Monday, September 20, 2010

Cutweb Rally 2010

On Friday I had a day off work - motorbike 8000 mile service in the morning followed by a run down the Stockton flight to attend the Cutweb Rally held at the Blue Lias Inn. Whilst wandering around Abingdon waiting for my bike to be serviced I noticed No Problem heading Northbound up the Thames so I followed them up to Abingdon lock and introduced myself to Sue whilst they were locking up. I then disgraced myself by calling Vic, Chas - Oooooooooooooooops. Sorry Vic.

We arrived at Jannock just after 2pm and set off down the Stockton flight sharing with another boat which makes a change. Brian and Diana (Harnser) and Nigel from Enseabee came up from the Blue Lias to assist us down the flight. The couple on the other boat were very impressed by our 'staff' As we neared the bottom we learnt that due to low levels of water we had been allocated the 'buffer zone' mooring - i.e. immediately outside the pub an the first mooring after the bridge. The evening was spent in the function making new friends and renewing acquaintances over a few pints.

Saturday started with me having to run the engine a bit for battery charging due to the short trip on Friday. I was interested to find out that the Blue Lias now do electric hook-up for moorers at £3.50p per night. Not cheap but welcomed by some of the Cutweb boats as it meant no engines needed for the duration. Saturday afternoon was filled with Cap'n Beeky's Boules competition which I helped out refereeing when I wasn't playing. Teams were drawn from a hat and I partnered Sarah-May (aka Baddie the Pirate) but we were knocked out in the semi-finals. After tea and cake (in the rain) the evening entertainment was supplied by the Original Backroom Boys who were absolutely brilliant. They did a 2 hour set with an hour break in the middle for food and were then followed by the Cutweb Mega-raffle.

Sunday morning was the Charity auction followed by a roast lunch. Immediately after that several members decided to head off up the Stockton flight so Brenda and I went along to help them up the locks. Brenda appeared back with a large collection of plums that she'd harvested off of a tree that overhung one of the old narrow locks that are now used as by-washes. She had already gathered a large bowl of blackberries from around the fishing lake so she stewed up loads of nice fresh fruit before teatime. Sunday evening entertainment was provided by John and Margaret from nb Ernest (not that one, the other one) who ran a quiz.

Monday morning we were due to set off up the locks at 8:30 sharing with Enseabee as I had promised to run Ann (Enseabee's crew) to Rugby station to catch her train to London. I moved the car up to the wharf at 7:30 and then set a couple of locks whilst I was walking back down the flight. We set off a little early and winded at the arm before entering the bottom lock at 8:15. We breasted Jannock up to Enseabee so that Brenda, Ann and I could work the locks with only Nigel on the boats. We did the flight in about 40 minutes, catching up the boats ahead, as Brian and Diana came to help as well.

A great rally so thanks to Angela, Brian, Andrew and all the other Cutweb members who helped to make the weekend a good one. Shame about the teatime rain on Saturday. Pictures to follow.

Graham (the website is broken)

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