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Dan last won the day on June 23 2013

Dan had the most liked content!

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About Dan

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  • Birthday 26/03/1979

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    Inland hire cruisers & narrowboats.
    http://www.dhorner.horning.org.uk/ (My General Boating Site)
    http://www.fbwilds.horning.org.uk/ (My website on the Caribbean 'bathtub')
    http://www.blackprinceowners.org.uk/ (My website on Black Prince Narrowboats)

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  1. I think Gainsborough was sold into private hands Also, the internal photos show an ex Crown Blue Line fitout (later Le Boat) so I think if it was Gainsborough they would have used the internals of that one, given they're quite a different finish Dan
  2. I worked for Anglo Welsh between 1994 & 1998 at New Mills... might have even done your handover or helped you moor.... It certainly did work very well and made money. Covering the entire Llangollen (one of the better to sell holidays on) and then quite some distance more was a good draw and these were some of the best booked (plus some of the oldest boats) in the fleet It worked slightly different to how you remember in that you drove to your destination base and got a coach to your start point, so at the end you just drove home. The issues we used to have were mainly logistical. Those I remember well were the centered around the two bases being franchised to different people. This changed towards the end of my time when Anglo Welsh was going/went PLC and was "run" by Bill Furness & David Daynes on the 'top floor'. What went wrong with their period I do not know as I left after an appraisal when they stated they felt most improvements were due to their cash input and I decided that their world/beliefs and mine looked disappointingly different! They seemed to be out within two years themselves. Anyhow, back to one way issues: Both bases were franchised and the boats were owned by the Trevor base (and all major maintenance done by them), we turned them round on a per turnaround basis. This meant bedding was theirs, if you hired a TV(!) it was Trevor's, this meant all this had to go back and too on the coach. My manager spent a lot of time chasing (all the way to Trevor) after the coach with a tele' or box of bedding in the boot, though we suspected he enjoyed being out of the way on turnaround days!!? Most people arrived on time or early for the coach but there would often be one group who hadn't arrived and held things or delayed/annoyed the others A saving could be made by one base putting minimum fuel in for the other base to top up, which got silly but good fun at one point. The coach's were from a small firm local to Trevor and were pretty old.... the one way bookings were enviable and therefore costs weren't a worry The two bases were just a bit too far apart really. I think you needed to do about 8/9 hours a day. If you lost half a day in breakdowns it would be a pressure, or in periods of shorter daylight Other one way routes trialed never worked as well, but Trevor to Great Haywood lasted the distance for quite some time too, the Llangollen seeming to be the common success factor Dan
  3. Perhaps if you had kept the interior completely original, and threw in some wheel trims for an Austin Allegro, I might have been tempted Dan
  4. The 34ft Tropical's look particularly cheap/ideal private boats and I'm sure will go quickly at that price Dan
  5. It's this one - last with Line Azzurro http://www.broads.org.uk/wiki2018/index.php?title=Boat_Details&BoatId=7709&BoatHistory=13252 Dan
  6. It is hard to imagine 3 boats will produce a viable return, and with the loss of their agent it is hard to imagine healthy bookings charts outside of school holidays Dan
  7. You can tell the ownership has changed.... 50% is a dangerous game to play Dan
  8. I always quite like a nod to the past..... Dan
  9. I think you were talking at cross purposes because you rang Swancraft of Brundall not Swancraft of Wargrave (the latter closed ages ago) So they were answering which boats they'd run from their business (they never ran the style you have). I'm not sure there was even ever a connection between the two companies, just a similar name If you look at the photo the rubbing strakes match, you think it was on the Thames at some point and called Harmony 2. Does the gel colour look similar to the photo? Thanks Dan
  10. Was this post missed. Looks like the answer to me??
  11. No, not really Not my style and wouldn't move me nearer to using them as a result, but no nothing wrong with that and perhaps might be appreciated by some who have found themselves needing to find alternative plans and still wanting to go boating Dan
  12. That is surely jumping on the bandwagon defined!
  13. Wow, this is bad news as I've had a few single hires from Richardsons and was thinking I might do this again for an impromptu break at some point this year. I'm more suprised though that as others have said existing bookings taken have been cancelled. Richardsons normally set a pretty good standard of how to do things and sorry but this just doesn't fit that. I always admire big companies who avoid that disastrous (in the longer term) corporate manager or accountant type of thinking, which appears (on the face of it) to have been the reaction here As this appears out of character my first thoughts are something really awful must have happened to force such an unenviable handling/policy change and to cancel long term customers bookings. After long term experiences with them letting people down is not what I would expect from them, ever. No doubt the reasons will become clear with time, hopefully once so it will seem more reasonable, and the business is not changing personality Dan
  14. Ah, this is a real shame. It's clear they hold/held a totally enviable reputation for quality & service so it is a suprise & catches people off guard I guess. There could be so many reasons.... it's unlikely Richardsons have just had a rush of blood to the head so no doubt the truth will out shortly. I would be very disappointed (and a bit suprised) if it were just down to profit & balance sheets (though Accountants have been known, over a five to ten year period to ruin many a great organisation through destroying creativity, stripping staff and assets for short term gain so I guess this too isn't technically impossible, but hey, dont start me on that one ) There could be quite understandable operational issues (retirement, land ownership/landlord complications for example) or many other plausible though still disappointing reasons. I wonder if the houseboats will move to Richardsons Stalham? Dan
  15. It's great to see a less dramatic drop of presence of hire boats at Acle and I really hope they make a go of it. I didnt like the name much to be honest and it didnt fill me with much confidence. Realistically though service & product quality normally wins through and name is largely irrelevant (I probably wouldnt call a business after a green or red piece of fruit either but they seem to have had some success) I notice they say they are using an agent in a fb reply but by well into January there appears to be no website, no listing via agency, yet they talk of February hiring? I'm glad to hear they're using an agent as this should give them a leg up while they establish, especially if the pricing is right. Surely as all the craft have previously been with the agent the photos & layouts therefore already exist with them then listing shouldnt be a great issue to the agent. As a new business I think I'd be ensuring the avenues for the cash flow to roll down were opened as quick as possible.... Dan
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