Sunday, 30 September 2012

Stoke Bruerne "Village At War" - Day 2.

(Boat Sickle - posted by Alan)

"Purton" - also once on the BW maintenance fleet.
As reported already, we were not able to be on "Sickle" overnight, due to a family celebration, but as these events don't start particularly early, it wasn't going to be a huge problem to be back at Stoke for the start of "day 2".  We debated taking our new hound "Odin" with us, but decided that as neither boy showed any interest in coming as well, that might be a bit ambitious if we actually took the boat through a few locks on a very crowded day.  So, although several people had expressed an interest in meeting him, poor "Odin" was left at home.

We were surprised on arrival at about 09:45 to find the main temporary car park still padlocked up, unattended, with the scheduled start of the event just a quarter of an hour away.  Parking in Stoke Bruerne is always a bit of a challenge, and it took a fair bit of negotiation with an initially fairly intransigent steward to actually secure a parking place elsewhere.  We did wonder what less clued up visitors might have done, if arriving for the event, but encountering locked gates.

I think the Lister in "Southern Cross" smokes as badly as "Sickle's"
Sunday seemed unlikely to turn out quite as busy as Saturday - the weather, although fine, looked like being cooler and more overcast, and there was no Spitfire display to lure the punters in today.  None-the-less it remained fairly busy throughout, and traders and volunteers seemed to be reporting a very successful event by the end - good news, as a single day's poor weather can completely kill such things, cause them to return an overall loss, and put them in doubt for future years.

"Southern Cross" and "Bideford" turning around.
Cath's brother Chris, visiting the UK from his California hoime, was due to turn up, but once we  had established he was still elsewhere, we decided not to wait for him any longer before visiting "our local" for lunch.  The Boat copes quite well with the crowds - you can usually find a seat if you time it right, and the food isn't particularly slow to arrive, considering how busy they get.

Singling out the pair back on to "cross straps"
It wasn't just us who got "refuelled" - we also took advantage of "Sickle" being near the local fuel boat "Towcester" to fill the diesel tanks - or we might have done, had the tanks on "Towcester" not run empty as they tried to service us!  It did limit the bill a bit, at least, and should see us through several more trips, so not an issue.

"Southern Cross" tows "Bideford" past "Sickle"
We decided to set off down a couple of locks - the organisers are please to have old boats moving, and we are pleased to add to the display.  About this time Cath's brother Chris appeared, as well as a friend from Canal World.  Progress was quite slow, due to other boat traffic.  I'd love to see some of the very many photos that clearly get taken of us on such occasions, often using top notch cameras, but seldom do.  Perhaps we need to hand out business cards with an email adress on, and try and get people to send their more interesting shots ?  We are usually too busy to take much ourselves.

CRT chief executive Robin Evans put in an appearance.
All too quickly another event was drawing to a close.  We went to see what was still in the exhibition field, but most people had either gone, or were close to doing so.  We had an interesting chat with one of those displaying an old car though - it sounds like at this time of year they are doing a show nearly every weekend.  And I think the boat represents a lot of effort - at least we can sleep in that, rather than have to camp alongside it!

Waiting to go down the top lock.

"In the mood"!
"Sickle" and the US military.

The Pitsford Home Guard
"Comet" and "Sculptor"

"Laplander" steams past "Cyprus" and "Corona"

Pottering around Stoke Bruerne
Miles: 2.0,  Locks:4

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