(Retrospective post for the weekend of 13th & 14th June)
The success of these events is always to some extent determined by the weather - if it is good, the crowds are almost guaranteed - if it is poor, then numbers dwindle, and the organisers start to look worried about what is primarily a money raising event.
This year the weather was not great on Saturday, although by the afternoon it was somewhat improved, and more people visited. However Sunday was a very different day, and the crowds came out to play - lots of them it seemed.
For us personally:
This was the first event we have managed to get both our historic boats, "Sickle" and "Flamingo", to. "Flamingo" will be an ongoing project for many months, and we had pulled enough of it apart that its attendance was looking unlikely only a few days before the event. However we managed to turn things around to the point we could not only use her, but also have a back cabin guest. (In fact for Saturday night we had people guesting in the back cabins of both "Sickle" and "Flamingo".)
Cath and David's Morris side "New Moon Morris" were dancing at this event, but additionally they were performing as a band in the evening as the "New Moon Band". The latter was a first, with many of the players giving their first ever public performance.
Additionally "Sickle" was again "the Viking Boat", allowing Cath and me to make complete idiots of ourselves once again. (I'm not involved in the Morris, so this was my best outlet for being an idiot!).
It was generally agreed a good time was had by all, although there were some stresses caused by Morris activities not happening at planned times, and hence conflicting with the "Vikings", which still had to be done at the timetabled time.
We were both quite exhausted by the end of it, I think, but still managed to pack up, and get both boats awa through Blisworth tunnel on the Sunday evening. As I have until now been the one who always takes the historic boats through the long Grand Union tunnels, and there is only one of me, but two boats, the task of taking "Sickle" through fell to David. By all accounts he didrather better than I did with "Flamingo" - I'm still not yet used to taking a boat of this length through, and found myself tending to over-compensate if I started to go a bit off course.
Photos copyright David Fincher
Photo copyright Louise Yeoman
Photos copyright Kathryn Doddington
Photos copyright Lynda Payton
Photos copyright James Rudd, Towcester News
Photo copyright Phil Underwood Photograpy