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A fantastic summer for boating!

What a wonderful year so far! We have been incredibly busy & after the dismal summer last year I have thoroughly enjoyed it. 99.9% of our customers have been lovely & appreciated the age & craftsmanship of our boats, there are always one or two who would prefer something fibreglass & cheap.

I saw the otter this summer playing round the old motor boat, I think he was fishing & kept jumping out of the river, it was amazing & we all stood in stunned silence not daring to move in case we frightened him away. There are lots of Kingfishers on the river this summer & most boaters had the joy of seeing them on the river, a few lucky ones seeing a fish caught.

We seem to have several people swimming up the river in the evenings this year. That’s something I haven’t seen for a long time, shows how good the weather was! The water levels at Bathampton were very low at one point, we thought we might have to start the motor boats turning before the weir pool but a bit of rain averted that problem.

I had a lovely introduction to Trip advisor & would like to thank some of the people for the nice things they said & others for pointing out that I charge per person, it’s quite expensive for some, & it’s a shame they couldn’t read the prices properly before they went. Also pointed out was, if you are late back I will charge you an extra hour, yes, don’t come back late, simple. I never realised how one sided some comments on Trip advisor could be (nasty commentator failed to mention I had to call the police because of his behaviour).  Never mind, there are some customers I prefer not to have.

All the buildings look lovely after repairs & painting by Emery Bros. Lovely job!

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Jake, who worrked for the summer on the boat hire has been varnishing the Canadian Canoe Jo Stickland.

He has made a lovely job of it & after a winter of hardening up will be ready for hire next summer.

The Jo is named after a school friend of mine who is sadly no longer here. Whenever I do  any work on the Canoe I remember the things we got up to at Hayesfield School & it makes  me smile.

The Canoe is 16 years old now but still varnishes up good as new, well done Jake!


So now I have a long winter of maintenance, lots of sanding & varnishing. I’m actually looking forward to it at the moment but by Easter I will climbing the walls & getting the urge to burn anything wooden & boat shaped. Thank goodness for the seasons!


Summer, what summer?

There can be no doubt about it 2012 has to be the worst year for weather on record. We have been flooded every month, only slightly but enough to shut down the boat hire. I think everybody in the country is feeling the blues after having no sun!

On the plus side Toad Hall & the Garden Room are open all year round so you can still come to the Boating Station & enjoy the peace & tranquility in the winter. Both buildings are well heated so you will be nice & cosy!The river is very beautiful in the autumn, most mornings there is a mist on the water & the swans seem to consider the Boating Station their winter home.

One very cold spell we ended up with a young swan on our balcony for two weeks. He was found wandering Forester Road in a bad state, but after being well fed & sleeping on cardboard he recovered enough to set off up the river again.

The restaurant is also open all year, (apart from 2 weeks in January). The Christmas market in Bath is something to look forward to open 22nd November to 9th December   well worth a visit & we still have some nights available.

The big refit now begins to get the boats ready for next year. Lots of sanding & varnishing, I might even get round to building another rowing punt.

The Mary, named after my mother, was launched earlier this year.  A beautiful double rowing punt built from Iroko with an aluminium bottom which is maintenance free. Built by my father Terry aged 80 (I might let him retire one day). We had a launching party in the restaurant, Ben & Rosie did a fantastic spread of food & it was a great day.

Weather permitting the motor boats will be running until December, this is possible thanks to the downstairs heated cabin, great for the passengers, not so good for the driver on the top deck in the cold. I say its character building, the drivers disagree.

So a long winter ahead! By the time I’ve varnished over 100 oars, paddles & punt poles I will be going slightly mad & will be fed up with my one sided conversations with Bob the swan.

So roll on spring when I can open again!