Shop front in the summer

Saturday, 28 December 2013

A very Merry Christmas

Hi everyone

I hope you all had a very good Christmas and are looking forward to the new year celebrations that are nearly upon us; We were closed over the Christmas break but we are back now until new years day when we shut again for that day only and then back in as usual; it can be quiet here at Norbury between Christmas and new year but we still need to be here for those that need our services and for those that are seriously looking for boats and yesterday we saw lots of people looking at boats, and I am pleased to say that we sold two boats yesterday and took several bookings on hire boats,we even had two day boats go out for the day and one hire boat return after having a lovely Christmas aboard (despite the weather).

  Saturday got off to a quiet start but the weather was definitely in our favour and it has been a glorious day with blue skies and sun, the birds have been a twittering and it has felt like a spring day, I know, it wont last and the bad weather will soon be upon us; the wharf has been busy today with folks in for pump outs, obviously disposing of their Christmas dinners! getting diesel and gas, it has been nice to see boats moving about for a change! Again we have seen lots of people in looking at boats for sale, we have had one hire boat return and another one go out today, no days boats out which is a shame given the cracking weather, and we have had the guests staying in the Holiday cottage go home and some more arrive for a week, so in in all not a bad couple of days!

That's it from me for today and indeed this year, so let me just say that I hope you all have a cracking new year and I hope you all have a good cruising season.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Sunshine and showers

Sunshine and showers... That's what the weather has been like today. One minute the sun has been out and the next it has been throwing it down with rain, hail and even sleet! 

I'm glad that we have got past the shortest day. These short days certainly do not give me that much inspiration when you wake up in the dark and go home from work in the dark.

I did a bit of boating with Sue at the beginning of the week. I just can't help myself! It was a most enjoyable morning on my bicycle - lockwheeling from Gailey down to Penkridge. I must say Thea does look a treat and is a credit to everyone here that has worked so hard on her.

Thea below Otherton Lock, Penkridge.

It's been another productive week here at Norbury. Mick is back from being off following a double hernia operation. There's a full list of works that he is fighting through at the moment. Not to mention the new oven, grill and hob that he fitted to one of the residential boats off of Shelmore embankment - they will be able to cook their turkey on Christmas day now! He has also wired up the replacement engine that Bernard fitted to Phantom last week and as I write we are running the engine up to test the installation.

Phantom's replacement engine.

There's still a bit of tidying up here and there and a bit of painting to do, but we will do that once we are happy with how it runs.

We have got the trip boat in the wet dock at the moment. She worked hard last season and we thought that we would treat her to a bit of a makeover. She's in the preparation stage at the moment, as you can see from the photograph below.

The Shropshire Star in the Wet Dock.

There are quite a few areas that we are taking back to baremetal where excessive corrosion has taken place, but other than that she is just being sanded back until a smooth surface has been achieved.

Treating corrosion around the hinges on the side doors.

Phoenix is on the dry dock. Fred pressure washed her yesterday after she had been docked. I have got to say that Phoenix is my favourite boat in our hire fleet. She steers and handles like a dream and turns on a sixpence. She was built by Colecraft Engineering in 1991 and is powered by a smooth running Isuzu engine that we fitted some years ago after her original BMC started to give trouble. She's lovely and cosy inside too. She's got an interesting history, but I will leave that for another day!

Phoenix on the Dry Dock.

Well that's about everything from me. I am at work tomorrow, but then Simon has been kind enough to let me have a bit of an extended break, so I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year and I will be back in the New Year.

Best regards, David.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Stunning Skys and odd birds!

Considering that it is now the middle of December and depths of winter the weather is being rather kind to us and we are having some superb days, lovely sunny spells and its very mild indeed, its that nice its tempting to go boating! And we have got some boats out next week and the week after and even some day boats, so i am not the only one to think what a good idea!

It was a lovely drive to work this morning in the sun and I was treated to a lovely scene over the boat yard as I approached, I tried to capture it on my phone but it didn't come out quite how I wanted, see what you think
after taking the picture I carried on to the main gate and I was met by this bunch of..... well I am not quite sure if they are male or female, but they are an odd bunch, they are Guinea fowl and they sort of live next door but they prefer the wharf and spend most of the day mooching around on the wharf side and trying to get in to the shop and tea room!
Ange will be writing a blog this Saturday and I know David has a lot to say and he will be writing a blog on Sunday.


Monday, 16 December 2013

It's been another interesting week here at Norbury. Richard has finished transforming Louisa from this

to this...

The list of works has been quite comprehensive. Which has included: fitting a complete new exhaust system, replacing all the vents and removing the windows prior to painting and refitting. The girls will weave their magic on the inside and give her a good clean and then she will be all ready for her owner to collect.

Bernard has completed fitting the new engine into Phantom. The wiring just needs to be modified and then it is ready to be run up and tested. Meanwhile Fred has blacked her and painted the counter bands. Fred only works a couple of days a week now, but he is kept busy with coal deliveries, blacking and the other day-to-day yard duties.

Best regards, David

Thursday, 12 December 2013

winter opening hours

Its nearly that time of year again when everyone closes their doors for a few days over the festive season, unlike a lot of boat yards and chandlers who close up shop for two weeks,we don't, as we very much appreciate that lots of people live on boats and important things can break, so dont forget that we have a fully stocked chandlery and we also supply solid fuel, red diesel and can offer help and advice if something shoud go wrong,  so to see our Christmas opening times just click on the link


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Trip boat ideas?

As you know our trip boat has gone from strength to strength and is gaining a really popular following, even over the last couple of weeks it has been out on several charters,one of the cruises was for the Shropshire and Newport canal society and the last two cruises were for the RAF and were for training exercises, they all had a very good time, one of the RAF cruises was tailored just for them, it started out from the Wharf Tavern at Goldstone and involved a run up to Park heath winding hole and returning back past the Wharf Tavern and up to Tyrley locks, down the locks to Market Drayton and back up the locks and finally finish at The pub, so as you can see we are flexible towards different cruises so if anyone wants something a bit different we are open to suggestions. Now we are now planning ahead and thinking of new events for next year, we are going to be running the very popular fish-n-chip suppers starting in the spring of next year, we are also considering running cheese and wine tasting cruises, but I am asking if anyone has any other ideas, now it has to be sensible and something that the general public would like, so if you have any ideas then please feel free to drop me an email or leave a comment.

As you would expect at this time of year it is quieter than the summer months so that gives us time to catch up on some of the maintenance around the yard, the boats and the holiday cottage, this year we have invested some money in the cottage and it has just been given a bit of a make over, its had new double glazed windows throughout, and a full internal redecoration, and the addition of a solid fuel stove instead of the inefficient open fire in the main sitting room, after Christmas it will get brand new sofas and chairs, the old ones are only three years old and are still in good condition but now that the decorating has been done the furniture needs updating too. So if you fancy a nice stay in a very warm cosy cottage with superb views over the canal and open countryside just let us know.

That's it from me, David will no doubt write a blog over the weekend.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Keeping you up-to-date

Although the canal remains quiet, we have had quite a busy week here at Norbury Junction.

Firstly, following a pre-purchase survey it was recommended that Elsie was over-plated along the length of her hull sides, from the chine angle (that's where the side plates meet the base plate) up to and just above the water line. So the hull sides were grit blasted, the steel was ordered and we have completed the over plating work required while the boat was on our dry dock, prior to the new owners taking possession of her.

Here's a few pictures...

Plating to the forward port side

Plating down the port side looking from the front

Plating on the port side looking from the back

Elsie plated, blacked and safely back in the water today

Richard has been working hard in the paint dock and has so far transformed Louisa from this...

to this...

He will be putting the finishing touches to her this week and she should be back out on the water by this time next week.

Bernard has been fitting a new engine into Phantom, which should improve her considerably as the original engine had a lot of hours under its belt and was starting to show signs of problems. It has been quite a big job as we have had to cut out the engine beds and fit new. She is now on the dry dock, Fred is pressure washing her prior to applying a coat of blacking and Bernard is removing the stern gear. We will get a new centre tube machined up this week and re-bush the packing gland, replace the propeller shaft and have it all back together by the end of the week.

Now you are up-to-date I will let you enjoy your Sunday afternoon...

Best regards,