Shop front in the summer

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Lots of interest in boat buying

We have been quite quiet here at Norbury today, it didn't help that the A519 was closed in Woodseaves due to roadworks. However this didn't stop the cyclists turning up in their droves this morning which kept Denise and I on our toes for a while.
We had 1 dayboat out this morning, they were lucky with the weather as it was quite mild first thing, it stayed dry for them all day but by the time they got back it was just getting dark and getting a lot colder, the main thing is that they enjoyed themselves.
Well as the title suggests we have had a lot of interest in brokerage boats over the weekend, so much so that we have had offers on Chirk Navigator, Quartz and Sphinx, all offers have been accepted so we are now just awaiting deposits. Who would believe it, November and three boats sold in a couple of days and all ex hire boats aswell.
Bernard has been in today doing bits of engineering and generally making a nuiscance of himself and Lee has been working in the dry dock and sorting out the engineering workshop getting rid of lots of rubbish in there to make room for more rubbish....ha ha.
I have been going through our E-bay shop making sure that we still have all items available in the chandlery and also parcelling up the items we have sold. We are not breaking any records but there aren't many days where we don't sell anything. Also David and I have been having a major sort out in the office, it either went in the bin or transferred to the other office which now desperately needs a major sort out, when I go over and sort it in the week I'll just throw it all in the bin anyway ;-)Lastly, Mrs Tupp has manned the tearoom, She did call me down a couple of times to help her but other than that has coped on her own.
Peter Underwood, you know who you are....capitals, just for you.
Well until next time, byyyeeeeeeeee, Ange.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Where's the snow?

As I was driving home last night, there were threats of snow forecast, so I was quite surprised when I woke up this morning to clear skies. The temperature must have plummeted in the night, because the boats were all iced over. Apparently there were flurries of snow all around us (Cannock, Brownhills, Chester and Stoke on Trent) so we were quite lucky to miss it. I say "miss it", I like the snow really, but it brings havoc to the country and it isn't any good for our game! Moving boats around in the snow and ice, really is not fun... I hear that there is some definitely on its way over the next 48 hours. We will wait in anticipation! 

Activity has been productive here over the last few days: We have got one of our hire boats on the dock, which is receiving a new stern gear and a coat of bitumen on her bottom. Richard, is progressing well with prepping the boat that we put in the wet dock a few days ago for repainting. And it's that time of year for winter maintenance on the hire fleet.

Due to the winter stoppages nearby at Tyrley and Adderley and on the Staffs and Worcs near to Penkridge the canal is extremely quiet at the moment and passing traffic is virtually non-existent. I know I shouldn't wish my life away, but Christmas and the New Year can't come quick enough now - to see the canal open again. Let's hope that we aren't ice bound then...

Joyce and Ange have been busy in the Chandlery today: doing some rearranging and tidying up.

That's it from me today.

Until next time.

Best regards, David.

Saturday, 16 November 2013


We currently have just two moorings available at the idyllic location of Norbury Junction. One can accomodate a 50ft narrow boat and the other a 60ft. Both of these moorings are located on the Newport Canal which now leads just 100 yards off of the Shropshire Union Canal to our covered dry dock. Both moorings benefit from electric hook up and water. Car parking is provided adjacent to the dry dock, making access easy. These moorings do not come up for grabs regularly, so don't miss out on this opportunity. Full details of all the facilities that are offered can be found on our website For further information please call our office on 01785 284292 or email

Thea - completed

Richard put the final touches to Thea yesterday morning and by lunchtime we had the boats moved in the basin, the tent rolled up and were getting her out of the dock and into the daylight. 

She looks superb and is a real credit to everyone who has worked so hard on her over the last six weeks. 

I think the following pictures say it all really!

When you see Sue out and about make sure you give her a wave and don't get too close as you don't want to scratch the paintwork!

Best regards, David.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Year of Bargains

It has been a year of bargains in the boating business, according to Norbury Wharf's Managing Director Simon Jenkins.

Looking back at the end of the 2013 boating season, he said: “We have been in no doubt that our customers have less money to play with than for many years and we have worked hard to keep our prices down, with the result that families have still been able to afford boating holidays, days out on our trip boat and our self-drive day boats and even a cup of tea in our wharf-side cafĂ©.

“Throughout the season we have offered the best value for money we could and I am pleased to say that we seem to have earned the loyalty of our customers.”

That is showing both in the number of holidays already booked for 2014 - within a week or so of the dates and prices going live on the Norbury Wharf website.
“We have bookings for our largest boats for many of next year's key holiday periods, right from the first half-term in February through to the summer. People want to make sure they get the boat they want when they want it; and our experience shows that will pick up even more immediately after Christmas,” Simon added.

Boat owners also seem to be planning ahead and making sure they keep their boats in tip-top condition. Norbury's painter Rich Corbett , 45, trained as a graphic designer at art college but began working in boatyards nearly 25 years ago. He worked at Norton Canes Boatbuilders for nearly a decade on and off, building his reputation as a painter and since arriving at Norbury early this year his services have been in great demand. In fact they are now booked up for much of 2014 and bookings are being taken for 2015.

There is a similar story on the dry dock where bookings for next year are growing steadily, something not seen in earlier years.

“I don't know if boat owners are now realising they have a valuable asset which needs looking after,” said Simon Jenkins. “I was always a bit bemused by people who owned a boat but didn't seem to care if it was deteriorating, but we don't seem to see that as much now. Perhaps that is one good impact of the recession.”

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Pulling my hair out!

I came to work this morning with all good intentions! So, by 8am I was sat at the computer, accompanied by a warm cup of coffee to set to and get our Brokerage boats listed on Ebay. Two hours later I was still trying to upload the first set of photographs.

The internet connection here at times is diabolical. Apparently it is because we are so far from the exchange - we are virtually at the end of the line!

I have managed to list all of our Boats For Sale on another new website though - This website is hosted and managed by Morton's Media who produce Towpath Talk. Do take the time to take a look as I am sure this website is really up and coming and may become as "worldwide" as Apolloduck one day?

It was an extremely busy morning this morning. Ange, bless her, spent most of her time running from one end of the shop to the other. Denise has been busy cooking...

Lee and Mick docked one of the boats for sale this morning - Chatty Dachs which we are sprucing up. 

You can tell that it has dropped coal, because battery sales have shot through the roof today.

That's all to report for today.

Best regards,


Friday, 1 November 2013

Progress with Thea - Week 4

I can't believe how quickly the weeks seem to fly by. Although I am in and out of the paint dock every day, I'm surprised how quickly Friday's come round.

Anyway, this weeks progress can be viewed in the following pictures that I have taken today.

Best regards,