Shop front in the summer

Sunday, 21 July 2013

It's been a bit cooler here at Norbury today, although I believe the humidity is high. It's about time we had a storm to clear the air! We did have a little drop of rain in the night, but nowhere near enough as the ground is crying out for.

The trip boat has been well patronised again today during the four 1-hour long trips that we operate each Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday (11:00, 12:30, 14:00 and 15:00).

Sylvia has been busy in the kitchen today, assisted by both Kelly and Tasha, whilst Lynn has been cleaning boats and catching up with the laundry off of the hire boats. Ange has been in the office and shop most of the day and Mick has been doing some work on a private boat in the dry dock.

I was sat outside the Junction Inn last night enjoying a cool pint after a busy day at work and heard the lovely kerchug kerchug of an old engine. I turned round and to my amazement immediately recognised the converted wooden motor boat Gort. She was built by Nursers of Braunston in 1939. She is built of timber and has a beautiful Gardner 2L2 diesel engine. She was built as a working boat at Braunston for Samuel Barlow. She was converted to a houseboat in 1960 by her new owners, Tony and Helen Newman and sold to Lord Catto in 1965 and lived in by Innes Catto from 1969 to 1975. Vandalised and sunk in 1976, she was sold to Mr Dumlow. Eventually, she was bought by her present owner and ongoing conservation has taken place since 1986. The boat has been painted in her original colours by Ron Hough who was a crew member in her working days. I managed to snap a photograph just before she disappeared under the bridge.

She's a real beauty and is a credit to her owner. Notice the lack of wash - that's wooden boats for you, they swim like fish!

Talking about old boats (I hope I am not boring you?), I've just heard that my good friend; Michael Pinnock, has just been awarded the Alfred Richie trophy for the best presented working boat at the IWA's National Waterways Festival at Cassiobury Park with his pair of boats - Clover and Fazeley. I am really pleased for him and it is well deserved as you will see from the short video below. This is the pair heading south last week loaded with domestic coal bound for the London area.

That's it from me today.



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