Monday, 25th May 2009: Crick Boat Show and on to Lincoln!
This year's Crick Boat Show has been blessed with fine and mostly sunny weather (clearly demonstrated in the photograph above) and, although there were noticeable absentees among the exhibitor ranks, the show proved to be the most enjoyable that we have yet attended. This year, mooring between the old marina entrance and Bridge 13 was strictly prohibited by British Waterways but, as can be seen in the picture below, we managed to arrange an online mooring that was barely a boat length from the footbridge entrance to the show. This was very convenient and although not as private as our mooring of previous years, near Bridge 13, we were able to get within about six inches of the piling at which point 'Alnwick' was firmly aground on the mud! 'GC', the famous ginger cat, thoroughly enjoyed himself watching various people (and dogs) pass by during the daytime and, during his nocturnal forays, we often saw him venturing over the footbridge to the show site - on one his 'walks' we followed him as far as Bridge 13 (which he obviously remembered from earlier years) and there we observed a recently killed rabbit on the towpath, when we were less than six feet from the 'kill', a stoat appeared, it stood on its hind legs and eyed us up and down before proceeded to drag the rabbit off into the bottom of the hedge - it all happened so quickly that I didn't have time to get my camera out. 'GC' watched the whole incident but, wisely, kept to a safe distance - I am not sure if he has encountered a stoat before but he has seen mink at Cropredy and seems to know that they should be avoided. In fact at first glance I thought we were witnessing the antics of a young mink but it had the reddish brown coat with a white face (and underside) along with a black tipped bushy tail that clearly identified it as a stoat.
One of the most interesting exhibits at Crick was the 1830s ice boat 'Laplander' (pictured above), now fitted with a single cylinder steam engine and Merryweather style vertical boiler. There were some very nice new boats on display too - we were particularly impressed with 'Pyrus' exhibited by William Piper Narrowboats Ltd and a neat fifty footer that had been built in just thirteen weeks by Daddys Boat Co.
We are leaving Crick today en-route for Foxton, Leicester and Loughborough where we hope to be moored next Saturday, 30th May. After that we plan to head up to the River Trent and Nottingham before heading for Lincoln and then returning via the Trent & Mersey Canal to Fradley Junction and back through Birmingham to Cropredy.
Finally, the picture below shows the new tool boxes that Graham designed and made to fit in the bilge space beneath the floor of the boatman's cabin - hopefully these will help to keep the tools clean, tidy and out of the way but always ready if needed.
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© Graham & Jane Oliver 2009