2nd June 2012
Python cruised from Newark-on-Trent past Castle Marina, where we had a brief stop last year, through Stenson, Fradley and Stone and then onwards into Stoke mooring at the Etruria Industrial Museum, which is next to a BW yard, for our first festival – the Etruria Jubilee Canals Festival.
The festival involved the museum, where fine bone china was made, stalls selling food and promoting other canals and museums, music and of course working boats.
There was a lot of rain, especially on Sunday, yet it stopped just in time for Stoke-on-Trent’s very own Flotilla. More on that later.
Pete took Eddie and me down. When we arrived, we put out our new A-frame, which has information about the Chesterfield Canal on one side and Python on the other, and also a banner that has a map of the Chesterfield Canal. We found that this attracted people over to Python and gave Eddie and me something to talk about to the public, cyclists and fellow boaters, e.g. Closing the Gap – restoring the last 8 miles of our canal.
We managed to hand out quite a few Chesterfield Canal Visitor Guides, even though the weather was a bit dodgy, and invite people to the Chesterfield Canal Festival.
On to Stoke’s very own flotilla; the one in Etruria went exactly the same as in London. When setting off, the rain was rather quiet. It was the usual chaos that we experienced when we did the same last year at Braunston. We ended up being at the back despite our carefully laid plans and, on top of that, we got stuck opposite the diesel boat and museum with everybody watching us. Between Eddie using a pole against the bank and the people who run the diesel boat pulling us off, we managed to get going again and join the back of the rather bunched up boats. After carefully making our way up to Etruria’s festival park marina to turn, we had to dodge in and out of moored boats to let the front of the flotilla come by. We eventually got to execute a turn to head back to the museum. When we came to moor the heavens opened and Eddie and I got absolutely soaked.
Over the weekend, we’ve got to talk to quite a few people and publicise the Chesterfield Canal, so Python has definitely made a great start to this year’s trip.
What’s next I here you ask? Well this Friday, Eddie, Richard Chappell and I will move Python to Middlewich for the Folk and Boat Festival. Hopefully we will have better weather than in Etruria.