Bright and bustling in the Black Country
There’s certainly nothing dark and smoggy about The Black Country this weekend. What wonderful, down-to-earth and friendly folks we’ve had the pleasure of meeting so far.
Barry had an endless stream of visitors to The Home Brew Boat – not all were buying, but they took business cards away with a lot more knowledge of the advantages of brewing your own and we’re hopeful they’ll become loyal customers in the future.
Our neighbours The Fudge Boat (Heather and Tony), and Wild Side (Helen and Andy) also had a great day as you can see below …
Sadly our other ‘new-found friends’ got into a little strife as an Ice Cream van was booked into the festival, and wasn’t too pleased to have some of his business taken from him by ‘All Things Spanish’ which the planners hadn’t appreciated included selling ice cream. A lesson to us all about telling organisers what we’re selling so as not to step on other peoples shoes.
I wasn’t able to face paint as they already had two booked – fair enough. I did check again on Friday, just in case, but it was a no-goer.
Sandra and Bob, from The Ice Cream Boat (All Things Spanish), left this morning. I suspect they’ll head into Birmingham to see if they can trade there while the weather’s fine. Good luck to you both, lovely to meet you and hope our paths cross again soon.
We had the pleasure of a couple of our favourite people visiting too. Richard Parry, CEO of Canal and River Trust, popped by to say hi. He’s such a transparent and supportive person to the traders, and has appeared at every event, apart from Standedge, we’ve been to this year. Hats off to you Richard, we’re very lucky to have you leading us.
Then we had a surprise vista from Andrew Denny, aka Granny Buttons. It’s been months since we last saw him. Andrew used to be a prolific blogger – in fact he was the first boater to begin blogging about the canals and life on them, on 7th August 2003. He was a bit of a hero of Barry’s while we were planning our initial adventure to the canals, during 2007 and 2008. We first met him in person in May 2010, when we fortuitously moored right next to his boat one evening, phoned him up, and although he wasn’t on his boat at the time he drove the distance from his house to come and make our acquaintance!
We were thrilled he accepted the invitation to join us for dinner last night – we just completely forgot to record the occasion for the blog! You’ll have to come back soon Andrew.
Then we joined Heather and Tony from The Fudge Boat for a couple of pints in the beer tent – it’s a very sociable way to ‘work’!
Barry from The Narrowboat Trust, surprised us too. We’d agreed with Ray from NB Stronghold, to a fair price for our ‘Epping’ stove in the Boatman’s Cabin. Having a spent a winter without one in the living area to keep us warm, we decided we definitely need one this winter and although it made the cabin ‘authentic’, we’d rather have the storage space and by selling it have the funds to buy a smaller heater for the lounge.
This morning we’ve had Pip Norton and Anna Marie filming us as part of a ‘Roving Canal Traders Documentary‘ – more about that to come in the next post …