After decades of international travel during an army career, Brenda and David Scowcroft have settled in one spot. They now live on their narrowboat, Mr. David, in Gas Street Basin in the centre of Birmingham. It wouldn’t be my first choice for an idyllic mooring spot, but they’ve been there for ten years so it must suit them.
Brenda and David Scowcroft
David was the Army for approximately 35 years and I was a civil servant. We met in Berlin and served in Northern Ireland, Germany 3 times, Poland, England 4 times, Hungary, Scotland, and Cyprus ending up in central London. So, not having a “base” as such and a wanderlust that had not been fulfilled a boat seemed a good idea.
After visiting several boat shows and lots of second hand boats we decided on a new build and as I fell in love with every Warble boat that I came across. We took the plunge in 1997 to order our new home. Never having actually been out on a boat we were at the mercy of our builders and Janet and Kevin Wadsworth guided us through our desires and we came up with, for us, the perfect boat.
The boat is called “Mr David”. Because David has an unusual surname and many foreigners couldn’t pronounce it he usually ended up being called by his rank and David – so on leaving the Army he became a Mister.
We are moored in Gas Street Basin in the centre of Birmingham. We were on the waiting list for 2 years and have been here now for 10 years.
Mr David is a 17.5 meter traditional style boat. It has the usual layout, Seating, fire, galley, single berth bedroom/office, walk through bathroom, double berth, engine etc.
The boat was launched in 1999 – so 15 years now.
David’s Army gratuity and savings.
We live on her all the time.
Fortunately, David retired from the Army at 52 and apart from winter jobs for the first 5 or so years, we have not had to work since we got the boat.
Make the “walk in” wardrobe not “walk in” and use up the wasted space for more storage.
We shop in local shops, take a bus to the nearest town or at a supermarket if it is beside the cut.
We have a Bosch washer/dryer, the original one was great as we could fill with hot and cold water, but the replacement one only uses cold water and the element is too strong for the batteries, so only use the cold water wash. Launderettes if there is one handy.
We have a macerating toilet with holding tank.
We have a 3G dongle. It is very reliable.
How long have you got?
We have 3 solar panels and the rest is by using the engine.
It is not for everyone, but you’ll never know if you don’t try.
Are you one of the lucky few who lives the dream on board your own narrowboat full time? Would you like to share your experience with some of the thousands of potential floating home owners who visit this site? If you can spare the time to answer a few simple questions, I would love to hear from you. Just let me know so I can email the questions to you. I’ll create a post like the one above complete with a link back to your own blog or website.
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