fbpx

Calder Navigation

Hayley Doherty

Welcome to the final episode of the first season of the Calder Navigation podcast! It’s been wonderful sharing stories and building connections, and we hope you’ve enjoyed listening.

We have a great listen for you for the final episode. Let’s embark on a fascinating journey through the life and experiences of multi talented actor and jazz singer, Hayley Doherty.

What sets Hayley apart is not just her remarkable artistic skills, but her unique lifestyle choice that has shaped her into the person she is today!

So join us as we delve into her captivating story and uncover the harmony between her artistic passions and her lifestyle on her narrow boat. There is a video of this episode available too!

A photo of Hayley with the podcast logo in the background. Hayley is a white woman with long wavy red hair. She is smiling.
SHARE:

Links to further info

Subscribe

We have a quarterly newsletter, packed full of things to enrich the soul.

A photo of Hayley with the podcast logo in the background. Hayley is a white woman with long wavy red hair. She is smiling.

About Hayley Doherty

Hayley is a professional Actor and jazz singer. She’s lived in a narrowboat for 11 years, exploring England’s waterways before settling in the Calder Valley. Hayley has a band called Hayley’s Little Big Band and she also runs a creative writing group in Sowerby Bridge. Hayley can be found performing in many different shows across the UK too!

Transcript

[00:00:02] – Samantha

Welcome to Calder Navigation, the podcast that embarks on a transformative journey through the lives and stories of the incredible people of Calderdale. I’m your host, Samantha McCormick, artistic Director and founder of Curious Motion, and I’m thrilled to have you join me on this adventure.

 

[00:00:20] – Samantha

Calder Navigation invites you to open your hearts and minds to the tapestry of everyday moments and significant events that shape our lives. Through authentic and relaxed conversations, we’ll delve into the complexities of what it means to be human, celebrating the diversity and resilience of our community. This podcast is not just a collection of stories. Each episode is a unique exploration, a tribute to the rich tapestry of our shared experiences. So come and join us on this journey and let’s celebrate the remarkable individuals who call the Calder Valley home. And let’s uncover the depth and beauty of the human experience together.

 

[00:01:00] – Samantha

Welcome to this episode of the Calder Navigation podcast, where we will embark on a fascinating journey through the life and experiences of Hayley Doherty, a multi talented professional actor and jazz singer. What sets Hayley apart is not just her remarkable artistic skills, but her unique lifestyle choice that has shaped her into the person she is today.

 

[00:01:24] – Samantha

For over a decade, Hayley has called a narrowboat her home meandering along England’s picturesque waterways. Her nomadic spirit and love for exploration eventually led her to settle here in the Colder Valley.

 

[00:01:38] – Samantha

So join us as we delve into her captivating story, uncovering the harmony between her artistic passions and the tranquil waters that have been her constant companions for eleven remarkable years. If you fancy having a peek into Hayley’s narrow boat, there’s a video of this episode available on Curious Motion’s YouTube channel, too.

 

[00:02:00] – Samantha

Hi, Hayley.

 

[00:02:01] – Hayley

Hello.

 

[00:02:02] – Samantha

Thank you for having us on your beautiful narrow boat.

 

[00:02:05] – Hayley

No worries.

 

[00:02:06] – Samantha

And for coming on the podcast. Really appreciate it. And this is our first videoed one as well, it’s very exciting. So I thought could we just start with a little bit about your background?

 

[00:02:17] – Hayley

Yeah, sure. So I’m from Manchester originally, and I left Manchester, moved down south when I was 18, and then moved around a bit, ended up at drama school in Bristol, Bristol Old Vic. And then I spent ten years in London. I bought my boat while I was in London, while I bought it up north and took it down to London, and then I spent eight years moving around the country on the boat. And I’ve been working as an actor for nearly 20 years now. Yeah. And I’ve ended up in Sowerby Bridge.

 

[00:02:47] – Samantha

Yeah, great. So what brought you to live on a narrowboat?

 

[00:02:52] – Hayley

So I’d been living in London for, I think, eight years at the time, and I’d kind of got quite sick of sharing houses with random people and moving around. And I was just at that point where I was trying to find another solution and I got to know some boaters and I just suddenly thought, oh, wow, this could be the solution to have my own place. Because I’d never been able to afford to get a mortgage or whatever in London, certainly, so I just thought, I just begged, stole, borrowed, and got kind of obsessed about getting a boat and made it happen.

 

[00:03:25] – Samantha

Yeah, that’s great. Especially with a creative background in-, career, you often are jumping about, aren’t you? And in different places.

 

[00:03:33] – Hayley

Yeah, that’s it. And it was great, actually, because I was able to some of the jobs, with theatre jobs, I’ve been able to take my boat with me so I can have my digs. It’s not very convenient in terms of speed of travel, because it can take weeks, so I’ve needed to have lots of notice. But I have managed to take it to jobs in Nottingham, Bristol, Guildford, all over the place, yeah.

 

[00:03:58] – Samantha

Yeah. And do you find that living this lifestyle of living on an arrow boat informs your creative work or it’s fed into what you do creatively?

 

[00:04:10] – Hayley

I suppose it suits it because it’s so flexible and mobile. On the other hand, it can make things kind of tricky, because it means that I’m not sort of tethered, I don’t have any stability, so my home can move around and my job does, and I don’t have that. But having said that, I’ve been here for nearly three years, I think three years now, so that’s the longest I’ve been anywhere in my adult life, really.

 

[00:04:40] – Samantha

Yeah. And what brought you to settle here in Sowerby Bridge?

 

[00:04:44] – Hayley

So I was moving around and I’d made it to-, I was at Summit near Littleborough, and then we went into the first lockdown. But I was working in Nottingham, I was doing a play at Nottingham Playhouse, so I was over there and so I basically couldn’t leave Nottingham then for a couple of months. So my boat was up at Summit and when I got the chance to come and move the boat, I decided to move to be near my mum and my stepdad, who live here. So, yeah, I thought-, I knew we were going to go into another lockdown, so I thought I’d come over here and sort of bubble with them so I could do their shopping and help out and stuff. And then I just intended it to be a temporary thing, but by the time the lockdown lifted, I had a nice community and friends and yeah, I’ve not been anywhere since. Strange.

 

[00:05:36] – Samantha

Do you feel sort of settled here now?

 

[00:05:38] – Hayley

I do, yeah.

 

[00:05:38] – Samantha

Do you feel like, just thinking about that what you were saying about not having any sort of stability because you are moving around, does it help being somewhere now more long term for you to feel some of the stability that you might like or?

 

[00:05:51] – Hayley

Yeah, definitely. I think I got to a point where it sort of suits me to have that. Yeah. It means you’ve got a base that you can then go off from. And also when you’re moving the boat around, there’s a lot of work involved in that, a lot of stuff that’s time consuming. And yeah, it makes it difficult to kind of get on with other things and definitely to have any kind of routine, which I still don’t really have. But I run a creative writing group on a Thursday night and that’s happened every week for the last two years. Even when I’ve been away on jobs and things, other people have sort of taken over. So it’s quite nice to have things that are just regular things for once.

 

[00:06:31] – Samantha

Yeah. And so I know you’ve moved around a lot. Can you remember all the different places you’ve been? I was wondering where you’ve been. Obviously you’ve mentioned some already, but any unusual places you’ve been or based yourself for a little while.

 

[00:06:44] – Hayley

Yeah, well, so I bought the boat in Audlem in Cheshire.

 

[00:06:47] – Samantha

Right.

 

[00:06:48] – Hayley

I was working up at the New Vic Theatre, which is Stoke, and so while I was there, I was looking for boats and I found it, so I took it down to London. I moved around London for about two years and then I got a job in Nottingham. So I remember I was literally driving the boat and I got the phone call to say I had this job. So I turned the boat around and started heading towards Nottingham.

 

[00:07:12] – Samantha

And that’s not like a car, is it? That’s not like, oh, I’ll just pull over here, turn around and go back.

 

[00:07:17] – Hayley

No, you have to find a spot that’s wide enough for you to actually turn around.

 

[00:07:20] – Samantha

Yeah.

 

[00:07:20] – Hayley

So I went up to Nottingham and then my next job was in Bristol at the Tobacco Factory Theatre. And again they phoned and-, well, as I was leaving the audition, they said, have you got any questions? And I said, well, when will I know? Because if I get it, I kind of have to leave, like, now, because the job was five weeks away and that’s about as long as it takes to get from Nottingham to Bristol on a boat, so. Thankfully, they phoned me, I think, the same day or the next day, and said, Yep, on your way. So. Yeah, Bristol.

 

[00:07:50] – Hayley

Then the next job was in Guilford. A Guilford Shakespeare company took it down there, down the river way, and then when I finished that job, I didn’t have anything lined up and I didn’t really fancy going back to London. I felt like I’d done with London, so I thought I’d head towards Manchester, because I hadn’t lived-, so I’d been down south for 18 years at that point, I think, and so I thought, I’m bound to get diverted somewhere along the way. But six weeks later, I turned up in Manchester. So I was there for a little while and then made my way across here down to Nottingham again and then back up here. You know, you get a real mix. You can be in a city and it can be quite edgy and quite fun. Like in, know, in Little Venice or somewhere like that. There’s Camden, King’s Cross. You can be three boats deep, so you’re having to climb over two people’s boats to get onto yours. And it’s just a sort of non stop party, really. And then other times you’re just completely out in the sticks with no one around for miles and yeah, it’s lovely. And it was nice that I was able to do that in London because when it got too much, I was able to just go out of town a little bit and get some peace for a few weeks before I went back in and joined in the parties again, yeah.

 

[00:09:01] – Samantha

And what’s it like, the periods of time when you’re travelling and not working? What’s that like? And I know you’ve said about stability and not having the routine, but I just wonder, does it offer you any sort of a different pace, maybe?

 

[00:09:17] – Hayley

Absolutely.

 

[00:09:18] – Samantha

Than if you weren’t living on a narrow boat for example, or were based in somewhere very busy?

 

[00:09:24] – Hayley

Definitely.

 

[00:09:24] – Samantha

What are the travelling periods like? I suppose because it takes so long, you have to give yourself the time, I’d imagine, yeah.

 

[00:09:29] – Hayley

Yeah, you do. And you just have to adjust to it. So usually whenever I’ve gone on a sort of big voyage, I’ve kind of-, the first couple of days, there’s this, especially living in somewhere like London, you have that pace and you’re thinking, come on, come on, and you’re waiting for a lock to fill up or whatever, and you’re travelling at 4 miles an hour. That’s sort of your top speed on canals. So it’s walking pace, people are overtaking you walking past. So, yeah, it feels really strange to begin with, and I know people have said this when they go on narrow boat holidays as well, it takes a bit of time, but then usually at some point on sort of the second day, I just suddenly, like, breathe and decompress and just go, you know what, there’s no way to speed up this process. This is as long as it takes, and you just kind of learn to go with it. There’s nothing you can do.

 

[00:10:20] – Samantha

Let your nervous system just chill out.

 

[00:10:23] – Hayley

Yeah, yeah.

 

[00:10:24] – Samantha

Harder to do than we might imagine. I definitely know what you mean about that pace and that feeling of-, we do live in a world that’s sort of churn this out, do this, do this, do this, do this, and kind of telling us to do that as well. So it’s quite a thing to sort of not do that and be in a situation where you really do need to slow down, or literally, I suppose, but also just accept that this is how this is.

 

[00:10:51] – Hayley

Yeah, it’s good for you. And I sort of missed that because I haven’t moved the boat for quite a while, so it’s been nice to do that soon. Yeah.

 

[00:11:01] – Samantha

Have there been any surprises or unexpected things that have happened over the years on the narrow boat?

 

[00:11:08] – Hayley

Yeah, there’s a lot of surprises. I mean, that first trip I did, so it was 21 days to get from Cheshire down to London, and that’s sort of dawn till dusk every day. And it was a real trial by fire, because I was new to it, you know. The first day, I had a friend of my dad’s came along who had a boat to sort of show me the ropes and then off they went. Well, I did have various friends coming to sort of help out along the way, people who lived various parts of the country. I was the captain and I was the only one who sort of knew what I was doing. So, yeah, I think there was one couple who came who actually knew what they were doing. That was amazing. And I actually had a bath while the boat was moving. And having just been stuck to the tiller for days and days on my own, suddenly I was like, having a bath while someone else drove the boat, which is amazing.

 

[00:11:59] – Samantha

Sounds lovely.

 

[00:12:00] – Hayley

But most days, yeah, it was people who I was having to tell them what to do, and I still was really unsure.

 

[00:12:06] – Samantha

Learning, yeah.

 

[00:12:07] – Hayley

And that was intense. And every day something went wrong, you know, something broke, something-, I’d run out of fuel or I’d get grounded, I wouldn’t be able to move. And, yeah, it was really intense, but I learned a lot. And by the time I got to London, I was like an old man of the sea. Just like, dead confident. It was fine.

 

[00:12:29] – Samantha

Been there, done that, got it, yeah.

 

[00:12:29] – Hayley

I think that’s the way to do it because some people get boats and they hardly move for a long time and they do tiny little trips and actually, that’s probably the way to do it. Just go and crash into things to figure it out.

 

[00:12:41] – Samantha

Were there lots of crashing into things? That must be so-,

 

[00:12:43] – Hayley

Only into walls. I wasn’t crashing into other boats, although again, it’s things like when it’s windy, it’s amazing how much it affects your control of the boat. And even if-, even a really experienced boater, there’s not much you can do. It’s like they catch the wind and they’re going to go where they go, so it’s yeah. Quite difficult.

 

[00:13:03] – Samantha

Feels like a real lesson in letting go of control a little bit. The whole thing of this is how long it takes to do it. And also like that, in that situation, you can’t control the weather and you can do your best.

 

[00:13:16] – Hayley

Yeah, sometimes you just have to realise that you’re not going to be able to drive today. It’s as simple as that. You might have this somewhere you’ve got to get to and a deadline, but, yeah, someday, if it’s windy, I’ve driven in some awful sort of rain and just stood there getting absolutely drenched, which, it’s not dangerous at least. It’s okay. Although operating locks and climbing around on the boat and up and down ladders and things, it can be a bit treacherous. But, yeah, if it’s really windy, then it’s not worth it, really.

 

[00:13:50] – Samantha

No.

 

[00:13:50] – Hayley

So sometimes you just have to-,

 

[00:13:52] – Samantha

Yeah, just accept it again.

 

[00:13:54] – Hayley

Accept it, yeah.

 

[00:13:54] – Samantha

I’m going to think of narrow boats now when I need to let go of control. We’ve talked about how you’ve come to settle here in Sowerby Bridge. Could you tell us a little bit-, you’ve always been on this boat or have you had other boats?

 

[00:14:07] – Hayley

Yes, so I’ve had this for eleven years.

 

[00:14:09] – Samantha

Yeah.

 

[00:14:09] – Hayley

I did rent a boat actually for about six months. I was on a sort of Dutch barge, but that was in a marina, it wasn’t moving or anything, so I got a sort of taste for it. But then I’ve had this one since for eleven years.

 

[00:14:23] – Samantha

Did you name it?

 

[00:14:24] – Hayley

No, no.

 

[00:14:25] – Samantha

Okay.

 

[00:14:26] – Hayley

I was lucky that it had a nice name. I’ve seen boats with some awful names. Apparently it’s bad luck to rename your boat unless it’s out of the water.

 

[00:14:33] – Samantha

Oh, okay. I didn’t know this.

 

[00:14:34] – Hayley

Sometimes people will have to sort of stick with the original name until they get it out the water and can change it.

 

[00:14:40] – Samantha

Yeah. Nice that you’ve got a lovely name already. I bet there’s some crazy names out there.

 

[00:14:45] – Hayley

Yeah. I’ve seen a couple of boats called Brian, which has struck me as the-,

 

[00:14:50] – Samantha

Fair enough.

 

[00:14:51] – Hayley

Weirdest choice. My brother and my dad are both called Brian, so it’s particularly strange for me. But also I always think of boats as like female.

 

[00:15:00] – Samantha

Quite often, they would have that.

 

[00:15:00] – Hayley

Like, cars and boats usually have female names. So.

 

[00:15:03] – Samantha

Couple of Brians. And so what are you up to now? What’s happening with the boat at the moment?

 

[00:15:12] – Hayley

So the boat, I had a flood recently, so yeah, half the boat is like a building site at the moment, as you’ve seen. So yeah, I’ve got a lot of work to do on that and not been doing a brilliant job at getting on with it this summer really, so I need to crack on with that, but I’m busy, sort of. I’m rehearsing a play at the moment and I’m in a band as well, so things get in the way basically. But this end of the boat is okay.

 

[00:15:41] – Samantha

Gorgeous. Yeah. That must be really hard to deal with. You’ve talked about the letting go of control, accepting certain things, but things like a flood and big events like that, that’s hard, I think, for anybody to deal with in their space as well.

 

[00:16:00] – Hayley

Yeah, absolutely, yeah.

 

[00:16:02] – Samantha

And having to then cope with that on top of usual life, I can’t imagine it’s easy.

 

[00:16:08] – Hayley

Yeah, absolutely. And as I say, this summer has been difficult. It’s quite a blow, especially because I had a flood a few years ago and I’d basically just pretty much finished renovating the boat. So I’d put a lot of work in and it was looking really good and it was almost done and then this has happened, so it’s been a bit of a blow. So I’ve been struggling a bit this summer but I need to get it sorted now before the really cold weather sets in.

 

[00:16:34] – Samantha

Yeah. And have you got support around you?

 

[00:16:38] – Hayley

Yeah, I’ve got family, as I say, my parents are here, my mum and my stepdad, they bought a boat a few years after me and ended up mooring here. So that’s how I’ve ended up here, so they’re just next door, so thankfully I can use their facilities while mine aren’t working. Yeah. And all the rest of my family are within maybe a 45 minutes drive or something, so that’s good.

 

[00:17:01] – Samantha

Oh, yeah. That’s really nice.

 

[00:17:02] – Hayley

And I’ve got a lovely community here in Sowerby Bridge, as I say. I’ve been here three years and I quite quickly managed to make some good friends and get involved with what’s going on here, yeah.

 

[00:17:15] – Samantha

And do you notice and just a big theme that comes up for us on this podcast and in general, when we talk to people about Calderdale is its natural landscape. And I just wondered if there’s anything in particular you’ve noticed in the local area, in the canals here. Is there anything that makes it kind of identifiable for Calderdale? Do they-?

 

[00:17:38] – Hayley

Well, it’s, I guess yeah, the valley, but it’s-, so obviously here we’ve got the high sides of the valley around us, which means everywhere you look, there’s just natural beauty, which is amazing, but then also working your way along the Rochdale Canal towards Manchester, and obviously getting to Summit and past Todmordon, and that way it’s absolutely stunning. And you then get on to the tops, really, and those amazing views around you. Yeah, it’s absolutely gorgeous. And that’s a big reason why I’ve stayed here as well.

 

[00:18:11] – Samantha

Yeah, it seems to be a big draw for people. I know personally for me it is. I moved here having lived in cities and I knew nearby areas, but not Calderdale. And then so struck by its landscape and the access to nature just feels really special, I think.

 

[00:18:29] – Samantha

So we’re going to finish off with the frequently asked questions that people such as myself would probably ask you. And you very kindly sent over the top ones that you always get asked and that you end up having to talk about a lot. So I appreciate you answering them again so that we can record them. But I thought this was a really nice idea, because I think if you haven’t lived on a narrow boat or had a connection to, you’re going to have questions. People are really curious, aren’t they, about it, and I think it’s an interesting thing to shine a light on. And I know you were also keen to show the reality of living on a narrow boat and that there’s no version of life that’s perfect, is there? And we might all read about how idyllic and cheap it is and all of these maybe rhetorics we get given generally, and some of them will be true and some of them actually, maybe not.

 

[00:19:20] – Hayley

Yeah, I think that is something boaters get annoyed about, really, because you see all these articles, people talking about their amazing, idyllic life on a boat. And there’s another side to it, of course. And I think there’s probably a lot of people who end up moving on to boats and are pretty disappointed and disillusioned when they see the reality of it because it’s not all-,

 

[00:19:42] – Samantha

There’s a lot of hard work and a change of lifestyle that is good and bad and everything in between.

 

[00:19:50] – Hayley

Absolutely, yeah, yeah.

 

[00:19:50] – Samantha

Okay, so let’s go for these questions. So the first one very important is how does the toilet work?

 

[00:19:57] – Hayley

Just spend a lot of time talking about toilets. Okay, so there are different types. There’s cassette toilets, which a lot of people might be familiar with in caravans where you have a sort of box underneath that you take out and you have to then walk and empty it at an Elsan point and they’re dotted around the canal system so people can stop and use them. But I’ve never had one of those, but apparently, they can fill up in just a few days. So it can be a bit of a pain that you’re constantly having to deal with it. And more to the point, you’re having to deal with it. And I’ve heard horror stories about splashback and things when people empty them. So as soon as I heard that, I decided that I would definitely get what we call a pump out toilet. So basically that is you have a big tank inside your boat and when it’s full, you take it to a boatyard. You take the boat to the boatyard, not the tank. And they basically put a pipe in the side of the boat and they press a button and it sucks it all out.

 

[00:20:52] – Samantha

Great.

 

[00:20:52] – Hayley

So it’s preferable. Most people who have cassette toilets say they’d only ever have a cassette and most people have pump out say they’d only ever have one of those, so, you know.

 

[00:21:02] – Samantha

Very loyal to the toilet system.

 

[00:21:03] – Hayley

Absolutely, yeah, there’s a lot of arguments about that, but I like my pump out system. I don’t have to get too close to it.

 

[00:21:11] – Samantha

Yeah. I’d imagine I’d be the same as you on that, I think. Great. Okay, next question. Where does your post go?

 

[00:21:19] – Hayley

Basically your boat has to be registered at an address somewhere. So, you know, the Canal River Trust can write to you and things like that. So I use like my sister’s address, so people use a family address. So you can have post go somewhere like that. If you’re on a mooring, if you’re on a long term mooring and you have to pay to be on a long term mooring because otherwise you have to keep moving. You move every two weeks, basically if you’re what they call a continuous cruiser. But if you’re not a continuous cruiser and continuous cruisers call us continuous floaters, ones who don’t move around. Anyway if you’re a continuous floater, then if you’re living in a marina or something like that, then you may have like a pigeonhole, a post box at the marina.

 

[00:22:06] – Hayley

But, yeah, when I was moving around, I was moving around for over eight years. And it wasn’t too much of a problem because I think most of the post people get now are bills, and we don’t get the same kind of bills because basically we turn up and we buy a bottle of gas or we get our diesel tank filled and we pay for it there. So we don’t get that. It would only be if I was ordering something online and wanting something delivered, that it might be an issue, in which case I just used somewhere I was working or a friend who lives nearby or something. I suppose those delivery box type things now, aren’t they that you can get things sent to? So, yeah, that’s the post.

 

[00:22:41] – Samantha

Great, thank you. Okay, next question. Are there parking inspectors to check if you’ve moved?

 

[00:22:48] – Hayley

Yes. People are always surprised by this because they think, surely you don’t have to move every two weeks, but yeah.

 

[00:22:54] – Samantha

I had no idea about that.

 

[00:22:55] – Hayley

Yeah, so there are mooring inspectors who, again, Canal River Trust sort of organise that and they will make a note of where all the boats are on the system and then if they’re still there a couple of weeks later, then they’ll hassle you, yeah. Ultimately, they can refuse to give you a licence the following year. You wouldn’t be allowed to have your boat in the canal system. Yeah.

 

[00:23:18] – Samantha

So you do need a licence to be on the canal as well.

 

[00:23:20] – Hayley

Yeah. It’s not like a driving licence. There’s no test or anything.

 

[00:23:24] – Samantha

Right.

 

[00:23:24] – Hayley

But it’s almost like the equivalent of council tax. So you’re paying towards the upkeep of the canals and for your access to water and bins and things like that.

 

[00:23:34] – Samantha

Right, yeah. Okay. Next one is, do you have a shower and cooking facilities?

 

[00:23:40] – Hayley

Yeah. I don’t know how people imagine we live on boats.

 

[00:23:44] – Samantha

Do you go and bathe in the canal? Hopefully not.

 

[00:23:48] – Hayley

No. As you can see, I’ve got like a full size sort of cooker and everything. Usually I have a bath with a shower over it, so it’s quite civilised.

 

[00:23:55] – Samantha

Second to last question is, is it really cheap to live on a boat?

 

[00:23:59] – Hayley

It’s not really cheap to live on a boat, but the place you save the money really is the cost of the property. So a boat will probably be a lot cheaper than your house or flat, although you can spend an absolute fortune on a boat if you had a new one built or whatever. But, yeah, that’s really where you save the money, because there are quite a lot of costs. We still have bills, we still have gas and diesel or coal, whatever people are heating their boats with. And, yeah, as I say, you have to pay the licence, but there’s also a lot of maintenance, so there’s always things sort of going wrong that needs-, it’s kind of like living in a big vintage car. So constantly everything’s vibrating when the engine runs and everything kind of works its way apart and yeah, there’s a lot of maintenance. You also have to have it taken out of the water every couple of years to black the bottom, as we call it. So we put kind of-, grind all the stuff off the hull and then put bitumen on the bottom of it or something similar. So, yeah, there’s a lot of maintenance. So it’s not as cheap as you might imagine.

 

[00:25:01] – Samantha

Yeah, it’s that idyllic thing again of, oh, it doesn’t cost anything and it’s really peaceful.

 

[00:25:06] – Hayley

Yeah, absolutely, yeah.

 

[00:25:09] – Samantha

Yeah, I don’t think there’s any version of anything that’s always like that, is it?

 

[00:25:13] – Hayley

No. Well, nothing’s particularly cheap at the moment, anyway, is it?

 

[00:25:15] – Samantha

No, I know, yeah, definitely. And then we’ve got one more question, which you said this is the number one question that nearly everybody asks you, which is, is it not cold in the winter?

 

[00:25:27] – Hayley

So I think if-, next time you’re walking past narrow boats in the winter, just have a peek inside. And people are probably walking around in their underwear because most people have their multifuel stoves and it’s wood and coal. Which might not make a huge impact in a house, but in a small space like a boat, usually it’s absolutely roasting in the winter and it’s difficult to actually control them and keep the temperature down if anything. I have central heating and a diesel stove and I have electric heaters because I’m plugged into kind of mains electricity here. So, yeah, there’s no reason for me ever to be cold. Obviously the only issue would be if you couldn’t afford to be stocking it with coal all day long and yeah, prices have risen with coal and diesel and things now, but yes, in terms of the sort of equipment people have on board, it’s too hot, if anything.

 

[00:26:24] – Samantha

Yeah, it’s interesting, isn’t it? I think everybody’s always really concerned about warmth, toilets, showers, food, like basic our main needs, I suppose, in a way.

 

[00:26:34] – Hayley

Yeah. Well, I’m all about creature comfort. I know a lot of people, a lot of boats, they kind of have little built in sort of benches and dinettes and things like that, but I just didn’t want any of that. So for me, it’s like big comfy sofa, nice bed, bath, yes, priorities.

 

[00:26:51] – Samantha

Yeah. No, it feels really cosy.

 

[00:26:54] – Samantha

Oh, thank you.

 

[00:26:54] – Hayley

So, just to finish off, can you tell us what you’re up to in your professional life at the moment?

 

[00:26:59] – Hayley

Yeah, okay, so I’m rehearsing a show at the moment, which we’re going to be doing at the Mercer Gallery in Harrogate at the end of this month, and it’s called Another Way of Telling. It’s about the theory of photography, actually. So it’s quite an unusual piece. It’s almost like a cross between a play and a lecture and a slideshow. And so anyone who’s interested in photography and philosophy might be interested in that. And I’m in a band called Hayley’s Little Big Band. And we’re playing well, we’ve got a lot of gigs booked in Cumbria this winter, but the next thing we’ve got is at the vault in Hebden Bridge. We’re playing on the 30th in the afternoon, 30th of September in the afternoon. So yeah, that’s what I’m working on at the moment. So lots of lines to learn and rehearsals to do, but, yeah, it’s great.

 

[00:27:51] – Samantha

You must be so busy with your work as well.

 

[00:27:54] – Hayley

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, obviously with the kind of work I do, sometimes it’s dead quiet and have time for other things, but at the moment it’s pretty manic, yeah.

 

[00:28:02] – Samantha

Nice. Well, we’ll put some links in your show notes and things about your band, and people would like to have a look at some of the work you’re in and what’s coming up, we can put that on there as well.

 

[00:28:09] – Hayley

Brilliant. All right, thank you.

 

[00:28:11] – Samantha

Well, thank you so much for chatting to me and inviting me into your beautiful home. I just feel very privileged to have spent the time in here, it’s gorgeous.

 

[00:28:20] – Hayley

Thank you, you’re very welcome.

 

[00:28:21] – Samantha

And for sharing with us what it’s like and what your experience of that has been like. Yeah. And hopefully all the best with your upcoming work as well, and the renovation of the-, getting everything sorted again.

 

[00:28:32] – Hayley

Yeah, I’ll get there eventually.

 

[00:28:33] – Samantha

Yeah, you’ll get there, but yeah. Thank you so much, Hayley.

 

[00:28:36] – Hayley

Thank you.

 

[00:28:40] – Samantha

And so we arrive at the closing chapter of this season of Calder Navigation. We want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you who has joined us on this voyage through the stories that shape Calderdale and to our wonderful guests for sharing their stories.

 

[00:28:58] – Samantha

Throughout this season, we’ve had the privilege of sharing inspiring conversations that touch the hearts, ignite the mind and reaffirm the profound power of human connection. As we wrap up this season, let’s carry these remarkable stories with us. Cherishing the invaluable lessons they impart and the bonds they strengthen.

 

[00:29:17] – Samantha

Calder Navigation is an integral part of the Welland Activator Project, a collective initiative dedicated to combating loneliness and isolation within our community. We encourage you to explore the diverse range of classes, workshops and walks offered through the programme. Discover more about this at curiousmotion.org.uk. This production is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council, England, alongside support from Calderdale Council and reaching communities from the National Lottery Community Fund. Our deepest gratitude to them for their support. Big thanks also to Untold Creative for their production support. If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to Calder Navigation on your preferred podcast platform, ensuring you never miss an episode.

 

[00:30:04] – Samantha

And if you have a moment, we would really appreciate you spreading the word by sharing this podcast with your friends, family and anyone who might find solace, inspiration or a sense of belonging within these stories. As we draw the curtain on this season, we invite you to continue your journey of exploration, connection and navigating life’s currents with curiosity and compassion. Remember, the adventure doesn’t end here. It simply takes a brief pause. Until next time. May you always sail with fair winds and warm hearts.

Listen to More

Skip to content