Report by Martin Turner
As I am sure most you are aware that the Northern summer cruise (an alternative to The Wash cruise) that we planned for this year (2018) had to be cancelled due to a variety of reasons, most notably the multitude of stoppages either because of water shortages, vital engineering works and unforeseen commitments reducing our numbers.
It was a great shame as an excellent cruise was planned with several events built in. As it turned out, if we had been able to reach some of our cruising destinations, we would have been stranded for weeks or months due to the several breaches and closures on our planned route. The Caldon, Macclesfield Canal, Bugsworth Basin, Marple Flight, Huddersfield Canal and the Leeds and Liverpool all became victims of lengthy stoppages. It strikes me that something is wrong with the network; it cannot all be down to the weather!
Out of the disaster came a plan. Four C’s members do not give up! Rich and Sally of Nb Indecision and Sue and myself of Nb Doinmein decided to go to the Stratford upon Avon River Festival
It is one of the best festivals on the network full of life with lots happening: excellent music, lots of boats and many features of interest. Off we went after notifying other members, some of whom arrived at Stratford. We put up the gazebo and welcomed Geoff and Beryl of Nb Minimum Momentum, plus Wendy and Andy of Evesham ex of Nb Toulouse. We had a lovely day together and celebrated Andy’s birthday; those who went to the Chesterfield last year will remember Andy’s 65th – well its now 66! Andy and Wendy are now cruising the world, wonderful news.
We all went to see Romeo and Juliet at the theatre for a very memorable evening. The weather if you remember, was very hot. It was decided that it was too hot to do lots of locks so we stayed on the Avon which this year looked its best. A very lazy couple of weeks followed a week in Stratford. Excellent mooring spots were found, pubs investigated and a generally excellent cruising experience was had by those there.
Later we had spoken to Jayne & Mike of Nb Dawn Owl and Bruce and Margaret on Nb Lucky B and agreed to meet at Stourport. An excellent evening was had at a pub by the canal where all four boats tales were exchanged. Beer was drunk (maybe some of the members too!) It turned out to be another excellent Four Cs evening.
Then it was off to Droitwich (where Martin fell off the boat – nothing to do with the night before! We ultimately moored beside “Andy’s Post” ( Andy arranged for this to be erected and raised money for what is a unique carving of the canals) then off we went down the Worcester and Birmingham to Worcester (where Martin managed to knock himself out on a low beam!) before going home.
All in all, we had a Summer cruise after all, whilst other intrepid club members were off doing The Wash.
Six boats were involved at some time or other and many friends were met at Stratford and other places; out of a potential disaster we managed to achieve what turned out to be one of the best cruises we have had.