Monthly Archives: January 2022

ever since I was a young boy

ever since I was a young boy

pinball machine history

At a recent editorial meeting, our illustrious editor, Lin, showed us the following piece which had been sent in for consideration.  Having doubts about publishing the story because of its content having nil to do with waterways, I interjected with a resounding reply to her question of to publish, or not to publish, "No! Let's publish!"

My reasoning was this. Being an old age boater, and also a member of the hippy elite, I well remember the heady days of pinball machines.  So many bars of ill repute in the 50's and 60's boasted amazing machines providing many a happy hour of balls and flippers. Badges of honour were verbally and mentally given to leather clad bikers, mods et al, and pinball machines were a part of everyday life.

One particular establishment I remember was The Olde Silk Mill in Derby, which became a mecca for the unwashed and black clad biking community. Happy days, happy memories!

So, go ahead and publish, because I am sure there are many in the boating community and readers of MY GENERATION for whom this article will bring back resounding memories and give a little insight into what used to be, for many of us, a daily part of life. Enjoy, and let's have some feedback.


From Soho down to Brighton, there must have been one in every single dance hall, club, pub, or arcade centre.

The pinball machine is looked upon today as a piece of 1950`s, 60`s, 70`s and 80`s youth culture, but how many early black and white films, that were connected with teenagers or gangs, would show a pinball machine in a coffee shop or candy store?

How many images stir up the imagination of the mods and rockers of the sixties all standing together in a coffee bar playing a pinball whilst listening to the jukebox?

How we see the machines today though is totally different to how they were first seen in the early 1930`s.

Inventor Steve Kordek who is recognised as the creator of the first machine designed the first models without the use of flippers, which later propelled the ball up the table hitting the number markers on the way, but more importantly kept the ball in play.

Kordek got the idea from the French game bagatelle, the game where you manoeuvred a metal ball around a board with pins and holes, the idea was to get the ball into the holes avoiding the pins which would redirect the ball, players would also bump and tilt the tables, making the ball sink into better scoring holes.

In his early machines, once the ball had been sent from the plunger arm, it travelled down the table hitting various buffers and stops which created a score that nobody could predict, making it an ideal machine for betting and gambling syndicates to bet on, without the flippers it became a game of chance rather than skill.

Once the underworld gambling gangs got to hear of this machine, they used it to their advantage by running gambling dens which installed the pinball machines alongside the usual card schools, one armed bandit slot machines and dice tables.

On hearing this the authorities were keen to put a stop to the illegal gambling culture that had gripped most cities in America, but could not pinpoint the culprits in action, until a plain clothes police officer entered a cigar shop, after a tip off, in East Harlem in March 1948.

He approached the pinball machine and dropped a coin into the slot and began to play, he pulled back the plunger arm and propelled the silver ball into action.

La Guardia smashing pinballs

The ball danced around the table, with the officer desperately trying to keep it in play, his first 5 attempts were unsuccessful and frustrating, but the 6th try proved to be better as the ball landed in a hole that triggered a free play mode, which signalled a gambling concern, something the officer had been looking for.

Once the game had ended, the officer arrested the shop owner and charged him with illegal gambling and possession of an unlawful gambling instrument. The arrest was earmarked as one of the first concerning a pinball machine, and was the latest in a crackdown on the perceived scourges that were running rife across the USA in the 1940`s.

Pinball Museum, Washington

Elton John vs the Pinball Wizard in Tommy

During the great depression, gambling was seen by many people as a menace to society, something that had to be controlled or stopped altogether, the pinball was seen as another form of illegal gambling to hit the streets and towns, increasing criminality.

Whilst the law enforcers and civic groups looked at pinball for its gambling culture, churches and schools condemned it for its corrupting influence that it had on the youth, stating that many children had skipped school and stolen coins in order to play the machines, some were spending their dinner monies playing, therefore going hungry in the process.

Chicago was seen as the pinballs main manufacturing city, already seen as a hotbed of criminal activity including illegal alcohol selling, drugs, prostitution, protection rackets and many other crimes were associated with notorious gangs and mobs who ruled the city including the infamous “Murder Inc Gang”. Pinball just added another string to their ever-growing list of illicit activities.

The Mayor of New York at the time was Fiorello La Guardia, who decided that enough was enough, and made pinballs illegal and began cracking down on owners, sellers and end users.

Following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour, La Guardia and other officials declared that pinballs were apart from being illegal, were a waste of valuable materials that could be put to better use elsewhere.

Once the city councils decided to back La Guardia, there was a nationwide ban on pinballs in all public places.

The police began raids on bowling alleys, candy stores, bars, coffee shops and amusement arcades in an attempt to either catch the players and better still, the owners or suppliers.

Like their predecessors during prohibition, the officers who were named the G men, were seen smashing barrels of alcohol with hatchets in front of the waiting press photographers, who captured the event on film.

La Guardia and other officers assembled members of the press, before hitting the pinball machines with sledge hammers, hence smashing the machines to pieces, once smashed the remains were dumped in Long Island, where the materials used, were enough to build over 2,000 aerial bombs for the air force.

Because of the actions that were happening in New York, other major cities followed suit in the banning of the machines, this forcing the activity underground, at one point they were seen as part of the rebel culture and held in the same disregard as leather jackets, cigarettes, motorbikes and greasy hairstyles which were seen as brainwashing the young.

Pinballs criminal gambling reputation lasted long after the introduction of the flippers which were introduced in 1947, which changed the game from chance to skill, which eventually would stop the gambling element for the machines having had the uncertainty removed.

Even the late President JF Kennedy was entangled in a publicity smear by opposition leaders who tried to damage his reputation by printing photographs of the president playing on a machine, which was seen as a propaganda move on the part of the opposition, and was quickly quashed.

Famous back glass plates - Airport Genco 1939.

Rolling Stones

During the 1970`s the pinball was finally accepted as a game of skill and reflexes rather than chance.

The Californian Supreme Court overturned its prohibition in 1974 which was quickly followed by other major cities across America.

Although the ban was overturned, a Queens spokesman was quoted as saying “that this will bring rampant vice and gambling back into our cities”.

To prove to the sceptical councillors that pinball was definitely a game of skill, the Amusement and Music Operators Association recruited one of the country’s top players, Roger Sharp, to demonstrate on a machine that was set up in the Manhattan Courtroom where the city council met.

Sharp explained during the demonstration, that like baseball player Babe Ruth, who would call out a shot, he could not guarantee exactly where the ball would go, the same applied to the silver ball on the table, you hoped it would go into a certain space, but mostly it went elsewhere.

After the demonstration the council overturned the ban, which was expected to bring in an estimated $1.5 million dollars into the city economy by way of charging owners a $50-dollar licence fee for each machine.

Unbelievably, in some American states, the pinball machine still remains banned and is seen as illegal, but the law is not enforced due to the ridiculous rule.

When at its height in the 1950`s, the best-known manufacturers of pinball machine were Williams, Bally and Gottlieb, who introduced many new innovations to the models, which included multi-player games, score reels and increasingly sophisticated playfield mechanisms and art packages.

However, the games were not computerised, but were electromechanical and ran on a precarious balance of moving parts, something that we at Bearingtech know only too well about.

Indiana Jones

star wars pinball machine

Apart from the minor resurgence in the 1990`s due to the Addams Family movie, the pinball machine of the film, became the best-selling pinball ever in the history of pinball machines, hitting an unbeatable 20,000 units being sold across the world, but during 1995 home game consoles were flooding the markets with tens of thousands of machines hitting the high street shops, which consumers bought at an alarming rate.

This latest battle proved to be the last straw for some pinball manufacturers, so much so that one of the pioneers of the game, Gottlieb, who had been associated with pinballs since 1927, finally stop trading.

Williams, another pioneer of the industry now controlled 80% of the worldwide pinball market, called on their designers to reinvent the gaming tables and came up with the pinball 2000 version, which created some attention at first, but eventually tailed off after the follow up model got less attention.

When you consider that during 1979, the humble pinball had peaked with record sales of 200,000 units, compared to an 85% drop within 3 years, the fall from grace had a devastating effect on the manufacturers who could not compete with the new kids on the block, mostly who were electronic video games such as Space Invaders, Pac Man and Asteroids which were seen as the future.

Apart from the minor resurgence in the 1990`s due to the Addams Family movie, the pinball machine of the film, became the best-selling pinball ever in the history of pinball machines, hitting an unbeatable 20,000 units being sold across the world, but during 1995 home game consoles were flooding the markets with tens of thousands of machines hitting the high street shops, which consumers bought at an alarming rate.

This latest battle proved to be the last straw for some pinball manufacturers, so much so that one of the pioneers of the game, Gottlieb, who had been associated with pinballs since 1927, finally stop trading.

The Addams Family pinball machine

Williams, another pioneer of the industry now controlled 80% of the worldwide pinball market, called on their designers to reinvent the gaming tables and came up with the pinball 2000 version, which created some attention at first, but eventually tailed off after the follow up model got less attention.

Unfortunately, like Gottlieb, Williams decided to close its pinball division and concentrate on its slot machines instead leaving the market wide open for any newcomers to take up the fight.

After Williams left the field, Stern Pinball was the only American manufacturer left standing until Jersey Jack emerged in 2011, other smaller companies such as Spooky and American Pinball have now since joined the market by introducing more complex technology and electronics to their own models.

Because of the new technology that was developed in the early part of the 21st century, Chicago gaming who are a video game manufacturer decided to re-invent some of the classic pinball machines by adding technological advancements to the classic machines by teaming up with Planetary Pinball who together used the vintage Bally and Williams models and brought them back into the gaming mainstream for new players to enjoy, but with better sound and visual effects.

Talking of effects, when pinball first arrived on the gaming circuit back in the 1940`s and 50`s, one of the biggest attractions was the backboard glass plates and the table playfield frame due to the colourful imagery that adorned the machines, often depicting glamourous pictures with wild adventures or movie stars.

This artwork has now become very famous and sought after by collectors across the world, often seeing thousands of pounds changing hands between avid pinball enthusiasts.

Later as the machines became more elaborate and technically advanced, the artwork became more refined and detailed, creating a masterpiece of contemporary art, which in itself became more valuable and sought after, more so than the actual machines. Some dealers actually buy the machine for the artwork alone, especially if it is one of the best-selling machines in the world, such as the already mentioned Addams Family Pinball that came out in 1991 to coincide with the movie of the same name.

Movies and music seem to go hand in hand where pinball is concerned with many of the biggest films and rock stars often being displayed on the back-glass plates and playing frames.

The Addams Family pinball machine

Some of the most famous films have at one point shown a pinball machine on screen, either in movies or television, with some of the biggest stars standing alongside them.

Remember Henry Winkler as the Fonz in Happy Days, which at one time was one of the most watched tv shows in the world, opening scenes as the titles rolled, you guessed it, Fonz playing a pinball machine.

Or how about the disturbing film the Accused starring Jodie Foster, where a young barmaid is viciously raped in the most talked about scene of the film, on a pinball machine.

There are countless other films and stars who have appeared along the iconic machines including Paul Newman in the Verdict, Taron Egerton in Rocket Man, and how about Elton John in the most famous film of them all where pinball is concerned, Pinball Wizard from the film Tommy?

Alongside other films such as Ghostbusters, Goodfellas, Home Alone, Live and Let Die, Love Actually, Quadrophenia, Godspell and even Harry Potter have become platforms to promote pinball machines.

The most famous machines that are on most collectors wish lists are littered with music and film titles, everything from the Twilight Zone to the Rolling Stones are sought after.

The top ten must have machines are listed below.

Medieval Madness ( Williams ) 1997
Attack from Mars ( Bally ) 1995
Jurassic Park ( Stern ) 2019
Monster Bash ( Williams ) 1998
Addams Family ( Bally ) 1991
Iron Maiden ( Stern ) 2018
Elviras House of Horrors ( Stern ) 2019
Twilight Zone ( Bally ) 1993
Deadpool ( Stern ) 2018
Metallica ( Stern ) 2013

Alongside the most sought-after machines, is the artwork that has fast become a collectable item in its own right, so much so that an early William Wiley model sold for an incredible $125,000 and was listed in the catalogue as “a piece of art”, rather than just a pinball machine.

Some of the best artwork that adorned the pinball machines seem to be associated with the 80`s and 90`s.

Although the early artwork on the old machines have a certain charm and appeal to collectors, purely due to the images and topics portrayed at the time.

To grab someone`s attention and stand out from the crowd you needed to create an image or sound to draw the prospective player to your machine, this is where the artwork comes into its own.

Hi Diver Pinball Machine

Basketball Gottlieb Plate 1939

The best artwork is listed below, not necessarily the best selling but influential.

Space Invaders (Bally) 1980
Xenon (Bally) 1980 Creatures of the Black Lagoon (Bally) 1992
Theatre of Magic (Bally) 1995
Scared Stiff (Bally) 1997
Tales of the Arabian knights (Williams) 1996
Circus Voltaire (Bally) 1997
Twilight Zone (Bally) 1993
Medieval Madness (Williams) 1993
Indiana Jones (Williams) 1993

"Ever since I was a young boy, I played the silver ball
From Soho down to Brighton, I must have played them all"
The Who

History has a funny way of putting things into perspective, after all the fuss and bother in trying to get the pinball machine banned all those years ago, along comes the digital age, which in affect killed the pinball stone dead, people saw them as old fashioned and boring, they preferred to play the new electronic games that were being imported from Japan at an incredible rate.

Can you remember the first time that you saw a Space Invaders machine, or a Pac-Man in a pub or arcade? These were the machines that took the mantle from the pinballs and slot machines and ran with it for years, until a new breed of entertainment arrived in the shape of quiz machines, not only could you play the machine, but you could also win money by answering questions, something which has now been taken up by television broadcasters who literally have a quiz show on every channel.

But like most well-loved machines, designs and models that were deemed out of date and dull have suddenly become “vintage” which seems to attract another genre of players and collectors.

People who grew up with the pinball machine, one armed bandit slots, dartboards, jukeboxes and table football know the value and pleasure that these pastimes brought, albeit for a few minutes.

More and more of the old 1960`s and 70`s machines are becoming very much a thing of the future, gaming antiques maybe a strong category to list them under but when an item brings back nostalgia, pleasure and more importantly, value then people start to take notice.

As the lyrics in the famous pinball wizard song read, “I`m not handing my pinball crown to him” not unless you are willing to pay a lot of money for it that is.

celebrations on the wharf

tales of the old cut

celebrations at the wharf

King George V Coronation Cup

With Christmas and New Year celebrations still very much in our recent memories, it seems like no better time to open the wharf's story book and look at another celebration some 100 years ago.

It was 22nd June 1911 and the country was deep in patriotic frenzy for the coronation of King George V. Preston Brook was no exception.

Most unusually, it was even agreed that some funds could come out of the rates, 2d (2 old pence) to every pound, to help fund it, although in the end it wouldn’t be needed because everyone was full of excitement and donating generously.

Who suggested the wharf as the location of the party, we don’t yet know, but the Ship Canal Company was prevailed upon to donate “a spacious shed with field adjoining”, which is likely to have been the Dandy Warehouse.

We can take an educated guess that the building and wharf had been given a suitable sweep-up the day before, and on the morning the local committee swarmed over it putting up decorations and setting up tables.

Coronation Day at Neston

Excitement must have been reaching fever pitch. We know from diaries of other such Coronation celebrations that children, and in some cases husbands, were driven into the bathtub and scrubbed until they glowed, so there is every chance that the occupants of Preston Brook did the same.

Work was not totally knocked on the head for the day, it was only a Thursday after all, and a number of boats arrived and departed. Equally there were a number of boats who laid up for the day, enough to warrant special sports events to be laid on just for the boatpeople and the local Irish labourers.

The sports events kicked off the celebrations at 2pm; with the newspapers describing “sports of a varied character for young and old, also a tug of war and shot putting events…for prizes to the value of £10.”

King George V Coronation medalAt half past 3, the children were rounded up and given medals by two local ladies, and a big procession headed by the Aston and Preston Brook Band went off on a tour around the village while the unsung heroes of the committee were left alone for an hour and half to lay the tables with the celebratory tea for the 500 guests.

On their return, the children, doing well for themselves out of the occasion, were made to line up and pass through the door of the warehouse and be given a commemorative cup by the wharf foreman, Mr Peter James Webb, and one Mr Yates, who appears to be a company engineer.

Food finished, and everyone went back out for more sports and children’s maypole dancing while the committee whipped all the tables and dirty plates away so everyone could come back inside for “musical entertainment.”

Merry-making carried on for all until past midnight, when the party was wrapped up by singing the national anthem and no doubt a quiet reminder that it was back to work for a lot of the men in just a few hours, not least of all the members of the Preston Brook band who needed to be in Warrington by 0930 the next day.

rcr warns of perils of cheap boat insurance

rcr warns of the perils of cheap third party boat insurance

RCR warns of the perils of cheap third-party insurance

River Canal Rescue is warning boat owners about the perils of buying third-party insurance on price alone after finding some insurers will not pay out if a boat sinks.

The breakdown and assistance firm estimates around four out of 10 sunken boat claims are being rejected and says it’s due to a lack of definition in the policy small print, misleading wording referring to ‘wreck removal’ rather than ‘salvage ’, exclusions for salvage cover and salvage costs being rejected unless the peril is covered.

RCR managing director, Stephanie Horton, believes ‘low cost’ insurers are selling policies that are neither fair nor transparent, and opines they’re likely to break Financial Conduct Authority guidelines. “We’re not insurance experts, but we have many years of experience and some of the clauses and reasons used to reject claims are not made clear at the outset. In many cases the small print is shocking and full of ambiguities, meaning people don’t know what they’re covered for when buying the policy.

“The definition of ‘wreck’ for example, varies between companies and while we regularly undertake salvage for customers under this clause, an insurer recently rejected a salvage claim stating ‘wreck removal was for vessels that had broken up and required disposal’.

“The most important reason for third-party cover is it’s required when mooring in a marina/boat yard. Should the vessel sink, insurance is in place to cover the refloat. When buying cover, the assumption is a refloat is included, however I know of one insurer offering two third-party policies – one with salvage and one without. So unless you look at both policies in detail, and know what you’re looking for, you could end up with sub-standard cover.”

RCR is authorised to handle claims for most of the UK’s leading boat insurers and has in the past reminded boaters about the importance of understanding what they’re covered for in their policies.

Stephanie continues: “Those with a basic third-party liability policy could face crippling costs if a major incident occurs as it will only cover the cost of a claim against you if you hit another boat, cause damage to someone else’s property or injure someone. And while the majority of third-party policies automatically include the raising, attempted raising, removing or destroying the wreck of your boat as standard, not all do.

“These costs will only be met if the vessel’s causing an obstruction to navigation or potential damage to a third-party property. And with sinking and under-water damage the biggest risks on the inland waterways, prudent boaters should ensure they’re covered for this, as well as personal accident and medical expenses. ”

Stephanie concludes: “When it comes to paying recovery costs, some insurers may only do this once the cause of the sinking is identified. To assess the claim, they’ll want a clear understanding of what happened, before deciding to accept or reject it. If a sinking’s due to poor winterisation, a lack of maintenance or a failure to check when the river/canal is in flood, the claim may be rejected, unless there’s clear evidence the incident could not have been prevented. In contrast, some insurers cover salvage under the third-party agreement as standard, no matter what the cause.

“It’s important to check your policy meets your exact needs, pay close attention to third- party liability sections and ask about exclusions and how a potential claim will be handled. Is there a 24/7 claims hotline, are their assessors approved inland waterway repairers and if so, who and where are they? How a claim is handled should take equal priority alongside cost and cover options.

“Cheapest is not always best; if in doubt, consider an ‘all-risks’ policy or swap insurers.”

To find out more about River Canal Rescue, follow the team on Facebook, visit email or call 01785 785680.


perils of cheap boat insurance

River Canal Rescue is warning boat owners about the perils of buying third-party insurance on price alone after finding some insurers will not pay out if a boat sinks. They estimate around four out of 10 sunken boat claims are being rejected due to a lack of definition in the policy small print, misleading wording referring to ‘wreck removal’ rather than ‘salvage ’, exclusions for salvage cover and salvage costs being rejected unless the peril is covered.
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narrowboat nomads

narrowboat nomads

how we came to the cut

I blame a lot of it on YouTube but in truth, the catalyst was created long before my access to the internet, indeed walking along the Brecon Monmouth canal first engaged me and provoked my earliest thoughts of a narrowboat life. The concept of drifting through the countryside on a boat was so evocative, like a snail with its house on its back, you are free to roam in your floating home.

world heritage site, Hampii, southern IndiaBut the thoughts were buried deep whilst I was seduced by promises and snared by the rat race. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all toil and trouble, I have made the most of meagre opportunities, seen life and straddled continents on a journey of work and play.  The game changer came in the summer of 2017 when Donna and I met in Portishead and within a few weeks we were getting off a plane in Sri Lanka.  We had chatted about the spellbinding wonders that travel affords one and in particular, the crazy, frenetic tropical wonderland that I consider my emotional touchstone, so we spent our first winter together in India.

pembrokeshire coast dog walkingUpon our return to the UK, we bought a run down 1900’s cottage in rural Pembrokeshire and spent the ensuing two years renovating our forever home with sea views, our life had settled into an easy routine with part time jobs and dog walks through the seasons.  But then…  all of a sudden, it started as a sneeze far, far away sending ripples across the oceans to rock the world and the “Vid” had landed on our shores.  This new phenomenon made from unfamiliar words and conspiracy theories made us all think and consider our futures. “Life is short so do we sit here in Gods’ waiting room or is there time to roll the dice and have one more adventure”?

We sold the house bought a motorhome and got through the tunnel heading south west to La Rochelle and a trip along the Atlantiqué Highway, only to be locked down in Portugal at the end of 2020 and then when Brexit came into effect on the 1st of January, we were given 90 days to get out of Europe and our life on the road had hit another road block.

Portuguese sunset, Cabanas de TeveraDuring the first lockdown, like so many other people, we had binge watched stacks on YouTube hence where the motorhome life had materialised but I suppose all along I knew that Donna liked the narrowboat boat lifestyle and its possibilities more. Both options had been discussed when we were in Wales and we were still in Portugal when we decided on a life afloat. We searched the net for our next home, we clearly weren’t the only ones with the same idea because boats were selling like hot cakes and plenty of Brits were fleeing Europe and the Schengen zone.

Millau Viaduct, Massif Central, France

We crossed the newly opened Portuguese/Spanish border with some trepidation and hugged the Mediterranean coast on our way back through Spain avoiding crowds. By the time we had reached Valencia the stakes had been raised again with lateral flow and PCR tests, ferries fully booked and dubious reports of road closures. We had our tests, only to be told afterwards that they were the wrong ones, nevertheless we made a charge north at full throttle to cross the border with France only to be hauled up near Perpignan by the Gendarmerie with machine guns. They read through our passports and test results then whilst holding our papers and looking perplexed wished us “bon voyage” with a cheery wave. We wondered did the Frenchman reading English and Spanish documentation know what he was looking at and we doubted that any of us really knew what to do!

In the space of 24 hours the temperature had effectively dropped by a degree an hour as we went from shorts to bobble hats heading north and high over the Millau viaduct and the Massif Central mountains.

canal near Eppernay in the Champagne region of FranceWaking to frozen puddles and fading sun tans we pushed on, whetting our appetites and dallying up the French canals past the myriad of different styles of craft.

When our ten-day saunter through France came to an end, we had some more tests and doggy tablets then spent the last of our Euros on the finest Bordeaux wines and French delicacies before being rushed back through the all but abandoned tunnel at Calais.

We self-isolated on a campsite in Surrey for the obligatory ten days eating stale bread and cheese and drinking nasty plonk, desperately looking for a boat that we liked. We created a spreadsheet with our requirements and a list of available boats on Apollo Duck. Only to look again the next day and see that anything that caught our eye had sold overnight. On Good Friday we had compiled a list of 15 boats we were interested in and by Saturday afternoon 8 were gone.

Jeremiah Lee lying at Droitwich SpaYou hear people say, “you’ll just know it when you see the boat for you” and that was exactly what happened. Following Donna onto the boat, I felt a smile coming on my face and asked her, if she liked it? she turned around beaming and just nodded vigorously, we followed the owner through the boat and returned to the saloon where I asked Donna “do you want it”? Once again, she nodded vigorously, there was no denying it Donna was moved by the Jeremiah Lee.

We broke the cardinal rule and didn’t get a survey, moved aboard one week later and for the first 24 hours we basked in triumph. It wasn’t until day two that we started to note things that were wrong with her. Our pump out tank was full and in our first flight of locks, we lost propulsion and we were lucky to have Vince a fellow Taffy and resident at Hanbury to pull us out of the lock on the centre line, the problem was quickly identified and shortly after we limped into Droitwich Spa Marina where we were able to make some remedial repairs.

narrowboat fitted kitchenWe got going again but by the time we had got to Worcester, our new batteries were near to flat and we limped into Diglis Marina where we were able to get a residential mooring and make a proper start on her refit. Now the inside is mostly complete and due to come out of the water for blacking, painting and some new solar.

So even though our route here has been somewhat circuitous, we know it to be; no more remarkable than plenty of others who have chosen life afloat. Since joining with kindred spirits and the boating community we have forged friendships that will endure.  We are almost set to continuous cruise the cut and start again on our peripatetic life. You can follow our journey on our YouTube channel: Narrowboat Nomads