I mentioned in passing in yesterday’s post (HERE) that I used to have an annual boating/camping party at the start of each Summer Holiday. These photos from around 1995 show ‘Onward’ before she was ‘stretched’. Affectionately known as the ‘Little Grey Boat’ she was a wonderful starter boat, just 30′ long with a back cabin, engine room and front deck. On the Summer Party weekends she’d act as a base for activities, a galley producing masses of food, a wet-weather shelter, and generally a floating social hub for the weekend.

On a wet Autumn afternoon these photos have been a bit of a tonic, an escape from a fraught day. Memories of laughter, good company, warmth and fine times.


Between the evening camps we’d potter along the canal, stopping for long lunches. We never travelled far, but the quality of the company and the adventure of simply being outdoors more than made up for that.


Everyone pitched in and did chores, no hardship on a warm Summer’s afternoon…


Four-legged friends came along for the ride too…


And, on the last evening everyone would gather to toast the weekend and plan the next year… Sadly, if memory serves me correctly, after this particular weekend we somehow never did get around to doing another… Hopefully with Eileen we’ll see the return of Boat Parties perhaps in a new family-shaped form?


And, after the crowd had been waved off, back on Onward I would relax, enjoy the silence and the last of the evening’s sunlight and think about the ‘Circumnavigation of the Midlands’ that lay ahead… Great times.

3 thoughts on “Memories of Boat Parties…

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