It's good news surely that a large Woolwich motor boat that had been on the market for some time should not only have found new owners, but has been made available for the public to experience and enjoy... Yes, Hawkesbury. When I spotted it last year it had just been bought by Birmingham & Midland and the steerer told me that they were planning to use it for training and private charters. It's a good idea; the 'skipper' can live in slendid isolation in the back cabin and so not pollute the guests with his presence, and up to four people get to live in the 'tasteful' conversion. During their day or week long trip they can do as much or as little as they like (as we say on Tarporley, meaning within reason, of course). Prices range from £1130 to £1400 for four people for a week - not cheap, but not unreasonable compared to a hotel boat or hiring.
After seeing them last year, I didn't give it much more thought until last week, when I picked up a leaflet in the Swan at Fradley. Parts of it I admit did make me shriek - for example: Unlike modern, lightweight narrowboats, Hawkesbury does not have the benefit of responsive handling.... Either that's a foul slur, or they should get the steering sorted out.
But what really depressed me was when I looked at the website and saw it advertised thus: Bespoke Executive Solutions Ltd are expanding their narrowboating portfolio....
Starting the return trip - with complications!
13 hours ago