Well, the weekend finally arrived. The best free show on the waterways. Well, probably the best free show anywhere, in my opinion.
After moving out to bridge 88 we settled in to wait for the weekend. The Captain caught up with some jobs, like painting the plank and poles, as well as varnishing the porthole inserts. All jobs he promised to do before we left Stone. Still, they are done now.
Saturday, and the sun shone. We walked in to Braunston in time to hear the boats in the old arm firing up their engines. Bollinders, Nationals, etc. all with their own distinctive sound. It is amazing to see them jockeying for their turn to leave the arm, turn under the bridge and start the parade through the village.
Star of the show of course was President, the last of the Fellowes Morton & Clayton steamers to be still under steam. She led the parade, hooting as she went with her crew in traditional dress as befits her status and home at the Black Country Museum in Dudley.
There were in all over 80 old working boats present, from 70 footers still in working trim to a selection of tugs from all over the waterways.
All credit must go to Tim and his gang in Braunston Marina for organising such a wonderfull event, no mean feat.
After the parade there was, of course, the beer tent, with music, accompanied by the sound of the boats backing into the arm after the parade finished. It was, as always, a wonderful weekend.
I will let the pictures tell the story.
After the show we made our way to 'the Boathouse for a meal, where, we caught president making a lone run through the village for the film crew. On board were Timothy West & Prunella Scales, no doubt destined to appear in a future TV programme. They even allowed him to steer, would you?