The Robert Aickman Challenge Trophy

In 2014, Lynn and Bob Hallam of NB “Cormorant  II (That’s 2 not eleven) set out with the Cotswolds Canal Cruising Club (AKA “The 4 C’s”) with the intention to end their summer of cruising at the newly instituted “IWA Saul Pageant” – AKA the IWA Festival Replacement. This was of some interest, as it was billed to “Raise the Profile (?) of the Restoration of the Cotswold  Canals.” Also of interest is that Lynn and Bob are both CCT volunteers, AND Cormorant II is moored in Saul Junction Marina, just about 300 yards from the Pageant site!!! How then, to enter the competitions available for:

The RCR Cruising Challenge: for the  most meritorious and enterprising non-continuous journey to the pageant – starting at the last festival at Watford.

Aickman Trophy2

The Robert Aickman Challenge Trophy: for the” Most Meritorious and Enterprising Continuous Voyage to the pageant starting on May 1st 2014.” Extra points are given for using Inland tidal rivers, little used section of canals and the boat/crew size.


The A.P. Herbert  Trophy: for the greatest distance travelled to the event since May 1st 2014.

They decided after a short discussion to do it Lynn’s way (yes Dear) and she would keep a few notes on the day’s travel, where, miles, locks passed, who fell in, Pimm’s o’clock and the weather etc. When they got home about a week before the event, they would simply print it, hand it in and hope.

Of course, the summer was fantastic. The 4C’s cruises under the direction of John Cheesbrough had (using a modern expression) cruises to die for  and they went  over the Mersey, impromptu journeys  to Leeds, York and Ripon and finally the Grand Finale over The Wash. They also included a Birmingham Canal Navigations Exploratory cruise on the way!

When they arrived back home, building work on their house prevented them going to live at home! So, faced with the delightful prospect of living for a while on C2, Bob set about making the “Captains Log,” (you recall written by Lynn!) a bit different! He included many of the photo’s they had taken over the 13 weeks they were away, into the publication.

After printing it and binding it, they submitted it for judging at the Saul Pageant – FOR ALL 3 AWARDS!!

They were delighted to receive the “ROBERT AICKMAN CHALLENGE” trophy at the awards ceremony and were loudly cheered by the assembled 4C’s members. Bob, when receiving the award did make it clear that they couldn’t have won it without being members of the 4C’s club!

As an extra effort, Lynn and Bob entered the Boat Handling competition. There were 10 boats entered. The course consisted of:

Being stationary for 40 seconds, 360 degree turn, 18- degree turn, reverse 200 yards, slalom between a number of buoys and rest close enough to the judges boat to step onto it and shake hands with the judge!

Bob was disappointed to finish second