Friday, 19 June 2015

New Moon Band and New Moon Morris at Stoke Bruerne Family Festival

(Boats Sickle & Flamingo - posted by Alan)

(Further retrospective post for the weekend of 13th & 14th June)

Some further photos by me of Cath, David and others enjoying themselves in the music and dance parts of this event......

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Stoke Bruerne Family Festival 2015

(Boats Sickle & Flamingo - posted by Alan)

(Retrospective post for the weekend of 13th & 14th June)

In synopsis:

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

Sunday, 14 June 2015

And Yet ANOTHER Trip to Stoke Bruerne!

(Boat Flamingo - posted by Alan)

Friday 12th June

I said in the last posting about "Sickle" that it was our firm aim to also get "Flamingo" to the Stoke Bruerne Family Festival .

In practice it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride, as we have over the last few days had large amounts of "Flamingo's" interior stripped out, right back to the point where we are staring at lengths of the riveted hull sides.  The boat has been somewhat of a building site, frankly, and not in a state where it could have attended this event, and even less so having more than me, Cath and Odin overnighting on it.

Fortunately some long days burning the midnight oil got us back to a point where it could be used just in time, albeit still in some disarray as we set off.

No pictures this time, I'm afraid, but we are now here, and son David joined us on board last night, after I had spent the evening frantically trying to store away as much of the muddle as I could.

The boats have still not formally "met" under our ownership, ("Flamingo" must have boated past "Sickle" many times in her carrying days, though), but they are now tantalisingly close to each other, as we borrow bits of the inventory for onr, to supplement things we don't have in the other.

Weedon to Stoke Bruerne
Miles: 10, Locks:0

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Another Trip to Stoke Bruerne

(Boat Sickle - posted by Alan)
Retrospective post for Sunday 7th June

We are now well into the festivals and galas season, so will be attempting to attend as many by boat as we are able, although with so much to do on "Flamingo", we are resigned we will be doing less this year than we might have in previous years.

One lock completed at Stoke Bruerne - waiting for the 2nd.
One that is on our "must do" list is the Stoke Bruerne Family Festival with "Sickle" at least , because, like last year, we have commited her to be used for one of the displays.  Our hope  is to have her joined by "Flamingo", which is the first opportunity we have had to get both boats together.

So, once again, we find ourselves into planning logistics of moving boats about, and being able to get back to retrieve cars.  As our son Michael uses one of our cars during the week, any short boat moves involving a "two car shuffle" can only be done at a weekend.  Thus we elected to move "Sickle" up to Stoke Bruerne the weekend before the festival.

Onwards and upwsards......
Not a lot to report for the trip, although I could maybe mention the Wyvern Shipping hire boat in the tenuous "control" of one of the least competent crews I have witnessed in many years.  Four of them were stood around the tiller and the controls, and as one got into difficulty with a bad manouvre, another then grabbed the tiller, and completely over-compensated in the other direction.  Thus they zig-zagged down the canal, largely avoiding the banks, except at the bridge holes, which didn't fare as well!  In the end I did what I never usually do, and TOLD them I was coming past, rather than asking them if I could.

We had an easy passage up the locks, but having started late at the other end, and hit several hold ups on the way, our actual arrival wsas quite late.  We elected to grab a quick meal at the pub, before starting to round up the cars, but at least "Sickle" was now where she needed to be.

Fenny Stratford to Stoke Bruerne
Miles: 17.6, Locks: 8