We are a small charity all made up of volunteers called “Bumble Hole Conservation Group” sitting at the side of the canal in Windmill end Dudley. "Bumble Hole" is at the heart of the industrial black country. It is an area of natural beauty, nature reserves, waterways wildlife havens and history.
Bob Sanders retired IT Consultant uses Canals, Rivers, Lakes and Sea to relax, exercise and reconnect with nature. Bob is a 'paddler' not a 'boater', licensed and inured through Canoe England who follow best practice for all users of the waterways.
I have always loved boating. I hired my first narrowboat in 1978 and bought my first boat in 1982. All this against a career as a DJ and a publican. I got back on the water in 2000, and bought this boat (my last!) 3 years ago. I live on it full time with my dog Milo - a proper boat dog who loves cruising. I now have a permanent mooring, but I am away cruising for 8 months of every year.
Clive has been a Coastguard Rescue Officer, Station Manager of a Coastwatch Station, and a RNLI Water Safety Officer. He is Commodore of the MNA Boat CLub, and was recently elected Chairman of the Institute of Seamanship. Clive now does most of his boating on the Norfolk Broads, where he and his wife Lois keep their boat "Elsa ll" and carry out safety boat duties as a Guardship for the famous annual Three Rivers Race. They also undertake shore crew duties for Hemsby Independent Lifeboat Station and their "Lifeboat for the Broads"
Daniel Parry lives aboard his narrowboat Yongala. He writes on a manual typewriter - not only does it save on electricity, but as he says: "It's revolutionised my writing. I now write drafts! It's proper graft, which makes writing feel properly like a craft. A laptop has never done that for me."
Dave lives aboard his narrowboat 'Inspired by Nature', and is a prolific producer of YouTube videos. Dave has lived through hard times, experiencing loss and severe depression, but is determined to put out positive vibes and help others in similar situations, maintaining the belief that it is always possible to turn a life around.
Hi I'm Dave Robertson. I live beside the Staffs & Worcester canal with my wife and a small menagerie. I've just published my third children's book, the first of which was set on a canal boat. My column is called 'Old No 38' because that's the bridge I cross every day... If you would like to learn about my children’s books, here is my Amazon page link
David & Sandra Biddle have been boating for around 25 years. They have both made their careers out of cooking, and enjoy sharing their passion for food and good wine. Their tastes are wide ranging - from spicy, to Italian to good old English.
Dawn Smallwood offers us a personal look at canals through a series of walks. She includes some local history, comments on social and industrial landscapes, and gives recommendations for local attractions and places to eat or drink. She also raises a great deal of money for charity.
Devid Scowcrovich, liveaboard boater, shares segments of his diary which he wrote during lockdown. He then writes, with his own unique sense of humour, about anything else related to life on the waterways, never falling short of getting his own very strong opinions across...
Having spent most of my life at sea as an oceanographer, the inland waterways of the UK provided a quiet, relaxed, and fun retirement option. I now spend 6 months each year continuously cruising on my narrowboat, making friends, visiting pubs, and loving the whole experience.
Edward Trevelyan Stephens
A self-confessed nature nerd, I run and own "ETS Gardening and Estate Management". We pride ourselves on our eco and nature friendly approach. When not working I can be found wondering the local areas taking note of all the wildlife, looking for fungi, critters and much more. I will be writing short stories about my findings and sharing my love of nature.
Edward Hockin is a liveaboard continual cruiser. He is also a musician and an entertainer, performing his own, generally comic songs. Edward has a deep interest in the folklore of the canals, and will unearth a gruesome tale whenever he can.
Eric is an ex-pat, who, like most Americans, thought Europe’s canals were all in Amsterdam or Venice. On visits to an elderly relative in Islington, he fell in love with the Regents Canal. To remain in England he launched 'Bards on Boats', with a vision to hire London actors , “the world’s greatest story tellers,” to tell one of the world’s great stories...
Fiona Burt spent her teenage years holidaying on her parents restored FMC butty, Malvern. She weaves (and sometimes sells) rag rugs aboard her 58' narrow boat, Lutra Lutra, and has recently become a Waterways Chaplain.
Fiona lives in the medieval city of Norwich which is located happily on the rivers Wensum & Yare and in the county of Norfolk, renowned for the Broads. A storyteller and craft worker, Fiona likes to teach spinning and knitting. She firmly believes the world would be a better place if more people spent more time in, on, or even just near rivers. Fiona's YouTube channel has lots of stories...
I have owned boats since I was 10 and have helped other boaters with their electrics for almost sixty years. I sold my last boat in October 2016 as I can no longer singlehand a boat. The result is more time to help others and that has expanded. I have never charged for my help, although now a days as a pensioner I ask boaters to pay my expenses to get to them which can be anywhere in the UK.
Helen Proffitt is an environmental officer for the Environment Agency. She is dedicated to improving our environment and showing us ways in which we can all do our little bit to help. She wants it to be noted that views expressed are her own, and not those of the companies she is involved with.
I am a freelance writer with a background in occupational therapy. In Spring 2022, I moved with my husband and our dog, Mollie, from a house in west London onto our 61' narrowboat, Dream Chaser. Since then we have been continuously cruising, exploring the canals and working from the boat. My husband, David, had considerable experience of boats but I was a relative novice. Since the start, it has been an ongoing process of gaining knowledge, skills and confidence, learning to live at a different pace.
Iris Lloyd lives beside the Kennet and Avon Canal at Hungerford. A Christian since the age of 17, Iris has, at 89, become a Waterways Chaplain. She has danced all her life, has volunteered for the CAB and her local Food Bank, written for & edited magazines, and published 9 novels.
I'm Jane Pennington, part-time boat dweller, wife to Alan, mum to Natalie and Nanna to Isabella. I'm a retired Consultant Nurse in Diabetes, and have a continuing passionate interest in health matters. I love cooking and am a very keen forager and jam maker.
Jane worked as a teacher in London for many years before escaping back to the wilds of her Norfolk childhood. She started a business with her partner at the ripe old age of 38, which went on to become a leading UK brand. Once their children had flown the nest, Jane and her partner flew too - to a beautiful narrowboat, where they now roam the canals of England and Wales.
Jo writes on behalf of the Inland Waterways Association, the membership charity that works to protect and restore the country's 6,500 miles of canals and rivers. IWA is a national organisation with a network of volunteers and branches who deploy their expertise and knowledge to work constructively with navigation authorities, government and other organisations.
My husband and I had a narrowboat commissioned after a series of difficult events which made us decide on a totally different lifestyle. We weren't boaters previously, but have been on board NB Grace since July 2021. I write quite a bit about mental health on our Facebook blog Boomers on Board as I figure what I'm learning about myself might also help others. I love history, yoga (I'm a yoga teacher...or was) nature and our boat....and of course my husband Rob who is 71!
Kez has never lived in a house and has spent her life on the family's old wooden narrowboat. She divides her time between working the coal boat on the Bridgewater canal, spending too much time in the archives reading random history and teaching her menagerie of animals useless tricks.
Lilly Miller is a freelance writer, who focuses on the latest business trends, commercial design, and environmental issues. She also loves to experiment on daring new home decor trends and write about it as a regular contributor to Smooth Decorator. Settled in Sydney for the time being, Lilly shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. You can find her hanging out on Twitter.
Linda Wilson is an RYA helmsman, and co-owner of Water Babies narrowboat hire company. She is deeply involved in canal restoration, and has a project on the go which will benefit people with disabilities. Linda has a wealth of stories to tell.
Lisa has a home mooring on the Chesterfield Canal, but she and her husband have been exploring the waterways for 15 years. She has a passion for food and cooks on board as much as she can. She delights in sharing her food and her recipes.
I have been living full time with my husband on my narrowboat Lucy for the past 3 years and have reignited a childhood passion of poetry writing. I have a number of boat related poems. 'Bouffant Boating Blues' is about boat hair; 'Damp' is about Boating Feet...
Mark Rudall is a Waterways Chaplain on the Wey Navigation. Mark is a retired Comms Director with roots in journalism. He owns a trail-able steamboat, and edits the Journal for the Worldwide Steamboat Fraternity.
Martin and Emma, along with their dog Ernie are liveaboard boaters, folk musicians and continuous cruisers. They began their canal adventures on NB Jambo in 2017, only moving onto NB Digalou after the Covid Lockdown of 2020. Martin invites you to join him aboard as the trio continue their adventures.
As a former overland expedition driver, independent traveller and photographer, getting into scrapes has been the norm. Now, Martin along with his partner Donna are refitting their recently acquired narrowboat before embarking on a new journey as continuous cruisers. You can follow their adventures here and on their YouTube channel: Narrowboat Nomads.
Mary and her husband Richard now live full time on their 43ft narrowboat Naomhog. Their plan is to travel the waterways March-November and they want to be a 'Listening boat'. "We want to encourage people to tell us their stories because we feel we have time to listen. In this fast paced world listening is not necessarily much valued and is in short supply!"
Michael Nye is a writer of waterways based fiction. His published work consists of the 'Mayfly' books, the latest being 'The Ballad of Masie & Linda'. He also writes a waterways blog, and has a Mayfly Facebook page.
Nathan Sanders is currently studying Film & Media Studies at Winstanley College in Wigan, and has a real passion for film making. He says he is not that clued up on canals, but sees this as an opportunity to capture activities through fresh eyes, whilst learning and sharing.
River Canal Rescue
River Canal Rescue offers 24/7 marine breakdown assistance and recovery across the UK's inland waterway system. It also undertakes engine servicing and inspections, offers additional services (from plumbing and domestic electrical work to hull repairs, engine refits and insurance work), devised the world's first environmentally-friendly filter 'Bilgeaway' and has an online chandlery.
I'm a 67-year-old disabled writer from Slough in Berkshire. From 1996 - 2010, I contributed regularly to a number of UK magazines, and also to some television programmes. In 2007, I appeared in three episodes of ITV's 'WaterWorld'. At the moment I'm preparing to start writing factual features for magazines with talented photographer Tony Brice from Maidenhead Camera Club. Watch this space!
My name is Rob Grindley and I work for an engineering supplies company called Bearingtech. Recently I have written some small articles on various topics including ships and yachts which I thought may be of interest to readers. My first article looks at some of the most expensive boats in the world.
Robert Parton is the managing director and owner of the award winning Aqueduct Marina, Church Minshull. His business career started with dairy farming, then he moved on through a self catering holiday cottage, a machinery hire business, and canal boat storage enterprise. During this period his vision and long term strategy was to open a new Inland marina, which he did in 2009.
I’m Sally, a boater for the last 10 years, living aboard a narrowboat for the last 7. I also have a seahopper folding dinghy that I’m learning to sail and a 23ft Sailing boat that I’m “mending”. In no particular order, I love bothies and grandchildren and foraging wood for our stove.
Sandra Louise Walsh
Barry and Sandra have lived aboard their 60ft narrowboat, continuously cruising, since April 2013. Their blogging journey began in April 2009, after arriving from New Zealand for the first of two six-month adventures living on 'the cut'. Barry spent 35 years as a professional photographer in Gisborne, New Zealand.
Simon has been boating since he was 15. He's sailed everything from dinghies to tall ships. He owns a Dawncraft 25 called Dawntreader. Simon's articles show us ingenious & cheap ways to solve the many problems his boat has...
Stephanie Province is an accomplished artist, displaying her work in galleries in the delightful Lancashire pub she owns with her husband. Once a live-aboard boater, Stephanie speaks from a wealth of experiences travelling the waterways.
At school I was always fascinated by the practical applications of mathematics and science in the real world. I particularly wanted to know why things were done the way they were. That curiosity never left me throughout my career in design engineering and it served me well. Now retired I have my hands full answering the constant cries of 'why ....,' from my grandchildren.
I am a writer and amateur astronomer living in Kendal (as in the Mint Cake, yes…!), up in the Lake District. I have been writing children’s astronomy books since 1988, and I have had 12 children’s astronomy reference books published, I am probably best known for “A Cat’s Guide to The Night Sky”, which was published by Laurence King in October 2018.
I was born in Liverpool in 1968 and grew up wanting to be either a fireman or a sailor. I now teach and skipper on a wide range of vessels from tiny boats to Tall Ships. This year I fulfilled another ambition: to live on a boat. I bought 'Blackbird' a 40 ft Liverpool built narrow boat. I recently started "British Waterway Skippers" with my partner, a boat moving and bespoke tuition service for narrow boat owners.
Tony & Jan Lacey both come from the world of showbiz – Tony a musical director and Jan a singer and dancer. Both had successful careers in entertainment and television so perhaps it’s no surprise that they took to vlogging although they'd been used to working behind the scenes and not usually in front of the camera. In their articles they will write about their adventures, the kit they use and tech involved and also offer some helpful tips and advice if you want to start vlogging yourself.