Sunday, 29 June 2014

Braunston Historic Boats - 2014

(Boat Sickle - posted by Alan)
 Very Retrospective Post for Saturday 28th & Sun 29th June

"Sickle" hides amongst the tugs.
The lowest key Braunston show we have attended.  I counted 60 historic boats in attendance, (probably not spot on!), which is the least we have seen, (though still a very large number of course).  Only a few years ago it was one hundred plus, when frankly it had overstretched itself, and the usual humour from the total mayhem of the parades started to wane, when you didn't go out at all because the "morning" one had still not ended when the afternoon one probably was scheduled to.

The moment the Melodeon player finally realises how close the Large Woolwich is.
However, unlike previous quiet years, there were neither water shortage restrictions, or even a lot of competing events, so I was surprised by the low turnout.  Could part of it be that the only under-cover refuge if it rains in the evenings is the beer tent, and that in the beer tent they have loud music - very loud music, so even for those who have good hearing, (which I don't), conversation becomes impossible.  Now clearly many people do like the music, but equally it is very clear that many boat owners wish to sit and chat over a beer, and the entertainments render that impossible.  Even some of what I would consider the more staunch "party types" were sloping off to the pubs, saying "I'm not going to stay where you can only order beer by pointing".

Me and "Mike the Boilerman" before the Saturday rain really got going.
What didn't help as well was that both Friday evening, and Saturday were wet - very wet.  I can't quite believe how wet we, the dog, friends who hitched a lift, and much of the furnishings inside "Sickle" got.  It kind of crept up on you without you really noticing how bad it had become until your teeth were chattering.

Cath with friends after the rain got going.
Fortunately Sunday was much better, although for me the highlight was probably not the show itself, but the decision not to actually start heading back for home as planned, and instead to have a long and pleasant evening with friends at the pub.  "Sickle" acted as taxi service, and we eventually tied up again tired, but still in Braunston, which had hardly been the plan!

Surprisingly patient but very wet Odin.
If we don't go to the show next year, it will be because of the conflicts between the entertainments, and any possibility of chatting to friends over a pint.  It would be a shame not to go - Braunston is something of a tradition, but others are clearly deserting it, and I'm not sure we will not end up likewise.

Odin has friends aboard in very much better Sunday weather.
We didn't do well on taking photos - the best of a rather poor collection are shown here.

"Fenny" (left), "Perch" (centre) & "Crane" (right)
"Renfrew" passes "Dodona"

At the turn, "Crane" follows "White Heather"
Our turn at the turn

"Dodona", originally a butty.
Captured during a very long and rather odd hold-up!

Parading at Braunston (Twice), plus trip to Pub
Miles: 3.6, Locks:0

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