Wednesday 20 April 2016

Bunbury Open day and a surprise blogger meet

Anglo Welsh Hire boats at Bunbury had an open day on Sunday and, as our friend Steve is the Fleet manager, I offered my services to help out.  Steve is keen to get the hire fleet busy over the season and this will make things easier at the locks as the more boats hired out the less will be on the wharf blocking the way.

I must congratulate Steve and his team who went all out with tea, coffee and scrummy cakes.  Three of the fleet boats were set up for people to walk through and see up close what a hire boat is all about and the team were on hand to answer questions.  The atmosphere was great and had that canalside festival feel with benches outside to sit on and tables inside for those that wanted to be more informed.

Plenty of interest in the day boat trips
 The weather was perfect and the wharf was very busy with people coming along to find out about hiring.  I was given the task of helmsman on the day boat giving trips from the wharf to Tilstone lock and back.  The boat takes 10 people and together with Dave Harrison as crew and guide we were kept busy all day with plenty of people wanting to have a ride.  At one point the queue was over 20 people long.  We think we must have given over 100 people a trip in the boat by end of the day.

Yours truly at the helm winding in front of the Gongoozlers

A large crowd waits for their turn in the day boat
 At the end of the day Steve and his team had a lot of interest and I understand several bookings for this and next year.

Yesterday I returned with the drone and got the chance to get some photos for Steve and video that I'll be putting up on YouTube soon.

The Staircase at Bunbury

Bunbury Locks and Wharf
It was after filming that I walked along the cut above the locks when I spied a very familiar looking boat.  Free Spirit with Ian and Irene Jamieson of blog Jamieson's afloat  (click) were there.  I stopped and chatted with them for a good while and wish Irene good news on her visit to the hospital tomorrow to see the consultant.  Whilst speaking with them I took the opportunity to quiz Ian about is home made solar panel boxes and came away with a much better hinging idea I could use on our box.  It was lovely to meet you both and we hope to catch up some time again.

Irene and Ian Of the blog Jamieson's Afloat
Another surprise came for us as our blog has been awarded a Narrowboaters top blogger status by Boats and Outboards which we feel quite honoured by.  Like Ian and Irene, plus several others, we were contacted by Oliver to ask if he could include our blog on their site.  I agreed thinking it would just be a short reference but Oliver has given each blogger a good write up about their blogs.  If you click on the badge it will take you to the site where AmyJo's blog is featured.

This evening was sooooo lovely we simply could not resists a quick cruise to the Shady Oak in the warm evening sun for a drink and dinner.  It was so nice to cruise in the warm sun.  It was so warm it meant we could sit out in our favourite part of AmyJo, the cratch.  

Whilst having dinner Mr & Mrs Duck came to join us.  Mrs Duck was very tame and came to sit on the gunnel right beside me whilst we ate in the cratch.  Chris did not want to feed them bread but found they rather like crumbled sugar free weetabix instead.  What lovely dinner guests.

Come dine with us or us it dinner's arrived

One has to have a drink with one's dinner of course
Its only an hour's cruise from the marina and sunset was 8:30pm so at 7:30pm we set off and returned to the marina feeling at one with the world just as the sun was setting.  A simply perfect way to end the day

Oooh I nearly forgot!!  Congratulations to Jon and Hannah on Coal boat Mountbatten as they have a new crew member.  They are celebrating the berth of Beatrix 'Trixie' Harriet Wardman born 10th April 2016 at 23:37 weighing a tiny 2lb 2oz and born 3 months early!  To Quote Hannah "Trixie is fighting and taking tiny steps everyday but her amazing doctors and nurses at Liverpool Women's Hospital are taking the best care of her & say she is doing well..."

We wish Trixie well and do so hope she goes on to full health.  Can't wait to meet her.


Adam said...

My second cousin who often meets up with us on the boat, had very premature twins (one of whom sadly died) nine years ago. She now does a lot of work for the charity, Bliss, which helps people with premature or ill babies. If your coal boat friends haven't already heard of them, they can offer a lot of support and advice.

nb AmyJo said...

Thanks Adam, If I see them I'll pass that onto them.