Show boats busy with visitors
Although we arrived at around 10:30 the show was already filling up and by lunchtime it was decidedly busy. As usual, we started by touring the stands in the marquees. This year there were a number of stands promoting new marinas and, although there were stalls selling craft items, there was only a single stand selling antiques; perhaps reflecting the changing tastes in boat styles - more chrome and less brass.
I visited the CRT tent whilst Maggie visited the craft tent. Richard Parry, the CEO of CRT, was in attendance alongside other staff. I took the opportunity of a lull in "customers" to introduce myself to Richard and have a chat. It is very refreshing that he attends such events and "muck in". We discussed the usual matters that concern boaters and I praised his open approach. Later on, whilst I was by the historic craft he wandered up to chat with Nick Wolfe whose boat, Aldgate, was on show. It appears that Richard recently had a trip with Nick who was offering another.
Richard Parry (CRT) and Nick Wolfe (in centre) discussing boat trips
The basin (marina) had a good number of boats on display but the dry standing area had only a couple of boats. The was a good number of wide beam craft that were packed with visitors. I hope that prospective buyers realise the limited range available for wide boats on our canals. If they don't yet realise this then they soon will. I suppose (hope) that most of the widebeams for sale will end up as liveaboards. Unless you are based on the wide Yorkshire waterways cruising even short distances will be difficult. The largest example on show was a 70 ft by 12.5 ft wide boat with a 90 hp engine hybrid engine. It was being sold as a live-aboard. It would not be able to navigate the 60 ft locks on some Yorkshire navigations. Moving on the Grand Union mainline would tricky and would require very careful planning, but it would provide luxurious marina living.
A large widebeam, complete with stern canopy and sunshade.
Perhaps the most curious item of the show was the little model on the Rylard stand. The paint manufacturers had a small wooden model named Amelia Rose which are our granddaughter's names. Recently some friends of ours, knowing her names sent us a photo of a full-scale Amelia Rose narrowboat moored in Bath with a similar paint scheme. Unfortunately, the Rylard stand was busy so we couldn't stop to ask about the possible connection.
Mini Amelia Rose
Maxi Amelia Rose
Our Amelia Rose on a steam train