Monday, 25 August 2008

IWA National Festival

Sunday was spent at the IWA Festival at Autherley Junction. We'd stayed the night in Warwick, having driven up after my shift on Saturday evening, and it was less than an hour to Wolverhampton. We followed the signs and parked at the Birmingham Midshires HQ, and got the first bus to the festival site. This meant we were among the first in at 10am, and we went straight away to the boats on the pontoon. There was a very poor selection of new boats on show, I felt. We were actually disappointed by most of the show, with many of the stands having nothing to do with boating at all. There were engines and bow thrusters and toilets, of course, but there didn't seem to be the usual stands of boaty bits and bobs.

The best bit in many ways, which we could have done for free I suppose, was walking up and down the tow path and looking at all the visiting boats.

We walked down to Autherley Junction, where there seemed to be hardly any difference at all between the levels of the Staffs and Worcs and the Shroppie.

We also walked down to Aldersley Junction, the start of the BCN, and the foot of the Wolverhampton 21 (which we have done in both directions).

Moored opposite the junction, next to a sign on the fingerpost saying that it was the last visitor mooring before the festival moorings began, was the OwnerShips boat Shadow. No sign of Halfie on board though, and I didn't spot him at the show either (although if he wasn't wearing the stoical expression of his blogger profile photo, I wouldn't have recognised him).

Moored opposite the festival site was Guelrose, but Mike was probably working.

Sanity was also there, but moored in the middle of three abreast. I did snatch a few words with Bruce, though, as he tipped yet another barrow load of wood chips into the mud. He told me 80 tonnes of bark chippings would have been put down by the end of the day.

After lunch, we walked up the Shroppie as far as the Wolverhampton Boat Club before turning back. There were still boats further up, but we felt we'd walked far enough. We left at about 2.30, catching a bus back to the car. We then headed off to Stratford, but more of that in a separate post.

1 comment:

Halfie said...

Adam - I didn't spot you either. Yes, we had a really good mooring for the Festival as it was only half a mile up the towpath. Closer, probably, than many of the boats on "official" Festival moorings! It was only our second "National" - we went to St. Ives last year (but not in Shadow) - but I agree: it seemed somehow smaller than last time. It was good being able to go by boat: we felt much more part of it. More details of our trip to come on the blog.