College students help out again!

 

It is almost three years to the day that students from Moulton College first came to carry out tree surgery in the camping area of the marina .

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So it was wonderful today to welcome a new team of fresh faced students all of whom braved strong winds to scale the tall trees so they could cut out dead wood and cut back large overhanging branches.

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Fortunately apart from the wind, the day was perfect, and the team looked as though they thoroughly enjoyed themsleves. At lunch time there was a well deserved break on the decking outside the boathouse, which gave them all a chance to enjoy a cuppa and some cake #brewwithaview.

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Huge thanks once again to Moulton College for their support, and hopefully, weather permitting, we will see you all again tomorrow.



 

New Year New You!

 

Have you always wanted to learn how to Nordic Walk?  Well if you have, then we are pleased to announce that the boathouse is now hosting regular Nordic Walking sessions.  The classes which start on Thursday 17th January with Kev from Nordic Walking Northampton will be mixed ability and suitable for all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels.  Its a great way to get fit and it uses up a surprising number of calories too.

Anyone interested in becoming part of the boathouse Nordic Walking team should contact Kevin on 07958 365914

 

Christmas Office hours

The hours the marina office will be open are to be reduced over Christmas and New Year. The office hours are different to the boathouse and these will be posted separately to avoid confusion.

White Mills Marina office Christmas opening hours

White Mills Marina Office opening hours
Monday 24th December - Christmas Eve - 10am - 2pm
Tuesday 25th December - Christmas Day - CLOSED
Wednesday 26th December - Boxing Day - CLOSED
Thursday 27th December - 10am - 2pm
Friday 28th December - 10am - 2pm
Saturday 29th December 10am - 2pm
Sunday 30th December 10am - 2pm
Monday 31st December 10am - 2pm
Tuesday 1st January - CLOSED

Boathouse opening hours


Monday 24th December - Christmas Eve - 10am - 2pm
Tuesday 25th December - Christmas Day - CLOSED
Wednesday 26th December - Boxing Day - CLOSED
Thursday 27th December - CLOSED
Friday 28th December - CLOSED
Saturday 29th December - 10am - 4pm
Sunday 30th December - 10am - 4pm
Monday 31st December - 10am - 2pm
Tuesday 1st January - CLOSED


And we are winners!!!

 
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Well, well , well who would have thought this morning when we were getting ready to go to the Wellingborough Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Business Awards at Wellingborough Golf Club, that we would actually be successful and come away winners? Well we did, and we still can not believe it!

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After a couple of unsuccessful nominations for two other awards, (although we did make it through to the finals in both) winning this really lovely local award means the world to our team. Heaven knows how we would react to an Oscar!

To win the Services Business of the Year Award today of all days, could not have been better timed either, as tomorrow we celebrate the first birthday of our lovely boathouse,

Actually it has been a full on week, on Wednesday we hosted our first ever boaters Christmas craft fair which was well supported and really rather lovely too. There was a fabulous buzz in the boathouse all day, which was very exciting in so many ways.

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Then this evening we have our first themed Supper Club which sees the boathouse transformed into Bombay Boathouse. Carrie and the team have worked incredibly hard to transform the

boathouse into an intriguing and utterly stunning Indian restaurant. Lets hope they all have a great time.

Finally, tomorrow to celebrate the boathouse’s first birthday everyone who has any refreshments at the marina will be entered into a prize draw to win a totally gorgeous home made birthday cake for them to take home. And then in the evening to kick off advent we are hosting our own Christmas tree switch on, again in the boathouse, and serving mulled wine and mince pies!

This special evening will also herald the start of our boat advent calendar which will see a different boat switch on its Christmas lights each night in the run up to Christmas Day. The idea has certainly captured the imagination of some of our boaters, so we are thoroughly looking forward to seeing the results of their endeavours!

Yup! You have guessed it we are going crackers over Christmas!

 

CCTV Update

 

After a couple of months of planning and tapping into Gary’s expertise and extensive knowledge of CCTV we now have a top notch CCTV system installed across the marina.

The idea of installing CCTV is not to “spy” on people, but more to act as a deterrent to opportunists and to provide our boaters with additional security. The cameras have all been strategically placed to give reassurance that movements are being continuously monitored and recorded across the marina, so should anything untoward occur then it will have been captured on film.

 

Cosying up!

 

The boathouse is looking forward to welcoming customers SIX days a week this winter and already has lots of lovely snuggly rugs for visitors who fancy cozying up and enjoying its gorgeous atmosphere and wonderful views that can only be enjoyed at White Mills Marina!

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Over the past week customers have been digging deep, buying poppies to decorate our special remembrance tree and it looks really lovely. Tomorrow 11th November at 11am we will remember all those who perished in the wars in our own small way by stopping, standing still and remembering during two minutes of silence. Please do come and join us.

It is amazing to think it was only just over a week ago when the very same tree was covered with spiders, cobwebs and bats! We really can not thank our customers enough for being so supportive and transforming the tree so quickly.

Which reminds me to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for us in the Northampton Life Cafe of the Year. Sadly it wasn’t to be our time, we are still very much a new business, and have only been open six days a week since May - so we we have to be realistic and not expect miracles!

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Looking ahead Carrie and her team have one or two events organised over the next few weeks. On Wednesday 28th November, the boathouse is hosting a crafting event and will be selling a whole range of lovingly made handmade goods. It is the first time that we will have hosted anything like this before, and if it is successful, is definitely something that will be repeated. Again please do join us.

On Friday 30th November its Bombay Boathouse as Carrie and Sam give the boathouse a complete make over for the night by hosting their first Supper Club. The clue to the theme is definitely in the name! Tickets are limited to just 30, they cost £27.50 each and include a complimentary Bombay Gin on arrival! Look forward to seeing you there!

 

Winter Hours

 
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Don’t forget the clocks go back tonight by one hour. Putting back the clocks means that as from 1st November, we will be changing our opening hours to our Winter Opening hours. So from Thursday the marina office will now be open from 9am to 4pm (closed for lunch 1pm - 2pm) Wednesday - Monday. Please do not forget that the entire marina including the boathouse is closed on a Tuesday.

 

Every cloud.......

 
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We may not have returned home with any silverware from the Rural Business Awards recently, but we were absolutely tickled pink to discover just a day or so later that one of our lovely regular boathouse customers had nominated the boathouse for the Northampton Life Cafe of the Year award. We are now in the last five which is very exciting indeed, and what is particularly lovely is everything about the competition is customer lead. A video of our fabulous little cafe was taken earlier this week, and folks just have up until the end of next week to vote. So fingers crossed we come out on top, which would be a terrific accolade for Carrie and her team.

 

We may not be winners but we certainly aren't losers!

 
 
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To say we were not disappointed not to have been a winner or at least a runner up at last nights Rural Business Awards would be quite an understatement!

On the way up to Nottingham, there was definitely a buzz of excitement in our six seater cab as we honestly felt we had an outside chance of becoming at least a runner up. However as the night progressed and we saw the calibre of other entries, I think we all knew deep down that it would take a miracle for us to win a prize, especially as we are still so very much a new business. Even so, in these sorts of situations, you prepare yourself for the worst but secretly hope for the best, so we were, all five of us rather gutted.

The evening itself was a fairly jolly affair, and we were lucky enough to share a table with some very nice folks from Fisher German, who were one of the sponsors of the awards. They certainly helped to lift our spirits once the results had been announced.

Even though we did not come away winners, we may have been down but we certainly weren’t out, and anyway it was lovely for John, myself, and Ben to have an evening out with Carrie and Gary. So there’s our positive!

 
 

Lots to do!

 
 

I absolutely can’t believe its the second of October already - its really not that long until Christmas. I hadn’t given “IT” much thought until yesterday when Carrie said she was going to try and get her Christmas shopping done today!

Anyway there is a lot going on at the marina before then. We are all super excited as next Thursday we are off to the the Rural Business Awards in Nottingham. We are on the shortlist of finalists, so we will be donning our best dresses and dinner jackets and heading up the M1 to attend the awards dinner and to see whether we have won any silverware or not. Fingers crossed we have!

Closer to home, there is a cheese and wine this Thursday evening in the boathouse, we have linked up with the delightful, local, family run Insurance company Assist Insurance who are hosting the evening and hopefully answering people’s insurance related questions.

On Saturday 13th October, again in the boathouse, Gary is back as quiz master with the White Mills Marina quiz night. Gary took over the role of quiz master last year and clearly loves putting everyone through their paces. The cost of entering is £3 per person with teams of four. Usually, everyone takes along their own refreshments, which is all very convivial.

At the end of the month it is our annual pumpkin challenge which will take place outside the boathouse on Wednesday 31st October. Since we started the challenge two years ago, the winners have been men, so we are hoping that this year one of the ladies will be victorious.

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Heading towards Christmas we are introducing a boat lighting up advent calendar. From 1st December until Christmas Eve at 6pm every night a different boat across the marina will have its own big switch on. This is really capturing everyone’s imaginations and we are all getting mega excited. The lighting up will kick off with the boathouse switch on on Saturday 1st December at a Mulled Wine and Mince Pie evening at 6pm,

Oh yes - this picture was taken last week - we really are filling up rather nicely aren’t we?

As you can see there is lots to do - Must dash!

 

What a weekend!

 
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There is always something rather lovely about the last Friday of September - the date for the Macmillan Coffee Morning. It is not just the build up to the day we find exciting but the actual day itself is fabulous too its a sort of combination of a carnival atmosphere combined with the serious work of raising money for a truly fabulous cause, and what is particularly wonderful is that everyone seems to want to join in, one way or another.

And this year we had a great time, our coffee morning ran all day and the atmosphere was terrific. We had quietly hoped that we would top £500.00 - so when we counted up the cash yesterday we were all completely overwhelmed to discover that we had in fact raised £663.00. How amazing is that?

What a brilliant result. So thank you everyone for your support and for help making our special coffee morning so successful. In the picture is Carrie with star baker Lynne Smith and her winning buns !

Don’t forget same time, same place next year!

 

News Flash!

 
 
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Exciting news! Hello the delightful 60ft trad stern narrowboat we have on brokerage with Boatfinder Brokerage Services has just been reduced and is now £54,995.  If you are looking for a well loved sail away, then you could not do much better than Hello, its in great condition, and has some really excellent space saving ideas - for more information please contact Boatfinder to arrange a viewing

Still a few weeks left to enjoy our campsite.

 

These blogs are a bit like a bus, you wait ages for one, and then you get two together!  

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Anyway a quick update about our camping site. Our first year properly functioning as a Certificated Camping and Caravanning Club site, has been a huge success, with everyone pledging to come back and stay again next year, which is great news!

If you are a member of the Camping and Caravanning Club and fancy a few days away whilst the weather is still fine, and the evenings relatively long, then you still have about 8 weeks left until we close for the Winter. So don't hesitate,  come and see for yourself just how pretty our camping area is.  A warm welcome awaits.

We have listened to feed back, and next year we are going to provide a dedicated dish washing area, in fact, our creative juices have already been working over time, and we are rather looking forward to creating something that we can mobilise quickly should the River Nene flood..... watch this space!

In the picture above are a group of boaters who visited White Mills for their annual BBQ earlier in the Summer- and the  feed back we received from them was fantastic.  Roll on next May!

 

Sam joins the boathouse team

 
 
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We were really thrilled when Sam Holmes agreed to join the boathouse crew as assistant Catering Manager.  Not only is Sam a very positive, and happy person but she has a real enthusiasm and passion for baking and cooking , which we know our regulars are already enjoying. 

Sam has worked in the catering industry for several years and what she admits to loving the most (apart from  working with the team of course) are her new surroundings over looking our gorgeous marina!.

In the few short weeks she has been at the boathouse at White Mills,  Sam has already established herself as part of the team.  So welcome to Sam who is pictured with Catering Manager Carrie.

 

Another boat to add to our sales fleet

 

We could not have been more sad than when two of our boaters decided that the time had come to sell their absoultely adorable 45 ft boat - Spring of '94.

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"It has hardly been used" we wailed, "You can't sell it, we love having you with us, and besides we absolutely adore your boat!"

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Spring_of_94_white_mills_marina_river_nene_for_sale

 

Some times things happen and decisions have to be made, so we are thrilled (sort of) to have another narrowboat available at the marina.  What perhaps excites us most is the challenge of finding just the right person for this gorgeous, well presented, little boat which by the way is in immaculate condition, and would make a perfect sail away. 

 

Here are just a few pictures to tempt you.  Also don't forget we still have the very delicious Hello available too.  It is certainly a gem of a boat, and again well worth having a look at.

If you are interested, don't forget to give us a call - 01604 812057

 

 

 

Hello - We have a boat for sale

With the demand for pre loved narrowboats still very high indeed, we coud not be more delighted to have at long last, another boat up for sale.

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The 60ft trad stern boat is in immaculate condition and has been incredibly well looked after by its owner, in fact for those wanting to get cruising this Summer it would make a perfect sailaway.

Now this is the bit you could not make up, named Hello, our new brokerage  boat is moored next to (wait for it) ......... NB Dolly - yup you've guessed it #hello dolly!!!!

If you fancy taking a look or would like further details, then please do get in touch, as we think that it will be goodbye to hello very soon.

Call 01604 812057 and ask for Gary or Debbie

We are finalists!

 
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We have never entered a competition in our lives, so it has come as an absolutely wonderful surprise this morning to discover that we have been shortlisted in the Midlands Best Rural Tourism Business category of the Rural Business Awards 2018/19!

The final round of judging takes place in a months time and then the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 11th October at Eastwood Hall in Nottingham. So fingers crossed we tick all the boxes (and more) to be winners.

Its all very exciting!  I might just  have to buy a new dress!!! 

 

 

Grand Prix - we still have some camping pitches available

 
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We always seem to forget just how handy we are for Silverstone race circuit, it really is not very far at all, just a quick zip up to Junction 15a of the MI, cross over the roundabout and onto the A 43 and you are there.   And the great news is, if you are looking for some camping over the Grand Prix weekend (5th - 8th July), then we still have spaces available. 

Being a certificated Camping and Caravanning Club site means that we can accommodate five caravans and ten tents.So our camping area will never be over crowded and the other thing is the caravanning pitches all have hook ups too now.

The cost per caravan including hook up is £20.00, without hook up £15.00 and tents start at £12.00.

To reserve your pitch - call 01604 812057

The boys did good!

 
 
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The success of the Crick Boat Show this year, could definitely not be attributed to John and myself, but instead to our three lads Sam, Ben and Joe who between them manned our beautifully proportioned stand in the Waterways World Marquee for the entire three days. 

We meanwhile were in position back at base, ready and waiting for visitors to Crick to visit us too, and they did! In fact we were kept very busy indeed showing potential boaters around the marina as well as introducing them to the team in the boathouse.

Actually, I have told a bit of a white lie, we did manage to whizz over to Crick for a couple of hours on the first day. It was lovely to see so many people we knew. From passing visitors who have popped into the marina over night, through to boaters who have boats currently being built and are due to moor with us very soon.  It was really lovely.

The only down side of the boat show was that White Mills Marina was mistakenly omitted from the exhibitors list which resulted in some boaters thinking we were not exhibiting at the show - perish the thought.! We absolutely love exhibiting at Crick, and cannot ever imagine not supporting such a fabulous boat show.  So whilst it was disappointing, it has not put us off from planning for next year.

Looking ahead in the short term, we are now looking forward to welcoming some of the visitors to our stand at Crick to our next Open Day at White Mills on Sunday 1st July. 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Fenced in

 
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The fine weather over the past few weeks, (not taking into account the weather over the past couple of days mind you) has really allowed us to get on and tick a few of those boxes that had increased in numbers over the Winter. 

So when local family fencing company, Countrywide Fencing turned up a couple of weeks ago, we were so pleased because it meant that the post and rail fences and gates we had promised our boaters were about to be erected.

And the top team did not waste any time at all, the entire job was done in just over 24 hours with the finished article looking absolutely terrific.  The feedback we have had from all our boaters has been very positive indeed, so its a double whammy all round, happy boaters and an additional layer of security - thumbs up!