Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Crick show

We arrived at our pre booked mooring on Friday while it was bright and sunny. There are many boats already here but not as yet in their correct places. We are quite close to the temporary foot bridge which provides access to the show site. There is no mooring warden to be seen so it was left to the boaters to organise themselves. There are at least our boat names on posts where we should be. We learnt later that British Waterways should have had a warden in charge. A boater’s community soon builds up and we get to know our neighbours. One boater who should have been on the outside of us was in fact in the wrong place further away so we got to our empty space. A different boat is now alongside. It is just as well because the one that should be had a noisy generator running and a naughty old dog, or was that the owner!
Got the flags up
The show opened on Saturday while it rained. We walked over the bridge and showed our tickets and security wrist straps. There was some confusion with the ticket man saying we should enter at the other gate. But when we told him we had a mooring he let us through. Much of the morning was spent exploring the site and finding interesting things to see. A very large Marquee soon filled up with people when it rained. Our ‘free’ show guide listed all the exhibitors but lacked a layout plan for the marquee so it was a case of walking round the whole lot.
Sunday was better with sunshine but windy. I watched Tony Brookes at the RCR tent describing diesel fuel systems. Several engines were there to get hands on. Having cleaned out the fuel filter and bled the system the engine was started. This resulted in clouds of black smoke inside the tent and many spectators retreated!
Meanwhile Ann was watching men making rope fenders and listening to their stories of traditional rope work found on working boats. It seems that the fancy rope work all had a purpose and not just decoration. For instance the ‘dolly’ hanging from the tiller pin is a safety device. When tying up at a mooring your head is below the tiller pin. You would feel the ‘dolly’ before hitting the pin with your head.
A number of old working boats were there including the steam boats President and Laplander.