Napton

On Saturday we went to the Historic Narrow Boat Club’s annual November social. For the first time we went there under our own speed, in our car. One of the reasons we *needed* to go by car was to pick up a second hand generator which a friend had collected for us, as well as our new fenders (not managed to photograph them yet!)

It was a really good day. Aside from how liberating it was not to have to rely on other people and trains for transport, it was just a very nice get together. There was a talk from Roger Wickson about his time spent on the canals in the 40s, 50s and 60s, with the working boat people. It was a passionate talk about a way of life now disappeared and a people quite apart from the rest of the world at the time. His photos and recollections of the cut “as it was and as it SHOULD be!” were quite wonderful.

Also speaking was Tony Lewery, about the reprint of a sketchbook of drawings by one of the last wooden boat builders, Ken Keay. HNBC has recently reprinted the book (for sale via the HNBC shop for £15 with free P&P for HNBC members), and it’s really lovely – committee members Sarah and Paul put it together and it’s a treat to read and look at. Ken’s drawings are amazing. He wasn’t trained as an artist, and his sketches aren’t for artistic purposes – although they are beautiful – they were made as a way of recording the tools, skills and practices of wooden boat building, now only carried on by a few people.

In the evening we made the most of not having to rush for a train by having dinner at The Folly pub, which was really good – both James and I had faggots!

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