Nutfield on the Wendover Arm

Nutfield approaching Tringford Stop Lock

Nutfield approaching Tringford Stop Lock

On Sunday 19th February our motor boat Nutfield carried a small party of Wendover Arm Trust members on the three-mile round trip from Bulbourne Junction to the present limit of navigation and back.

While Raymond has been getting a new cabin in the dry dock at Marsworth Top Lock, Nutfield has become a familiar sight tied alongside the wharf at Bulbourne. Although the work on Raymond is now finished the boats are stuck there until the stoppage at Stoke Bruerne ends in mid-March. But as things have turned out, it has offered the chance for an unexpected adventure.

Nutfield needs regular runs during the winter so the boats being at Bulbourne presented a golden opportunity to give the engine a workout on the Wendover Arm – something we would never normally have time for as we hurry past on our annual journeys to and from the Rickmansworth Festival.

With the help of FoR members Roger and Diana Golder who are also members of the Wendover Arm Trust a number of WAT members were invited to come along, an offer they were delighted to accept as a working boat in full trim is not an everyday sight on their stretch of canal.

FoR and WAT members before setting off

FoR and WAT members before setting off

We believe British Waterways stored Nutfield in the Wendover Arm for a time in the 1960s before leasing it to Blue Line, but it is quite likely that the boat never had cause to navigate the arm on any other occasion. So this was something of a voyage of discovery. And the first thing Nutfield discovered on entering the arm soon after 9 o’clock on Sunday morning was that the bottom is a little too near the top – a situation not helped by the level on the Tring Summit being well below maximum. But apart from ploughing a deep furrow, Nutfield made steady progress with FoR Boat Manager Nick Scarcliffe at the tiller and the trip passed off without mishap.

Nick Scarcliffe (steering) and Roger Golder

Nick Scarcliffe (steering) and Roger Golder

Passing Heygate’s flour mill on the return journey

Passing Heygate’s flour mill on the return journey

Back at Bulbourne WAT Chairman Chris Sargeant awarded Nutfield the Wendover Arm Trust’s plaque for successfully navigating the arm and thanked The Friends of Raymond for giving them the opportunity to take part in it. “It was a brilliant chance to experience a trip in an original working boat with an expert skipper on a challenging, winding stretch of canal,” he said.

Members of the Wendover Arm Trust and The Friends of Raymond after the trip with Nick Scarcliffe holding the Wendover Arm plaque

Members of the Wendover Arm Trust and The Friends of Raymond after the trip with Nick Scarcliffe holding the Wendover Arm plaque

The trip was a great success for The Friends of Raymond too as it was not only a chance to boldly go right to the limit of the restored section where Nutfield has certainly never gone before but it also allowed us to make new friends in the Wendover Arm Trust and forge a relationship with a like-minded organisation that we hope can be maintained to the benefit all in the future.

Friends Work Party This Weekend

This Saturday 4th February, following the recent dry dock work there will be a work party to prepare Raymond prior to being moved backed to Braunston in March.

Meeting Point: Grand Junction Arms Public House Car Park, Bulbourne at 10:00am (Sat Nav: HP23 5QE)

Please wear clothes, footwear and gloves appropriate for handling cloths, ropes etc.

If you wish to join us, please contact Diana Golder (Email:

Steve Miles

Updated with funeral service arrangements

It is with great sadness that Friends of Raymond has learnt today of the sudden passing of our former Chair and Trustee, Steve Miles.

Steve was a well known face in the canal world as author of the Jess Carter books and leading light in the charity being instrumental in introducing many new people to FoR, imparting his knowledge and expertise to new and existing members and a good friend to us all.

He will be greatly missed by all at the Members, Officers and Trustees of Friends of Raymond and Nutfield.

A funeral service will be held on Tuesday 13th December at 2.00pm at Banbury Crematorium, Hardwick Hill, Southam Road, Banbury, OX16 1ST.

Please do not send flowers.

An appreciation by Mike Freeman can be found here

Raymond Is Heading South

On Saturday 5th November Nutfield and our “boat moving team” will begin the challenge of towing Raymond from Braunston to Tring for essential restoration to Raymond’s cabin.  This is a major project that will involve the replacement of the existing wooden outer cabin, interior restoration, new paintwork and sign writing throughout December.

All of this work is necessary to preserve Raymond for years to come. It is being funded from generous donations and fund raising from our Patron, Members and the Public over recent years.

The boats will be setting off from Braunston Marina at 9am heading through Braunston Locks, Braunston Tunnel and the Long Buckby flight by the end of the day.  They are expected to arrive in Tring by the end of November.

If you would like to support this project and others we have planned in the future, we are always looking for new members with an interest in working boat heritage.  You can join us online for just £10 per year.


Nutfield Docking Weekend

Nutfield will be in dry dock at Braunston Marina over the weekend of 15th and 16th October 2016.

Jobs to do include hull survey, rust treatment, corrosion prevention and blacking.

You are welcome to come and see the work being carried out by our Members.

For more details contact Diana Golder ( or Nick Scarcliffe.

More Events Added for 2016

We have been invited to attend two additional events this year:

On the August Bank Holiday Weekend (27th – 29th) we will be moored at the Canal Museum in Stoke Bruerne.  Our gift shop will be open and guided tours of Raymond will be available to the Public.

On 10th – 11th September, Nutfield and Raymond will be on display at the Saltisford Arm in Warwick.  Everyone is welcome.

Volunteering in July and August

We are looking for volunteers to help with boat moving and event support at the three events following the Braunston Historic Show this weekend.

Cosgrove 16th & 17th July

The plan is:

Saturday 2nd July depart from Braunston Marina at 2.00pm stopping at Weedon overnight and departing from there at 9.00am on Sunday 3rd July arriving at Blisworth at approx 12.30pm.

Saturday 9th July or Sunday 10th July (day to be confirmed) depart from Blisworth at 9.00am arriving at Cosgrove 1.00pm – 2.00pm.

Linslade  30th July

Details to be confirmed.

Blisworth  13th & 14th August

Details to be confirmed.

If you are available and interested in helping, please contact Diana at

Foxton Locks Festival starts tomorrow

If you are visiting the Foxton Locks Festival, please come and say hello to the team on Raymond.  Our legendary marmalade and jam will be on sale if you’re tempted…!  Saturday and Sunday starts at 10:00am

Our Team Have Been Busy

Over the last 10 days our dedicated team has been busy giving Nutfield a brand new paint job.  You will be able to see the stunning results at the Crick Boat Show, which starts on Saturday 28th May.

Taken by Peter Copeland

Photo by Peter Copeland

Next maintenance morning is Sunday 17th April

The next Member’s maintenance morning is on Sunday 17th April at Braunston Marina. We will be meeting at the Gongoozlers Rest at 8:30am or at the Boats at 9:30am – all welcome!  This is the last get together before the National Boatshare Show so there will plenty to do.  If you can attend please can you let Nick Scarcliffe know in advance.

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