The deed is done and a new name chosen…




I don’t know about superstitions nor nuffink, but the re-naming deed was done while the wee beastie was in dry dock, out of the water. Mr Neptune may be confused, especially if he is in the canals, but he won’t be angry.

The ceremony is still going on really, since I’ll only pour a cold pint of Krug Grande Cuvee over the bow when I physically and permanently add the new name with a brush and some of Humbrol’s finest.

Why Cardinal Wolsey?

I have no idea, but it’s not “Bide-a-Wee” or “Dun-a-Roman” [sic] for one thing. I like the feel and sound of it. It sounds 2mph stately, it sounds English and, by the standards and norms of his day, Wolsey wasn’t a total bastard. He started from nothing (a real nothing, not like Mr Branson’s £50,000 at nineteen-sixties values plus free use of a central London house from Grandma idea of “nothing”). Wolsey clawed his way up, did some neat things like tackle land enclosures, bought grain to sell at cheap rates to alleviate famine, tried (and sadly failed) to rein in his own church’s power, commissioned some nice buildings – and altered the tax system to clobber the really rich instead of the mildly well-off. From very humble beginnings he rose to be almost as powerful as Henery the VIIIth, and then fell from power in a screaming spitfire-dive.

Cardinal Wolsey (the boat, not the human) has been moved to temporary marina moorings and given an initial hug. In honour of the blustery nature of the day we mostly moved backwards or sideways. Nelson would have been proud of us.

T’adventure begins. All aboard the Cardinal. Chocks away, full steam ahead and don’t spare the horses. Um, the oars, don’t spare the oars. We don’t actually have any oars. Alright, chocks away and let’s be ultra-nice to the reet gradely Isuzu diesel. As soon as air traffic control puts the station signal to green. Mirror, signal, manoeuvre. Giddy-up, Neddy.

Do I still need a chap walking ahead of us on the canal with a red flag?

Quick chorus of we’ll keep the red flag flying, anyone?

I need to sing to take my mind off things.

At the moment I am sitting in Lincolnshire wondering how Cardinal Wolsey is doing in Cheshire in all of this wind…


Safely in a marina for the moment.

Too far away to nip over and check this evening.

Sniffle, whimper.

Separation anxiety, already.

Full-time aboard, soon enough though.




  1. Marvellous news, a very refined name for a beautiful craft. I wish you many nautical miles of boating pleasure. If you are ever on the Grand Union Canal near Wolverton, let me know!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just read your previous blog post about not being able to swim – tut- tut. Now with canals if you fall in, the first thing to do is . .. … stand up!!. Canals were built by hand, so were only dug as deep as was needed. I quite often get asked how deep they are, to which I answer only to the ducks middle!!

    On a more serious note, If you do fall in, walk/bob to the side of the canal (with the flat pathy side) and climb out. Do not try and get to the boat, there is a big propeller jobby pushing a 12 tonne lump of metal along – it doesn’t make any distinction between flesh and bone and water. Once out of the water catch your boat at the next bend, or cadge a lift from a passing boat – we are frightfully friendly. Also don’t do what my brother did in the ’80s he stepped back to get a better look, fell off the back and climbed out into a nettle patch – he also lost his glasses.

    Other advice is to keep your center rope attached to the center, with the other end at coiled neatly at the rear of the boat. Then when you are coming in to moor, you can simply step off with the rope in your hand. I have seen many people walking along the gunwale as the boat is coming in to get the center rope. If they fell in at this point, they will act as the fender, between the 12 tons of floating metal and the bank.

    Well have fun, and we will probably see you around Easter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great advice, thank you! I will learn to swim, but I need first to find somewhere very, very quiet, and to find a decent Edwardian style full-length swimming suit (preferably striped). You’re absolutely not wrong about the mass and energy of the average narrowboat – only last year I saw a bloke encouraging (presumably his) very young children onto the canal to play chicken with the boats – they were in an inflatable dinghy… it didn’t matter how slowly we and the boats in the opposite direction crept past, it was close to being not pretty at all. The centre-line is a great bit of advice, what I need to add to that now is the confidence to single-hand locks! Seriously, much fun on the horizon! 🙂


      1. Give it a week and you’ll be a pro. A pro what is another matter. Hmm Edwardian style Swimming suit – My Wife could make you one, (She made my costume in the picky attached) or you could always take up the knitting needles, some worsted wool and knit yourself one.


  3. On the Renaming front, We did 3 ceremonies, The first was to request Neptune and Poseidon to remove the old boat name from their register. At this point everything with the old name was removed from the boat. and a bottle of Champagne was poured from port to starboard around the bow.

    Then another ceremony was done asking Neptune and Poseidon to enter the new name in their register. Another bottle of champagne was poured from starboard to port around the bow, and temporary nameplates were placed in the windows.

    The third ceremony was to call on the gods of the four winds for fair winds and weather. This was done by slinging a glass full of – you’ve guessed it – champagne to the north east south and west. A bit of a party ensued and we all sailed back to our mooring with our newly named boat.
    We also never call the boat by its old name whilst being aboard.
    We used to moor at Uplands marina on the Trent and Mersey, but now moor near Lymm on the Bridgewater. If you are out over Easter we will be travelling to Barbridge and back. Our boat is called Adreva.

    Now you remember me stating that all items with the old name must be removed, (I even ground off the painted name with a grinder – to bare metal) well on the first Easter (Easter Sunday, to be precise) our drive cable broke, whilst descending Hurleston Locks on the Llangollen. I knew we had a spare, and when we got it out, on the reverse side of the box was a label with old name of the boat on it!! When I went to get a replacement I asked how much a call out would of been and was told at least £500 for Easter Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that was a ceremony or three! At the moment I’m on one side of the country and the wee beastie is on the other, so all I had time for was to do the deed while out and dry for survey, I’ll wet the bow later. £500 would have been one heck of a call-out fee – glad you managed to avoid it!

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      1. Like most engineering jobs, it took longer to figure out how to do it, than actually doing it.


  4. Messing about in boats! I’m so thrilled about your grand adventure. It’s a good sign that you’re homesick for His Grace when you haven’t even moved in yet. You’re READY for this, old crumpet. Tally-ho! and Yoiks!

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  5. Like the name, there’s something very Stately about it. Something that can survive all of the intrigue the canals can throw at it until Henry marries a wife who can whisper it’s time for a great statesman to go. You should be safe this time with no Henry on the throne.
    I can’t help but imagine the trip chugging along from Cheshire to back home in Lincolnshire with overnight stops at some little country pubs for a ploughman’s. I’m green with envy.

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  6. Cardinal Wolsey sounds good – tasteful and so is the boat. Hope you have a great journey and adventures that we can read about!

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