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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Sunday 24 September 2023

Heritage Gathering

 Sept 23rd

Last night my good intention of getting back to FS by 10.pm was foiled by another glass of wine bought. We had gone to the H&L clubhouse, it was heaving with folk we knew and of those we didn't know, friendships were made. It was nearer to 10.45 by the time we left and negotiating soggy, wet, muddy towpath at that time of night with just the light of a small torch which, I might add, chose that moment to nearly die, was not the best experience. Anyway we made it without mishap and both agreed it had been a brilliant evening.

 With the heritage rally not starting until 10 am, it was lazy start to the day. Sun was out,1hardly a cloud in the sky, it was going to be a very good day. Not wanting to be on site too early it was gone 10 30 am before we walked the short distance to where the Hatherton and Lichfield volunteers stood on the bridge to check our band. That was still slightly soggy from the dunking it got yesterday, and the story was told which made them laugh. Hands were stamped, a nice shade of blue writing across the knuckles, must remember not to wash it off if we left the site. Return would not be possible without proof!

We spent what was left of the morning and into the afternoon looking at the traders, land based and on the water. At the Cheese boat three different flavours of cheese were purchased and on one of the stalls full of brass goods, we purchased a limited edition (only 500 made) King's coronation horse brass. 

The classic cars caught Ian's attention, Cars are not really my thing but some of the really, really old models were fascinating to see. What was my thing was the shire horse being walked around the arena. Stood 18 hands high, beautiful and very majestic. A chap in the middle of the arena with his mike, talked about days gone by and how the horse was the main pulling power for the working boats. Most we knew but the odd snippet of information was welcome. 


Of course, we ended up in the beer tent. Where else would one go to quench one's thirst. More old friends met, these gatherings are always great places to meet and catch up. So now to the photos, so much to see so I have had to make collages to stop this post being a mile long!

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