Built in the late 1700s but abandoned in the mid-20th century, the Stroudwater Navigation and the Thames & Severn Canal are currently undergoing a mammoth, volunteer-led programme of restoration. This is their story.
Having meant to do a video with Robbie Cumming for many years, we finally got around to it a few weeks ago. I’m always getting requests from overseas viewers to go into the canal pubs but don’t tend to do that alone. Who better to team up with to do so then than Robbie Cumming, whose youTube channel features a regular “Pub of the Week” slot!
Lots of folk ask me about hiring a narrowboat for a holiday so I thought I’d make a video about it. By coincidence, friends and fellow YouTubers Greg & Lou Virgoe, and John & Mandy, had decided to book a week’s hire – their first time on a narrowboat – so I tagged along to document the hiring handover.
At the end of May 2021, I attended a narrowboat trials day arranged by boat builder Ortomarine. Starting on the River Severn and going up the Droitwich canals, eight boats using a variety of power plants would have their fuel, efficiency and any solar input measured and compared. This video summarises what happened and the results.
On May 29th this year, I was lucky enough to be invited to join Alan, Tina and Richard of NB Wobbly, to travel in convoy across The Wash with Jo, Michael and Lorna on NB Perseverance. This is quite an adventurous crossing for a narrowboat as they’re designed only for the flat calm waters of the canals or small rivers – and The Wash is pretty much open sea.
Whether you’re a solo narrowboater or have plenty of crew aboard, there’s no doubt that at busy and long canal lock flights, a team of helpful volunteer lock-keepers can be a blessing to help you through. I spent a couple of days at Fradley Junction near Lichfield, talking to the volunteers as they prepare for the new boating season, and they explained what they do and why they do it.