Shop front in the summer

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Typical English weather

Rain, sun, rain, sun,rain, su, rain, sun, rain, sun, they tell me that is a typical English summer, surely this cant be normal? its not just a light shower, its torrential rain!

We have had a busy day today, three day boats first thing, one with an old friend on, Jilly Hog, she used to do lots of canal painted ware but has long since retired from that, several hire boats returned today and we have had six go out, and all three day boats came back without issue, just as the rain came down! We have had a hand off our good friend Becks today, its a pleasure to have her give us a hand, she gets on so well with everyone, Micky has been fitting up Ada Rose, thats the boat that Matt has just finished painting, thats coming out of the dock tomorrow, and thats about it really, the usual jobs for Fred, simon and aour new lad Jake, I will tell you about Jake when I have a minute.

Thats it from me for tonight

Friday, 29 June 2012

Its Friday!

Don’t know why I bothered typing the title really as I have still got to work this weekend so today is just another day, are you feeling sorry for me? probably not! but it is the weekend for most of you and I hope that the weather stays like it has been today here at Norbury however I hope the wind drops a little, it has been as windy as hell here today, that makes boating interesting, narrow boats in a restricted channel in the wind are not good combinations, its a good job they are made of steel that’s all I can say!

Its been a busy one today, although only a hand full of boats out today, two shared boats, two hire boats and one day boat but we did have several returning this morning which made first thing a bit interesting, boats everywhere, well the ones that were going out have gone so that’s it until it all happens again tomorrow, and that’s it from me until tomorrow.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Here comes the rain, hail and damnation!

I thought for one moment today that the end of the world was coming as it went black over Norbury and then came a thunderous roar from above, it was obvoius what was next, yep the heavens opened up and it threw it down , we had 'cats and dogs' and everything thrown at us for about an hour, it was bouncing off the boats and the roofs it came down that hard as but when the hail came down I decieded that enough was enough and I retired to the shop for some cover, see attached photo for the deluge! As I type the blog my feet are still wet through.
The sun has now come back out so I suppose you could say that we are having a typical summer?

We have certainly been a lot busier today, sods law as most of the boats turned up for wharf services just as the heavens opened up, we had that many boats here that Simon and I were both out there in the pouring rain dieseling the boats, pumping them out trying to generally dodge the rain, and its carried on like that all afternoon with boats pulling on to the wharf for services.

Thats it from me or tonight, Im off home to dry out.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

extension to jenks blog

hi tis me AGAIN........aren't you lucky...mmm
as i was leaving work tonight i said to simon have you done the blog, ange i haven't had time was his answer then he said well i have done a little one about the moorings, that rhymes with boring.
we had 1 day boat out this morning with people who had never been on a boat before and thoroughly enjoyed themselves, especially as it has been a stunning day here at norbury, the sun has shone for most of the day and of course we have all been moaning about how hot it has been, there really is no pleasing some people. well i have been complaning about the heat cos i have been doing service washes for most of the day and the heat from the tumble drier has been too hot to handle.
we have had a private job on the wharf today where we have fitted an 1800 w sterling inverter and after much deliberation about the size of the fridge a few minor adjustments were made and the customers bought a new fridge aswell as their old one was too old and noisy, they also commented on what a nice guy simon the engineer was, and he is. jake is a nice lad too and picking up simons good ways.
joyce has manned the tea room with a little help from me , when i wasn't doing service washes, there aren't many of us around on wednesday so we all have to muck in together. except the guys that is, i asked denise if she would clean the mens tea room, they are all on the naughty step when she returns on friday...........filthy.
jenk has been busy sorting an engine job and fred has been his usual self.............moaning, we love ya freddie.
until next time, byee.

Moorings available

It is a rare thing for us at the moment, since we completed the improvements on our moorings we have been full however in the last two weeks we have had two boats go up for sale with us and a long term moorer move his boat to a section of canal that is cut off from the rest of the system so he can explore that for a while, this means that we have two spare moorings, we can accomodate up to 70ft on either mooring, one has electric and the other doesnt, one is down the old Newport and Shrewsbury canal (off line) and the other is on the main line of the canal on the offside, if you are interested give me or david a call.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

quiet day

hi, it's me again the new boss, well i've the bosses permission to say so anyway.
there's not an awful lot to report today as we have been quiet in the shop and tea room, but having said that the phone's haven't stopped ringing, i have done 2 hireboat bookings for this weekend and 1 for august, it is getting to the time of year where people are leaving it to the last minute to book their holidays to get the best deal.
we had a dayboat go out first thing this morning, the weather hasn't been brilliant but at least it has stayed dry for them and they have returned without issues.
engineer simon has been welding for most of the day and mick has attended a break down in chester.
denise was bitten by a dog last night and it took me until 2 o'clock to persuade her to go to the doctors for an injection, nat went with her to hold her hand. i told her that injections aren't what they used to be, she said " i don't like injections and certainly not in my bum", i said it's an arm jobby now so that made her feel a little easier, anyway it's all over and done with now, poor denise. jenk has just been his usual self, sitting in the corner with his feet on the table, (oops sorry i mean under).
that just leaves fred...............he's been getting the boats ready for the weekend, blacking, weeding and moaning!!!!
til the next time, byee.

Monday, 25 June 2012

New Boss!

Cheeky so and so she is, Angela that is! I was asking her if she didn't mind me going early yesterday as it meant that she would have stay a bit longer to lock up, well if she wants to be the boss then she can have the job, so if you read this Ange can I have a pay rise please, I want more holidays, oh and by the way I wont be in tomorrow as I am feeling ill (well I fancy a sickie) lol

Its been a bit of a roller coaster type day, dead quiet one minute and then MANIC the next, the phone seems to have been relentless though but not to many customers through the door, even though the sun has been shining, the tea room has even been quiet today, very unusual given the excellent weather.

A couple of day boats out this morning, without issue I am glad to say, they also returned without issue, we have also had a hire boat out this afternoon, that too went without issue!

Not really much else to say about today,so until tomorrow

Sunday, 24 June 2012

left to our own devices

well it has been a strange day today, mixed weather and not many people about first thing this morning. normally on a sunday morning you can't move in the tea room for people wanting their fix of breakfast goodies, but not this morning, and as we had simon in today instead of david he thought this was the norm, now he won't believe me when i say how busy we have been, he said today "you'll tell me anything". we had 3 day boats out first thing and all have returned without issues. we had 20 ladies on 2 of the boats who went on a jolly down to wheaton aston and were a bit worse for wear when they got back, never been on a boat before and thoroughly enjoyed the day ;)
kim went home on 1/2 days holiday as we were so quiet then all hell broke loose, everyone decided to come to norbury but luckily i held on to joyce and denise and we coped between us.
bernard has been kept busy on the wharf today but he can't talk quietly so when he comes in to tell you how much fuel he has put in the boat you need ear
aaron has been busy pulling weeds out down the arm, it's looking nice and tidy down there now.
bernard and mick undocked mointeach this morning and then put quince in there for blacking, mick has also been working on private jobs.
we also had a hire boat out first thing this morning, summer wine.
then at 4 pm simon said "right that's it i'm all up to date, would you mind if i go home?" so being the nice boss i am i said "of course, go". lol...........then threw a pary (only joking boss).
till next time.......bye ange.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

There is always one!

Why is it there is always one gobby, smart arse with a big mouth who after a drink thinks that he has the God given right to be obnoxious, Fortunately that sort of person is in the minority, today we had a couple of day boats go out, one returned without issue while the other one returned on time but they had got the stern rope wrapped around the prop and it had subsequently snapped in half, I politely pointed out the damage and informed the group that they needed to replace the rope, you would have thought that I had told them that the boat needed to be replaced, a couple of the lads were fine and I guess that they had realised what they had done, but one chap just would not stop going on about it, in a loud unruly like manner, his parting words were, "I will be back later to smash the place up" I think he needs to grow up!

Any way apart from that incident today its been an OK day, most of the fleet has returned and we have had three boats go out and one tomorrow, that has kept us busy and while waiting for the day boats to return Simon got the tug up and running, it purrrrrrs like a pussy cat, very happy indeed.

That's it from me for today

Friday, 22 June 2012

quiet day today

as the title suggests it has been quite quiet here today at norbury.
1st thing this morning we had 3 day boats go out and they all returned back to us without any issues. we also had sphinx return to us with 10 lads aboard who had an excellent time cruising to chester and back. 5 shared boats back also without any problems and a good time had by all despite the weather, i really don't know what we have done to deserve this horrible weather, 4 years running now we have had no summer. so much so that we have had sovereign lady, prince and quartz return to us this evening instead of tomorrow morning, all enjoyed the boating but not the weather.
the tea room hasn't seen much traffic today either, joyce looked after the tea room whilst denise and kim went out cleaning the boats and wharf cottage for the next hirers, lorraine was to start her holiday when she finished tonight but was pleasantly surprised when i suggested she take today as a days holiday aswell, we couldn't see her for dust.
we sent simon out shopping and banking today and whatever else he gets up to whilst he is out, like having his hair cut, he tries denying it but how can you deny that you've had a hair cut, he must think we are blind, at least he got back at a reasonable hour and the stock was put away well before 5pm.
jake the new lad is doing really well and hopefully will be doing showrounds on the hire boats soon, engineer simon has taken him under his wing and passing on his good knowledge of boats. steve has been really busy doing diesel, gas and pump outs today, he's not used to doing freds job so is happy that fred returns tomorrow after a nice break. and me..................well i've just been me doing ange things as simon would put it, so until next time..........bye.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Ruddy Knackered

Well what a busy busy manic day it has been and as the title suggests, I am knackered, its been that busy I reckon that also applies to Angela and Lorraine too, it started off as usual this mooring, flat out as it normally does, day boaters arriving, hire boats arriving with toilet issues, people on the wharf for diesel,the tea room packed with people for breakfasts and the lads all standing around looking for their work for the day, it all made a busy old morning, on top of all of that we had a crane booked for 11am to lift off a small tug that we were having delivered today, the crane turned up, but no sign of the tug, I made a quick phone call to the company only to find out that the lorry had broken down on route to us, a few more tense phone calls and it was confirmed that the damn lorry was running about three hours late, unfortunately the crane driver had another contract left and was under pressure to get going, the lorry finally got on its way, the crane driver relaxed a bit, but then the lorry broke down again less than two mile away, I jumped in to my motor and drove to the stricken truck and it was sorted and back on track in short time, it finally arrived, much to the crane drivers, and my relief, and off loaded safely on to our slip way, so say welcome to our latest addition to our work boat hire fleet, BIG TOE he is called, and tugs do fly!Soon you will be able to hire any of our work boats, the tug, the tug and a driver, one of two work flats, one of two welfare boats, which contain stove, sink, water, toilets and locable storage compartments for tools etc, mud hoppers, tank hoppers, all transportable by road or water, call us with your requirementsBy the way, the bird of prey isn't real.


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

new kids on the block

tis me again, it has been quite a busy day here at norbury and the sun has shone for most of it too.
we have 2 new kids on the block today, we have an engineer called jake and a dogs body called peter, some of you may already have the misfortune of knowing him, he is one of our regular hirers and is here on holiday at the moment in wharf cottage so as he was at a loose end we sent him out shopping, banking and he has also done a couple of jobs around the yard for us, washing up in the tea room for denise being one them, looking very fetching with his norbury wharf apron on, we do have photo's to prove it peter and will be putting it on the blog shortly, thanks mr quick, you're a star.
as fred is on holiday we have been using steve the engineer to do pump outs and diesel.
mick has been working on a private job and simon has just been simon, engineer simon that is, not our lord and master simon, he's just been sat at his desk with his feet up (only joking simon).
we had one day boat go out this morning which has just returned without any issues and they all had a good dry day. i spoke too soon it has just started raining, not too much though thankfully.
well there's not really that much else to report as i'm not used to all this freedom on the blog yet, so until next time and a photo of peter in his pinny.......................byee.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Long stint

It started off very busy this morning, I didn't know if I was coming or going, it didn't help that David was not here, nor Angela, or Lorraine, Kim, Simon, Fred, or that Mick had just returned off holiday and also didn't have a clue what was going on first thing this morning, I soon sorted everything and everyone out, well those that were here today, no day boats today and only one hire boat so not a really busy day, the wharf has been busy again with boaters after some of our excellently priced diesel, the shop and tea room has keep Denise, Charlie and 'the mad as a hatter' Joyce busy today.

David has gone on his holidays (jammy so and so) he has gone off boating, for a change! I hope the weather stays good for him unlike the last couple of weeks, although today has been a nice day, with David away I am in for a 'long stint' I will work through now until my holiday in three weeks time, where guess what, I am off boating too, I really hope the weather stays nice for me too, I don't think we are that lucky though!

Pippin is off out today on a long cruise with our returning and good customers Wilf and Maggie, they are going to be cruising in and around Birmingham, if you see them give them a wave, they might even be taking a boat out over the winter period for the who;e winter, I reckon you could say that they have the bug!

That's it from me for today.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Happy Fathers Day

As much as I enjoy working here at Norbury, I must admit that one does look forward to a holiday. I'm off boating in the morning heading for the Northwich River Festival on the River Weaver in Northwich itself, so if any of you are at a lose end next weekend, please pop in to say hello.

The weather has been incredibly changeable here at Norbury today. I was quite hopeful when I got up this morning to take Annie out and the sun was shining, and it looked to be a nice day. Soon after we had seen the dayboats out the heavens decided to open and it has been pretty much the same all day, although the sun has shone a couple of occasions.

Although the weather hasn't been the best, we have seen a steady flow of boats pulling onto the wharf for the use of our facilities and to make the most of our services. Especially our super cheap diesel at the current price of just 71.9ppl. Coal sales have picked up again, we might even need to place another order!

It's been quiet in the shop today, so we have let Lorraine and Denise have an early day whilst Joyce, Ange and myself have plodded on.

Simon and Bernard docked a private boat this morning to complete some rudder repairs. Once that was complete they flooded the dock and docked another private boat which Bernard has pressure washed off whilst Simon has been repairing a water system on a boat that we have recently sold which must have fell subject to the freezing conditions that we experienced at the beginning of the year.

Despite the weather the dayboaters have all returned with smiles on their faces and are looking forward to their next experience on our wonderful canal network.

That's it from me for now. Over to Simon tomorrow - go easy on him as he has got to work a stint now without a day off!

Best regards,


Saturday, 16 June 2012

Many thanks to Ange for writing the blog last night. I'm afraid that I wasn't on top form at all yesterday. I just about made it to closing time and went home, put my feet up and woke up at seven this morning. Well... Except for being disturbed by Lorraine and Denise at about 9.30 last night, who were trying to drag me out for a drink - I must have felt unwell, because I declined with thanks!

We've had five boats go out today, but only one of them was a turn round. That usually makes life alot easier, but due to the fine, but persistent rain that we had this morning, Fred still managed to get soaking wet. He looked like he had been dunked in the canal at one point!

Simon's been cracking on with some more plating work, until the rain stopped play and he has been doing show rounds this afternoon as well as a bit of other work on a couple of boats.

It must have been windy in the night because one of our regular customers; Roger, who collected Aquamarine yesterday rang to say that there was a tree down just south of Wheaton Aston. He telephoned at about 3pm to say that contractors were on site and clearing the obstruction.

I'm on count down, only a day to go until I've got a few days holiday.



Friday, 15 June 2012

dab hand

tis me again, i'm gonna be a dab hand at writing the blog soon.
we have had 2 shared boats back to us this morning without any issues and all had a good time despite the weather and we have had aqua marine and phantasy return and all had a good time too ;)...........we have been quite busy in the tea room today, it's that smell of bacon again wafting around norbury, everyone turns up all at the same time and all hell breaks loose........break time isn't until 10.30 but david and i get a whiff and have a working break, bacon sarnie in hand whilst answering the phone........lovely, thanks lorraine.
well if you've been at norbury today you have obviously not known what clothes to wear, one minute the sun was shining the next minute the heavens opened, we have had boats passing through where the helmsman has had wet weather gear and sun glasses on..........happy days.
aqua marine has gone out for 2 weeks today with a returning customer of many years......roger ireland, phantasy has also gone out for 2 weeks with a couple from newzealand, lovely people, denise went to pick them up from hertz car rental in hortonwood who decided today at noon that they were going to change the name of the car rental company and confuse everyone, denise was looking for hertz as was mrs williams, they met each other by chance as denise spotted someone with a load of suitcases, anyway they made it here and that is the main thing, we have also had sphinx go out with 10 lads for the week heading up to chester, i hope everyone has a lovely holiday............until next time, ange

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Long wait

In today's modern world and with the technology that we have nowadays I find it amazing that to do something as simple as setting up on line payments system via the inter web to be so long winded, time consuming and a lengthy process, we started the ball rolling on the 23rd April, that is when our new on line booking system went live, we applied for a Sage pay account and it has taken until now to get the whole process sorted, I am now proud to say that we have firmly moved in to the 21st century and not only can our customers check availability of our boats and day boats but they can now book them on line and pay for them on line, all this and they don't even have to speak to a member of staff!

Its been another really busy day today, we have been blessed with good weather which has helped as we have seen a massive amount of traffic on the wharf and in the tea room, so much so that we have had to now draft extra staff in to keep on top of everything, we have had Joyce, Lorraine and Jodie in the shop and tea room as well as David and myself, the lads have all been busy on different jobs around the place, nothing really exciting to report, except to say that I am not in tomorrow so David will keep you up to date with what is going on tomorrow.


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

sneak preview

hi all,
we have received our new menu holders today and as we have space at the back of the holder for information about norbury wharf ltd i have put some wording about the staff here at norbury, here goes...........
a word about our staff; they are without exception, the most dreadful bunch of no-hopers you could ever have the misfortune to meet-sorry, but it has to be said. most have been with us a long time. if you manage to catch their eye or get any of their attention which would in actual fact be a complete miracle, please don't humour them- it only makes them worse. you'll find them lippy and generally unhelpful and most will be poorly turned out and sloppy in attitude. trouble is-you can't get the staff around here. regular beatings do occur in our staff meetings in an attempt to improve their performance-but it's actually completely hopeless. please let us have your thoughts on the customer comment cards located in the tea room. we do not add a service charge-any gratuities go in full to the entire staff team, and are very gratefully received-thank you..............the management.
i guess that's me on the naughty step then!!!!!!!!!!!!
i had a little accident with the vacuum cleaner this afternoon, matt "borrowed" it this morning to extract some paint dust on the boat which is in for painting, when he finished with it he very kindly didn't empty it out. i have then taken it over to wharf cottage and wondered why it wasn't picking anything up. upon closer inspection i noticed all the paint dust in there and opened up the a puff of blue smoke i was covered head to toe in the stuff..........not happy as you can imagine........two of us on the step now, ha ha.
as i sit here writing this blog there is a crane outside lifting a new brokerage boat into the water, no doubt david will be advertising her at the weekend,
that's it for today........until next time, ange. p.s........great news we are now live with sage pay so you can actually search availability, book online and pay for your holiday on line :)

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Loverly day

I have to smile when I see Denise as she has a really 'curly' accent, for those who don't know Denise she looks after the tea room on a Monday and a Tuesday, she looks after the gardens, she cleans the boats and generally makes us all laugh, but she is from deep down in Gloucester and she has such a loverly curly accent, every time she sees me she says "ow yer doin me lover" and I retort with something similar, I can honestly say that she really makes me smile and everyone here laugh.

Its been manic again today,we have been sooo busy, the wharf has been non stop all day, that busy in fact that we have run out of diesel this afternoon, that's two deliveries in less than a week, don't panic though as we will have a fresh delivery in first thing in the morning, and if it keeps going like this then we will have another delivery in later on this week.

We had two day boats out today, and they both returned without incident, Simon has been on a Private job first thing this morning and then welding a bottom plate on a boat in the dry dock this afternoon, Fred has been busy with the wharf today and has been blacking, pumping the hire fleet out and generally being nice, very unusual for Fred, he hasn't been a pain, Matt has been preparing a boat in the dock for top side painting, Steve has been working on the moorings and will be for some time yet, they are looking great, I know I said that they were finished but we have decided to do a little bit more on some more land that we have.

We have been really lucky with the weather this last few days, while the whole country has been suffering with torrential rain we have had sun sun and more sun, I had to go down to Tardebigge and stratford yesterday and once I got to West Bromwich on the M5 the heavens opened and it carried on raining until I hit The Belfery area on the M6 Toll road, so as I said we are lucky!

That's it from me for tonight, a quick pint on the way home

Sunday, 10 June 2012


what a lovely sight when i flung the curtains back this morning, and no it wasn't the cows munching at the hedge at the bottom of my garden it was the sun, i'd almost forgotten what it looked like.the sun followed me all the way to norbury and has stayed out all day which has bought the cyclists out in their droves for a slice of our home made cake and and a cup of tea, we have also seen a few motorcyclists about too. the girls have been very busy in the tea room today, they started cooking at 8.15 this morning for the day boat hirers as we do a special offer for them on bacon or sausage baps at only £1.99 per head, i think the smell of the bacon cooking must waft around norbury because before you know what's hit you everyone comes in for breakfast. denise has been busy ploughing through all the washing from the returning hire boats over the last 2 days, there is heaps of it as all of our boats went out on the 2nd june and returned on the 9th..............poor denise.
we docked a boat called lacewing this morning, she is now owned by one of our past hirers, in fact it is only a couple of weeks since mr lalonde hired "princess" from us and then decided he might aswell buy his own........what a good idea, think i might do the same.
we didn't have mick in today as he has gone on holiday to egypt for a week so we have had to put up with engineer simon for a change, i have been moaning at him today as it took me all day yesterday to tidy up behind the counter after everyone that just dumps things all over the place, he was trying to repair the fly catcher from the kitchen, bits all over the carpet, then david said throw it away we'll buy a new one but keep the plug. simon cut the plug off and left it on my desk, when i asked him why he had left it there he said "david told me to keep it", i said "well not on my desk" what do i want a plug for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!............anyway that's it from me for today, speak soon, ange.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Real England is just beyond the towpath - PART 1

There is so much to enjoy on the canals if your want to travel slowly and savour every mile, and at Norbury we have a wealth of interest and local history right on our doorstep. Within a few hours travel for the boater setting out from our wharf are some of the most attractive villages and small towns in England.

As part of our campaign to promote slow and steady cruises as an alternative to racing around canal rings let us tell you about some of the gems right on our doorstep - in fact within a day's travel of Norbury and some within our 17 mile pound with its seven pubs.

Today we take a look at Gnosall...

Just down the cut to the south, about 40 minutes away, is Gnosall, sometimes claimed to be the largest village in England, with a population of around 5,000 people, although the first bit you see from the canal is Gnosall Heath, with the biggest part of the village a ten minute walk further east. The Wellington to Stafford Railway line once ran through the village, and crosses the canal as you approach the moorings.

Gnosall boasts a Norman church, a mill where it is claimed self-raising flour was invented as well as its own fire station, supermarket, fuel stations, take-aways, pubs, post office and historic high street with barber. The village is also home to an old "Lock up". It is now situated between the Norman Church and the modern cemetery.