Anjodi, cruising along the Canal du Midi, painting by Stanley Rose


welcome to the April edition of the Lock-keeper.

Wow! What a start to the season, Anjodi, on the back of Rick Stein's French Odyssey, TV series, was the first boat of the season to take passengers on the Canal du Midi with Captain Julian Allsop at the helm and the barge and everything on board looking fully shipshape and Bristol fashion (that's Brit for pretty darned shiny).

Anjodi was the star of the show at Carcassonne, dressed overall with two 25 foot masts supporting the full compliment of tanker flags a good friend gave me for a recent " Big Birthday". The Carcassonne show brought together the Midi barging community and it was great to meet up with some old friends again. One by one the rest of the fleet have cast their lines and headed off up the canal.

This month in the lock-keeper, we meet Glenda Hope Evans, our new Marketing Manager, we feature May day in England with news on the Chelsea Flower show and the ancient tradition of Maypole dancing.

With the days getting longer, we get even more golf in with Scottish Highlander and we have a very rare opportunity to cruise on Serenite in Germany.

We have some great new photos of our Algarve Portugal villa Quinta Padeiro and it's magnificent gardens, we announce the Nymphea cruise winner and have a great new competition to win a selection of fine French cheeses from We conclude with some Cruise News, including some great Spring & Summer Offers.

I look forward to hearing from you, and seeing you at our website, where you can find out all about GoBarging and keep up to date with the latest news as it breaks....

best regards,

Derek Banks, Chairman

Derek Banks - Chairman and Barge skipper

in this issue:

Meet Glenda

May Day in England

Long Golfing Days

Serenite Cruise

Back to Quinta Padeiro

Nymphea Cruise winner

Cheese Competition

Spirit of Dunkirk

Cruise News

back issues:


january 07

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march 07

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Meet Glenda
our new Marketing Manager

How long have I been with EW ?

I have been here for approximately 6 weeks - Amanda & Isabelle in the office say it seems like I have been here for ever, (not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing )!

What did I do before ?

Well how long have you got? I have always had a link with the travel industry all be it a wee bit tenuous at times!

I started my working life in the accounts department of an international airfreight company based at London Heathrow Airport circa nineteen seventy something – ….see I nearly slipped so you could tell my age! , I swiftly moved to export charters and thus my connection with travel began, being the “Girl Friday” ( posh name for office junior) I gazed longingly at the wall maps of the world planning my escape from sunny Heathrow………….it actually took another 26 yrs to escape the clutches of LHR Airport !.........

Life takes you in circles sometimes; the beginning of my life at Heathrow coincided with the inaugural flight of Concorde. British Airways gave two tickets to the freight agents to go airside, so the newest starter and longest serving employee got the chance to go and see this beautiful beasts first commercial flight, the newest starter was me………my last day at LHR Airport as an Executive Assistant to the VP of Europe, Middle East and Africa, also coincided with the last flights of Concorde, so at 5pm on a dusky Oct night in 2003, I had my own fly past as the THREE concords flew past my office window…not bad planning that !

After my hedonistic days of Corporate and Customer Event management, pricing analysis and Cargo operations I moved to the NHS and attempted in my own little way to try and bring change to an established team that didn’t want change, a bit like getting oil tankers to turn around in a North Sea gale! I worked with education, social services, charities and of course the medical profession together with families of children who had disabilities, this was a role that did make a difference, as a Multi Agency manager I met some extremely courageous families and kids, unfortunately the funding was drying up and my position was absorbed by the rest of the team!......So here I am Marketing Manager of Go Barging with European Waterways….

What does a typical day involve ?

My main objectives have been a seamless handover from my predecessor Bobbie. As well as raising the visibility of European Waterways thru marketing and PR, I have been “learning the trade,” taking reservations, making bookings and visiting barges. With a back ground in analysis, event management and sales I am hoping I can bring new energy whilst maintaining the best of the best.

What do I enjoy the most?

Each day is different, I enjoy seeing projects through from start to finish so be it taking an availability request or working with magazines and journalists the finished product is always in mind. EW is the only barge company with vessels in nine countries in Europe, that’s amazing in its self and I already feel part of the team.

What is my favourite destination ?

During my first two to three weeks every telephone call I took was about Scotland or Italy, so at the moment they are my favourites and as my father was part Italian, this is a country very close to my heart.
I didn’t realise before I visited a barge how spacious they were, and the attention to detail by the crew is magnificent.

Funniest moment ?

Last week I visited a barge, whilst she was moored locally, I had two lovely gentlemen with me from a travel agency, what I didn’t know until I got there was I had to jump from a scaffold to the vessel, in my high heels and in business attire, the drop from the scaffold to the water …..A very long way! Luckily I need not have worried as the Barging Angel was looking out for me and I didn’t fall….so please visualise one suited and booted lady clinging to the side of a barge whilst the gentlemen I was with was left holding my brief case….. Passengers fear not, this was a temporary out of season mooring, we normally provide gang planks!

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May Day in England
Garden festivals and Maypole Dancing Actief on The Royal River Thames

The first day of the month of May is known as May Day. It is the time of year when warmer weather begins and flowers and trees start to blossom. It is said to be a time of love and romance. It is when people celebrate the coming of summer with lots of different customs that are expressions of joy and hope after a long winter. Girls would make a special point of washing their faces in the dew of the early morning. They believed this made them very beautiful for the following year.

If you are not quite ready for washing your face in the dew of the morning, you can still savour the first taste of Spring/Summer by joining the Actief for her garden cruise, with a special offer discounting $500 or 250 per person. The Actief has been completely refurbished and offers an English Country House atmosphere right down to the Molten Brown toiletries in all the cabins.

A warm friendly welcome is always offered by the crew and the aroma of superb cooking wafts through the barge from the galley. The chef sources her provisions from a small supplier in Henley -on - Thames so the highest quality of chesses, meat and fish is always guaranteed. Built in the same year as the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, the electric washing machine, Hoover and the helicopter, Actief originated as a working cargo vessel in Holland.

During the last hundred years Actief has plied her trade through war and peace, through thousands of breakthrough inventions from powered flight, to modern computer technology and so much in between, and yet she has only had one major life changing event of her own which was her conversion into a luxury hotel barge after almost 70 years transporting cargo. Although refurbished and updated regularly since then, her raison-d'etre is still the same: to serenely cruise the fabulously unspoilt waters of the upper Thames and ensure her guests have the most restful, enjoyable holiday of a lifetime. Contact us today to find out more about Actief

The Chelsea Flower Show

The Actief Garden cruise includes entry & transfers to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Every year, for five days in May, the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, are transformed into the fabulous show gardens, inspirational small gardens and vibrant horticultural displays that make up the world's most famous flower show.

On top of all this, visitors can pick up a wide range of gardening accessories, and many new gardening products make their debut at the show. Those wishing to learn and discover some of the latest scientific developments in horticulture must see the Lifelong Learning exhibits within the Great Pavilion. The latest trends in floral art and floristry can also be seen at the show.

Spring Folklore/Festival

A painting showing maypole dancing around 1750 in Elmbridge museum Surrey England, artist anonMaypole dancing is a form of folk dance from Western Europe especially England, Sweden and Germany, with two distinctive traditions. In the most widespread, dancers perform circle dances around a tall pole which is decorated with garlands, painted stripes, flowers, flags and other emblems. In the second, dancers dance in a circle each holding a coloured ribbon attached to a much smaller pole; the ribbons are intertwined and plaited either on to the pole itself or into a web around the pole. The dancers may then retrace their steps exactly in order to unravel the ribbons.

Maypole dancing can still be seen in smaller villages in the UK, combining the crowning of the May Queen and her attendants, the May Queen is chosen from the young female children in the village. She is dressed in a long white gown to symbolise purity, and usually wears a crown with flowers in her hair. She leads the procession and thus begins the May Day celebrations.  back to top

Long Golfing Days Golf at Royal Dornoch

For those golfers amongst you who are tired of the long winter days and little daylight, consider Scottish Highlander for a round on some of Scotland’s finest and most intriguing courses. Golf everyday from Royal Dornach to Fort Augustus, along the Great Glen.

We have a special treat on June 10th, as we approach the Summer Solstice with 23 hour days in the northern latitudes, a bottle of Glenmorangie single malt is the prize for the furthest Golf ball tee'd off into Loch Ness.

The current record is held by Tom Sawyer of Bangor Maine and dates back to 1999 at 170 yards (estimated).

There’s a discount of $2000 for a whole boat charter too for this special Golf departure of June 10th.

Contact us today to enquire about the Golf Charter on Scottish Highlander.

Big Wheel turning..

For those of you interested in a few days touring pre or post your Scottish Highlander trip, drive over to the Falkirk wheel. Scottish Highlander is way too big for this lifting mechanism, and we are much further north in the highlands, but this magnificent Millennium mechanism built by British Waterways is definitely worth a visit.

Costing £85million to build, from an engineering viewpoint it takes some beating.

Find out more at   back to top

Serenite Cruise Luxury barge cruises on Serenite in Germany

Due to a last minute cancellation there are 2 suites now available (for up to 4 people) on board Serenite departing 20th May 2007 for the Berlin to Waren cruise.

US$4590/£2490/€3775 per person based on 2 people sharing.

Itinerary - Potsdam to Waren

Sunday, Potsdam - Berlin

Transfer from Berlin, Intercontinental Hotel at 3.00pm to embark Serenité moored in Potsdam. This city’s most famous sight is the Sanssouci Castle with its Roman Baths, Orangerie and Chinese Teahouse and is the summer residence of Prussian King Frederick II. Champagne Welcome and introduction to the crew. We then cruise sail out of Potsdam to reach Berlin by the evening. During the cruise we pass by the Castle Babelsberg, housing the oldest film studios of the world and also Glienicker Bridge, which is the border line between East and West Germany where espionage agents and prisoner were exchanged during DDR (GDR)-times.

We then cross through Wannsee, which is Berlin’s largest recreational area. Once on the River Spre, we enter the centre of Berlin and provide you with an impressive sightseeing tour as we cruise by on Serenite, as most of the sights are situated along the river. We see the new and old government buildings (Reichstag), the island of museums, with the famous Pergamon Museum, The National gallery and the Berlin Dom, before we reach our mooring place close to the Brandenburg Gate and Berlin-Mitte, the new centre of town in the former eastern part. Time for a walk around town in the evening before dinner on board.

Monday, Berlin – Tegel-Oranienburg

After a morning of sightseeing in Berlin, we leave again on the River Spree, passing all the sights once more and cross another Berlin lake, the Tegeler See. We then change to the Oder-Havel-Kanal and find a quiet mooring place close to the town of Oranienburg. Dinner on board

Tuesday, Oranienburg – Mildenberg

After breakfast a short excursion can be made to Oranienburg to visit the newly renovated castle and its museum. Also close by is the memorial site of Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Join Serenité again in Liebenwalde and cruise on the River Havel to the small town of Zehdenick, where we will make a short stop for a walk in the afternoon. Then another hours cruising to the open-air brick museum and park, where we stay overnight and have a BBQ on deck if weather permits.

Wednesday, Mildenberg – Fürstenberg

After breakfast we start cruising the Havel and meander our way through the Schorfheide Nature Reserve. It is the day to sit on the top sun deck, just relax and watch the incredible scenery pass by. The nature is totally untouched and you can see plenty of different birds like king fishers, ospreys, herons, ducks and swans playing in carpets of water lilies that line the shore. During the day we pass by a fish farm, where you might want to pick your own fresh river trout for dinner. After crossing the Stolp Lake, we arrive in the town of Fürstenberg, just in time for a walking tour before dinner on board.

Thursday, Fürstenberg – Mirow

During breakfast we leave Fürstenberg on the river Steinhavel, which is leading us through a few lakes. Whenever someone says stop, we throw anchor in the middle of one of those lakes for a swim, straight off our ship’s swimming platform. Lunch is ashore in a typical German Brauhaus (Brewery) followed by an excursion to Rheinsberg, where we visit the Renaissance castle with romantic gardens situated right on the lake and immortalised by Kurt Tucholsky’s “Picture book for Lovers”. During the summer there is the Rheinsberg festival with many open-air classical concerts and plays. Back onboard in the small town of Mirow, we go out and anchor in the middle of a lake for a quiet nights sleep. Dinner on board.

Friday, Mirow – Waren

As we are now in the centre of the lake districts, we cruise all morning through many lakes that are connected by rivers and canals, until we reach the “ Small Müritz Lake”, leading into the Mürtiz, Germany’s second largest inland lake with a length of 28km and a width of 14 km. It takes approx 1½ hours to reach the Pearl of the Müritz, the town of Waren, where we will have a walking tour in the afternoon. We are moored right in the centre in the yacht harbour of Waren. This evening we invite you for a farewell cocktail and dinner onboard.

Saturday, Day 7 – Waren to Berlin

After breakfast our transfer leaves at approx 9.30am to take you back to the Intercontinental Hotel in Berlin.

This itinerary is subject to change. On alternative weeks the itinerary will be in reverse direction.

Contact us today to enquire about a cruise on Serenite.   back to top

Quinta Padeiro Revisited

Now that the sun is shining across Europe I thought it would be fun to take a look at the garden we created down at Quinta Padeiro in Portugal.

Our Algarve farmhouse makes a useful add-on to a barging trip and sleeps 10 in comfort.

The garden is probably 50-70 years old judging by the age of the trees, The oldest are the Olive trees and they may well be 300 years old. I keep discovering new plants which have been hidden by the undergrowth, which is pretty much cleared in the lower section, There’s a huge prickly pear cactus, almond, carob and fig trees.

It’s the garden which makes the place, have a look at our new photo gallery here.

Contact us today to enquire about Quinta Padeiro.

March Competition - who's won a cruise for two on Nymphea..?

Nymphea under the Chateau Chenonceaux in the Upper Loire valley, FranceFor our March Lockkeeper competition we had a cruise for two on Nymphea in the Loire Valley.

All you had to do was read about Nymphea in the Lockkeeper and at our website, answer some simple multiple choice questions and you could be the lucky winner....   

Find out who the lucky winner is; Nymphea Cruise competition winner,

April Cheese Competition

Burgundy and Its WinesFor our April Lockkeeper competition we have two Cheese selections from to give away.

The Cheese selection is:

  • 1 Epoisses
  • 2 Roves des Garrigues
  • 1 Ste Maure
  • 1 Echourgnac
  • 200g Roquefort

Enter our April Cheese competition here.   back to top

The Spirit of Dunkirk

Dunkirk Little Ships

In May 1965, to mark the 25th Anniversary of "OPERATION DYNAMO', Raymond Baxter organized and assembled a fleet of 43 original Little Ships to return to Dunkirk in order to commemorate the epic evacuation of the B.E.F. in 1940 during which they played a significant role. In the 11 days between 26th May and 5th June, no less than 338,000 British and Allied Troops were snatched from certain death or captivity.

It was decided that such a unique assembly should not be allowed to disperse into obscurity and thus The Association of Dunkirk Little Ships was formed in 1966. The purpose was simple: To keep
afloat for as long as possible, as many as possible of the original Little Ships; to secure them the honour to which they are entitled and thereby preserve "THE SPIRIT of DUNKIRK".

Qualification for Membership is simple - it is the current ownership of a proven Little Ship, which entitles the vessel to fly the Association's warranted House Flag, the CROSS of ST GEORGE (the flag of the Admiralty) defaced with the Arms of Dunkirk.

In addition, when in company, the fleet enjoys the unique privilege of flying the (un-defaced) Cross of St. George on the bow jack staff.

Since 1965 the Association has returned to Dunkirk every 5 years, with the exception of 1970 due to foul weather. No less than 75 vessels completed the 50th Anniversary Return in 1990, 45 in 1995 and 63 in 2000.

54 Little Ships now display a special circular brass plaque, presented by the Mayor of Dunkirk during the weekend of 26th-30th May
2005, to commemorate the 65th Anniversary of Operation Dynamo and the 40th Anniversary of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships.

For enquiries on the Association please contact the Honorary Secretary, Margaret Cormack, on 01895-254193.


Flying the cross of St GerogeBuilt in 1938 by K. R. Skentelbery of Plymouth. LOA 40ft. Beam 11ft 3in. Draught 3ft 8in. Carvel hull, teak on rock elm with flared frigate-bow. New stainless steel fuel tanks and water tank. Twin screw Nanni 2.5ltr, 5-cyl diesel engines, fitted 2003. Five new 110amp batteries. For'ard cabin with double berth, WC and large skylight/hatch to fore-deck.Saloon with large skylight, fully equipped galley, table for 6 converts to double berth. Two occasional berths/generous seating area in wheelhouse. Large locker space.Generous aft cockpit with canvas cover plus covers to superstructure and both skylights.

Boat Lying: Windsor, UK. Price Guide: £85,000
Tom Jones Boatyard, Romney Lock, Riverside Walk, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 6HU,
Mobile: Sarah Woolley 07799-654113 Email:
Tel: 01753-833166, Fax: 01753-860699

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Special Offers


La Belle Epoque in Burgundy - All available July & August 2007 departures, based on 2 people sharing a cabin

L’Impressionniste in Provence - All available July & August 2007 departures, based on 2 people sharing a cabin


We are pleased to offer a US$250/£125 discount per person on the following departures:

L’Art de Vivre in Burgundy - Stateroom departing 1 st July or 5 th August

Charter of 6, 7 or 8 passengers departing 19 th Aug.

Scottish Highlander in Scotland - Stateroom/Suite departing 27th May, 17th or 24th June, 1st, 8th or 22nd July

Charters of 6, 7 or 8 passengers departing 10th June


The only vessel to cruise through Chenonceau Chateau Nymphea in the Loire Valley - Stateroom or charter on all remaining July & August departure dates


  • For charter departures the discount per person is applied to the charter rate
  • Maximum of 2 single cabins can be booked on each cruise departure
  • Our normal terms & conditions apply
  • Deposits must be paid by 31 May to include the discount

To reserve cabins please contact Reservations Department, European Waterways, 35 Wharf Road , Wraysbury, Middlesex , TW19 5JQ, England, Tel: 44 (0) 1784 482439 Fax: 44 (0) 1784 483072

USA Toll Free: 1 800 394 8630 Canada Toll Free: 1 888 342 1917

Skype address: Reservations-GoBarging

Getting there....

With all the changes going on within the world of aviation, I thought it might be helpful to make a short list of the main European short haul airlines who fly to and from some of the small regional airports near our cruise routes.

Because the list is not exhaustive and seems to change every year, this information is given with a slight spirit of adventure! Please also remember the larger national airlines such as British Airways, Air France, Air Lingus and Al Italia also use some of these airlines.

I'm sure there are several more, but these may help with some travel logistics and don't forget, parts of Europe especially France are well served with high speed trains.

If you have any suggestions, feedback or barging stories to tell us, then please e-mail us. We'll be glad to hear from you and share your inputs in the lock-keeper.

Why not email this edition on to a friend, and let them share the fun. New subscribers can sign-up here, and are very welcome. More people are joining every day, so let's keep building a great Barging community..!

That's about it for this 46th edition of the Lockkeeper, and hopefully the above articles have whet your appetite for that well-earned luxury cruise..! Please visit barge cruises and have a look around, or follow the individual links above.

The next edition of the lock-keeper will be out in May 2007, so we'll see you then.

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