No Direction

No Direction is our 70ft Narrowboat which is now home to my wife Jayne and myself, it was launched on 4th February 2008.

We spend the Winters in a Marina and cruise in the warmer weather.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

About Nothing Particular

Last Friday and Sunday (18th/20th) I was at Braunston for the Share Boat Show helping out on the Historic boats Nutfield and Raymond, we had a good weekend and raised some money which will go towards their up keep. Glad to see that Halfie sold a share.

Saturday we went to a Model Railway Engineering Exhibition at Leamington Spa, it appears that running a model railway system is a very serious business with timetables to be followed and correct signal operation vital !!

Press the wrong button and your out.

The better weather has brought out the boaters with a lot more boats moving in and out of Kings Bromley Marina, we won't be moving until the week after next when we head for Shobnall Marina to black the hull of No Direction, well I will be doing the blacking as Jayne's going to stay with her sister while I do the work.

Yesterday we were at the Rose and Crown , Zouch on the River Soar for a committee meeting of the R.B.O.A. which lasted until 3 pm.

The Willow logs that we picked up last October have dried out and are burning well, something very satisfying about heating the boat with free fuel, apart from half pint of petrol in the chainsaw that is.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


Tonight (Tuesday) we attended an Inland Waterways Association  (I.W.A.) meeting in Burton upon Trent, the meeting was part of the build up to the I.W.A. Festival which is due to take place at the end of July, it was an opportunity for local people to hear what was going on, although I don't know how many of those at the Meadowside Leisure Centre were locals, most seemed to be boatie people. There were a few red shirts ( Waterways Recovery Group) (W.R.G.) around as well.

The proceedings got underway with a presentation by Harry Arnold M.B.E. who showed before and after photographs of various Restoration projects that the I.W.A. had been involved with, he also showed photographs of previous I.W.A. Festivals going back to 1950.

At the I.W.A. Festival last year I seem to remember filling in a Volunteer form offering to help with the setting up and dismantling of the 2011 festival site but as I had heard nothing since I wasn't sure, but, after checking with an organized looking lady in a I.W.A. shirt it was confirmed that I was on her list and to be at the Festival site on the Friday 15th of July, I then had a quick chat with "Moose" a W.R.G. member who will be organizing the other volunteers at the show.

Wednesday saw us down in Wiltshire, we had offered to pick up ( in his van ) a set of boat curtains and cushions for someone who is having a new boat built, the lady who made them lives on a Narrowboat at Foxhangers which is on the Kennet and Avon Canal at the bottom of the Caen Hill Locks, I had to walk the last 50 yards to her boat as Land and Water were laying water pipes across the track.

The modern Navvie, no picks and shovels here.

The Field in the background is due to be dug out for a 248 berth Marina , a local newspaper report from November 2009 tells us that British Waterways will need 11700 new berths across the system by 2015 !!!!! I think they make it up.

Busy Weekend coming up for me, Friday I will be at Braunston preparing Nutfield and Raymond for this weekends Boat-share Show where they will be on display, the show is on Saturday and Sunday in Braunston Marina.
Saturday I will be at The Midlands Garden Rail Show at Leamington Spa. Sunday it's back to Braunston for more boat tinkering and Sunday night in the Old Peculiar at Handsacre for a meal and a couple of pints, it's a tough life.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Be Guided

Most people who cruise the Canals today use one of the many guide books available, usually Nicholson's or Pearson's, these are full of colourful maps and local information including boat yards and pubs.

For pleasure boat user's in the Nineteen fifties the choice was more limited, some used an Ordnance Survey "1 inch" map or, for 2 Shillings (10p) you could buy a "British Waterways Inland Cruising Booklet" these were produced by the British Transport Commission which ran the waterways between 1948 and 1962, there were 14 guides covering the system.

Guide to the Oxford Canal.

As the British Transport Commission also ran the Railways the maps drawn for the guides were diagrammatic same as a Railway guide map.

If the Romans had built the canals they may have really looked like this.

All in Black and White.

Look at those 3 digit phone numbers

We have been getting No Direction ready for our planned cruises, I have cured a very small oil leak on the engine and was going to replace the rubber mounting bushes on the Python Drive, but after checking the price with Midland Swindlers Chandlers (£49 +12.90 delivery ) I had another look and decided they were OK, I have also replaced the water pump impeller in the Generator so that we don,t have a problem like we did last year.
Jayne is going through the food storage drawers and making lists ready for a very bit shop.