The annual historic boat gathering at Braunston felt an odd affair this year. Whilst everything seemingly was as it ever was, somehow it didn’t feel quite right. I suppose it was mainly to do with the much reduced number of traditional boats on show, after consecutive years of record breaking entries. There was no chaotic jam of boats, far fewer people, and fewer connections with familiar faces too; all round the event felt somewhat diminished. I guess it’s down to a combination of owners responding to the stoppages and closure earlier in the season, and the typical summer weather we’ve all endured this last month.

That’s not to say, of course, that there weren’t absolute gems of boats or people or desirable stuff on show, there certainly was… as hopefully the photos in posts over the next few days will show…

For this post, instead of the whole boats, I’ve tended to take photographs of details, I guess because, for me, details speak most eloquently, if silently, of the life history of a craft.

This image is just a scene setter really, included as it graphically shows how few boats were moored above the entrance to Braunston Marina this year. In recent years boats have been packed in 5x deep at this point… on a more positive note it gave the ‘Gathering’ a less manic, more relaxed air…
Owning Eileen with her stern and elum, has prompted my interest in butty’s over the motors this year…
Utterly gorgeous lettering, completing ‘Lamprey’…
And grey boats draw my attention too… this highly finished boat lay just outside the main Gathering, closer to the UCC hire base, below the first lock in the Braunston Flight.
There’s that simple ‘Grotesque’ sans serif lettering again, it’s just what I want for Eileen
A gorgeous bevvy of craft in early British Waterways livery… the traditionally tied plank to aid access to the butty adds to the image…
Adamant letting off a little steam as – momentarily – the sun came out, though not for long…
There were far fewer tugs than in previous years, but this S&L trio were stunning…  from WW2 Eileen worked – for at least a decade – in the Stewarts & Lloyds fleet , did any of these three haul her? I wonder, I wonder…
A variation on the grey colour scheme.
Motor ‘Stanton’ firing her engine for the afternoon parade of boats, even the Marina area was quieter this time…
We met Pete & Di Downer as we crossed the narrow access bridge to the wet dock. This year their tug Oxford 1., here seen outside the Stop House, is being used as the ‘show tug’ with Pete moving boats around as required… It’s great to see that the wooden cabin I’d watched being fabricated when I used to moor my previous boat, the ‘Onward’, at Pete’s moorings in Banbury, is still in fine fettle, and whole boat retains a simple, purposeful integrity and completeness….
Advertisements

One thought on “Braunston 2012 – the boats…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s