When is a Canoe…. not a Canoe ?


When is a canoe not a canoe?….. when its a Steamboat.

This is Sandpiper, built originally circa 1912 and restored by Ian Cross, seen busy stocking the steam boiler with coal.  The young lad on the wheel is my Grandson Martin. Martin and I had  been invited to join the Steamboat association on one of their rallies, this one along the Erewash Canal in Nottinghamshire. This was back in 2004.

As the weather has not been good I have been doing a little bit of archive housework and stumbled across these images and thought they would may be of interest.


The Steamboat Association is for owners of these rather special ‘miniature’ steam powered boats.  Most are I guess what you would call historic boats from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, all lovingly restored…other are modern recreations. The style of many is that of the larger Victorian Gentleman’s River Cruisers, craft that had been built purely for leisurely pleasure…. for picnics along the river or as here along one of our many canal’s.

 The day was a great treat for Martin who was given the responsibility of being ‘skipper’ for the day.  Taking part in the rally was fun in itself but learning a new skill and navigating the canal locks added excitement.


Watch out behind…. you are about to be overtaken….



Memories of an unexpected great dayout…. and thanks to Ian for being so generous to allow Martin the opportunity to try his hand at being a Skipper of a Steamboat.

(As Martin has often said….it is ironic that he rather dislikes canoeing, something he has always done his best to avoid at all cost – yet there he was enjoying a day in an Steam canoe and thoroughly enjoying it)


20th February

(C) David Oakes 2020

Wordless Wednesday…… A Favourite Place


Location:-  Sunset over Morecambe Bay and River Lune from Cockerham, Lancashire

( I am breaking the Wordless Wednesday rule with a few words.  After all the miserable dark days of late I thought something with hope would be good…after all a sunset is supposed to herald good weather ahead.  As for this favourite place, well its great at any time of day, at high or low tide, always changing and always the call of Seabirds and Waders.)

19th February

(C) David Oakes 2020