Listers at Aldeburgh

Because I have an early January birthday, last week we took advantage of a post-Christmas deal at The Ship at Dunwich to enjoy a short break on the Suffolk coast. The weather was kind enough to us and we enjoyed some excellent walks across Dunwich Heath, through RSPB Minsmere, around Dingle Marsh and, of course, along the beach. We were lucky enough to spot a pair of grey seals, one of which was close to the shore surfing.

Surfing Grey Seal at Dunwich

We visited Aldeburgh and for a while the grey skies lifted. A couple of small fishing boats, that have seen better days, were hauled up on the beach along with some boats that are operational.

Fishing Boats at Aldeburgh

Two-cylinder Lister diesel engines is old fishing boats at Aldeburgh
(presumably 2STW)

The break was just what we needed after a hectic Christmas. The Ship at Dunwich certainly has a lot going for it as a walking holiday location and the hospitality is great. It is also a pub that is popular with dog-owners. 

There was an usually high-tide during our stay and at Orford the sea was lapping at the top of the sea defences. The quay, where a boat takes summer visitors to the Ness, was well under water.

Orford Ness Quay under water at High Tide

Shore cafe just above water

Merry Christmas Everyone


from Yardley Gobion

Christmas Tree on Microsoft Windows 10 October 2018 Update

No not this year - a few years back!

Red Diesel Theft Gayton Marina

Living close to Gayton Marina and Blisworth Arm, I received the following message through our local Neighbourhood Watch and thought it might help to post it.

Message Type Icon

Northamptonshire Police are appealing for information.
There has been a Theft of Red Diesel which occurred Gayton Marina, Blisworth Arm, taken from boats and a crane used on site.
This happened between 01:00-02:00 Friday 21st December 2018

Did you witness anything?
Did you see any person(s) in the area that looked suspicious?
Did you see any vehicle(s) that you were suspicious of?
If so, then please contact Northamptonshire Police on 101
REF 18000619966
You can also provide confidential information should you wish to remain anonymous. These calls can be made to the Independent Charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
101 is the number to use to report incidents and for general enquiries. In an emergency dial 999.
In an emergency, when there is a crime in progress or a life at risk, always call 999.

To report a crime or incident, provide information or for advice, call 101 or visit
To contact your Neighbourhood Team covering Towcester and surrounding villages they can be contacted on the following email:
You can also provide confidential information should you wish to remain anonymous.  These calls can be made to the Independent Charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit

Progress on the New Milton Keynes Marina

Since we've been back home the new Campbell Wharf Marina near the city centre in Milton Keynes has been coming on a pace.  Our monthly walking group held its annual Christmas Dinner at The Barge Woolstone in Milton Keynes on Tuesday. As is customary for our group we had a walk in the morning and it included a section in Campbell Park.

New marina with jetties being installed

From the park it was possible to see the progress being made with jetties being installed. I see from their web site video that yesterday they installed the footbridge across the Grand Union.

The walk around Campbell Park and beyond (about 7 miles) was very pleasant with the recent rains abating and very little wind.

A couple of obligatory group photos in Campbell Park

Bed Storage Project

Storage on narrowboats, irrespective of their length, is always valuable. Our double bed, which is 4 ft wide and therefore technically a "small double", sat on a fixed base. Originally the storage under the bed consisted of a box stretching across half the bed and accessible via two drop down flaps, and two modest drawers strategically positioned  at the end of the bed (where there is a small alcove adjacent to the Alde heating and one of our two wardrobes).

The bed base on Albert was originally constructed from wooden slats. Soon after purchasing Albert I discovered that half the area under the bed base was unused and the space wasted. Getting access to this area was simple - I just cut the slats in half and lifted them out position whenever I needed access. Thus was born Albert's deep storage.

However, the physical effort to gain access was considerable because it required lifting and removing the heavy mattress. Over the years this deep storage has become invaluable, particularly for bedding and duvets, but the effort involved became a chore. Recently, with the change from summer to autumn boating, and the need to accommodate some extra bedding for our grandchildren, we accessed the deep storage on several occasions and it became irksome, so I began to contemplate improving access to the whole of the under bed area.

My concept was for a lifting solid base using gas struts that would allow for easy access to both sides of the bed. I chose 18 mm thick plywood sheeting for the base and used the cutting service at B & Q to get it accurately cut to the bed aperture. The next stage was to provide suitable ventilation via a series 48 x 70 mm holes cut by hole-saw. It took most of an afternoon to carry this out tedious task but I was pleased with the result.

Ventilated Bed Base

To provide lift (and support) I chose two locking gas struts hinges from SGS. The weight to be lifted is required for specifying the struts. In this case the mattress weight was not easy to obtain. We purchased our mattress in 2016 from John Lewis but strangely the don't regularly provide mattress weights. It took some phone calls and a couple of days before I eventually got hold of a furniture specialist who provided the data. Our mattress weighs in at 24 kg and the base 18 kg.

Fitting the hinges required some physical effort because of the size and weight of the board and aligning the hinges was not simple but I achieved it using the instructions from SGS. Once in place the hinges worked well, so now we can get to deep storage without great effort.

("normal" left & what was "deep" to the right)

SGS Locking Gas Strut Hinge