For us, one of the markers of September and a return to school and, in a sense, one of the markers of the end of Summer, is our annual pilgrimage to Shackleton Family Festival with it’s usual coming together of showground, fairground and all manner of enthusiasts (of historic boats, vintage cars, tractors, stean engines, even lawn mower racing etc. etc.). It’s simply a grand weekend, and one we plan to bring our Eileen to when the kids get a little older.

In this short series of posts I’ll try to capture something of the flavour of the show, starting with the gathering of historic boats!

A typical Shacklestonecanalside scene, the usually sleepy ‘Moira’ or Ashby Canal the scene of frenetic activity and masses of people contentedly meandering back and forth to the station and the steam trains, and taking time to chat to the owners of historic boats too.
Hadar, home to fellow boaters Jo and Keith, was moored at the entrance to the showground site. Hadar was looking utterly resplendent and in fine working trim. (By the way, Jo blogs HERE and has been adding posts about Shacklestone for the last few days…)
Perch, perhaps in mid-paint job? Pulled as close to the shallow bank as possible, and with a plank making up the shortfall…
Glorious details, details, details…
Eileen’s former owner Jim MacDonald with his fine old boat Elizabeth was there. It was great to catch up.
I’m always drawn to the quirkier boats, the ones that have that certain something… boats such as steam tug Adamant and tunnel tug Hasty.
Even in the bustling midst of a sunny Sunday afternoon the dedicated enthusiast continued to polish, fettle and tinker… I think I’m secretly envious!
Though some took time to simply sit, enjoy the sunshine and amug of tea, and chat to the passers-by…
Ariel through the foliage…
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