Saturday 4 October 2014

Black Country Boating Festival 2014

Black Country Boating Festival 2014
September 2014

Our journey to the Black Country Festival was kind of circuitous, involving that memorable trip to Napton and involved a relief crew to get motor and butty back to Birmingham from Warwick. 

In the end we picked the boats up from a friend's mooring in Symphony Court, incurring the ire of the NCP staff as I unloaded the car beside the Symphony Hall visitor moorings. The central Birmingham starting point was convenient and allowed us to reach the festival site in mid afternoon, slotting into our tightly measured space outside the visitor centre. Adrian - how could I ever doubt your measuring skills?

In the event I saw little of the festival. We set up the butty on Friday evening and ate with Barry and Sandra (Homebrew Boat) but when the starting gun was fired our feet never touched the ground. The weather was glorious and the crowds flocked out in their thousands, many being repeat customers eager for another jammy fix. In the end we broke all our sales records on the Saturday and even the Sunday, usually a quieter day, we matched our previous record. The end result was a much denuded stall as we struggled to field a field a credible display. As we packed away there was a sad little pile of full boxes in the butty, barely enough to need to think about balancing the trim.

With all that frenetic activity our time in the beer tent was limited in the extreme, in fact we spent more time in the tent attending the church service than we did whilst the bar was open for its given purpose and apart from the liberal supply of Barry's homebrew, we only managed to consume two pints of Bumblehole on Sunday afternoon.

We slunk out of the festival site at 6.00pm, closely followed by Areandare, finding a slot in Hawne Basin in the last fading glimmer of twilight, out temporary home for two weeks before the Park Head rally.

Oh how I love the Black Country Boating Festival - a real community event. Our booking is in for the 30th Anniversary festival in September 2015.

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