June – July 2016
Many of us met up at Stourport mooring on the “Top moorings”. I think it was the first time I have seen the moorings nearly empty at this time of year. Our journey down from Birmingham had been very quiet with virtually no boats moving. We met Peter and Lesley (Aquarigo) at Kinver and then had an excellent meal at the pub by the lock enjoying a summers evening by the canal.
Going down the staircase at Stourport was fun with a couple of non club boats stuck in the middle pond, the club though sorted it all out then off to Worcester for a Pimms on the bank. Andy and Wendy (Lord Toulouse) joined us here. The next night at Tewkesbury we met Rich and Sallie (Indecision), Gordon and Samantha (Aird-an-lar) and both Mikes joined us (Mike Paisey – Lamprey and Mike Whiteman – Albion). Sunday Lunch beckoned so we all got together and had an interesting meal!
Next we’re off to Pershore and for some it was their first time on the Avon Locks, these give a steep learning curve and many of them are not for the faint hearted. All survived and we arrived in Pershore where Lardy Cakes and other goodies were tried. We drank Pimms of course followed by self- catering on board or the pub for some.
Away to Offenham and the Fish and Anchor Pub for an evening in a private room. Yes, the four C,s had a private room with 16 of us on eight boats for an excellent evening of good food and good company. The publican was thrilled as he had never seen the moorings so full , he took photos for publicity.
Up to Bideford on Avon for Fish and Chips. It was gluten free night and as we had three gluten free people on the trip it was a treat for everyone. We also had probably the best Pimms evening ever, a lovely evening in a lovely spot. Tony Little (Elemiah) shot by in his boat waving and shouting but he could not stop, he was travelling with another boat – his friends who had shot ahead.
There followed two trips up to Stratford in the same direction two days running for Richard Gleed (Indecision) and myself, that you will agree was an achievement but it has a simple answer; Andy Dyke needed to be in Stratford a day early as he was Anchor boat for the raft, the other boats could not go as it was too many to moor in Stratford. Andy and Wendy needed help as Andy was not to well so we got then to Stratford, caught the bus back and then the rest of us went up to Stratford the next day.
We all moored in all the wrong positions and some did it the wrong way according to the organisers but it worked and we enjoyed Straffing as it is called in Stratford.
The festival was excellent as usual. We set up our HQ on the grass under a gazebo and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We all had many visitors, grand-children, friends and fellow four C’s. Polly and Neil, Ged and Marylyn, Jan, and our new members joined in and went to the Theatre, the two Mikes exchanged technical notes the whole event was as good as it gets. When Gordon (Ard-an-lar) seemed to have battery problems, he could not have done it in a better place. So much expertise on hand and discussion resulted in solving the issues. That’s their membership paid for!
In theory that was the end of the cruise – in practice it was not. Festivals in Pershore and Evesham were attended. Richard and Sallie (Indecision) were unfortunate in that they broke down in the worst part of the river, they were rescued and taken to a quay, RCR were called and came out quickly and soon got them going again but then on to Evesham Marina for yes, you’ve guessed it: new batteries. Rich and Sallie’s batteries were only eleven years old!
Some went on bus trips to strange places in the countryside. Pimms O’Clock in Tewkesbury was in the form of a barbecue arranged by Andy Dyke. Shakespeare was on in the Park so we took a look!
A trip down the Severn was followed by an excellent evening in Gloucester. A trip down the G and S to Purton for an evening at The Dockers and back to Gloucester for a good bye to all at the rusty box, that’s what Gloucester folk call Vinings restaurant.
I think this cruise has been very successful. We had some good times together, helping each other out when needed. It was a relaxed nothing to strenuous cruise which left us all with the feeling that we want to do it again. What more do you wish for in a cruising club, like-minded people enjoying each others’ company.
My personal thanks to all who took part and contributed in so many ways.