Huddlesford Heritage Gathering and Barry’s 20 Questions in Canal Boat

Amongst the 2,000 miles of interconnected navigable canal and rivers in England and Wales, there remains sections in the process of restoration – some more actively than others.

Lichfield, a cathedral city (famous for it’s three spires), is a short distance north east of Sutton Coldfield, where I grew up and raised my two children. Since 1988, the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Restoration Trust has been actively working on restoring their section of the Inland Waterways to join up with the system.

One of their fund-raising activities is a bi-annual festival held at the Lichfield Cruising Club – The Huddlesford Heritage Gathering. Last weekend was our first experience of  the event. Ashamedly we hadn’t heard of it until we received a Facebook message from one of the organisers inviting The Home Brew Boat to trade there – and I fortunately also snuck in as a facepainter …

The weather was on her best behaviour for a change, enabling almost 5,000 people to enjoy all the activities on offer and rewarding those who’d worked so tirelessly to organise a fabulous event.

The Home Brew Boat

The Home Brew Boat arrives at dusk on Thursday evening

The Home Brew Boat at Huddlesford

A photo from the LHCRT website – the gentleman on the left is a long-time blog reader from Glasgow who came to say hi to us – it was really lovely to meet you and your wife


Funtastic Facepainting at the Huddlesford Heritage Gathering

Funtastic Facepainting’s pitch

Lichfield and Hitherto Restoration Trust logo

Two of the organisers with their LHCRT logo painted

Huddles ford Heritage Gathering

The music marquee and BBQ area

We had a wonderful weekend trading and socialising with lots of friendly folk. Thank you so much for inviting us – we’ll be back!

Canal Boat 20 Questions

A few weeks ago, Barry told me he’d had a second email from someone about an article asking him 20 questions. They’d been intrigued seeing Barry in his ‘Get your kit off the home brew crew’ T-shirt at Crick in May, and chatted to him briefly there. Barry wasn’t really sure what it was about – it turned out to be quite a privilege to be invited to contribute to this feature.

Luckily the publication had the good sense to send a reminder after their first attempt – and I realised what a great opportunity (and honour) this offer was.

We got our copy of the October edition of ‘Canal Boat‘ last week when my eldest sister visited us – she fortuitously lives in Lichfield.

Canal Boat 20 questions

The amusing thing about Barry becoming more well known, is he came to England to get away from everyone knowing him in Gisborne as the local school, wedding, portrait and commercial photographer!

Which leads me nicely onto another publication he’ll be featuring in – ‘Waterways World‘ November edition. He was invited to write a short piece on advice for budding waterways photographers, including three of his favourite images and we submitted said piece on Friday (phew! It’s all go on board Areandare).

Coming up …

I’ve been with my mum for a few days while Barry’s been returning to Birmingham for the Roving Canal Traders Floating Market this weekend.

It actually begins tomorrow at 10am and finishes at 10pm. In the evening the trading boats will be illuminated which promises to be a magical sight. We’ll be moored right beside the new Barclaycard Arena – previously known as the National Indoor Arena.

The following weekend I’m taking mum to London to see the Queen the Frank Sinatra Show – actually she’s paying for me for my birthday which is on Monday next week. We’re staying in a five-star hotel overlooking the River Thames. What a treat that will be!

Barry will be solo-boating once again, trading at Bentley Bridge with five other boats.

It’s a challenge to keep up with this blog as you can imagine, whilst trading, visiting family and writing articles. The lovely gentleman in the photo above, who said he’d been reading our blog I believe since it began in May 2009, said even if I blog infrequently to please not stop.

I shall endeavour to continue – and one day may even get the spectacular River Nene photo journey published here!!

4 thoughts on “Huddlesford Heritage Gathering and Barry’s 20 Questions in Canal Boat

  1. Sandra, Thank you for the very kind comments! If I’d know that I was being photographed I would not have made the effort of getting up the slope of the bridge look so great – although it was probably the 100th time I’d climbed it that day, so I have an excuse.

    It was great to meet you & Barry at long last, and at such an enjoyable and friendly event. Please tell Barry that the yard we hired our boat from were really delighted with his card showing of one of their fleet at Fradley.

    We saw the eclipse from Tixal Wide – but didn’t get such good photographs as you.

    If ever you make it to Glasgow please let us know

    • Hi Graham – haha! I think you look very sprightly 😉

      It was really good to meet you two too, and I’ll let Barry know his card was well received – we’re printing more soon, with new images which is exciting!

      Well done for watching the eclipse, all our fellow traders slept through it …

      We’ll definitely contact you if we ever make it to Glasgow – email us so we have your contact details.

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