... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Monday 11 March 2013

Insert some sort of Duck/Willow cricket pun....

Yesterday I took a trip to Langley Mill. This trip began with me walking down to the station and getting there in plenty of time to enjoy a pint of beer and a packet of crisps in my new favourite waiting room (see yesterday), which was most pleasant. Then, less pleasantly, onto a Northern train which smelt of sick (either this is a corporate scent, or I was on the same train coming back), then, from Chesterfield onwards, a rather nice rail replacement bus, which actually made for a more enjoyable and interesting journey.

Having reached Langley Mill, I managed without too much difficulty to find the Great Northern Basin, where I had last been in 2009 with Warrior, and start to look for the boat I'd come to see - Amy and James, late of Lucky Duck's new old boat Willow. I saw the boat, but no sign of its new owners, who, it had turned out, had gone off to meet me at the station, wisely not trusting me to find my own way, but not knowing that I'd been dropped off at the bus stop instead. Eventually we all met up at the lock and made our way together in the snow to Willow, having first stopped to take a souvenir photo of the proud proprietors:

No matter how big or interesting a boat is (and Willow is both, being built a full 72' long and to an unusual design - read more on Amy and James's blog), a guided tour doesn't take long, especially when the only item fitted is a rather gorgeous and massive enamel stove. There are many things to oooh and aaah at, however, in particular the ornate woodwork, all executed in oak, and the sheer amount of space. I quizzed them about their plans for the layout (but will let them reveal that as it happens) and for getting back to Cambridge, where Willow will be their home (exciting and I look forward to reading about that as it happens over the Easter holiday). Then I drank tea and ate cake and generally got in the way until it was time to catch the bus back to Chesterfield again. Before leaving of course, I took lots of photos, and here are a few highlights of Willow for your delectation. I have to say, it looks as if Amy and James have done really well, and I don't half wish them luck with the fitout!

It's going to be quite a job, but what a fantastic boat they'll have when it's finished.
Oak panelled throughout...

With some lovely details...

And its distinctive Severner not-dollies.

So I have a very nice day out on Sunday - thanks very much to Amy and James for allowing my to take up some of their valuable fit out time.

Amy walked with me back to the bus stop, and the coach arrived almost exactly on time (which I thought Starcross Jim might be interested to know, if no one else). On the way back I had the coach to myself as far as Alfreton, which was rather nice, although a perfect day was slightly marred by my very carelessly leaving my lovely woolly mittens on the coach going down.


  1. It was lovely to see you! Can I use the photo of us on our blog, please? (suitably credited)


  2. Of course! I was mainly thinking of taking one for you two to keep. I can email it if you like?

  3. Nice big photos, thanks Sarah! (At this rate of blogging, by the way, you'll be well in the Top Thirty by the weekend - I predict number 20. Not that it matters.)

  4. Sarah, I knew, just knew, would have put money on the fact that you would love The Tap. It's pretty special. I have spent an indecent amount of time in it with various mates but what I also forgot to say is that it is one of the few pubs that I feel completely at home in as a woman drinking alone. If you are ever at the station just plonk yourself on one of the raised benches and watch and learn. The atmosphere is likely to evoke reverie and I have even given myself over to day-dreaming about Brief Encounters. If we survive our epic journey home in Lucy Belle, we must go again together soon. Sandra aka Jemma