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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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!

 

Hooked up!

 

Well we got there in the end, and it was only the very soggy conditions that caused the delay in installing hook ups in our camping area.

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We are thrilled to say that White Mills now boasts a total of eight hook ups, so whether you are in a tent or a caravan/camper you will always be able to have the option of accessing  electricity.

It has really surprised us how word has spread that we now have hook ups as the phone has been red hot!  Booking ahead is certainly advisable.  Hope to see you soon.

By the way the cost of a camper/caravan with hook up is £20 per night.  Tents from £12.00 per night.

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Full steam ahead for boathouse

 
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When we decided to open the marina six days a week, we thought we should kick it off from 1st May, how typical was it therefore, to discover after broadcasting it to all and sundry, that 1st May was a Tuesday - the one day of the week that the marina and the boathouse is closed! So we were one day late officially launching the boathouse's extended hours to six days a week.  Not that it seems to have mattered at all, as we have had a steady flow of visitors throughout the past three days. 

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And to coincide with our new opening hours, we took delivery today of six rather lovely and incredibly sturdy benches which have now been given pride of place on the decking outside the boathouse. Visitors this Summer will be able to enjoy the stunning views over the marina and beyond whilst drinking superb coffee and indulging in some very delicious, freshly prepared refreshments.  So remember if you are planning a visit to the River Nene at White Mills lock in Earls Barton, do pop in and see Carrie and the team at the boathouse, but please do not forget that the marina and the boathouse are both closed on a Tuesday. 

 

Open Day this Sunday

 
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Lifting  the Strong Stream advice today could not have come at a better time, as this Sunday 6th May we have our first Open Day of the year, and it would have been pretty miserable if there was no activity along our beautiful crystal clear river Nene.

Just by lowering the red Strong Stream flag and replacing it with the green one, seems to have injected an abundance of energy all round, with boaters setting off on their Summer travels and short weekend breaks. 

Its lovely when people go off  because they come back with interesting stories of their adventures. Let us hope we have seen the last of that red flag until much later on in the year and we can crack on and enjoy the river and all that it has to offer.  Happy boating folks!

 

Want to stay friends?

 
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The new general data protection regulations that come into play at the end of this month have meant that we have had to restablish a connection with all the lovely folks we have met over the past three years to see if they still want to be friends and receive our regular newsletter and updates.


Just so you know, for those who want to continue hearing from us, all they now have to do is to opt in again and resubscribe by either filling the form out on our website or emailing us at info@whitemillsmarina.co.uk.

For those who don't want to keep in touch, then it could not be easier, they do not need to do a thing and will be removed from our database automatically.

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