On Tuesday 12th July, the Canal and River Trust (CRT) celebrated its ten-year anniversary. Its formation, on the 12th of July 2012, saw the largest ever transfer of public assets into the charitable sector.
As we navigate the canals of England and Wales aboard Areandare, we feel inordinately grateful to have such an idyllic lifestyle. It’s unique to the UK. Other countries may enjoy some similarities, but none have the infrastructure that we do.
Listen to the new Canal Laureate Roy Mcfarlane – he’ll tell you more about the wonders far more eloquently than I can. Plus, there’s lots of footage from my home town of Birmingham:
One Thing Leads To Another – Albeit Years Later
In 2015, we were invited to take part in a Q & A session at the Crick Boat Show about trading on a narrowboat. We were there from the 22nd to the 24th May, and shared our limited experiences of being a floating trader. Alongside Paul O’Leary a waterways artist, Helen and Andy from Wild Side Jams and Preserves, and Sarah Henshaw from the Book Barge. Unbeknownst to us, a CRT employee was in the crowd listening and wanting to know more.
Bear with me here, it’s a bit of a story but I’ll get to the point soon!
A couple of months ago Barry was trading selling his Greeting Cards at the top of the Anderton Boat Lift. The North West area CRT Customer Services Representative, Liam, chatted with him and the other traders, Bob and Sandra on ‘All Things Spanish’. It turned out that Liam had seen us at Crick. He told Barry he’d often wanted to chat to us since then.
A couple of days later, we were moored near The Salt Barge just outside of Northwich, when I received a telephone call from someone in London. Barry did note down his name, but unfortunately he’s lost his (yellow he tells me) piece of paper! He said they were looking for a narrowboat to film for an upcoming video about CRT for their tenth anniversary, and would we be interested? He stated we’d been recommended by someone near to us. I passed his details on to Barry to call him back.
We can only assume the recommendation was from Liam who he’d recently chatted with at Anderton.
We had no hesitation in helping CRT out. But had no comprehension at that time of the magnitude of that choice.
Flying Through Areandare
Eerily on 25th May, almost seven years after our Crick sessions, Rob Whitworth knocked on the outside of our boat. He’d driven from Norwich (not Northwich, keep up!), and had a number of other places to film. He succinctly explained what he needed, and we busied ourselves tidying the boat of unnecessary knick-knacks – both inside and out!
It was surreal watching him almost running through the boat filming with his camera on a moveable handle. Barry reliably informs me its called a gimble. Rob explained as best as he could, what the finished version was intended to represent. He asked me to pretend to make a cup of tea, pouring water into a cup. That was filmed three times. Barry got to make the fire – basically setting light to some paper as it wasn’t necessary to light it properly. We weren’t fussed about the differing roles. We often joke about our ‘pink’ and ‘blue’ jobs on board – analogies we pinched from a dear friend.
Hearing About The Finished Product
Late last week, I remembered that the CRT tenth anniversary would be in July. I checked Rob’s contact details and noted down to call him to see if he knew if/when the video would be published. To my surprise, on Sunday evening I received an email from Richard Parry. The Chief Executive of CRT, saying he’d been watching an early cut of the new Trust film and realised he recognised the boaters whose boat the camera ‘flies’ through! So we knew we’d made the early cut, but not necessarily the final cut.
Yesterday evening, we received the link to the CRT video from Nicky Wakeford, Head of Marketing & Supporter Development, that’s on the new ‘About Us’ page. We absolutely love it and feel like film stars!
Rob you were incredible and the finished product is just how you described it would look. Absolutely brilliant work.
“Rob Whitworth is a BAFTA winning EMMY nominated film maker.
His unique flow motion works are instantly identifiable, with gripping perspectives that create a profoundly transformative experience. Rob lifts the constraints of time and space to create groundbreaking visuals.”http://www.robwhitworth.co.uk/about
That is undoubtedly true.
Well done CRT. We look forward to benefiting from your world-renowned inland waterway systems for at least the next ten years. It’s a massive pleasure for us to be a part of your video.