Blisworth Marina. Mother of the Year Award

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1 Autumn Newsletter September 2010 We have compiled a Welcome Pack for new Moorers which gives a wealth of local information. If you would like one please pick up a copy from the office Judging by the sudden cold snap we have been experiencing perhaps we can safely assume that summer is over. For wimpy/sensible (delete as applicable) boaters it is time to winterise boats and hibernate. But we are planning a number of events at the Marina which will hopefully give you an excuse to visit your boat over winter and to socialise with us and other Moorers. It was a busy summer at the Marina with many Moorers joining us for barbecues on Friday and Saturday evenings. These were casual affairs with everyone bringing their own food and drinks no invitations necessary. We will try to hold some more during autumn whenever the weather is favourable. Mother of the Year Award Many people have offered ideas for events and the newsletter. If you have a story to tell or photos to contribute about your cruising this year, please do send them to us and we will include them in the Winter newsletter. In the meantime, get yourself a warming cup of tea (or something stronger if you prefer) and settle yourself down to read the Marina news and what we have planned for the winter season. Blisworth Arm Blisworth NN7 3FG Northamptonshire England Telephone: We have sadly become accustomed to our resident ducks producing four or five ducklings but losing a few to pike and other predators before they became fullgrown. So it was with some sentiment that we watched as the weeks passed when one Mother Duck brought a full complement of 12 ducklings to adulthood. Whenever she was seen with them we d all be anxiously head-counting to check that they were all present and correct and word would be passed around the Marina that all was well. It was suggested that perhaps some of the 12 Apostles (as they came to be known) were just adopted, but regardless of that it was some feat that they grew to the stage where we couldn t tell them apart from the adults and they have been absorbed into the large paddling of ducks in the Marina.

2 Page 2 Parking We are aware that parking spaces are sometimes at a premium. In order to ensure that the maximum amount of parking is available to Moorers we will be making some minor changes. The parking in the rough semi-circle from the Marina office around to B Penelope s stern will be allocated for Moorers use only. We will be marking parking spaces out on the curb to make the most of available space. New & Used Boat Company staff and visitors will be encouraged to park alongside the fence. Visitors and disabled parking will be signposted in front of the building. If you arrive and a spot in our Moorers area is not open you are completely free to moor (sorry - park) wherever you wish. We aren t intending to make this something that is cast in stone. If you are leaving your car long term or you have guests leaving a vehicle for any length of time, please provide the registration number to the Marina office with length of stay so that we can ensure we keep an eye on these vehicles. Whilst on the subject of guests and friends, kindly let us know if someone else is taking your boat out, including for repairs. Sometimes boats go out with strangers on board and we have no way of knowing whether you have authorised the use of your boat and naturally our primary concern is the Our thanks to Brian and Ann (NB Free Thyme) for the DAB radio and Ian and Alison (NB Nobby) for the CD Player. We will be putting the radio in the laundry room so that we can be serenaded while we do our washing. The CD Player will provide us with a far better selection of music at barbecues than the old tape deck did. Needless to say the tape deck was left in the recycling basket and duly disappeared to a new home, along with the box of tapes! Thanks also go to John (WB Octo Mariniii) for the small fridge in the office - handy for keeping beers cold when we are barbecuing! Patchy Banks The process of getting the grassed areas to look great does take time. After only two treatments a high percentage of the weeds have gone and we aim to keep it that way so that the Marina looks attractive to us all. Some of the larger weeds such as the thistles do leave gaps where they have been but in time these will fill in. The next treatment will be in autumn. This helps the grass become greener, toughens the grass to withstand the harshness of the winter months and inhibits the development of moss. After that, the next treatment won t be until next spring since grass and weeds don t grow over the winter months. In spring it will have a good feed to help it grow green and healthily. Any emerging weeds will also be treated. It must be stressed that all the products used by Green Thumb are not harmful in any way to humans, wildlife or pets. Recycling The recycling basket has been a source of amusement and amazement - many and varied items have passed through, anything and everything from two Father Xmas hats, vases, salt and pepper sets to a DVD Recorder. They all came and they all went. So five stars to all our Moorers who so happily gave and received. Worthy of special mention is the diligent Moorer who left a single plastic coathanger in the recycling basket and equally worthy of special mention is the Moorer who took it. Now that s what we call entering into the true spirit of things! Amongst items left was an old but perfectly serviceable Henry vacuum cleaner. We are keeping him for the use of Moorers who may not have a vacuum cleaner on board. Please let us know if you would like to use him and he will be at your service.

3 September to November 2010 Page 3 Local Events 1st to 3rd October - Britcar 24 hours at Silverstone 2nd and 3rd October - Stoke Bruerne Village at War 3rd October - Banbury Canal Festival 12th October at 8pm - Northampton IWA Branch Meeting. Talk by Roger Butler on Up the Mac. All IWA events are held at the Walnut Tree Inn Paul ( B Trojan) has trained as a Caller and is running traditional American Barn Dances weekly in Blisworth. This dancing is fantastic fun and a really great way to get fit. You don t need to be a dancing expert or go with a partner either because partners change with every dance. Don t be shy - get on the floor and have a go! Bonfire Night We will be holding a Hot Dog Bonfire Night on Saturday 6th November at 7pm in the cleared area. A bonfire will be lit in a 45 gallon drum and the barbecues will be going strong. Please bring your sausages, rolls, drinks and a few fireworks. No banging fireworks please! We don t want to upset any animals. 14th October at 8pm - Friends of the Canal Museum - talk by Liam D Arcy Brown on The Grand Canal of China 29th October at 7.30pm - Friends of the Canal Museum - Auction of Promises at The Boat Inn, Stoke Bruerne. Can you promise to do something or give something which can be auctioned to raise funds to help the Museum? 6th to 7th November -Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone 9th November at 8pm - Northampton IWA Branch Meeting - talk by Liam D-Arcy Brown on China s Grand Canal 18th November at 8pm- Friends of the Canal Museum - talk - speaker to be confirmed 11th December, 5pm onwards - Friends of the Canal Museum - Christmas Carols and Illuminated Boats. Hot food and beverages, lantern procession, carol singing on the Museum Green, village gift shops open and prizes awarded to the best illuminated boat 14th December, Northampton Branch Meeting - Christmas Social and Quiz with Mick and Catriona Butler

4 Page 4 Christmas Party! To Start Roasted butternut squash and ginger soup (V) finished with coriander oil Chef s homemade coarse pork, walnut and apricot paté served with a plum and apple chutney and toast Chilled honeydew melon (V) with a cinnamon scented wild berry compote Crab and smoked trout roulade with a lime marinated fennel and caper berry salad Main Course Roast Turkey Served with the traditional accompaniments of bacon roll, chipolata, walnut, celery and apricot stuffing and roast gravy Join us on the 18th of December for the Marina Chistmas Party at the Walnut Tree Inn. The cost is per person and includes dancing. Please let us know by Friday, 8th October if you would like to attend so that we can make a provisional booking. We will then need a deposit of 10 per person by Friday, 14th October to confirm the booking and menu selections, any special dietary meals and full payment by Friday, 3rd December. Cancellations or non-arrivals after this time are non-refundable and nontransferable by the hotel. We can arrange a people carrier taxi service at a cost of 3.75 per person from the Marina at 6.30pm and returning to the Marina at 12.00am. This would apply for a minimum of eight people. Please add this to your payment if you would prefer not to walk or drive. Roast rump of Herefordshire beef with a caramelised shallot and green pepper sauce Baked fillet of salmon topped with a roasted garlic and basil crust, served with a white butter sauce Butter roasted breast of guinea fowl filled with a herb mousseline, served with a smoked bacon and wild mushroom jus Spinach, goats cheese and chestnut pie (V) finished with a sun dried tomato dressing Roasted Mediterranean vegetable stack (V) with tomato and garlic sauce Main course served with chef s selection of seasonal vegetables and potatoes To Finish (V) Fresh fruit salad with a cinnamon and cranberry syrup Rich chocolate torte with a compote of black cherries Deep filled lemon tart with chantilly cream Chef s home made traditional Christmas pudding with brandy sauce Arrival 7.00pm Meal served 7.30pm Music starts 9.30pm and finishes at 12 midnight Bar closes 12.30am A selection of English and Continental cheeses with biscuits, grapes and celery Coffee/Tea

5 Page 5 Blisworth Pocket Park Funds for the planned pocket park have been boosted by funding from the Northampton IWA of 1,000 and at least that amount from the 2010 Canal Festival. Plans are being made to start work clearing shrubs, burning and replanting during November, December and January. Blisworth Canal Partnership will be organizing clearing weekends and volunteers to help will be gladly welcomed. We will let you know when they set dates for the clearing weekends. Fire - is your boat safe? The Cheese Boat is in the Marina until Thursday. The Fudge Boat will stop by on their way to Stoke Bruerne on Wednesday. Make sure you don t miss out on their delicious goodies! Now that the colder weather is upon us and the smell of wood fires is in the air, telling us that boaters are lighting up their fires, please remember that the Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service offer a boat safety check and advice on: How to make your boat safer What to do in the event of a fire What to do if you are trapped by a fire They will also fit a free smoke and carbon monoxide alarm and explain how to maintain them correctly. Boaters who took advantage of this service earlier in the year were very impressed with the advice and it is well worth having them on board. For instance, did you ever think that the nearest bridge number isn t necessarily the best way to give them your location in the event of a fire? They recommend that you make sure you know the location of the nearest road whenever you moor up. If you haven t cleaned your fire or chimney out recently please keep in mind that Ben Taylor is our local Chimney Sweep and is a Fireman as well. He will gladly clean, inspect and repair wood-burning and multi-fuel stoves. Better safe than sorry! Over-Wintering Your Boat If you won t be able to come over to your boat regularly during the winter, please remember our Narrowboat Nanny Maintenance and Monitoring service only costs 25 a month. Weekly Check Electric meter and top up cards (cards to be paid for) Batteries charging from shore power Heaters left on over winter Tightness of mooring ropes Water ingress, leaks and condensation in cabin Visual safety check on shore line Monthly Check Start engine and leave running until normal operating temperature reached Batteries charging from engine Top up batteries as required Condition of ropes, fenders and fixings Check engine bilge for leaks

6 Gardening anyone? Are there any green-fingered Moorers who would like to form a garden club to transform the large piece of land that was cleared during the summer? Very slowly the grass is coming through the weeds now and this is a lovely opportunity to convert what is currently a blank slate from the Garden of Weedon to the Garden of Eden. (Sorry, couldn t resist that!) Some of the suggestions we have had are for a herb garden, a wildflower meadow, a garden games space and a barbecue area. Please let us know if you would like to join up with other gardening enthusiasts in the Marina to plan and bring about a transformation.

7 Winter Events At the heart of the canals, with your boat at heart We are planning the following events for January and February: Make-Over Day Ladies, let Barbie ( B Adagio), a lecturer in hair and beauty, give you a make-over and then David ( B Blue Moon), a professional photographer, will take a picture you will be proud to show everyone. This will be a real ladies day accompanied by wine and snacks. First Aid How confident are you in your first aid skills? Every year nearly 150,000 people die in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live. Basic first aid can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. We will be running a first aid course enabling you to learn these vital skills or brush up on your knowledge. Knot Tuition Improve your knotting skills and learn to splice. Hand Signals Are you always able to communicate with each other when going through the locks? Learn some useful hand signals. Tunnel Safety What would you do if someone fell off the boat in the tunnel? Learn how to deal with every eventuality when travelling through tunnels. Our winter newsletter will give you dates and costs. If you have any ideas for other events or gettogethers please do let us know. If you need a winter scarf call in at the office - we have hand knitted scarves on sale for 3 each Proceeds are in aid of the British Kidney Foundation to enable patients to have dialysis at home Former moorers, temporary moorers or simply just friends of the Marina are welcome to come along and join us at our events. If we have you on our mailing list and you would prefer not to receive our newsletter and updates, please call us or and we will remove you from our list. If you are receiving our newsletter by post and you have an address please let us know so that we can send the newsletter by - we want to do our best to save trees! And on that note, we wish you pleasant cruising for what is left of the year and look forward to seeing you at the Marina. Blisworth Arm Blisworth Kind regards, Peter Moore Mike Bragg Steve & Claire Williams John Smith Telephone:

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