Friday 12th June
We arrived at Market Bosworth and went to the wharf to find Jannock. We then cruised all of 100 yards to the water point and then another couple of dozen, under the bridge, onto the visitor moorings after filling up.
Then it was a couple of miles to the festival site, at Market Bosworth rugby club, to drop off Graham’s competition entries and contributions to the free bar, sign in and sample a few of the beers available. Our tums began to rumble after a couple of hours so it was back to the boat via the chip shop – Batter of Bosworth – for left over venison and pheasant casserole with . . . . chips! As the rain set in Graham returned, walking the 2 miles each way, for more beer and chap chat.
Saturday 13th June
As it chucked it down all night G’s first task (before I even got out of bed ) was to find where the drips were coming in. A grey, wet and not warm morning with a 40 minute trek to the festival ahead. Lectures started at 10:30 and G wanted to be there. Lunch would follow and I was to join him then.
Market Bosworth has a scarecrow festival this weekend. What a pleasure to see all the scarecrows, some are just cardboard cut-out tableaux painted up so the theme has been interpreted loosely. The theme this year is nursery rhymes, and the entry numbers went beyond 50 that we could see. A great community event.
The two mile wet hike to site wasn’t too bad; but my socks got so wet I had to hang them above the hog roast to dry. They can just be seen in the top left of the picture. I hurried to arrive in time for lunch at 12:30. The lunch arrived at 15:00. We met a lot of friendly folk all happy to chat, swap recipes and brewing know how. There was a free ‘help yourself’ bar which seemed to replenish itself as bottles, crates and barrels of beer, cider, mead and wine ran out.
G’s beer won no rosette (there were a lot of entries in each category) but was enjoyed and complemented by many. Best of all, un-solicited praise by the lady who sported the ‘Best in Show’ rosette for her orange mead. She’d tried G’s Citra and then had a second bottle. The best thing was the ability to put a small amount of something into your glass to try before committing yourself. Next best thing was the ability to blend brews. I settled for a cocktail of home-made mixed fruit wine and home made mixed fruit cider. Yum.
Graham did me proud as the evening drew on by producing a half pint of tea. Not the ‘Hogs Back TEA’ but PG tips sneaked from the rugby club kitchen. As beddy-byes time approached and the ability to focus ones eyes failed us, the rain finally stopped. We called a cab and went back to the boat.
P.S. In the world’s fastest no-nonsense quiz our team, Soup Dragons, did rather well. We felt we needed to investigate “What Oxfordshire village links with David Beckham?” once we’d got home. (Apparently it’s the village of Golden Balls near Abingdon.)
Sunday 14th June
Graham was up and at ‘em, tea in hand, at 8 am. I guess no-one had kept him awake most of the night snoring! The rain had stopped and the sun was peeping through so Jannock set off back down the Ashby to find the Coventry canal again.
We met a few northbound boats but apart from that it was a pleasant cruise in reasonable weather that improved as the day went on. Down to past ‘Apple Tree bridge’ (where we harvested apples during our last visit to the Ashby) to Marsworth junction where we made the easy turn to the right. On through Nuneaton and out past Springwood Haven to Hartshill where we moored on the 24hr moorings. Graham went off on the Di Blasi to fetch the car from Market Bosworth while I cooked dinner. On his return, we ate and then off-loaded our stuff into the car before we moved the boat onto the 14 day moorings and headed home.