No one can pretend to be the same as they were 4 short weeks ago. Some – too many – have been touched by tragedy and will continue to be so as 2020 unfolds.

Others have been thrown into financial turmoil and still can’t see a way through this. As small business owners, we have felt the responsibility of people’s futures in a big way. We have hated letting down those of you who have booked holidays with us but weighing even more heavily was the twin responsibilities of protecting staff whilst doing our best to safeguard the future of the business. Impossibly difficult decisions continue to pepper our days.

It seems there is an awful lot of red tape needed to keep this business afloat – grants, loans and other negotiations all need an online form these days.  And while we rebook your holidays and day trips from Union Wharf and keep up with the paperwork and staff administration, we remind ourselves that we are the lucky ones. We have support from a rich boating community across the country.

From the tourism and business officers in local government to the staff at the Canal and River Trust; from the winter moorers who are still unable to leave the canal basin at Market Harborough to the genuinely caring and supportive hirers who’ve postponed their holidays to some future date; we have had nothing but good wishes.

A boater told Aaran the other day, “We don’t want you to just survive. We want to see you winning.” How lovely is that?

As we emerge from the early days of this Coronavirus crisis, we are certainly a bit battered and bruised, personally and professionally, but we are strong, and we will still be here when it’s all over. We don’t know if anyone is going to call 2020 a winning year, but perhaps 2021 will be? Wouldn’t that be something?

Take care and stay safe,

Sharon and Aaran x

Directors, Union Wharf Narrowboats Ltd