When we delivered "Sickle" to Braunston a week ago, there was still little indication of what this years event was likely to be like. When the water shortages and restrictions were at their peak, some months back, there were even question marks about whether there would be a Braunston Historic Boat Show at all in 2012. It was already obvious that there would be far less boats attending than last years record of well over 100 - some would have been put off by the restrictions, some would be going to an alternate event being held at Northwich, and some might just have found last year's chaos a few boats too many. A couple of weeks ago it had been indicated to me over 60 were booked in, but anywhere between about 40 and 80 would not have surprised me. In the end the final count seems to have been around the 50 mark, though I wasn't counting this year, and, anyway, it depends if you include boats in the area, and on view, but not necessarily participating directly.
So this was to be a smaller event - not something that worried me personally, in fact I think I thought it might improve it.
|Parading - passing the main spectator areas.|
|"Hampton", "Owl" & "Camel"|
|"Sickle" has acquired some cans since the last "Braunston".|
The day became a bit of a blur after that, except I remember talking to loads of friends, many from canal World Forums, as well as meeting many further people from Canal World in the flesh for the first time.
|Laura Carter, (in front of cabin), was Renfrew's former steerer.|
It was dusk as we left the Boat House, and if we were taking Sickle back, it would be in fading light. "It's OK - we know the way well enough!" someone said, so off we went. I was less certain about making a passage through the private Braunston Marina at that time, to leave "Sickle" facing the right way, but talked myself in to it. As I was about to swing in, everybody was yelling "there is a boat coming out!". I thought they were joking, but made a sudden change of plan not to go in, when I saw "Slough", coming out! Slough is a very short working boat conversion, but with much projecting pusher tug apparatus at the bow - definitely best avoided! We found another way of doing thing, before tying up in the near dark. Overall a fun evening, at the end of a fun day!
Circuits around the environs of Braunston
Miles: 3.6, Locks: 0