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IWA festival at Beale Park - where were you all?

DWT

Member
Joined
16 May 2006
Messages
274
Location
Reading, Berkshire
We booked a mooring for the festival and were one of about half a dozen cruisers there amongst the many hundreds of narrow boats.

Now I know that many of you dislike the narrow boats intensely and would probably prefer not to encourage them onto the Thames and the show was undoubtedly geared almost entirely twoards them, but we had a fantastic weekend.

There was plenty for the family to do, a great beer tent, a chance to look at the new Broom 365, a great atmosphere in the evening when only boaters and campers were allowed in, a really good band in the great beer tent, an extraordinary illuminated procession on Sunday night - oh and a great beer tent (or have I mentioned that already?).

It was a bit of a bun fight getting through Mapledurham lock on the way home on Monday, but to be fair the narrow boats all rafted up on the layby to create more room. So where were you all? It really was a great event and congratulations should go to the organisers and particularly the many volunteers who undertook so many tasks from manning the footbridge across the entrance to the lake to collecting the rubbish.
 

theguvnor

Active member
Joined
9 Jun 2003
Messages
1,786
Location
Holland
I went the other way (Cookham to Hampton Court) very quiet traffic downstream but it lookes like Dunkirk going up hill ! Its quite intimidating meeting a 100 ton Dutch Barge in a lock cut. Working on the assumption that if I can`t see the helmsman he can`t see me, I took to the bushes once or twice
 

DWT

Member
Joined
16 May 2006
Messages
274
Location
Reading, Berkshire
Can't say I really blame you. There was a barge behind us at Mapledurham that was 93 feet long! I would not want to meet that coming out of Sonning lock
 

Hirdsp

New member
Joined
19 Jan 2006
Messages
866
Location
Hertfordshire
I tried to go downstream from Harleyford, but had at least 4 lock cycles in front of me so went to Wargrave past Beale. Can any-one tell me who lives in the huge white with black beamed house with tall chimneys just before Val Wyatts on starboard upstream. We moored 2 houses down and watched another obvious celeb, as the party boats kept mentioning someone and every-one looked over towards them. Any ideas?
 

pheran

New member
Joined
23 Sep 2002
Messages
12,715
Location
The glorious South
[ QUOTE ]
so went to Wargrave past Beale. Can any-one tell me who lives in the huge white with black beamed house with tall chimneys just before Val Wyatts on starboard upstream.

[/ QUOTE ] I might have misunderstood you, but you certainly don't pass Beale Park on the way to Wargrave. BP is some miles (and 5 locks) upstream from Wargrave.
As for the house, the well-known one-hit wonder, Vince Hill, lives on that bank just down-stream from Wyatts. His house has tall chimneys. Was there a flag-pole/flag flying? He certainly must have made some money from that one song!
 

boatone

Well-known member
Joined
29 Jul 2001
Messages
12,677
Location
Just a few cables from Boulters Lock
Also in that stretch is Raymond Baxter (just by Marsh Lock), Paul Daniels and the Beautiful Debbie Magee (on left before you reach Val Wyatts-you often see them up and down to Henley in a double ended canoe trad boat) and that celebrity chef chap....Worrall Thompson.. on the right as you approach Shiplake lock although I did hear he might be moving.
 

chuckaduck

Active member
Joined
1 May 2006
Messages
1,814
Location
Slowcation
[ QUOTE ]

Now I know that many of you dislike the narrow boats intensely and would probably prefer not to encourage them onto the Thames

[/ QUOTE ]

Personally I like the narrow boats a friendly bunch of peeps to boot
 

byron

RIP
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
9,584
Location
UK -Berks
[ QUOTE ]


Personally I like the narrow boats a friendly bunch of peeps to boot

[/ QUOTE ]

I like them too. I like how they queue jump, take over moorings for weeks even months at a time, hog the centre or better yet travel on the wrong side. My special delights are watching them cut down branches for their stoves and leave their rubbish behind when they move on. I really admire their lack river manners.
OK! OK! I know its probably only one in ten do all that but ten in 10 are guilty of one of the above.
 

boatone

Well-known member
Joined
29 Jul 2001
Messages
12,677
Location
Just a few cables from Boulters Lock
[ QUOTE ]
We booked a mooring for the festival and were one of about half a dozen cruisers there amongst the many hundreds of narrow boats.

[/ QUOTE ]

I think you have hit on the main reason why many cruisers were not in evidence !
THE IWA is, I think it's fair to say, generally perceived as predominantly targetted at the canals and narrowboat communities. Note, I am not saying it IS, just how it is generally perceived.

The vast majority of the narrowboats there will have made it a part of a much longer cruise away from base, maybe something they even do every year as the IWA festival moves around the country.

Thames based cruiser owners seemed largely intent on avoiding Beale Park (not just cruiser owners incidentally, I met several narrowboats further downriver last weekend who told me they were also consciously avoiding 'the gathering').

There is undoubtedly a lot of prejudice and maybe this forum can do something to help start breaking it down. You reporting that you were there and had a good time is a start.

Unfortunately many Thames based boaters are finding the influx of narrowboats onto the river is having a detrimental effect on their own enjoyment.
 
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