The Glass Barge at the Paddington Floating Market
It was good to be in the company of other traders for a while in Paddington. With about 12 boats all together it gave a good feel to the event and there were also food stalls on the bank at the wekend.
We understand that this was the first occassion that boats had been in the basin since the developement. The opening of the fan bridge was quite spectacular.
The boats stirred up the muck on the bottom and created a bit of a smell to start with!
My sister, Ruth, visited when we first arrived and then Lucy joined us again for a few days. She is a city girl and prefers canal boats moored in places like this! Unfortunately our other daughter, Alice, was unable to come as planned, as she is in the process of buying her own flat in Eastbourne and needed to be there to sort things out.
Fused Glass Gallery out and about again
This years cruise started at the end of April. We had hped to get out earlier than that, but having decided to sell our house in Eastbourne, we needed to get that settled before leaving the basin. Completion on the house was 30th March, which was what we had hoped for, but not expected to happen.
We left Birmingham heading for the Stratford Canal and the Lapwoth link to the Grand Union Canal. Our friends Derek and Debs joined us to help with the single locks, which was very useful and much more sociable. The weather was not kind and we had rain, sleet, snow and sunshine! We all neede our wooley hats and scarves to keep warm! I think they still enjoyed it though.
Our first trading spot was at the Two Boats, Lonf Itchington, where it was good to renew contact with the publicans John and Sammy. Our daughter, Lucy, also joined us there for a few days.
Trading at Braunston, Stoke Bruerne and then back to Blisworth before heading onto the Leicester line for the Crick Boat Show at the end of May. We decided to go on passed Crick and up to Foxton, as we had time to spare. Here we opend for business n the Friday and Saturday, then had a day off for sightseeing as Mike and Lynda had joined us for the weekend. We visited the Rushton Triangular Lodge and then Lyddington Bede House, both English Heritage properties and very interesting.
The Boat show went well, but was very tiring and difficult, as we had to stransport all our stok, gazebo and display stands from the boat to the show village. The marina allowed us to bring the boat in to unload, which was a great help.
From Crick we had a limited time to get down to London for the Paddington Floating Market, but we managed to stop at Marsworth and Berkhamsted for a few days trading. Andrew also did a quick trip down to Eastbourne to check on the student house.
When we were nearly down as far a Uxbridge, Andrew slipped n the boat and ended up with 9 stitches in his foot. Unfortunately I didn't think to take photo's, or I would have posted those here!!
It's funny what you see sometimes along the Grand Union canal.
Winter in the Basin
It has been a very busy winter for us this year. It started with blacking the bottom of Enchanted moon. While on the slipway and under cover we stripped and repainted the roof as well, so it was a hard weeks work. We had help from friends for the first few days, which made a hard dirty job much more fun.
We did 3 trips into Birmingham in the run up to Christmas, but the weather was against us and there were not many people down by the canal as a result.
For the Floating market in December all the boats put up Christmas lights and it was a lovely sight. Our light Christmas tree was much admired.
Our Christmas was spent back in Eastbourne with our two daughters and, while there, we made the decision to put the house on the market and move onto the boats full time. this meant that a lot of time has had to be spent clearing the house of all the accumulated rubbish of 30 years!!
We have now accepted an offer and wait with fingers crossed for the sale to complete. Hopefully it will be settled before we want to start our cruise for the year.
The current job for me is booking festivals and markets for the year and planning a route. Andrew is still busy with fitting out the boat. He has installed the solar panels on both boats and is working on the legs to support the workbenches to provide the extra work space needed to run courses. I have been touching up the blacking on the hull, when the weather has allowed.
In between the boat work we have been experimenting with new glass designs, including a Narrowboat plaque and a new way to etch the dichroic glass for our motif pendants.
We are now looking forward to the return of the sunshine and warmer weather so that the 2016 season can start in earnest.
Black Country Boating Festival
We finished our summer cruise at the Black Country Boating Festival at Windmill End, Netherton. It was a very busy few days and the sun stayed out most of the time.
Friends came to join us the weekend before, to help us through the single locks into Birmingham and back to Hawne Basin. In the few days we had at Hawne, we were busy designing and making up some brooches/badges in the style of the Black Country Flag. These promoted a lot of interest at the festival and are available for sale now at £15 each. I will be putting them on the shop once I have again sorted out a problem I have putting pictures onto the website!
For a couple of weeks we are back in Eastbourne, to sort out other parts of our life. On Tuesday we did a talk to the Soverign Ladies Inner wheel which seemed to be very well received. Then on Saturday and Sunday we will be at Tenterden Folk Weekend.
Once we manage to get away and back up to the boats, it will be time to start the winter maintenance. Enchanted Moon is due on the slipway at the end of the month to have her bottom blacked. We also need to finish the exterior painting on The Glass Barge and some of the work on the shower room etc.
We intend to take The Glass Barge into Birmingham on some weekends running up to Christmas for trading and I will put dates on facebook when we make definite plans.
The Glass Barge on Facebook
Our summer cruise is going well. Trading was good at the Linslade Canal Festival and we also managed to meet up with old friends for a meal while we were there.
Since then we have been at Marsworth Reservoire, Milton Keynes and Stoke Bruerne.
I am now trying to post our location on facebook when we set up to trade, so that people can find us if they want to. So do please find The Glass Barge page on facebook and 'like' our page https://www.facebook.com/TheGlassBarge/?fref=ts. Then you will be kept up to date with what is going on.