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The Waterways Wanderings of Narrowboat “Just Heaven”

Lower Heyford

It has been fairly windy over the last few days, and the forecast is for much stronger wind over the next few days. This is apparently the tail end of hurricane Bertha. Because of this we decided to leave early in the morning when the lighter winds would make getting out of the marina easier. So we set off just after 7am. We called in at Soverign Wharf for diesel, but they don’t open until 10:00 and we arrived at about 9:00. A full English breakfast was cooked and consumed while we waited.

Full of diesel (and breakfast ) we pressed on in the increasing wind. Very concious of the fact that the wind might blow us into bushes where the new paintwork could get scratched, we proceeded gingerly through the day to Lower Heyford. The canal was busy with hire boats and private ones, with queues of upto 40mins or so at several locks.


Fairport’s Cropredy Convention

We have spent the last three days at the Cropredy Festival. This is organised by Fairport Convention and features mostly  Folk and Folk-Rock type music.

Highlights for us were:

Joe Broughton’s Folk Ensemble

The Churchfitters

Benjamen Folke Thomas

Blackbeard’s Tea Party

Fairport’s closing set

and of course the wonderful Richard Digence.




At last, after over four months being re-painted we now have the boat back. There are still a few odds and ends that need tidying up, but at least we are on board.

Just a short chug back to the marina where we’ll stay for the next few days.

Sneak preview

Bob called to say the boat would be ready today. So we drove up to Fenny Compton, but when we got there it still wasn’t quite ready!

There were various odd little things that still needed to be done,but we agreed to go out for a few days and then return back to the boatyard.

The change is quite dramatic, gone is the red and dark blue boat to be replaced with a green/cream and bright blue boat.

Sneak preview below:


A three day chug up to Newbold and back in glorious weather, we have now left the boat at Fenny again until it’s completed.

Yet more waiting

We are now getting rather frustrated at how long the paint job is taking. Each time I ring Bob he has another reason (excuse) why it’s not finished yet.

It is now about 2 and a half months and it could be another week before it’s ready. Obviously we dont want a ‘rush job’, but this is going on too long.


Still waiting

We delivered the boat to Bob Mitchell at Fenny Compton on 24th March. He was due to start the paint job on 27th. We expected it to take about 3 weeks. But unfortunately the job for the boat in the dry dock before ours overran by 2-3 weeks. So now we dont expect ours to be ready until about 20th of May.

This is the longest we have ever gone without some time on board. Definitely getting withdrawal symptoms!


Repaint date set!

We started the day at nine o’clock with a wonderful cooked breakfast before setting off to meet Bob at 11:30am.

The repaint date has been set for March 27th and colours have been agreed, apparently we were the most organised cutomers he’d ever had! We left Bob and went for a walk round the extremely pleasant town of Southam, dipping in and out of charity shops and discount stores before setting back to the boat for lunch. The rest of the day was relaxed and spent playing on our computers in front of the fire, a couple of card games and Rumikub. Going home tomorrow.

Boat jumble

Just here for a couple of nights, mainly to go to see Bob Mitchell about the repaint.
We have grandson Josh with us. On the way here we called in at the West Midlands boat jumble at Throckmorton airfield. We bought some rope and a new rear fender. The weather today has been really good, bright and sunny, such a change from recently.

Colour Choices

The boat is booked in for a repaint in March, so we have had to really think hard about the colours.

We have finally narrowed down the colour choice for the repaint to the two below. We would really welcome your input into the decision making process!

Blue on Green
Green on Blue
Click the pictures for a bigger version

Please select one below, make a comment if you wish, and fill in your name & email – Thanks
Blue on Green
Green on Blue
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Just a short chug down to Banbury, going back tomorrow.

The floods seem to have gone down a bit, though there is still a lot of water rushing down the by-washes. We arrived here about 3 o’clock and popped into Castle Quay for a bit of shopping. Back to Cropredy tomorrow.


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