Thursday, 26 January 2012

A Tale of Two ……………… Marinas

Crick – small and simple.

Mercia – vast and complex.

Yesterday we went to visit Ian, Alison and Katy ‘Potato’ Dog at Mercia marina where they are currently moored on n/b ‘Nobby’.  In terms of marinas Crick and Mercia are at opposite ends of the spectrum.  Mercia is huge and overflowing with facilities:-

Willington   027 (800x600)          Willington   028 (800x600)         Willington   029 (800x600)

  • mooring for about 750 boats
  • brokerage
  • a branch of Midland Chandlers on site
  • two different hire boat companies use the marina as their base
  • small shop selling all the essentials
  • tea room/cafe
  • three luxurious toilet/shower/laundry blocks
  • security gates
  • coal delivered to your boat!  (You DO have to pay for it though!!)
  • Pump out and diesel
  • Allocated fields in which to walk dogs
  • and …………… a weekly (?) farmers’ market held in the car park

Nearby Willington Village also has a number of useful facilities – Post Office, small supermarket, pub, hairdressers etc.  AND – it’s only a 15 minute drive to the beautiful Dove Dale within the Peak District National Park.  Derby, Burton-on-Trent and Lichfield are all just a short drive away for major shops, restaurants and banks etc.  A very well situated site then and, apparently all this for the same mooring fee as at Crick.

There are some holiday lodges for sale on site – altogether there will be 17 I think and planning permission has been granted for a hotel and 7 other shops.  The marina has gained a David Bellamy Environmental Award.  This is not like any other marina I have seen – it’s more like a Boating Village – or will be when it’s all finished.  All down to personal choice and requirements I guess.  Ian and Alison love it there.

Back at ‘little ‘ol Crick’ – walking around the fields and lanes it feels more like March than January :-

Willington   026 (800x600)            Willington   022 (800x600)             Willington   016Willington   010 (800x600)

I forced him to have a haircut so that the new ‘titfa-tat’ had a chance of fitting!

A ‘Plug’ asWillington   038 (800x600) in A Mention …….ian birks

Ian (Birks) has collated a collection of articles written by himself covering a wide variety of topics pertinent to boating on our inland waterways.  The collection is called “Shuffling Along A Ditch” and is available from Amazon to download onto a Kindle.  Bargain!

Katy, the 3rd Crew Member of n/b ‘Nobby’


  1. Dovedale 15 minutes from Willington... so they have helicopter parking too at Mercia then ? LOL

    1. Whoops! Obviously got that wrong then! Must pay better attention.
      Helicopter pad? There's certainly room! Give them time xxoo

  2. Have you noticed i have been missing, I haven't been able to put a message here for ...ages!
    Hope you are Ok

    1. YES! We did notice and were concerned!! Will ring very soon xxoo