2018 Crick Boat Show and the week ahead

Nutfield & Raymond at the show beside the Waterways Museum’s Sculptor.
Picture: Nick Scarcliffe

The Crick Boat Show, over the Bank Holiday weekend of 26th to 28th May, was our first major event of 2018. Because we did not attend the Ricky Festival this year, we were spared the usual slog of bringing the boats up to Crick from Rickmansworth in four days. So, around 9 o’clock on the morning of Thursday 24th May, Nutfield and Raymond set off from Braunston Marina, with Nick Scarcliffe in command and crewed by Norman and Anita Prior and Chris M Jones.

First stop was above the Nelson Lock at Braunston where we had arranged to meet Ryan Dimmock with his fuel boat Southern Cross, to take on enough diesel to last the summer.

Ryan brings Southern Cross alongside Nutfield. Picture: Nick Scarcliffe

Also with us at Braunston Locks was Waterways World photographer Bobby Cowling (on the fore end of Raymond above) to gather material for a proposed article in WW’s Canal Boating Times. We will let you know when we have the publication date.

Braunston Lock 2, Nick Scarcliffe on Nutfield. Picture: © Waterways World.

Raymond heads for Braunston Tunnel. Picture: Nick Scarcliffe

By the time the boats arrived at Watford Locks around 1 o’clock, the sun was shining and the temperature had soared into the mid-20s so the two and a quarter hour wait for the locks did nothing to dampen the crew’s spirits. And once in the locks, the boats flew up the flight in record time, thanks to additional lock-wheeling volunteers, Nick Scarcliffe’s impressive skill at flicking the butty’s bow-hauling line under the bridges and the personal attention of FoR’s Graham Lane who, by happy coincidence, was on duty as a CRT volunteer lockkeeper.

Raymond in Lock 2 at Watford. Picture: Nick Scarcliffe

The boats finally arrived at Crick Marina soon after 4pm, a good trip under the circumstances. But all was not over yet. The organisers had put the historic boats on to a new site for this year’s show and, with only inches to spare in the space available to turn full-length boats on to the allocated moorings, all present were again relieved to have Nick Scarcliffe in charge of the tricky manoeuvre.

Friday was a busy working day, with Robin Bishop, Roger and Diana Golder, Brian Seymour and Nick Lake, setting up the sales gazebo, organising the stock, arranging signage and cleaning and polishing the boats. But by 10 o’clock on Saturday morning Nutfield, Raymond and the team were ready to meet the public.

The show itself turned out to be something of a mixed blessing this year. The sun shone (most of the time) and the rain poured only when the show was closed. We had an unusually high number of visitors to the boats and the money we collected in bucket donations reflected this. Roger Golder even conducted a show-round entirely in German (his fourth to date) and the generous donation it elicited is a credit to his linguistic skills and evidence that FoR volunteers have many hidden talents.

The FoR gazebo (on the left) behind the boats. Picture: Nick Scarcliffe

All the same, the volunteers on the boats were stretched to the limit and we could certainly have used more help with show-rounds. But the sales team have reported disappointing returns this year. This is due, we believe, largely to the siting of the sales gazebo at the top of a steep bank (pictured above). It was obvious that visitors to the boats were reluctant to then climb the hill to visit the sales stall.

The trustees will be taking a view on this year’s Crick Show and considering a response to the organisers. We will report further on this after the trustees’ meeting at the Braunston Historic Boats Rally.

On Tuesday 29th May, Neil Hankin and Melvyn Forman, assisted by Roger and Diana Golder and Nick Lake, moved the boats from Crick Marina to their present location just south of North Kilworth Wharf.

The Friends of Raymond would like to thank all those who played a part in this year’s Crick Boat Show, namely: Robin Bishop, Sue Brown, Melvyn Forman, Roger and Diana Golder, Neil Hankin, Will and Clare Hewitt, Chris M Jones, Chris R Jones, Nick Lake, Graham Lane, Norman and Anita Prior, Nick Scarcliffe and Brian Seymour.

If you would like to have been on this list and think you can play a part at events in the future, please get in touch with FoR’s Volunteers Coordinator, Diana Golder at because we would welcome any help you can give.

This week

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Neil Hankin, Melvyn Forman and other helpers from the Husbands Bosworth area will pick up the boats from North Kilworth to take a party of year six children from Husbands Bosworth school on an adventurous trip through Bosworth Tunnel. This outing, which Neil has been doing for a number of years, is now a firm fixture in the school’s timetable and has become something of a rite of passage for pupils in their final year at the school.

After the school run, Neil and his crew will take the boats up the Welford Arm to Welford Wharf where CRT have reserved the mooring for us in “The Finger”, a small dock just big enough to accommodate Nutfield and Raymond.

Mooring restriction notice Welford Wharf 29 May. Picture: Nick Lake

Welford Weekend

Next weekend, 9th and 10th June, we will be holding our second Welford Weekend. This is a small event run purely by The Friends of Raymond to attract local visitors and Friends to come and visit the boats. FoR’s Nick Wolfe will also be there with his working boat Aldgate.

Welford Weekend June 2017. Picture: Nick Lake

Last year’s event was a great success and enjoyed by everyone who came along. This year, we will again have our sales stall on the grass beside the boats where, in addition, Nikki Evans will have a selection of her mouth-watering cakes for sale. On Saturday afternoon we will run a short trip for Friends on Nutfield, down the arm and back. And on Saturday evening, we have reserved the Canal Bar in The Wharf Inn for a Friends social evening to which all are welcome.

Welford Weekend June 2017. Picture: Nick Lake

The boats will be open to the public all day Saturday and Sunday. So, whether you are a new Friend or an old one, if you would like to drop by and say hello, or join us on Saturday evening, we would love to see you. Booking for Saturday night meal at the pub is essential. For more information or to book in for the meal, please contact .