An excerpt from Wind in the Willows

Nice? It's the ONLY thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING - absolute nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing, he went on dreamily: messing - about - in - boats; messing----'
From 'Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

IWA Calendar Competition

My photo which has been shortlisted
I was very surprised yesterday to receive an e-Mail from the IWA to say that one of my pictures has been short-listed for the 2015 IWA calendar in their autumn category.  There's a link to all the photos here.  I would love anyone reading this to vote for it, not because it is mine, but because it is Stoke Bruerne.  Stoke Bruerne is a quintessential canal-side village which, despite its attraction to the boaters and canal enthusiasts of the world, still needs to publicise itself in this modern world.  Of course the Canal & River Trust, The Canal Museum, IWA, Stoke Bruerne Canal Partnership, The Friends of The Canal Museum, South Northants Council and others do a wonderful job but having Stoke Bruerne on your calendar for a month will also help. It would be remiss of me not to point out that Adam Porter (of this parish) also has a photo short-listed in the Summer category of Briar Rose passing through a lift bridge on the Northampton Arm.

Anyway please do take a look at all the pictures and vote for the ones you think are worthy of the calendar.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Ebb Tide Flag Warning

The Port of London Authority (PLA) have come up with a great warning sign which I have put on my blog which warns when the Tidal Fluvial Flow is dangerous - as it is now.  See right hand side of my blog.

Well done the PLA in helping us boat more safely.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

A bit of history

Alton and Moon © Rob Westlake
I have become a little bit involved with Sculptor - the former Grand Union working boat which is owned by the Canal & River Trust but lovingly maintained by the Friends of the Canal Museum; we are working up a program of maintenance and training to ensure Sculptor lives on for many years - she will be 80 in 2015.

It was suggested, as most things are, over a drink in the Boat Inn that we might consider taking Sculptor and Moon (a now converted butty moored in Stoke Bruerne) to the Braunston Historic gathering which is in June. That idea has met with a lot of enthusiasm - we now of course have to ask the Trust if we may use Sculptor as the motor to take Moon to Braunston (and back).  This prompted my friend Rob Westlake to send in the attached image of Moon (© Rob Westlake), taken in 1984, of Moon with an unidentified Motor.  My friend Ray, who volunteers with the Narrowboat Trust, was very helpful in identifying the motor as Alton which is, in turn, owned by friends of mine of some 20 years, Brian and Ann-Marie McGuigan.  What a small world.