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The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

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Archive for June 16th, 2011

Boat Blog: Pelsall Festival (a weekend away with my other woman)

Posted by indigodream on 16 June, 2011

We are not really festival people, it is not that we deliberately shun them but it is hard to programme a full summer of cruising weekend at a time and take into account festivals. We often manage to be in the right place but not at the right time, there is a real need to convert Indigo Dream into a Police Box or do a Capt Ahab and fit a nitrous oxide cylinder

Ok, swing left here

The Pelsall Festival was almost in the right place and almost at the right time, we thought that the BCN Society need some support for the excellent work they do, we wondered who would venture to the northern reaches of the BCN? After all fantastic as the Curly Wurly may be, it is obviously bandit territory and the waters are full of sharks which are known to regularly eat small children. Sue could not go – once in a while she needs to sing so that she does not lose her welsh accent and last Saturday was the day that her choir was singing and Sue was getting her accent back – that left me all by myself. Well not quite, who could be my travelling companion? Lynx and Ty fell by the wayside as prospective drinking companions as Lynx is still grounded and Jelly Boy finds crowds still a bit scary. So the plan became that I would go up with the other woman, Lou, who is a bit of a babe magnet herself. The initial plan of going up on Friday night and having a quick constitutional in the excellent Finger Post (looks cr%p from the canal but is a great pub) fell by the wayside as I was simply too knackered by Friday – I think the BCN Challenge was such a big event that everything afterwards seems a bit of an anti-climax and I am having to work that bit harder to make up!

So Saturday off we went in the newly fixed car (thank you A&A), the journey was a delight as motorways were empty and naturally driving at no more than the speed limit, 160 miles seemed to flash by amazingly quickly. My satnav took me up the M6 Toll to my initial horror but I have to say it was nice having my own personal motorway and the turn off is just round the corner from Pelsall. I parked up one street down from the pub and walked through the trees towards the festival site and what a sight. The pub was heaving, live music outside and loads of boats. The festival site itself is actually west of the junction so you need to walk a bit to see it and then it is great, there are even more boats! No one owned up to having lost any small children to sharks though I see that the Jameisons sent one of their dogs out on shark patrol and yes some of the narrowboaters did look a bit like bandits. The festival was exceedingly social, within minutes of arriving I was drinking coffee with the crew of nb Topaz who are avid followers of Lynx’s diary. Soon after I caught up with the crew of Felonious Mongoose. It was great to meet new people such as the Jameisons especially as we have always admired their artwork. But best of all there were 124 boats with booked in places and more round the corner, it was a fantastic sight. It must have been a hell of a shock for the fishermen no doubt, hardly ever see any boats here then they come in threes, no fours, no fives, no bleedin’ hundreds.

Boats, boats and more boats in every direction at the junction. I can't describe what a wonderful sight it is to see so many boats on the Curly Wurly.

The BCN Society deserve a mention, well actually they deserve a standing ovation. They are so organised, they do so much to put these events on. They have vans, generators, beer tents even their own burger van manned by volunteers who do a great shark butty burger on the morning after. Morning after what? Well there is this beer tent and they have a selection of dodgy beers and well it would be rude not to sample and then it really is a civic duty to help lighten their load on the next day when packing up. The evening event was  just a very social do – Lou and I met Clive Henderson – we have moored at the bottom of his garden a few times so we feel that we know him already. Obviously it was great as thanks to our sterling crew of Andy, Graham and Sarah we managed to get third place in the BCN Marathon Challenge by a tiny whisker – Tawny Owl was hot on our tail just 6 points below so they must have picked up a load more questions then we did.  I had a long chat with the winning crew of Muskrat, they are serious boaters and put serious thought into winning the challenge. Ivor from Atlas & Malus seemed seriously disgruntled not to win, never mind I am sure we can beat both next time, oh sorry was that the wrong thing to say?

Burger with thing to everything for me please, just a plain one for the other woman please

Half the crew of nb Topaz minus their greyhound who had done a Lynx

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