it a good service.
Lorraine has been quite busy in the tearoom this morning and over lunchtime. It quietened off this afternoon; as usual, and she has managed to finish the spring cleaning on Princess and has been tidying in the shop and hoovering the office. Ange has looked after the customers, who have collected Phantom and Phoenix, helped Lorraine, caught up on her day-to-day paperwork and has made progress with giving the office a bit of a spring clean.
Mick has done some more gas work and Bernard has finished the engine service on Honeystreet that he was in the middle of. Poor old Fred has been moaning about being cold today. He did the gas, pumpout etc. on Phantom and Phoenix, finished the blacking off on Honeystreet and helped me swap the boats in the wet dock. I’ve let him go early today – yes early! He is off out to a birthday party tonight and did ask me before Christmas if he could get off a bit earlier.
That’s about it for today. It’s going to be another cold one, so batten down the hatches and stoke the fire up.
Until tomorrow. Best regards. David.
Friday, 13 January 2012
We have had a busy week, that's why the blog has been a bit sporadic this week, we have even seen some boats on the wharf for services, the lads have been busy getting the fleet boats ready for the new season which is now looming upon us, we are getting boats ready to go out tomorrow, amazingly we have boats out this early and we have Phantom going out for three weeks, talking of Phantom below are some picture taken today of the newly decorated rear doors that David scumbled and Tim our decorative artist painted this week, they were starting to look a bit worn so David persuaded me that it would be a good idea to have them freshened up, I am glad he twisted my arm as I think that they look really good and the two boats are the only two traditional boats that we have and they are the best booking boats in our fleet. I have done it again and have messed up with the text and pictures being in the wrong place so I do apologise.
That's it from me for this week, no doubt David will keep you up to speed with events over the weekend, I hope you all have a lovely weekend. Simon
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Monday, 9 January 2012
It has been a very busy day today, I don't know where the hours go, I caught up on emails, a few calls and some paperwork first thing, then we offloaded the trailers load of scrap and rubbish, nipped to the bank and then I had to go and look at a couple of boats that are coming in to be sold on brokerage, that's was my day done and sorted, David has been busy all day with loading the day boat with materials for Steve who is nearly finished with the decking on the moorings, just about 60 tonnes of Stone to lay down and that will be 99% done on the moorings, David has been working on the computer as well as taking photos of boats that we are currently about to market, he even helped Joyce out in the Tea room when she had a bit of a rush on at lunch time, I don't think a pinny suits him though! Matt has been painting in the dry dock, I bet he will be glad to be back in the wet dock tomorrow as it is a dam site warmer in there, Mick has been doing gas tests again all day as well as repairing several gas appliances that were in need of some attention and that leaves Graham who has been down in the dry dock fitting a new rudder end and bottom bearing, a set of anodes as well as straightening the rudder support (skeg) on a shared owned boat, they do take a severe battering below the waterline and do need looking after, that's why they are dry docked each winter, the same as out hire fleet! That's the trouble with boats they do need regular maintenance!
That's it from me for today
Sunday, 8 January 2012
Lorraine has been busy in the tearoom today with cyclists, walkers and customers from the shop. Ange has given her a hand at the busier times, in between catching up with paperwork and generally tidying the place up. I'm sure that items in this building have legs and get up and move as they always seem to end up in a different location to where they were last put. Maybe this buildings haunted, but I can honestly say that I've never seen or felt in this building. As for the docks... ... ... well thats a story to be told another day...
Mick has virtually finished on the shared owned boat that he has been working on and has gone back to gas tests. I've hardly seen him today, but I am sure that he hasn't been asleep...
I've caught up with loads of little jobs that I've wanted to get done. I've also made some amendments to the homepage of our hire website - www.norburyhire.co.uk.
We also have another boat for sale. William of Ockham is a 35 foot cruiser stern narrowboat built by Liverpool boats and is in outstanding throughout. Virtually all of the appliances have been replaced within the last few years. She is ready to step onto and go boating! Full details can be found here.
That's it from me. Simon will be back in the office tomorrow and will no doubt keep you up-to-date with what everyone is up to.
Until next week.
Saturday, 7 January 2012
Whilst we were busy outside, Ange and Lorraine held the fort in the shop and tearoom.
It's been a bit of a quieter day today, which has allowed us to get on with our jobs.
Mick is still ploughing through gas tests, appliance servicing and filling in Landlords certificates, but he has a little bit of a reprieve this afternoon as he is doing the internal checks on one of our shared owned boats. It does get a bit tedious when you are doing the same job day-in-day-out, so I am sure he is glad of the change.
Fred has been painting today down in the dry dock - well prepping, priming and undercoating to be precise! He moans quite a bit about doing it, but I think he enjoys doing it really...
Bernard finished an engine service that he was in the middle of this morning and after lunch we both swapped the boats in the painting dock. Sovereign Lady is now out looking splendid and Debdale has gone in to have a makeover. Here's a picture of Sovereign Lady leaving the dock. Bernard has now started on her winter engine service.
Ange and Lorraine have been occupied in the shop and tearoom for the majority of the day today. We have had a steady stream of customers in the tearoom, obviously much quieter than summer days but nonetheless it's good to see some familiar faces. We are now doing a SPECIAL OFFER on ALL DAY BREAKFASTS for just £5.50 including toast and a cup of tea. Come on down and see Lorraine, she is sure to greet you with a beaming smile and look after you like your royalty! From your warm seat in the tearoom you can view the canal basin here at Norbury through the large glazed double doors leading out onto the seating area on the wharf that can be utilised on finer days... For the more adventurous, don't forget that our dayboats are still available for hire daily from as little as £7.50 per person (conditions apply).
It seems to be turning chiller outside again. I have just been outside and came back in shivering. Lets hope that we are not in for a freeze...
That's it from me today. Until tomorrow.
Thursday, 5 January 2012
I had a good New Year's eve. At the last minute I decided to join some friends in the New Inn at Buckby, Northamptonshire. I proceeded to join them for a couple of days boating before returning to my own boat and getting on with some jobs. Here's a picture of Sue and I descending one of the locks in the flight at Braunston under the watchful eye of boatman Ron Withey. The boats are Sue's ex-GUCCCo Thea and South Midland Water Transport's Kangaroo which was built by Yarwood's of Northwich for Fellows, Morton and Clayton and can be seen captained by Lawrence Williams regularly around the canal system throughout the year.
It was incredibly windy again in the night and we had some quite torrential down pours. Listening to the weather forecast it sounds like there may be a bit of ice about tonight, so be careful if you are out and about.
Well it's been a busy day here one way or another. Not with passing boats, but with catching up with where everyone has got to and with work on the boats. Technology can also delay proceedings... My computer decided it wasn't going to send any emails (it's obviously become lazy) so that took me about an hour to sort!
First job this morning was to grain the rear cabin doors for both Phantom and Phoenix. We are abit short of time to get these done so I did pop in yesterday afternoon to apply the base coat. I'll give them a coat of varnish in the morning and then they will have the Roses and Castles applied and a few coats of varnish before the boats go out a week on Saturday. I'll take a picture and post it for you when they are back on the boat.
Graham has also returned today after his long Christmas break as did Lorraine yesterday. Everyone has been busy with winter maintenance today. Matt is making a good job of sprucing Sovereign Lady up. It's amazing how a bit of paint and polish really brightens a boat up and transforms it into a real gem. Fred has been varnishing and delivering coal. Bernard has been servicing engines and Lorraine has been outside cleaning.
We have bid both off our Motorhomes a fair well today too. For those of you that have kept an eye on our hire boat website (www.norburyhire.co.uk) will have noticed that we had removed them for the forthcoming season. They have done two years service and I am sorry to see them go, but we need to focus our efforts on the hire fleet as it is quickly expanding.
Well that's about it from me today.
Tuesday, 3 January 2012
Things are back to normal now, I am so glad as the Christmas break really interferes with our winter maintenance and it seems like a massive amount of fuss and upheaval just for a couple of days off! Anyway as I said things are back to normal, Fred and Steve have undocked the two private boats on the dock and put Phantom on for its bottom to be blacked and another couple of jobs at the same time, Mick has been getting wet outside this morning changing an alternator on a shared owned boat and then back to gas checks for the rest of the afternoon, Matt has started on Sovereign Lady's exterior coach work touching up and painting, Angela has been catching up on her outstanding paperwork generated by having a few days off while I have also been catching up on ordering bits for the boats and bits for the yard that could not be ordered because the country goes mad over Christmas and everywhere seems to shut down, we have also seen a few people around looking at boats and we seem to be inundated at the moment with people enquiring about boats that we have for sale, its funny how it goes, it might be dead quiet for a couple of weeks with enquiries ad then everyone wants a boat at the same time, we have also been quite busy with hire bookings today, I suppose that now Christmas is out of the way people are now thinking about their summer holidays.
That's it from me for today, until tomorrow
Monday, 2 January 2012
We have been on skeleton staff again today as its the first bank holiday this year and with no boats out and not much moving it seemed pointless in being fully staffed, Bernard was supposed to be in with myself and Cheryl, Angela came in at 11 just to see us through the busy lunch time period in the tea room, Mick was supposed to be off but he decided to come in and catch up on some of the backlog of gas safety jobs that are now piling up, I suspect that Bernard had forgotten that he was supposed to be in today as he doesn't normally work on a Monday, we will wait until tomorrow to see what he says! Back to normal as from tomorrow, normal opening times and the staff rotation is back to normal so we should see some more people in, although David has done well as its his days off on a Tuesday and a Wednesday so he has had a nice long couple of breaks this year, and some of the others have of course had the whole Christmas period off as one long holiday!
As I suspected its been quite a busy day we have had a few boats in on the wharf, we have seen plenty of people looking at boats and the Tea room has kept Cheryl and Angela busy most of the day, over the festive period we have sold two boats so it just shows that it pays to be open! We could do with a few more to sell so if you are thinking of selling do give us a call.
As we are closing at 4 o'clock today that's it from me.