World Coal-Boating News


Congratulations to Ryan Dimmock of “Southern Cross” fame, on being announced “Coal-Boater of the Year” at the recent gathering at Stoke Bruerne. The announcement was made over the Tannoy by that well known and respected commentator, Norman Mitchell, to the bemusement of the massed crowds. It seems that Ryan beat off almost no competition, and was awarded the plaudit by unanimous decision of the judging panel - one R.Dimmock esq. 

When asked if the award would change his life, Mr Dimmock is quoted as saying “Too bloody right it will. I would like to travel the world, and be an ambassador for the British coal-boating industry. I would also like a fast car, a fast boat (a Josher, obviously), and more money than anyone else in the world. I would also like to be allowed to live in the other end of this boat.”

21 YEARS-1

In other news, our own Publicity and Advertising Foundry has been busy producing a new logo to highlight the passing of our twenty-one years in the coal-boating game. This was produced just in time to miss the repainting last year of our flag-ship “Roach”, which is a shame, as it would have looked good on the side of our cabin.

This logo was produced by the high-end agency of Langford and Associates, whose prestigious office suite at Ryford Steam Printing Mills is at the beating heart of the Great British Coal Boat world awareness campaign. Mr Langford clearly has nothing better to do.

Below is some more of the prodigious output from the Publicity and Advertising Works - take note and order early!



Well, who would have thought it, there I was, peddling my wares at Crick Boat Show. Not really my scene at all, but the chance of a small display space came up at the last minute, courtesy of Steve Wedgwood of Kings Lock Chandlery, so I thought that I might as well take it and see what transpired. 

Off I went to the camping shop and bought a “pop-up" tent for about thruppence-ha’penny, together with a three-eighths of an inch thick piece of foam, which was advertised as “used by the military’. It may well have been, but clearly not for sleeping on. I also made up a chalk-board advertising hoarding from an old bit of plywood. I have to say that I was very pleased with the result of my handiwork.


The show itself was exactly what I expected - loads of people mooching around aimlessly, just like the sea-front at Blackpool on a wet Wednesday, and loads more people who were there with the sole purpose of checking out the new boats on display. I was astonished to find that viewing of the new boats was generally by prior appointment only, such was the demand. There is certainly no let-up in the market for them. All the second-hand (sorry, pre-owned) boat brokers there appeared to be doing a brisk trade too. 


The beer tent, however, was another matter entirely. Over forty real-ales were on offer, and all of them (that I tried at any rate) were good. Some of them (that I tried more than once) were very good, and all were sourced from local breweries. Music was provided in the beer tent as well, a mixed bag of entertainment, but some of it excellent. The bill was topped on Sunday night by Hazel O’Connor, and very good she was too. Even Phil Speight, curmudgeon that he is, agreed that she wasn’t bad.  It was a shame that Jenny wasn’t around to share the delights of Crick, but we had fifty-odd tonnes of coal on the yard that needed bagging, so obviously, she had to stay and do that.

The first day of the show saw me sporting my mill-clogs; I wear these around the yard as they are very comfortable to work in. They are no good for boating in though - steel-shod wooden soles and steel decks don’t go together. I thought that wearing these would be innocuous enough, but I did not foresee the metal walkways that had been provided all round the show-ground. I sounded like a complete cavalry regiment trotting along. My rubber-soled boots were in evidence thereafter. 


I was very well looked after by Steve and Sheena, being fed by them every morning. I think that this was because of the laughter of their kids at my tent; “You’ll never fit in there”; “How can you get dressed in there?” etcetera. More mirth ensued when it was discovered that I had broken the zip whilst getting up for a wee in the middle of the first night. It’s a good job that it didn’t rain much.

All in all, I’m pleased that Steve invited me, and I think that it generated a reasonable amount of interest in our business. As they say, time will tell.

The tent, by the way, is now in the bin! © John Jackson 2014