Meet the Members – Towpath Talk, November 2014

This month National Community Boat Assocation chairman Derek Stansfield features the Wharf Narrowboat

Based at Hatherton Marina near Cannock on the Staffs and Worcester canal (Jct 12 M6) The Wharf Narrowboat was built in 1994 at Birchills Boatyard in Walsall initially as a floating youth club. In 1999 changes were made for use as a multi use vessel which means that the layout inside the boat is very comfortable and convenient for both guests and crew, Specifically designed for both day trip and residential use on the canals it offers individually designed holidays, days out or training for a client’s choice.

The boat is 71 feet long and 7 feet wide and with full head room throughout.  The layout comprises fully equipped Galley, central heating, hot and cold water, shower, toilet, tv, dvd, computer connections, 240 volt options. The layout of the vessel has been planned to provide both group and residential accommodation to enable large group day trips (42 passengers) or sleeps up to 10 on residential use or for training. Transport can be arranged for groups or for local pickups at train and stations

Holidays and trips and training all start at Hatherton Marina and every endeavour is made to offer a variety of cruising routes tailored to meet client’s requirements. The skipper and crew that operate the boat are all experienced and qualified through both MCA and NCBA certification. For peace of mind and quality assurance the boat is owned and managed by the local authority and approved by MCA to operate with over the 12 passengers that normal community boats are limited to. The Wharf management  can offer individual expert advice to help clients tailor the right boating holiday to suit their requirements.

Holidays and trip aims and objectives would be discussed prior to arrival on the vessel and in addition, each day would be planned according to weather and the client’s particular wishes / needs.

The day would start and finish at any time to suit its guests.

Hot and cold beverages are available at all times, but if at any time you would like to eat out there are numerous cafes and pubs adjacent to the canal sample menus, comments, maps and guide books are readily available on board.

The Wharf Narrowboat is an Accredited Training Centre and Training packages under the NCBA governing body programs vary from 1 day to 5 days. The following courses are offered :

Contact details for further information:

Tel: 01902 790121

Mob 07921 404757
Fax: 01922 658070

Meet the Trustees – Derek Stansfield

Acting Chairman of the NCBA Derek is also the Director of Training for the NCBA and has wide experience in the outdoors.

Trained as a teacher specialising in Physical Education he has taught in the West Riding of Yorkshire and the East End of London but quickly made the move into working in residential Outdoor Education Centres.  He has taught or managed centres for the then Inner London Education authority, City of Leicester Education Authority finally ending up managing Cumbria Outdoors for Cumbria County Council, a role that included four residential centre, a sailing base and the in-service training of teachers.

In 1996 he was one of eight appointed Senior Inspectors charged with implementing the Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations.  He retired from this  full time employment although he still undertakes inspections for them on a freelance basis.  He also undertakes inspections for the Adventuremark badge and the Learning Outside the Classroom badge.

He has climbed and walked extensively including Arctic Norway, the Austrian Alps and a climb up Half-Dome in Yosemite.  A former RYA Yachtmaster with a commercial endorsement he has sailed in many areas and worked as a freelance instructor for Southern Sailing.  He was also a RYA Training Centre for Day and Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster shorebased courses.

His interest in canal boats came about working for a locally based charity the Skipton and Craven Action for Disability (SCAD) for whom he still skippers a boat.

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About the Author:

Derek Stansfield

Chair of National Training Committee, Advisor & Senior Trainer (North East)

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