Shop front in the summer

Sunday, 31 March 2013


They're an everyday feature of supermarket shopping – 'Buy one tin of Beans Get One Free' scream the signs and the staff know them as BOGOFs – but Buy One narrowboat holiday and Get One Free? That's on a different scale entirely.

That's the offer being made, on an experimental basis, by a hire boat firm that already has a established  reputation for aggressive discounting. Norbury Wharf, based on the Shropshire Union Canal is making
the BOGOF offer on just two of it's fleet of 14 hire boats. 

Phoenix - Four berth traditional stern narrowboat.

 Anyone who hires Phantom or Phoenix, two traditional stern narrowboats, one two-berth and the other   four-berth, over a six week period taking in June and early July will get another free week's holiday in January or February next year.

Never before “As far as we know this has never been done before in the hire-boat business,” said manager
David Ray, “but we decided to test the idea as another way of rewarding our customers. 

“Although we have a handful of loyal customers who regularly hire in the winter months – one has just returned from a sixweek hire during February and March – we would like more to realise that winter boating is not only possible but can be a cosy and enjoyable experience.

“We have always tried to establish hire boating as a year-round holiday experience and this may go some  way to showing people how a winter holiday can be fun too.”

Phantom - Two berth traditional stern narrowboat.

The BOGOF scheme represents a considerable discount on the June and July hire prices and reflects  Norbury Wharf's policy of offering market-beating discounts on hire boats. The firm has slashed brochure prices by almost a third on many of its hire boats throughout April and last year fought the recession, and managed a higher occupancy rate than many of its competitors by dramatic cuts in prices for last-minute bookings. 

David Ray said: “We have established a reputation for value for money and our customers keep coming back to us. The BOGOF offer is just another example of that and, if it proves popular we may extend it to other vessels in our fleet.”

For further information about all of our current discounts and offers on our hire fleet - click here.

To seach availability and to make a booking please click here.

If you can't see what you are looking for, please email us

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Bow thrusters could sink your narrowboat.

That is the stark warning from boatyard experts who have just had to replace a bow thruster tube that leaked - and replace hundreds of pounds worth of fittings. 

Many modern boats are built with bow thrusters - a circular steel tube crossing the bow of the boat below the waterline with a central propeller that pushes water out on one side or the other.

The problem, according to Simon Jenkins, boss of Norbury Wharf on the Shropshire Union Canal is that the tubes are vulnerable to corrosion and difficult to maintain.

“They are often just a piece of 6mm steel tube and it can be difficult to paint them from the inside, as you  would the rest of the hull as you can’t easily access the centre of the tube where the propeller sits.

“Some of them have a mini weed hatch above the propeller for clearing weed but whole sections of the tube are essentially out of reach.”

The problem showed up at Norbury when manager David Ray noticed one of the boats on a mooring was  sitting low in the water. Closer investigation showed about six inches of water inside the boat all along its  length. It took some time to discover where it was getting in and staff had to remove woodwork and hack  away spray foam around the bow to get to the bow thruster tube.

“When we cleared the spray foam we found the leak,” said Simon, “it seems that pitting developed in the  steel tube around the propeller and at the end the spray foam must have been the only thing keeping the water out of the boat.”

He says every boat owner with a bow thruster should inspect them carefully every time the boat is out of the  water and attempt to ensure the tube is treated with the appropriate paint to prevent corrosion.

“It won’t be easy,” he said, “as most of these bow thrusters are very difficult to access but it has to be done  because they have introduced a potential weak point to the boat’s structure.”

Is there a solution? Simon is not optimistic: “The problem is in the build stage. It may be that builders need to think about heavier steel or even stainless steel for these tubes. They are probably subject to wear because  the propeller mechanism throws the grit and other solids in canal water onto the sides of the tube with some
force and this may be the reason for pitting the steel which allows rust to get in and rot the tube.
“We can only suggest everyone keeps a close eye on them and treats them at every opportunity.”

Friday, 29 March 2013

Good Friday

I sat down in the office this morning and suddenly realised that it is Good Friday today. The boating season is finally upon us... All through the winter Simon and I look at each other and say what we want to get done by Easter, but it doesn't seem to happen! We get the important jobs done and the work on customers boats so they can go boating, but good intention seem to dwindle off as Easter approaches.

I think we will have a busy weekend if today is anything to go by. We had a dayboat out first thing and Quartz returned from a weeks cruise. Quartz has been turned round and gone out again today along with Phoenix.

The girls have been busy cleaning and getting the boats ready for tomorrow. Mick has been busy working on a private boat. Steve is still plodding away on the trip boat and Rich is making a superb job of the boat he is painting in the dock.

Lets hope the sun shines again tomorrow.

Until tomorrow.

Best regards,


Monday, 25 March 2013

Arctic or what?

I have never been to the Arctic circle but have seen pictures of a recent trip that my brother did and it looked bbbbrrrrr cold, well I can assure you that it has been like that today here at Norbury, the wind chill has been in the region of -6 and the snow has remained all over the boats and made no attempt to go away, just when we all thought it was well behind us and we were all looking forward and planning our cruising for this year, BANG and its back with a vengeance, the weekend saw snow drifts on some of the country lanes as high as the hedges, some of these lanes were totally impassable, I was out and about on Friday in my Land rover and I even came across an abandoned tractor that was stuck in a snow drift, fortunately today has seen some of the drifts disappear but there are some lanes that are blocked, luckily enough for us none of them lead to Norbury so if you are planning a visit then don't worry, One good thing with this late in the season wintry weather, it might mean an extended summer!

As you can imagine it has not been a busy day at all, in fact its been dead quiet since Friday of last week, so much so that three of the girls didn't bother coming in over the weekend and we haven't been fully staffed today, nothing really to report about today so until tomorrow.


Sunday, 24 March 2013

Keeping your boat afloat

One of the jobs that most boat owners recognise as an essential part of keeping their boat afloat is getting it out of the water every couple of years and renewing the coats of blacking that protect the steel below the waterline. However, many may not realise just what else needs to be checked once the boat's bottom is available for scrutiny.

When a boat is in Norbury Wharf's dry dock there is an extensive checklist of items before the blacking itself can be applied.

Manager David Ray explained: “We look at the anodes, of course, to see if they need replacing but we also check the stern tube for wear and ensure the skeg is still straight.

“Then we look at the top and bottom rudder bearings for wear and check to see the rudder itself hasn't been damaged.

“We look at the propellor for any damage and check the nut and split pins holiding it in place as well a  looking at any damages on the chines. We look at the counter band paintwork and the gunwhale sides to
see the paint there is OK and examine the weed hatch, as there can sometimes be corrosion there on older boats. We even look at the fenders.”

David says the three or four day bottom blacking slot is the ideal time to do some simple jobs which would be much more difficult or impossible in the water.

“Whilst the boat is on the dock we give the hull a full health check. We can repair and replace everything  from a new fender to a new bottom – although that may take somewhat longer!”

Norbury's dry dock is popular with boaters, especially as returning customers get a 10 per cent discount, but that's also to do with the professional job they deliver and their reasonable charges.

The dock is particularly popular with liveaboard boaters as it has a substantial walk way from dockside to boat deck rather than some rickety old plank! Electric and water is supplied free whilst the boat is on the dock or you can stay in the Wharf's own holiday cottage for a few days bed and breakfast or on one of the fleet of hire boats at a discounted rate.

Currently docking and undocking costs £120 and the cost of pressure washing and applying no fewer than three coats of blacking depends on the length of the boat and the type of material used - but all include VAT. Bitumen costs £7.95 per foot, International Intertuf 16 comes in at £8.99 per foot and Comastic at £10.50  per foot.

The dock is also available on turnaround days for surveys. Norbury can arrange and book pre-purchase surveys, insurance surveys, hull surveys and full surveys. There is an on site Boat Safety Examiner and qualified Gas Safe Engineer.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

A boat painter's reputation goes before him

A boat painter with a quarter of a century of experience has joined the team at Norbury Wharf Limited and is aiming to bring his skills to a new audience after earning a reputation for excellence across the Midlands.

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. Rich says: “Working with some of the best craftsman on the canal enabled me to get the experience to produce the sort of quality people expect.”

Rich's current full repaint in preparation.

He has recently been filling private commissions for specialist boat painting, in a variety of boatyards across the region, but was persuaded to join Norbury Wharf full time as its resident painter.

Managing Director Simon Jenkins says: “We have always had a good reputation here at Norbury for painting and we are delighted to have attracted Rich as our resident painter. I am sure he will build our good name  even further in the years to come.”

“I moved away from graphic design because I like using a brush rather than the computers that were taking over at the time,” said Rich, “and I get a great deal of satisfaction from the traditional skills of painting with a brush.

“What I do is really, coach-painting with a brush. Boaters like to see evidence of the brush but with a good shine that makes their boat stand out and sparkle on the cut.”

And he knows something about being a boater as he has lived on a variety of craft for more than 20 years. Like most live-aboard boaters he says: “I wouldn't change it for the world, especially as it enables to do the work I love and live the lifestyle I have chosen.”

Manager David Ray says: "Our painting dock is virtually fully booked for 2013 although we do have one space available for September. We are now taking bookings from March 2014 onwards."

Don't miss out! Call Simon or David on 01785 284292 or come and visit us.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Well that was a shock when I looked out the window this morning. A thick layer of snow everywhere... I managed to get intouch with Denise, Lynn and Joyce to tell them not to risk making the journey into work. So that left Ange and I in the shop and tearoom, Simon, Mr and Mrs Handbag, Bernard and Rich in today.

The dayboaters rang up and cancelled first thing, I don't blame them at all to be honest, so they will rebook for another date.

Theres more predicted for tonight, so batten down the hatches and have a quiet evening in by the fire...

Best regards,


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

quiet day today

It has been quite quiet here today at Nor bury. We have seen quite a few customers in for diesel and we have done the odd pump out (not by me I hasten to add).
We have been a bit thin on the ground today, David has been on a day off along with Lynn and Denise, engineer Simon has been attending a funeral and Mick is on holiday. That just left Mr Handbag (Mick) doing yard duties, Bernard on engineering and Richard painting. We had incidentally lost Bernard well before 5 o'clock, his car was gone and nowhere to be seen....charming.
Well that has just left Joyce, Simon and Myself to hold the fort in the shop. Joyce has looked after the tea room aswell as putting items for sale on EBay, Simon has been doing Simon things and I have been doing nothing as usual. Sorry for the short post, not much more to report for today, until next time....bye ange.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

start of spring?

The official start of spring, believe it or not is the 20the March, tomorrow! Well I really wish that someone would have a word with ‘him upstairs’ because I awoke this morning to it snowing, I arrived at work to see the boats covered in snow, I WANT SPRING TO COME NOW, I am getting fed up with having to light the fires and feeling bitterly cold, lets hope that spring is just around the corner!

It hasn’t been a busy day here at Norbury today, it is definitely a case of ‘feast or famine’ here on the wharf at the moment, one day we are flat out, and I mean flat out and then the next it is like the world has ended as its incredibly quiet, The lads who are in have all been busy though on different private jobs, Our new painter Richard has been stripping the old paint off a boat (horrible job) Simon has fitted a new rudder shaft and stern shaft to a boat in the dry dock while Fred has been blacking, moving boats and painting an engine room, and the girls and me have been working in the office, adding items on to our ebay shop, other than that its been a bit of a boring day!

Lets hope tomorrow is a bit more exciting

Monday, 18 March 2013

A bit more boating

I finished my narrow boating on the canals back in 2004 when I sold Empress which was my ex FMC Josher steamer, I then proceeded to sell my live-aboard boat 'Ant' as I bought a house to live in instead, so that was the end of my boating on the canals so to speak other than moving boats around Norbury and the odd recovery from somewhere on the Shroppie, I had sought of lost interest, BUT I had the opportunity to go and collect a nice boat from Thurmaston on the river Soar last week, now it has been over 20 years since I had been on the Soar navigation so I thought that I would have a few days moving the boat with my partner Amanda, who incidentally had not been boating on the canals before except around Norbury and to the local pub, So off we set early on Friday morning, dropped a car off at our final destination point then drove over to Thurmaston to collect the boat, we had a lovely run down the Soar, Amanda picked up the 'hang' of operating the locks really quickly and really put her back in to opening the bottom gates, they are big gates on the Soar, we made great time and we arrived at the Trent lock visitor pontoon within 6.5 hours which was a great time, that was about 20 miles and 12 locks, That night saw David come over with some other boating friends that we haven’t seen for ages and a great night was had by all.

 Next day we departed the pontoon after a leisurely breakfast, well we were supposed to be enjoying ourselves, we made good time and arrived at Barton turns marina at about 5.30, it seemed like a long day and I had forgotten how slow you actually travel, the wide locks down on the T&M are slow too, and we encountered a few slow boats en route which also slowed the pace, it was great to see loads of familiar faces along the way, I had forgotten just how many people that I have met over the years of my boating life!

Sunday again saw us having a leisurely start with a cooked breakfast and then only a short cruise up to Fradley and just on to the Coventry canal where we were to leave the boat for a while until Simon our engineer goes to move it up to Norbury.

As I said its been years since I have been boating and it has renewed my interest in boating on the canals, watch this space as I might just be keeping this boat and doing a bit more boating!


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Well, what a busy day we have had here today.

8am this morning saw Fred, Mick and I swapping the boats in the paint dock. Rich has made an absolutely superb job of the roof on the private boat that we have had in the dock. Shortly after Bernard arrived and along with Fred, took the boat off of the dry dock. Fred, Bernard and I then docked two boats whilst Mick carried on with wiring modifications on a boat that we have recently changed the engine. As soon as the boats were down on the bostocks it was time for an early break while the rest of the water drained away.

Bernard soon had the propeller changed on the one boat, so him and Fred flooded the dock and redocked the other private boat that is in for pressure washing and blacking. As soon as the water had subsided enough so it didn't come over Fred's boots I sent him down to get pressure washing...

Bernard has run the whole fleet up today to charge the batteries. Mick has been stripping the boat that we have put in the paint dock. I'm sure Rich will make an absolutely outstanding job of painting it and the boat will no doubtly come out looking like new.

Steve is making headway with the refurbishment of the trip boat.

I've advertised the three boats that we have had come in for brokerage. They can now be found on our website

The girls have been busy in the shop today - Denise, Ange and Lynn.

Best regards,


Saturday, 16 March 2013

Round the back of the map

It's not utilised by many people... Lots of people tell horror stories about it... There's even a song written about the stuff that you get caught around the propeller... It really can't be that bad?

I last went round the "Curly Whirly", more commonly known as the Wyrley and Essington canal back in 1995 with my parents. I remembered the canal being in a terrible state with lots of objects floating on the service and even more horrible things emerging from it's murky depths.

How things have changed...

Earlier in the week I was privileged to be invited away with some friends of mine on a Josher replica built by Roger Fuller. Steve dropped me out to Wolverhampton on Monday night after work where I joined Matt and Rebekah; along with their seven month old daughter Eliza aboard Azalea in Broad Street Basin. After a wonderful beef stew followed by apple pie and custard a compulsory visit to the Great Western Arms was necessary. 

For those of you that don't know the Great Western, it is a fantastic pub, located just five minutes walk from Broad Street Basin and Wolverhampton top lock and sits on the corner of Sun Street being dwarfed by Wolverhampton Station towering above. It is like stepping back in time. The street outside is cobbled, there are several open fires roaring away and a quarry tile floor. The pub is adorned with railway memorabilia. After sampling some of the finest Holden's Golden Glow, it was time to retreat to the boat and get a good night sleep after a busy week in the office.

Next morning saw us leaving Broad Street at about 9am heading along the Wolverhampton level of the BCN. At Horseley Fields Junction we took a left onto the Wyrley and Essington. I was immediately surprised by the gentrification that has taken place around the entrance to the now redundant Bentley Canal at Wednesfield Junction. We headed along to Birchills Junction and decided to take a venture down to the top of Birchills where we were pleased to find Achernar on the bank. She was the first of the batch of Little Woolwich boats that the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company had built during their expansion in the 1930s. We turned round above the top lock and retraced our steps to Birchills Junction where we turned right to explore more of the Wyrley.

Azalea exiting the Walsall Canal at Birchills Junction. Photo: Matt Parrott.

Next we were rounding the bends at Goscote and Bloxwich and through the surprisingly rural Pelsall Common. At Pelsall Junction we turned left to take a trip up the dead straight Cannock Extension Canal to it's terminus at Norton Canes where we stopped for lunch after turning round in the entrance to Matthew Cooper's dry dock.

Matt and I turning Azalea in the entrance to the CTS dock at Norton Canes.

It's a bit tight with a full length boat!. Photo: Matt Parrott.

We were soon heading back down the Cannock Extension. We took a left at Pelsall Junction and I was pleased to see Sarah Edgson's Josher motor Lamprey tied on the offside.

Fellows, Morton and Clayton motor boat Lamprey. Photo: Matt Parrott.
We decided to get through Brownhills and venture up the Anglesey Branch to visit Anglesey basin and Chasewater reservoir. You may remember that I was over at Chasewater last summer, but it was a whole different experience visiting by boat. I was pleased to see that the reservoir is now virtually full again after the level was allowed to drop a couple of years ago to do some major repairs. Chasewater is one of the major feeds to the BCN, so I winded Azalea around and backed right up to where the valve lets water into the canal.

Azalea at Anglesey basin. Photo: David Ray.
We decided to retrace our steps to Brownhills for secure moorings for the evening and to have dinner in the Smithy's Forge which is a Sizzling pub that must be recommended. Good food, reasonable prices and good beer.
Next morning saw us away for about 8.30am, turning right at Catshill Junction and onto the Daw End Branch. The ice on the canal obviously hadn't been disturbed for a considerable amount of time, so it did take a bit of breaking. Progress slowed through Aldridge an Rushall and Longwood boat club was a welcoming sight. we descended down the nine locks at known as Rushall or the Ganzy's to local boat folk. The bottom end of this particular flight is very well kept and all of the locks were in good order.
On the approach to Rushall Junction we decided to take a detour along the Tame Valley to Ocker Hill as we had some time to spare. The first part of this section of canal is joined by the M6 which runs parallel and shortly by the M5 where it passes below the Tame Valley and joins the M6. There was heavy traffic on the motorways and I was pleased to be on a narrowboat pottering along at a steady three or four miles an hour whilst the motorway traffic was at a standstill!  We winded at Ocker hill and headed for Perry Bar.

Azalea emerges from the Daw End Branch
onto the Tame Valley. Photo: Matt Parrott.
After descending Perry Bar we decided to reverse up to Cuckoo Wharf from Salford Junction. After a hearty Cottage Pie I jumped on the train at Aston back to New Street and changed to Stafford. Steve picked me up from the station and I was back at home by 7pm on Wednesday morning.
All in all I had a really enjoyable trip. We didn't have to stop and remove any unwanted objects off of the propeller and we didn't have any problems with yobs. It's such an underused part of our canal network. It really should be used more.
Until the next adventure.

Best regards,


Friday, 15 March 2013

we have found the jack

As the title suggests, We have been looking for a jack for quite sometime now. Nobody knew of its whereabouts, not me they all said, we haven't seen it, well I knew it was nothing to do with me, I don't even know what you do with one. It was found floating around in the engine compartment of the van... Mmmm.
Well it has been a busy day here at Norbury today, lots going on.We had three shared boats return, all had a good time and no issues to report.
We had Sphinx go out this afternoon for the weekend and Wharf Cottage has new residents. Phantom is out for a short break tomorrow and Prince out tomorrow for a week.
Bernard has been working on a private job, Mr Handbag has been doing turnarounds on the shared boats and Joyce and Mrs Handbag have both been out cleaning the cottage and boats.
Lynn has been sat at the boss's computer putting items on EBay for sale as Simon has gone to fetch a boat that will be going onto brokerage, he has taken Amanda with him to do the locks, good luck Amanda:-)
I have been playing catch up after a day off and Mrs Tupp has been quite busy in the Tea Room and generally making a nuisance of herself. David has been busy outside today and asked me to write a blog, this is the best I can come up with today as my tea is calling, til next time, bye..... Ange.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

No Time

So sorry that there has been no blog for the last few days, there just doesn't seem enough hours in the day at the moment, David said that he had a busy day on Sunday so didn't get around to blogging and as for yesterday................... well my head was still spinning when I arrived home, yesterday was a bit of a blur to be honest, we were that busy that I cant really remember what we did, the phone did not stop ringing all day, the customers didn't stop coming in all day, the emails didn't stop coming all day so by the time we shut the doors at 5.45 I had run out of energy, Today has been very similar, Tuesdays are usually a lot quieter for some reason but again today it has been non stop, this morning was much of the same but a respite came in the afternoon as it quietened down enough to finally catch up on the days enquiries, it gave me a chance to go out in to the cold to photograph the three boats that turned up yesterday to be put on to our brokerage, so tomorrow morning that will be my second task after dealing with the usual emails and sorting the lads out.

The lads have all been busy today, nothing out of the ordinary, we had a day boat out today, they have started picking up now as we had two out yesterday, Mick has been on the refit on the sinker and then a breakdown on a private boat, he then started on a  wiring job on a boat, Simon has been fitting anodes, sorting out a wobbly rudder as well as an engine service and welding up a leaky water tank on a private boat, Fred has been blacking and causing his usual trouble around the yard while Steve has been doing repairs to the trip boat floor where it had gone a bit in places, tomorrow will be a fun day as I have, Fred, Bernard, Mick and Simon to contend with as well as the girls, Steve and Richard, but to be fair the girls and Richard are no trouble!

Until Tomorrow

Saturday, 9 March 2013

It's been a bit of a grey day here at Norbury today. The time has seem to have flown by, but we are making good progress with the jobs that we are in the process of doing.

Mick has virtually finished the dinette that he has been installing over the past week. Simon has been working on a bowthruster while Mr Handbag has blacked the boat on the dock and removed the rest of the seating off of the trip boat to paint it in between serving boats on the wharf with diesel and doing pumpouts. Bernard has been installing an engine.

Yaldara has been on the dock for the last few days. We have got her for sale. I managed to get a picture of her earlier, so here you go.



Wednesday, 6 March 2013

cold day today

It has been bitter cold here at Norbury today, the wind has been biting and the sun has not put in an appearance all day.
We haven't been overly busy with customers so Joyce has been sorting out the shop....making everywhere look neat and tidy and serving the odd customer who has walked through the tea room door, she has also been putting items for sale on Ebay, which incidentally is going quite well, we are selling at least one item everyday ;-)
I have been getting the end of year paperwork finalised for our accountant Kate who has just returned from a 3 week jaunt in Australia (lucky her) as well as ordering more goodies for the shop for the start of our season....yes Simon I have been spending your money again..ha ha.
Simon has been sorting out prices for our new trip boat which does now have a name.....but you will have to wait until the 4th of May to find out what it is, that is aswell as being the normal pest that he is....just stick me a staple on the corner of this will you Ange.... just pass me that piece of paper that has just come out of the printer would you....oh how do I make this scanner, we love him really.
Steve has started the internal work on Shropshire Star and engineer Simon has been working on a private job.
Our new painter Richard is cracking on with the paint job on "Quince" that is in the wet dock at the moment and Mr Handbag has been pressure washing and lots of other jobs around the yard.
David, Mrs Tupp (Denise) and Mick have been on their days off today, we really are very thin on the ground on a Wednesday.
Well thats all from me for today, sorry for the short post, not much to say at the moment, until next time....byeeee Ange.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

If only

If only the weather would stay like it has been today but for the rest of the year, it would be brilliant, I knew this morning on my way to work it was going to be a nice day, the sun was trying hard at 7.45am to come out, it needed to as it was very cold indeed and everything had a covering of frost on it, it didn't take long though and before we knew it the sun was blazing in the sky, the frost disappeared and by mid afternoon the temperature was such that I even removed my coat, As I sit here typing the blog the sun is still there, hanging on to the last few moments before it disapears, Lovely!

It was a late night for me David and Peter, we finally arrived back at Norbury on the trip boat at about 9.30pm, we tied it on the wharf for the night then disappeared down to Newport to grab a bite to eat before returning to our warm homes and beds! When I arrived at work this morning there was a flurry of people on the wharf all pouring over the new trip boat, offering ideas, suggestions and the like, David was already there, keen to move it off the wharf and test a couple of the internal systems, we parked it in the position that we intend to operate and it works out perfectly, a few minor adjustments and enhancements on the wharf to facilitate the loading of people and it will be perfect. As promised here are a couple of Photos as it is before it has a make over in the winter.

Early night tonight I think
 Regards Simon

Monday, 4 March 2013

New venture

Monday got off to a busy start and then the sun came out and its been a busy day all day long.

Our new boat painter Richard Corbett started today, he is a breath of fresh air, confident, enthusiastic and a true professional in his approach to the job, he is also a keen boater of many many years and has been a professional boat painter for many years with a good following of customers.

We have today taken delivery of our next new venture, David has been on at me for years now to get a trip boat, I have resisted his badgering so far, until last week he finally broke me down, so if nothing else but to shut him up we have purchased one, it will be operated from the wharf on a charter basis but with some days a week set aside or public trips, we will operate it for schools, companies, youth organisations, retirement homes, coach companies, stag and hen nights, to name just a few, a trip boat used to be operated from Norbury in the days of Shropshire Union cruisers, Dartline and Anglo Welsh, so we are not doing anything that hasn't been done before, but I believe that we can do it better, They never had the marketing tools that we have at our fingertips today and with David at the helm of this new venture I am confident that it will be a great success!
  The boat is a seventy footer, licensed to carry forty two people and has a full operational bar, this coupled with our successful licensed tea room and our great location will make a great combination, Keep your eyes out over the coming weeks and months for the itinerary and further details.
  David and one of our friends and moorers disappeared this afternoon to collect the boat and as we speak are wending their way back from its old base at Wolverhampton to Norbury and I am off now to meet up with them for the last couple of hours cruising.
  I will post some pictures tomorrow.


Sunday, 3 March 2013

It's been a bit gloomy here today, and chilly at times, but we have still had another busy day. Denise has been run off her feet in the tearoom. Ange and Lynn have flitted between the shop and tearoom all day. Bernard and Fred undocked this morning and have docked Picksy. Fred subsequently has pressure washed it.

I've been really busy working on the website. I've updated loads of information and have published three new pages.

We had a dayboat out this morning, they all arrived dressed as Pirates and had a fantastic day.

I'm sorry for the short blog tonight, but after working on the website for over five hours non stop my eyes have gone square!

Best regards,


Saturday, 2 March 2013

It's been a really busy day here at Norbury today. The sun seems to bring people out in their droves. We've had people looking at boats for sale, hiring weekly boats as well as dayboats. The shop has been busy and the tearoom has been unbelievable for a Saturday in March.

Simon has been welding a skin tank into a boat down the arm, Mick has been installing a dinette, Mr Handbag has been painting and turning boats around, Bernard and I have done no end of bits and pieces, Mrs Handbag has been spring cleaning Python whilst Lynn, Ange and Denise have been busy in the shop.

Trevor has been busy giving Princess her identity back - he really does do a good job and nice signwritting always sets a paint job off well. I managed to grab a picture just as he finished. He'll be signwritting Phoebe tomorrow.

I've been busy working on the website. All of the boats that we have got for sale are now on there. Have a look here The new editing suite is taking some getting used to, but I think I understand it now...

That's all today folks.

Until tomorrow.



Friday, 1 March 2013

busy, busy, busy

Hi all, it has been absolutely manic here at Norbury today.
Denise has been kept nice and busy in the tea room, she has been cooking breakfast goodies like they have been going out of fashion, She does do a nice breakfast tho so maybe word is getting around, let's hope so.
Mrs Handbag has been spring cleaning Python which has kept her busy all day, we thought she had gone hope at one point as we hadn't seen her for so long, she does a very good job.
We had a massive delivery of gifts for the shop delivered on Wednesday which we left for Joyce to put out today as she has a great flair for display, she was helped along by Lynn who has been wiping all the shelving down....then we came across a stumbling block, we needed hooks putting on the beams to hang some of the gifts from, even with a set of steps Joyce couldn't reach as she is only about 4' 8" so Lynn had to do it :-)
We then had Tim Yorke turn up with loads of painted ware, I thought we might aswell take the bull by the horns while all us girls were in together and buy all the stock he had and get it out on the shelves.
All the stock is now out and the shop looks great.
Simon has been out on a jolly today in Lichfield pricing up a paint job, he returned just after lunch with a bag of duck food and said "don't say I never buy you anything"....don't think I'd like to try it if I'm honest, thanks anyway Simon.
We had a delivery of timber today which has kept David and Bernard busy.
Engineer Simon has been working on a private job as has Mick, and Mr Handbag has been blacking and doing general yard duties.
Well that's all from me for today, til next time..................bye ange.