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.
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.
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!!