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, 26 March 2014

The wonderful lunacy of boaters

I was recently directed to this short video of an aeroplane taking off within the confines of the Boat Inn in Stoke Bruerne.  May be when you next ask for diesel or solid fuel you will see the sellers in a different light!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Reminiscence Day in Stoke Bruerne

I think the poster says it all but suffice to say that the Stoke Bruerne Canal Partnership is facilitating a Reminisence Day in Stoke Bruerne on Sunday 13-April.  If you have memories of any kind of Stoke Bruerne please do consider joining us and sharing your memories.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

An opportunity to do the Basingstoke

I have heard from friends at Byfleet Boat Club that there is an opportunity to join experienced Basingstoke boaters on a trip from the Wey to Odiham (King John's Castle) in May.  If you are interested please contact Byfleet Boat Club  via their website. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

It's only a small thing but.....

A flag will soon be flying from the
flag pole at the top lock (14) at
Stoke Bruerne after 30 or so years
It's an important thing.  A lot of you will have travelled through the little village of Stoke Bruerne and stopped off at either the Spice of Bruerne, The Navigation or The Boat Inn and noticed the flag pole on the 'island' between the two locks at the top of the flight.

There's not been a flag raised up the flag pole for some 30 (ish) years.  Just after I moved to Stoke Bruerne I had occasion to speak to BT about my phone and broadband connection.  As with most organisations the phone call was 'finished' with the now ubiquitous question 'Is there anything else we can help you with today?'. They generally expect a 'No' but in this case I mentioned the flag pole (is it flag pole or flagpole I wonder) and explained that as BT lines were close to both sides of the flag pole it could not be rotated on its hinge and maintained.  It took quite some time but on 2-April there is a stoppage (boats will be held for a maximum of two hours) whilst BT Openreach reposition the offending cable on the south (Cosgrove) side of the flag pole which will then enable us to lower it and attach a new halyard.

We have a very nice flag of St George (paid for by The Friends of the Canal Museum) which we intend to raise on the evening of 23-April (St George's day) to 'reopen' the flag pole.  Please do come and join us if you are in the area.

Well done to BT Openreach for covering the cost of the work and to Canal & River Trust for arranging all the permits, the Risk Assessment and the Method Statement for the work to be carried out.

Lock 14, Top Lock

Wednesday 2 April 2014 09:00 until Wednesday 2 April 2014 16:00

Type: Navigation Restriction
Reason: 3rd Party Works

Original message:

In order to allow works to the overhead telecommunications cabling it will be necessary to restrict navigation on Wednesday 2nd April 2014.

The works will be ongoing throughout the day and at certain points it will be necessary to close the lock to navigation and divert towing path users.  No boats will be held for more than two hours and if necessary the works will be suspended to allow traffic to pass.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Lovely boats in Stoke Bruerne this afternoon

Thanks to my friend Mike Partridge of Stoke Bruerne Boat Company I managed to get a photo of four lovely boats in Stoke Bruerne this afternoon.  Left to right are Towcester, Moon (butty), Bideford (butty) and Lactodorum (the latin for Towcester!)

Saturday, 1 March 2014

First day of Spring

Well according to the meteorologists it is!  Very cold but quite beautiful.  A lot more boats mooring in Stoke Bruerne despite the 2-day restriction still in force.  A working party on the former GUCCC working boat Sculptor today to try and get the ballasting correct.  We are going to add two 1,000 litre containers just in front of the bulkhead between the engine room and hold.  We also intend to remove the temporary ballast that was placed on the uxter plate some time ago and move some of the water barrels forward to the area of the mast.  That should make Sculptor sit in the water in a more appropriate way.