Picking up the Boat

Saturday 6th September

We were heading off to Bradford-on-Avon and the newish Black Prince base there.

Our allotted pick up was not until 14.30, so with time on our hands we arrived early and headed out to the Bradford-on-Avon marina end of town and have a look along the canal around there. There was a wonderful old? narrowboat passing us with a lovely old Lister going thump thump thump thump!

Grey Hare

Grey Hare

We then headed on over to Frome Road Wharf ,to get going on our holiday.

Well not impressed to say the least with the customer experience there.

We arrived and parked up and headed to reception no-one inside outside it appeared all the staff were gathered around a picnic table and indeed we found out they were!

So we hovered inside for maybe 10 minutes not a titter I peered outside at them  not a word! So there was nothing for it but to ask “anyone manning reception for Black Prince?” A lady spoke Collette I got a feeling her name was the stand in manager “be with you in a minute” (coffee/fag break it was) Umm eventually we get attended to I sign the hire agreement and we are shown across to Ena our boat for the week.

We were left a while to load all our kit aboard, which was easy enough then the of the 3 boats moored together the inside one was ready to depart so off they went then the outside one and we were left awaiting our departure.

We waited far to long, the staff had regained their picnic table coffee/fag break position, it was obvious we were stood by the boat waiting for attention! I noted the water gauge was just above empty so again I headed over to reception to see if it was ok to fill it. Colette came over couldn’t understand why it had not been done. Well I knew because they were to lazy . She said she would get one of her staff over and shouted for a lad he was to busy chatting and drinking coffee to hear, I said “don’t worry I’ll do it it will be quicker “. That ongoing I asked to be shown around the boat which she did as much as she knew but couldn’t show us all things engine related that would have to be someone else. So after a lengthy chat! Off she went to find someone Aimee eventually arrives I may have even had to go over and prompt that I don’t quite remember. So we get shown the mechanics and engine running we are ready for the off but Aimee has to get me to sign over I’ve been shown through everything but she didn’t bring over her pad so off she goes to find that!
On her return she asks if we need her to come along for some tuition I say that I would . So as we are heading of the opposite way we are facing we need to wind (turn round). She suggests putting the bow against the bank and pivoting the stern around. I do ok at this considering I’ve not been at the helm of a narrowboat for about 28 years. Aimee says just on completion of the turn that I’m an old hand and if I’m ok she’ll get off! Well full of confidence I drift over to a moored hire boat and she steps off 1 1/2 hours after arriving a joke!

Waiting aloooooong time for the off! Last boat left to leave!

Waiting aloooooong time for the off! Last boat left to leave!

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