Getting a soaking at Alvechurch AND en route to Crick

We’re currently ‘speeding’ along at 3-4 mph to the Crick Boat Show. Barry’s driving in the pouring rain which promises to accompany us throughout the day.

Unfortunately we don’t have the luxury of sitting it out as we’ve 55 miles and 79 locks to get to Crick in time for the show. I’ll be making an appearance shortly kitted out in waterproofs and wellies, ready to do numerous locks …

All being well, we’ll arrive sometime on Friday ready for our slot on the Waterways World panel talking about ‘running a business on a boat’.

I didn’t go to my daughter’s yesterday as planned, because it became too complex with trading and travelling. I’ll be heading up in a week’s time instead, following this weekend’s festivities.

Alvechurch Beer and boat Festival

We’ve just experienced another terrific two-days of trading along with Helen and Andy from Wild Side. This time we were also joined by Sue and Ade on the Cheese Boat, who had the pleasure (or pain if truth be told!) on Saturday night of being taught the customary card game of six-handed rummy.

They may never recover after partaking in the competitiveness of our seemingly habitual entertainment.

The festival itself was an enjoyable weekend. On Friday evening the four of us tasted a small selection of the 61 beers on tap in the beer tent – we didn’t get time for the 13 ciders or 7 perrys!

There was even more excitement to be had when Helen, and eventually Andy, got up and danced to Reflections, announcing it’s been 20 years since such an occurrence! They were admittedly an outstanding band. Click on the link and you’ll get to hear them.

I missed the first two bands as I’d taken mum’s car back and then spent a couple of hours getting my brand new facepainting design boards ready with colourful faces for the weekend …

Face-painting design board

Spider man and Batman were a popular choice

Face-painting design board

Pretty girl designs








How fantastic are they? They wipe clean (I know they do because I’ve just done it!), so that each event I go to I can choose different designs and themes according to the place or celebration.

My next facepainting booking is Throckmorton Air Show – any ideas on what could be popular there?

The weather wasn’t terribly kind to everyone once again, though fortunately it reminded dry.

Funtastic Facepainting

Funtastic Facepainting all set up – with a brand new gazebo as well as design boards

Facepainting design boards

Here’s the new facepainting design boards hanging up – lots of thought into placement by Barry and Andy

Wild Side Jams and Chutneys

Here’s Helen on the Jam Butty selling her Wild Side Jams and Chutneys

The Cheese Boat

A new trader we hadn’t met before on the left (sorry folks, forgot to get your names!) selling recycled wooden creations and brasses, and Sue and Ade on The Cheese Boat

Cheese Boat and Home Brew Boat

Barry’s nestled in behind the Cheese Boat

Alvechurch Marina

The sun shone for some of the day on Saturday morning – the lull before the masses arrived in the afternoon …

Alvechurch Beer and Boat Festival 2015

It wasn’t so dry for Barry on Sunday though.

I’d gone for a walk early afternoon to check out the entertainment next to the beer tent. All the trading boats were at the canalside, out of sight.

Returning to my pitch this is the sight that greeted me …

Fallen in the canal

A rather drenched and dripping Barry after slipping off the gunnel into the canal

He’d walked along the gunnel between our boat and Wandr’ing Bark to retrieve some paper bags from the roof. Unfortunately when he got to the bow his foot slipped off and he dropped straight down to the bottom of the canal.

Thank goodness he didn’t have his phone in his pocket or his camera/iPad in his hand! The £5 and £10 notes were recoverable. Not so the paper bags …

Barry was still smiling thankfully. A passing woman helped him out – bless you if you’re reading this!

A hot shower and change of clothes and he was back to his amenable self – though he’s still got a problem with his hearing which is concerning.

He did manage to swallow some disgusting canal water, so we’ll be mindful of any symptoms of ‘Weil’s Disease’ over the next 2 to 30 days. It’s a horrid condition, and potentially fatal if not recognised and treated promptly. A rare hazard of our chosen ‘water gypsy’ lifestyle.

Sunday was cooler and quieter.

Apparently the Beer Festival usually takes place on a Friday and Saturday, with the Sunday being added as a special bonus for the 200th anniversary celebration of the navigation of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. So that probably kept a few people away.

Crick Boat Show

It’s a tight itinerary to get us to Crick for the weekend, but we’re very honoured to have such an opportunity.

We even invested in new t-shirts and had The Home Brew Boat logo printed on them, so we can advertise as we walk around the showgrounds.

We have five minutes to present an overview of our why, what, when and how of running a business on a boat – actually we run THREE businesses so it’ll be an interesting concept to fine-tune the information to five minutes!

We’ve forgone a trading weekend at Burton-on-Trent with RCTA for Crick, gambling on the possibility that the exposure will bring us an increase in trade. Of course it’ll also be fun and a unique experience that we’d be foolish not to grasp.

That’s it from me – almost time to get dressed up in my waterproof gear and do some paddling!

4 thoughts on “Getting a soaking at Alvechurch AND en route to Crick

  1. Barry should stop sampling his wares methinks !. We are on route to Crick also, so will come and say hi… we’re a bit closer you just past Rugby on the Oxford.

    • Funny how people think he must’ve been drinking – seriously, he was as sober as a judge! He blames it on his slippy soles, saying he was wearing his brown shoes to go with his beige trousers because his navy trousers of 6 years frequent wear have just been thrown away after splitting them helping Helen and Andy up the Tardebigge locks!

      Fabulous that I’ll finally get to meet you both soon. Safe journeys 😉

  2. Is that crane holding up your new gazebo?
    They say that you are not a real boater until you have had a ducking in the cut. At least you had a smile on your face Barry. I am not a real boater yet!
    Doing the BCN Challenge next w/end on the Narrow Boat Trust pair. Starting at Mad O’Rourke’s in Tipton on Friday. The Fiddle and Bone on Saturday and ending at The Great Western, Wolverhampton on Sunday – god help our livers! I bet you know them all Barry.

    • Haha Ray, it’s not that big!
      I’ve heard that saying a number of times, I’m not buying into it! Alternatively I NEVER want to be a ‘real’ boater if that’s what it takes, I’m hoping to miss that experience off my bucket list …

      Barry says he knows the first and last pubs on your list – good luck with the BCN challenge, sounds like heaps of fun.


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