Cracking Crick


Phew! What a weekend we had at Crick Boat Show this weekend. Things really could not have gone any better.


We had a fabulous spot in the Waterways World Marquee (Stand 80) right on a corner in the middle of a busy thoroughfare and were surrounded by some fabulous exhibitors many of whom we met for the first time last year.  It was a very happy, buzzy atmosphere and we felt so incredibly lucky to be located where we were.

It was a real family affair too with all of us spending at least one day manning the stand. Carrie joined the team on the Saturday and made sure that our boat was ready to sail smoothly over the three day event.  And it did! Each one of us came back to HQ in Earls Barton feeling totally buoyed up by the response and interest we received from boaters who are either looking for new moorings or are planning to visit our tranquil and picturesque River Nene.  

We handed out loads of leaflets not just about White Mills Marina and what we have to offer, but also leaflets about the significance of our location right on the edge of a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Destination Nene Valley had given us a range of information highlighting what is good about the Nene Valley and River Nene, so we were armed with much more useful information this time around, which visitors really seemed to appreciate.  


Our enthusiasm and excitement for actually being lucky enough to run a marina has been injected with a huge amount of adrenaline thanks to the Crick Boat Show and which looks set to continue for many weeks and months to come. 

If you are planning to pop in and see us, then please do,  we would be thrilled to show you round and the kettle is always on. Don't forget we have an open day on Sunday 2nd July.


Views to savour





One of the loveliest things about White Mills is the stunning countryside that surrounds the marina.  



This was certainly brought home to us at the weekend when photographer Mike Long from Hi Pix Photography popped in to take some pictures. 




We are so lucky to have such fabulous views of uninterrupted countryside to enjoy. Who wouldn't be happy to come to work in a place like this everyday?


Early birds catch the chorus


Hats off to our bird enthusiasts who on Sunday rose at the crack of dawn to take part in National Dawn Chorus Day by going out for an early morning stroll with local bird enthusiast Ian Moore.


The team set off at 5am along the River Nene and headed towards Great Doddington, they did not have to walk far to be treated to a whole cocophony of different bird song. 

During the two hour walk, a whole range of different species of birds were identified purely by their individual songs. Amazing!

As everyone enjoyed it so much Ian has now agreed to host a butterfly and dragonfly walk in mid July which will be fabulous.  Spaces will be limited so if you want to secure your spot, then please contact the office asap.




And we are off!


Its now full steam ahead creating our  much anticipated facilities building, with work finally getting underway today.  Phase II of White Mills Marina development should be completed by the middle of July, so let us hope that we get some decent dry weather and everything goes according to plan.  None of this of course would be possible if we had not been lucky enough to secure European grant funding for 40% of the project from the Rural Payments Agency, the Rural Development Programme for England and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.  So a huge thanks once again for believing in our project.


First birthday celebrations


It must be an age thing when you find yourself always commenting about how quickly time flies,  so when 1st April came along, needless to say we could not believe that White Mills Marina has actually been up and running for twelve whole months!

To celebrate the occasion, we hosted an open weekend, erected a brand new roadside sign,  held a cake break in aid of our new charity of the year the Multiple Sclerosis Society which raised a fabulous £185.00 and then hosted a small 'drinks do' for our boating community which comprised prosecco (obviously) and a fabulousl cake. We were blessed with good weather which meant we could celebrate al fresco. I am not sure what we would have done if it had been raining, mind you. It was a really lovely event and one I suspect which will be repeated every year in one way or another.


With the EA licensing renewal up on 31st March we have said farewell to two or three boaters who wanted to move further afield, which was sad, however, thankfully and very happily we have welcomed and are looking forward to welcoming a whole host of new boaters to our community - which is really wonderful and something we still find very exciting. 

Latest news from the marina is that the super duper WiFi has now been installed, there are just a few tweaks to be made to ensure that everyone on site can receive it.   With regards to the facilities building, there has been a delay in kicking off construction mainly because we have made some minor changes.  Any alterations that are made to our original plans need to be passed by the Rural Payment Agency who approved our application for European funding. Hopefully all our ducks are now in a row, and we can get cracking within the next week or so. 

We are delighted that Carrie Hewitt has agreed to help us out more. Carrie will be working in the marina office full time as from the beginning of May.  Luckily for us, Carrie  not only shares our work ethic and ambition for White Mills to become a five star marina, but she also shares our sense of humour.


Well that is about it, forthcoming events  include another open day on Sunday 7th May 10am - 4pm and a dawn chorus walk along the River Nene on the same day at 5.30am with bird enthusiast Ian Moore.

At the end of the month, we will of course be exhibiting at Crick Boat Show over the bank holiday weekend, so we look forward to seeing you then!





Cancer charity benefits from marina donations

pancreatic_cancer_ uk_river nene_white_mills_marina

We were so thrilled when we counted up the cash in the Pancreatic Cancer UK charity collection box yesterday and discovered that we had raised a very respectable £180.00 over the past few months.

The money had been collected through donations via the Craft Fair in September, two charity quiz nights in the office along with the occasional donation from visitors to the marina office.

So a big thank you to everyone who kindly donated - it means an awful lot and as they say ..... every little helps. 

We have now chosen our charity for 2017/18 which is the Multiple Sclerosis Society - we will be kicking off fund raising by having an Easter egg raffle which will be drawn on Easter Saturday. Raffle tickets are on sale now in the office and cost just £1 per strip.



Marina of the month


We were so thrilled when Canal Boating Times approached us to see what we thought about being marina of the month in their January issue.  Of course we were absolutely delighted and accepted straight away. Of course we can not thank them enough for thinking of us, it is such a brilliant article and we are all so pleased with it, so we have to share it.  Another fabulous boost for 2017!

To check out January's edition of Canal Boating Times click here


Grant Success!


We have done it and it is official!

Our application for grant funding provided through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) under the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) 2014-2020, has been successful.

We can now crack on with Phase 2 of our development and erect a facilities building to accommodate ladies and gents toilets and showers as well as disabled facilities.  So a big and huge thank you to the EAFRD and RPA for believing in us.  It really is such a boost, and will of course mean that not only will we have a terrific meeting place for all our boaters and visitors but we will be able to host functions, events and really move the marina's social side forward.

It is hoped if everything goes according to plan, to have the facilities building up and running for 1st May, just 13 months after we officially opened for business as a fully operational marina on 1st April last year. We are so excited and thrilled.

Watch this space for all the very latest! What a terrific start to 2017.

Thanks to all our lovely media who continually support us - below are a couple of links to stories

Northamptonshire Telegraph

Northampton Chronicle and echo

Brief Report






Twitchers paradise

Picture taken by Martin Swannell

Picture taken by Martin Swannell

There has been great excitement on the birding front at the marina over the past few days.  It kicked off just after Christmas when some White Fronted Geese were spotted having a wonderful time,  and then yesterday a rare Cattle Egret was seen in a neighbouring field.  The sighting caused huge excitement within the local bird watching community with several bird watchers parking up, waiting and watching with long lenses in hand to record this unusual spectacle.

Picture taken by Nicholls of the Yard

Picture taken by Nicholls of the Yard

According to local sources,  it is only the 6th ever recorded sighting of a Cattle Egret in Northamptonshire, so it was a very special moment indeed.  The bird watchers are out in force again this morning, hoping to have yet another glimpse.   And then to round off the day yesterday, a visiting  bird watcher managed to snap an action shot of one of our three pairs of kingfishers who have made White Mills their home. How lucky are we?


Happy New Year!


Well here we are nearly a week into 2017 and already we have a lot to look forward to.  Not only will we be erecting our new facilities building in the Spring, which will include toilets, showers and disabled facilities as well as a spacious meeting place,  but we are also looking forward to adding a whole host of finishing touches to the marina, including extending the car park, upgrading the WiFi, finishing off the landscaping and investing in some bicycles and other recreational equipment.  Of course for us, none of it can come soon enough!

Once we have a completion date for the facilities building, then we will be in a position to arrange a number of events for our boating community at the marina. So as we keep saying, exciting times really are ahead. 

The very cold and dry spell we have had of late, has certainly inspired our photographic friends, with some amazing sunsets and sunrises being posted up on social media.  Kate Ashby NB Monkey Monkey has set up a White Mills Marina Boaters Group on facebook, so please do feel free to join this new hub, you never know what you might find out or see.

We would like to take this opportunity of wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. If anyone is thinking of taking up running as a New Year's Resolution, please let us know, as we have one or two people who are looking for some running buddies.




Merry Christmas


As we approach the big day this weekend, we would like to wish all our boaters and visitors to White Mills Marina a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

The support we have received from visitors, villagers and boaters over the past twelve months has been really encouraging and we are now looking forward to the start of 2017 with even more enthusiasm.  So thank you so much one and all!





What a squeeze!


Huge thanks to Bud Smith (nb My Girl) for hosting and organising our first Music Quiz last night.  We all had such fun.  What perhaps amazed us all most is that a staggering twenty six of us managed to squeeze into our little office!  The 100 questions that Bud posed were not quite as easy as we had anticipated, with many of us knowing the songs but not having a clue who the artist was!  Each person paid £2 to enter the competition, and we raised a very respectable £50 for our chosen charity Pancreatic Cancer. So well done everyone.


The winners of the night were team Marie Stella who walked away with a flagon of cider courtesy of Bud and Chris.   Everyone brought along their own nibbles and drinks, and all in all a great night was had by everyone.

Thank you to Carrie for instigating the evening -  and once again thank you to everyone who came along to make it such a success.



And the winner is........


Well what fun we have had over the past week or so as entries trickled in for our Great Pumpkin Challenge.  The enthusiasm and support for the challenge has been wonderful, and we felt really sorry for our lovely judge/neighbour Carol who kindly agreed to officiate.  It was a difficult task as every entry had its own fabulous quality. There were pumpkins that morphed into flower arrangements and beer coolers along with the traditional and miniscule pumpkins.  In the end it was Gary with his troll creation that won the trophy and bottle of fizz. His was a last minute entry, and the detail was most impressive.  


Now however we are left with a complete mystery, no one has any idea who created the magnificent narrowboat pumpkin which everyone totally admired. It mysteriously appeared outside the office one morning with no clue as to its creator.......  We are now on the case to track down our very own mystery carver. Sherlock Homes and Hercule Poirot would have a field day no doubt! oops and not forgetting Miss Marple of course!


Getting social!


It is nearly a month since our last blog .......totally unbelievable. Let us just hope the Winter months fly by as quickly as the Spring/Summer months have.


There is definitely a change in the air, and it is now beginning to feel more autumnal. It is hard to believe next week we will actually be turning the clocks back. We have just taken a large delivery of coal, (Excel and Supertherm), as well as kindling and firelighters, so if the temperature plummets then we will be well prepared.  We are absolutely loving seeing the smoke puffing out of chimneys when people first light their woodburners on their narrowboats.

The entrance to the car park has now been tarmaced, it has made a huge difference and looks very smart indeed. The team from Phoenix Paving were a really good bunch and went all out to make sure that everyone could access their vehicles with as much ease as possible. Our flower beds at the front have been extended slightly which now means a trip to the local garden centre.  However, this time around, we will have to make sure that we choose something that does not appeal to rabbits!


The other piece of pleasing news is that we are now officially a 'Certified Site' for the Camping and Caravanning Club, which means as from next May the camping area will only be available to members of the  C & C Club and we will only be able to accommodate six caravans and ten tents.  This we believe will help us to retain its tranquil and picturesque charm.

We have several new boaters we are looking forward to welcoming over the forthcoming weeks, and are now planning a few social events to both welcome them and to round off the rest of the year starting with our pumpkin challenge next week. Plans are afoot for a music quiz and an open house Christmas event which is yet to be finalised.  So there is a lot to look forward to.  

P.S. If you have any Christmas recipes you would like to share, then please do let us have them, so we can pop them on our Cooking on the Cut section of the website! 


Coffee morning success


A big thank you to everyone who supported our first coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support on Friday 30th September. We are thrilled to announce that from our humble little office we managed to raise a terrific £205 - which was wonderful.

With a fabulous array of cakes lovingly baked by some fab friends on offer and a terrific team washing up, serving and generally being hugely supportive, the event was a very happy one, to say the least.  Once again (and I know we grind on about the weather ALL the time) we were extremely lucky, the sun shone which meant that people could spill outside to enjoy their coffee and cake and admire the super views.

Star baker was Keith Grantham (nb Ouzel ll) who only arrived at the marina last week and still found the time to whip up a hugely popular tea cake.  Many thanks to Keith for jumping straight in. Keith's recipe will be posted up on the Cooking on the Cut section of this website shortly.

If you are planning to visit the marina during the winter months, please note that the office will be closed every Tuesday until April.  We will also be closing for lunch between 12.30 and 1.30 on weekdays only.  We are always contactable on the hotline 07802 890874. So if you need us - just call.




Nene Valley Festival success


Wow - what a fabulous day we had yesterday when we took part in the Nene Valley Festival by hosting a special open day and craft fair.

Being the new kids on the block, it was the first time we had dipped our toes in the water to participate in the week long festival and it really was a terrific success. In fact we now can not wait until next year, when hopefully our facilities building will be up and running allowing us to go all out and organise a bigger event or even a series of events!

Nancy_May _Crochet_River_Nene_Marina

I know we are always banging on about the weather, but my goodness me, we really were extremely lucky with it yesterday - the sun shone and there was not a drop of rain about. What really made the day was the selection of lovely craft stalls we had, small yet beautiful - there was canal art, upcycled denim, crocheting and photography, upcycled bottles, pet portraits as well as a spinning demonstration.  However it was the fabulous music by The Drifter that really helped to set the scene. Throughout the day, Haydn played some fabulous tunes on his guitar which all of our numerous visitors clearly enjoyed.

All in all a great day which was rounded off by a very relaxed and thoroughly enjoyable BBQ for all our regular moorers. 

Thanks to everyone who rolled up their sleeves and got involved.