A Terrific Trading Time in Tipton

Last weekend was the Tipton Canal and Community Festival. We previously traded at this event in 2014, as The Home Brew Boat, on the Sunday only. This time we both traded – and what a magnificent weekend we had.

All the people I met were incredibly friendly and appreciative. I had the most photos of facepainting shared on my Facebook page ever!

Tony and Julie, from NB DamperVan, moored up alongside us – Barry will be working with them at Merry Hill from tomorrow (Saturday 24th) evening selling calendars for The Calendar Club, through to 4th January. He’s doing Wednesdays and weekends – The Home Brew Boat will of course continue to sell via the website.

I’ve been on the boat continuously for almost three weeks now, and relished being a part of a number of fun social gatherings whilst in Tipton too – impromptu ones next to the boat, or at The Fountain Inn. I was extremely grateful to only have a short walk to the railway station to get to Birmingham City University Monday to Wednesday too, and felt very fortunate it’s a temporary commute.

The remainder of this post will be mostly pictorial. We’re now moored up at Parkhead ready for the bi-annual festival here, so time is rather limited!

You’ll be pleased to hear I’ve been given some images from the Captain himself – quite a rarity – so  included are a few of the journey to the BCBF, and then on to Tipton …


Ian, a friend from Gisborne in UK on holiday, visits Barry for the day to help move from Stourbridge to Netherton whilst Sandra was away at University before the BCBF

Barry and Ian NBareandare

Not the sharpest shot – taken with Barry’s camera but not by the master himself! Thanks so much Ian, Barry had a most enjoyable journey catching up with you, sorry I missed you 🙂

NB DamperVan

Tony (and Julie) travel ahead of us, away from Netherton, towards the tunnel, a few days after the BCBF

Tipton Slasher

Our second evening in Tipton heralded a Harvest Full Moon – and Barry captures this magnificent shot with The Tipton Slasher silhouetted in it’s eerie light

One of the gregarious traders organised an evening of fun at Mad O’Rourke’s famous Pie Factory before the weekend’s work began – and fortuitously on a Wednesday evening it’s two for the price of one! Apart from the ‘Desperate Dan’ pie, which Toastie was challenged to eat …


Final festival frolics

A few days following the full-on weekend, most of our fellow traders moved into central Birmingham for the Roving Canal Traders Association Floating Market this weekend, while we journeyed the short distance to Parkhead for our final planned canal festival of 2016.

Yet another social evening was organised, and a group of us tucked into a four-course Indian for £9.95 – being a BYO helped to keep costs down. We may not earn a huge amount, but we find ways to celebrate in memorable ways.

We won’t see most of the trade boaters again until late Spring 2017 – many of us who rely on our boating businesses for our livelihood will be in some form of employment during the winter. It’s the price we pay for having the freedom of this lifestyle – and a small one we believe.

Good luck and go well everyone!



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