Notes from the Stratford River Festival ~ July 5-7th 2019

This was our first time at the Stratford festival. We’d heard lots of good things about it and decided to give it a go. The registration was easy and very efficient and we received our Avon licence in good time!! We set out in plenty of time determined to go via Birmingham and the Wyrley and Essington and the Perry Barr Locks! We spotted a few members on our way as they enjoyed the BCNS explorers cruise. All too soon we were making our way down the Lapworth and Wilmcote locks and down to Stratford upon Avon where we were very efficiently slotted into the boats from the 4Cs who had already arrived!! Whilst we settled in the 4C’s gazebo was erected and decorated with bunting and lights in plenty of time for Pimms O’clock when we all gathered to chat about adventures getting to the site and plans for the weekend!! Accompanied by the inevitable bubbles!

This year Sue had excelled herself by bringing a clever machine that churned out bubbles galore, it was wonderful!!

Friday dawned and most crews set about decorating their boats to add to the atmosphere and we watched the Festival taking shape as the arena stage and stalls were set up for the next day.

By Saturday all was ready and many of us took the opportunity to stroll around the grounds, listen to some music and sample some of the eclectic mix of food offered on the stalls.

We were honoured with the company of Ric and Hilary, our Commodore and his lady (and Paddy the dog!!) and then, in the evening a wonderful display of fireworks lit the sky!!

Sunday was another lovely day and we all took the opportunity to relax and chat and enjoy the festival to the full.  Nb Corriander was moored against the bank and our boats were rafted against them. Over the weekend we got to know Chelley and Royston and they fitted in very well with our group so it was only natural that they were invited to join the Club ( in fact they were not able to move their boat until they’d paid the fee!!) so now we have two more lovely members!

And of course, what would a 4c’s cruise be without an opportunity to look down on the Dabbling engine!!

Well, all good things come to an end and on Monday morning boats started moving off. Some towards Evesham, for their festival which I understand was a great success, some of us stayed on to enjoy a bit of time in Stratford but very soon with a cheery wave and a promise to “see you soon” Stratford was left behind and we cruised off with happy memories of a great time spent with good friends!!

Lynn Hallam