Shop front in the summer

Monday, 31 December 2012

Water water everywhere

When is this weather going to improve, it seems to do nothing but rain; I was down south over the weekend so I saw a good bit of the country side and I was amazed at just how many parts are being affected by the flooding, I have never before seen the river Avon as high as it is, I crossed it in Stratford and it wasn't that bad but I also crossed it on the M5 and it seemed to stretch across the fields for miles, I also crossed the river Thames near to Oxford on the A34 and that was the same, the water in the surrounding fields stretched for miles and miles, then there would be a piece of higher ground which had escaped but that was surrounded by water making it in to a deserted island; I can only imagine how some poor people have suffered over the Christmas period where their properties have been flooded, and flooded and flooded again; Lets hope that with the coming of the new year there is also some better weather with it!

New years Eve and quite a busy day, lots of people off today so me and Denise have looked after the tea room and shop, Mick has been finishing off bits and bobs on boats, Bernard has been in today to help out, we have had a boat go out on hire and Steve and Bernard have swapped boats over in the painting dock, we have even had some boats on the wharf, so it was worth opening!

I know David has already said it but From me personally I wish everyone a very good New Year and if you are out celebrating later, ENJOY


Sunday, 30 December 2012

Happy New Year

From the clear sky and strange yellow thing in the sky when I came to work this morning, I thought it was going to be a gorgeous day, but by about 9am the heavens had opened and its rained or drizzled most of the day. To make it worse the wind has been bitterly cold, but that doesn't stop play at Norbury!

Denise has been spring cleaning Princess. I've been winding her up as I said that Mrs. Handbag will be inspecting it when she is in next Friday. Mrs. Handbag (as she is know known by all of our staff, regular customers, blog readers and the regulars at the Junction!) has now got a new title. She is our house keeper and she is going to be getting everything ship shape and Bristol fashion in the New Year ready for the forthcoming and fast approaching season. After Spring cleaning all of the boats her next job is to blitz the laundry so we can see the wood from the trees... She really is an excellent addition to our team and really does do an outstanding job. Her husband (and no, his name isn't Mr. Handbag!) will be joining us in a month or so time to be shadowing Fred in preparation for Fred's retirement - but there is good news... I've persuaded Fred to work part time when he retires, so he will still be a regular site at Norbury later in the year :-D

Ange has been doing paperwork and keeping an eye in the tearoom. Steve has been blacking a boat and doing some paintwork on Solace whilst Mick has been on gas jobs and fitting a super duper aerial to Solace.

It's the last day that I will be working this year, so from me personally Happy New Year to you all. Let's hope it's a good one.

Best regards,


Saturday, 29 December 2012

I knew the weather forecast was for wind, but the boats were banging together all night last night as the wind was that strong. At one point I though about getting up and putting some ropes down between the boats (I don't believe in fenders!) but I soon fell back to sleep... I got drenched by the rain walking to work this morning and it didn't seem like it was going to let-up all day, although it did decided to ease off this afternoon. 

Fred's been down in the dock prepping and undercoating the gunnels and counter bands on Reflection. Bernard has been doing no end of odd jobs on the boats and around the yard whilst Simon has been doing an engine service on Phantasy and Mick has been doing yet more gas checks on the hire fleet. Mrs. Handbag has cleaned the cottage and finished Ember off as they are both out today. Denise has been IC in the kitchen and Ange has been busy doing end of month paperwork.

There's been a few boats around today, but I'm longing for those long hot summer days when it is that busy that you don't know if your coming or going - it's much more interesting then...

Best regards,


Friday, 28 December 2012

It's been a busy day here at Norbury in one way or another today. Tom returned with Silhouette from his Christmas break and we got the boat turned round for the next owners. We've bid them fair well and Silhouette has now left to go to her new home. It will be a real shame not to have the owners; that we have got to know so well and built such a good relationship, around on a turn round day. We also got Sphynx ready and seen the new occupants on the way for their New Year break. 

Fred was busy with turn rounds this morning and has docked one of the hire boats with Bernard this afternoon for her annual out of the water inspection, pressure wash and black round. Simon's been working on a private boat that I towed back from Wheaton Aston on Christmas Eve that had developed a problem with it's hydraulic drive system. Ange and Denise have held the fort in the shop and tearoom whilst Mrs. Handbag has been cleaning boats.

That's everything to report for today. Until tomorrow.

Have a good evening.



Thursday, 27 December 2012

We are open

Don't forget folks that unlike lots of boat yards we are open between Christmas and new year, so if you are stuck for a broken part that is spoiling your winter break then give us a shout as we will probably have one on the shelf, or if you need coal or diesel to keep you going on these long winter days.

I hope you all had a good Christmas, as usual mine involved a lot of driving and it also included looking at one or two boats that are up for sale, I never seem to completely get away from it! Back to normal for some of us today and its been busy enough to keep me going in the office and Denise has seen a few folks in the tea room, David has been out side on the boats today doing winter internal checks while Simon has been welding a poorly boat on the dock today leaving Fred to do pump outs and such like on shared boats, and we even had one on the wharf for services!

 Nothing else to report about today so that's it from me.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

!!!Merry Christmas!!!

There's not much more to say except

From all of the team at Norbury Wharf Limited.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

It seems to have been  another busy day here at Norbury today and it has also been a very wet one! I think everyone must be stocking up for Christmas on their supplies of gas, coal, diesel and much more...

Fred's been in a bit of a mood today and wanted to go home even before nine o' clock this morning because he had forgotten to put his teeth in before he left for work. He has been chuntering about it all day and has blamed his wife, who I reckon is going to get an ear full tonight because she didn't remind him this morning. Poor Brenda!

Ange and Denise have been in the shop and tearoom whilst Mrs. Handbag has been cleaning the cottage and boats.

Mick has been cracking on with the gas work that he has been doing, Simon has finished the engine service that he started on Pippin yesterday and Fred has been following me round all day like a lost sheep... In actual fact we docked a Springer that had sprung a leak this morning, moved some boats around and done some painting. Steve finished the bits and pieces that he was in the middle of on Pippin and then went home at lunchtime due to the rain!

We've seen Summer Wine go out today and there are new occupants in the cottage for the Christmas period. I hope they all have a really enjoyable time.

That's it for tonight. Time to go home and put my feet up in front of the fire!

Best regards,


Friday, 21 December 2012

No so quiet

I have to say that I am a little surprised at just how busy it has been here at Norbury today, given how quiet it has been all week it has made today seem like a day in the summer, we even had lovely sunshine and blue Sky's to lift the winter blues! We have had people looking at boats, people on the wharf for services people in the shop buying last minute Christmas presents, all of the lads and lasses have been busy and I have been busy too, meetings and banking and tying up loose ends before the start of my holiday break, I am lucky this year as the Christmas holiday period has fallen when it has because I am not at work over the weekend anyway, we are closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so I have five days off! talking of days off, just to remind you that we are open pretty much as normal on Saturday, Sunday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and back to normal on Wednesday in the new year.

Just one more reminder, its the shortest day today, after today we head towards spring time!

That's it from me for this week, where ever you are and what ever you are doing I wish you all a very merry Christmas

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

another quiet day tday

It started off very wet and windy here at Norbury today. I took Dylan out first thing and by the time I got back I looked as if I had been dragged through a hedge backwards.
It has been quiet though, that quiet that Simon has done some cleaning. I took a radio with me and said to Simon "give me a call if anyone comes into the tea room, I am in Wharf Cottage", we have Ray and Claire Walmsley staying in there for 2 nights as they have just sold their house and moving back on to a boat :-)
I had been in there all of 5 minutes and the radio went off........."hello" I said...."when you go back over to the laundry can you bring me something to clean my desk with"....I took him some multi purpose spray and went back to the cottage with my radio. A couple of minutes later it went off again, "next time you go to the laundry can you bring me something else to clean  my desk, I've used all that"....mmmm, how has he used a full tin of cleaning solution on his desk, it ain't that big. I did as I was told and took more cleaner and a scourer, well I must say Simon that you now have the job as a boat cleaner, you're desk is spotless.
He was so proud of what he had done that I wasn't allowed to put anything on there, I went to take everything away and he said "no Ange, I've not finished yet, I've got phones to clean yet"....;-)
Steve has been doing some jobs on a brokerage boat, Fred has been doing winter works on the hire fleet and engineer Simon has been doing engine services on the hire fleet as in the next few days we have Pippin, Sphinx and Ember going out and also Wharf Cottage on Saturday for the week.
We have also taken a 6 week booking on Phoenix today with returning customers of ours, welcome back Wilf and Maggie Loynd.
That's all I have to report for today, til next time.......byeeee Ange.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Well I hope that you enjoyed the videos yesterday... From the emails that I have received today it sounds as if you did!

It dropped a bit cool again last night, although it was nowhere near as cold as earlier last week. There was a slight frost on the tops of the boats as I took Annie out for a walk. There's a lot of water around at the moment. The ground must just be that saturated that the slightest drop of rain seems to result in big puddles everywhere! I know that Denise has been having a long drive to work as she has been instructed not to drive through the puddle that has once again formed underneath the disused railway bridge in Gnosall. I have driven through it a couple of times recently and it isn't that deep and I am sure a car would get through OK if you just go steady.

It's been a quiet day today although the tearoom did have a sudden burst of activity around lunchtime which kept Ange and Denise on their toes... Bernard has finished the engine service that he has been in the middle of and since then has been servicing the macerator toilets on the hire boats that are fitted with them. It really isn't a pleasant job, but it has to be done every year to ensure there are no issues with them during the season. Steve has been doing some internal odds and sods on one of the hire boats which other than checking tomorrow is now ready to go out.

I've heard reports today that the canal is now open to the North. I am not sure how true the rumours are but I know that some of the boats that were waiting for the stoppages at both Shebdon and Woodseaves to lift have headed North. I am still to see a boat come South...

We've got a special visitor coming to see us tonight, but thats a story for tomorrow!

Until then... Best regards,


Saturday, 15 December 2012

Next of Kin

You may remember that some time ago we published an article about how we came by Ember, rebuilt her and incorporated her into our hire fleet to give her a new lease of life. Well, a few days ago we stumbled across some footage of another one of our current hire boats which I thought may be interested to you (with thanks to Peter Quick). First of all, grab a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy watching a BBC programme which was first broadcast in January 1997. I'm afraid it is in three parts, but I am sure that you will recognise some familiar sites!

Well, I hope you enjoyed that. The boat that was hired from Norbury by Maggie, Andrew and the kids is a boat called Abel Tasman and was filmed in 1997. She was built by Dartline in 1991 at Bunbury and operated by them here at Norbury until Anglo Welsh took the company over in 1997. In December 1997 they renamed her Venus and continued to operate her until she eventually ended up working from their Oxford base on the River Thames. She was advertised for sale in the winter of 2010 and Simon decided to purchase her and bring her home to Norbury in December 2010. We have since done some modifications and refitting work, but kept the same layout and have renamed her Princess. We entered her into our hire fleet for the beginning of the 2011 season. Since then she has proved to be a very popular hire boat. We decided at the end of last season to give her even more of a up lift by painting her in our Norbury colour scheme (grey, black and red) which we have recently completed. I must admit that she now looks a real treat.

Princess as purchased in December 2010.

Princess today ready and waiting for the 2013 season (minus the bridge bars that were fitted when filmed by the BBC in 1997)!

Best regards,


Friday, 14 December 2012

non stop friday

No I don't mean it has been non stop with customers today I mean non stop rain, I cant believe just how much the weather can change in 24 hours, yesterday freezing temperatures, ice on the canal and today incessant rain all day long!

I haven't seen much of Norbury as such today as I went straight from home to collect the new boat, he he it made me smile when i picked it up and I'm sure it will have that same effect on the many thousands that have already 'sailed' on her and the many thousands to come, I promise that once the rain has stopped I will get some photos, once I delivered the boat to Norbury I was soon dispatched again, this time down to the printers, our plumbing suppliers and our glass suppliers, so it is difficult for me to comment much about what has gone on here today, what I do know is that it has rained all day long!

That's it from me for this week, I am sure David will have something to say about the weekend.


Thursday, 13 December 2012

roll on summer

Blimey its been cold here today, only -3 today but the wind chill has made it feel like -20 and there hasn't been any wind as such just a light breeze my drive in to work this morning was superb as the moisture in the air from last night had frozen on everything and the frozen hedge lined lanes were like something off a wintry post card scene, you can imagine what the canal is like, it has about an inch or so of ice on it, and so have the boats!

we have had another uneventful day today except for the three amigos painting the tea room, they have made a lovely job and the place looks great and I really appreciate all of there hard work, I cant wait now to see the place buzzing again with people.

I have a busy day tomorrow as I have got to go to Derby to fetch our new boat, I am not going to say much about it except it will cause a few raised eyebrows, make a few people smile and hopefully make people talk, there will be some photos posted up as soon as it arrives!

A big thanks to everyone that has offered to collect the boat from the Braunston area, I am glad to report that I have found someone to do it, I promise that I will post any more boat movements on here, but remember be quick to respond as they get sorted quickly!

That's it from me for today, don't forget to keep your eyes open for the photos of the new boat

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

been decorating

It has been absolutely freezing here at Norbury today, not as much ice on the canal as yesterday but soooo cold. It has also been very quiet, well, with customers anyway as the tea room is closed whilst the 3 musketeers have been painting.....the 3 musketeers for those of you who don't know them are Simons dad Rob and his 2 brothers David and Brian. They do a lot of maintenance work here.Well this week they have been painting the tea room, was supposed to have been the kitchen but hey ho. The walls have been stripped of the pictures and lace plates and boy have they taken some geeing up ;-) We have had a bit of painting done here and then a bit done somewhere else, another bit needed a second coat and the bit near the ceiling needed doing and the story goes on. I kept going into the tea room to ask how they were doing and there was always a lot of arguing going on, I desperately wanted to make some headway but there was nothing I could do. Eventually things started to take shape. We have put all the lace plates back on the wall, all the framed pictures are now back for sale, we have drinks in the chiller and the kitchen is all in order. We did have a few arguments along the way. I started hanging the plates and unbeknown to me Rob had taken before photo's, he kept shouting "that's in the wrong place"........whatever!!!!....they are up and out of the way. All done now and looks very nice and freshened up.
We have had Bernard back with us today as engineer Simon is off for a few days sick as he had a car accident at the weekend, he is o.k but the car isn't :-(
Fred has been doing Freddie things and Steve has been doing some winter work on Princess.
Sorry for the short post but nothing else to report today, until next time..........byeeee ange.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Not suprised!

Given the time of the year I am not surprised that I have not had people breaking down the door with offers of moving these boats, it looks like I have sorted the short haul one from Nantwich but the one from Braunston has now been confirmed as a definite so if any one fancies a winter break please contact me, I must admit I wouldn't fancy boating in this cold weather, Talking of the weather, 'Good blimey' its cold, -5 when I left home this morning, fortunately the sun has been out most of the day and melted the frost covered boats and put some warmth in to the insides, I did check on five of the boats today that are going out soon to see if the water systems were all frozen and fortunately they were all fine and there were no signs of any frost internally and the water pumps all pumped water, heating systems lit and engines running, left like that for a couple of hours so if we have a severe drop in temperatures they should be OK, as I sit here by the heater I can confirm that the temperates have indeed started to drop rapidly and the ground already has a covering of frost, Eddie from the fisheries came up earlier and reported that it was -7 down there last night, Bbbbrrrrrrrr roll on home time and a nice warm fire!

until tomorrow Simon

Monday, 10 December 2012

Free boating holiday anyone

Not one but two! I have two boats that need moving, the one is not set in stone as yet but it is almost a definite, it is in the Braunston area and  needs to be moved to Norbury, it will be available from this weekend however we are not in any great rush for it so it could be done at your leisure, the boat is a nice boat, fully fitted, two berth (double) all you will need is food, drink, clothes, windlasses, who fancies it? drop me an email with your contact details, the other one is a definite and is at Nantwich so is only a couple of days away, this one is a four berth and the canal will be passable after the 21st December, Please remember that the last time I posted a freebie the offer was snapped up over night so its first come first served, so who fancies it?

The sun has been shining all day long but it has been freezing cold, brass monkey weather in fact! It has however been a quiet day as there has only been myself, David and Steve in, the tearoom is shut for the week for a makeover and its either been peoples days off or holiday time for the rest, so I have been all on my own in the office today, which has been OK as its been quiet, David has popped in to the office on occasions today to make sure that I was awake, which of course I was! Make sure you all have plenty of your winter fuel supplies as apparently we are in for more of this cold weather and its gonna get colder!

That's it from me for today, I am off home to stoke up my fire.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

It's been a busy day here at Norbury today. The weather has warmed up somewhat, but I think it is just trying to lull us into a false sense of security! The forecast for next week is atrocious! Snow, ice and freezing cold winds - Arctic conditions they promise...

Mick has been finishing off some gas jobs he has had to do as he is now on holiday for the next week. Steve has been working on Ember today, doing some winter works which has required replacing some water damaged wood around the shower. Ange and Denise have been in the shop and tearoom.

We had a great night last night, unfortunately Denise took the pictures on her camera and she didn't bring it in today for me to post the pictures for you to see.

We are going to be a bit short staffed this week as both Mick and Denise are on holiday (not together may I hassen to add). The kicthen is also closed until Friday for some alterations and redecorating so we have got Simon's Dad and two uncles here to keep us entertained.

That's it for today.

Until next time.


Saturday, 8 December 2012

Firstly I must apologise that neither Simon or myself have had time to write the blog for the last few days. It's supposed to be quiet at this time of the year...

Fred and I undocked Arabia this morning. She was built by Roger Fuller twenty years ago and is a replica of a Fellows, Morton and Clayton motor boat. Her current owner decided that she wasn't performing as well as she should so we removed the propeller a few weeks ago and he has had it re pitched. We refitted it a couple of days ago and we await the results.

Fred and I then docked a boat for a surveyor and once the surveyor was finished, re floated that one and docked another.

Mick has been busy with servicing gas boilers and gas tests. Ange and Den have been manning the shop and the tearoom.

It's been a cold day again here. But we are off for our staff party in Eccleshall tonight. I'll try and get some snap shots and post them for you tomorrow.

Have a good evening.

Regards, David.

Friday, 7 December 2012

biting wind

Well to say it has been cold here today would be an understatement, the wind has been so cold and poor David and Steve have been working down the arm installing a new electricity post for the moorers to use.
Simon came in to work today with his casual clothes on, when he comes in dressed like this we know he is not staying :-)................but he didn't leave until 2.30 so we did have to put up with him for most of the day....only joking boss, you know we love you really.
Fred turned 2 shared boats around today and complained about the cold all the way through the small operation, he has also been doing some internal works on the inside of the hire fleet where it is a bit warmer than being outside.
Denise has manned the tea room, she has had quite a number of customers in there today, most of whom wanted a full english breakfast (£5.50 with a cup of tea or coffee).
Mrs Handbag has been doing all the cleaning today. She is very thorough with her cleaning and has driven me absolutely mad today for a meat tin for "Phantom" as she is going out tomorrow for 2 weeks, it will be sorted for tomorrow, don't worry carol.
Engineer Simon was on a call out this morning to the guys who are doing the maintenance work down at Shebdon, the boat they were using was very sluggish, he changed the fuel filter and everyone was happy.
I have been doing some ordering for goods that we are going to need to complete winter works and other than that answering the phones which has made denise laugh....why....the phones were that busy this morning  she said all she could see was me walking up and down reception answering phones, passing them over to people until there wasn't another phone to answer....Denise I thought you were my friend.
That's it for today, until next time byeeeeeeeeeee Ange.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

quiet again today

It has been a very quiet day again today here at Norbury.
It has been very cold but the sun has shone all day and we have seen a few walkers and cyclists about, other than that the tea room has been quiet. There is only either Myself or Denise in the tea room from monday through til friday at the moment so if is quiet when Denise is on duty then she goes out cleaning boats, if it is quiet when I have to man the tea room then I keep up to date with my invoicing etc.
Simon has been busy doing Simon things today, once he gets going on the computer, tap, tap, tapping away, he is on auto pilot and doesn't hear what you are saying to him.....mmmm.
We now have "Pippin" in the wet dock for her winter maintenance, "P

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Same old same old

Well it has been very, very cold here at Norbury again today, the sun did put in an appearance at one stage just not for very long.
We have had the usual cyclists in for their breakfast baps and a hot drink (£4.50). We saw quite a few customers in the tea room today and instead of the usual tea and cakes it has been all hot food.
David and Denise have been out on the boats today putting the finishing touches to them for the final pictures to be taken for the new brochure which left me in the shop on my own for an hour or so.
Steve and Mick undocked Cotton Dancer today and docked Wolverley as part of their winter maintenance, she is one of the shared boats that operates from here. Steve then went on to pressure wash her and Mick carried on with some work on a private boat.
We had a boat on the wharf for diesel and pump out and we have also had quite a few customers through the door for diesel, gas and chandlery.
Sorry it's a short post, until next time, byeeeeeeeeeee Ange.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Freezing cold

It has been absolutely freezing here at Norbury today, so cold that we have had to get the space heater and a bottle of gas in the shop to warm us up, trouble is once that heater gets going we are sweltering in there as it is so powerful and the jackets come off.
We haven't been very busy with customers here today, the tea room has seen a few walkers and cyclists which has kept Ms Cerrone occupied, if she insists on calling me Mrs Waaaard then she is now Ms Cerrone ;-)
Mrs Handbag (Carol) has been doing deep cleaning on Phantom today, the lads have finished their work on there so we are now allowed to clean her, good job as she is going out for 2 weeks in 2 weeks time.
Fred has been blacking and painting the counter bands on "Cotton Dancer", she is actually my previous boat from 6 years ago, he came in the shop this afternoon and asked what colour blue the boat was painted in on the gunwale black Fred, he said "no wonder i couldn't find the right colour".
David has put the finishing touches to the brochure so hopefully it will be going to print on monday.
I have been busy doing V.A.T return...........sorry Simon.
Nothing else to report today, oh and peter i missed a couple of capital letters out yesterday....sorry....I will get better honest....byeeeeeeeeeeeee Ange.