Despite the smaller turn-out, what there was at the Braunston Gathering was character, in abundance. The enthusiasm for, and love of, old boats was tangiable; the smell of ‘Brasso’ was strong in the air and a liberal amount of ‘elbow grease’ was being expended polishing brasses until they glowed.

There were smiles and stories, loud laughter and beers, cakes and burgers and handshakes and still more stories… it was a Gathering-together in every sense, a coming together of a boating community.

To me, it’s this combination of people and boats and place that make the event such a delight year after year…

Is that a smile in recognition of all the hard work that’s gone into participating in a successful Parade of this FMC motor; or a grimace in recognition of all the hard work still to do to keep a motor in such fine fettle?
Between the Parade’s there’s plenty of time to swap a few tall tales over a mug of tea.
Or catch up on the Towpath Telegraph as brasses are polished to within an inch of their lives
Joe’s got his stick, he’s armed-and-dangerous and he’s coming your way big guy!
Readied for the afternoon Parade, the lid goes back on the Brasso and the kettle’s back on.
Does what it says on the tin…
Not all the enthusiasts are on boats, the visitors are a wonderfully eclectic bunch of characters in their own right…
Now, which cake to choose???
Perhaps not quite historically accurate, but this cross between Victorian boatman and Pearly King & Queen, were turning heads and causing comment…
A line of likely lads take their places, with cameras at the ready, as the boats prepare to leave for the afternoon Parade…
Refreshed and be-capped, two fellas leave the beer marquee…
The crew of ‘Pelican’ look on as another tall tale is told…
A comfortable seat and a cup of tea. A chance to rest weary legs, and dog…
Fin just can’t resist trying to wake the dragon of an engine that’s slumbering in Pete’s tug, ‘Oxford 1.’
Man and dogs and boats, to my mind that’s not a bad combination…
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