Registered Charity No. 702429


Saturday 19th September 2009
Lichfield Cruising Club, Huddlesford Junction on the Coventry Canal

Theme: Samuel Johnson’s 300th Birthday Celebrations

  • Historic Narrowboats
  • Steam Narrow Boat "President"
  • Boat Trips
  • Vintage Vehicles
  • Classic Cars
  • Trade & Craft stalls
  • Cake stall
  • Book stall
  • Bric-a-brac
  • The Cheese Boat
  • The Fudge Boat
  • The Ice-cream Boat
  • Games
  • All-day Barbecue
  • Coffee / tea and licensed bar
    available in the cruising club

The fourth Huddlesford Boat Gathering took place on 19th September 2009, organised jointly with Lichfield Cruising Club and once again it was a very happy and successful occasion, made even better by the beautiful weather.

On the water we had over 80 narrowboats, including 17 ex-working boats. Raymond and Nutfield were there after travelling all the way from Braunston with a crew of just three, especially to be with us. The steam narrowboat President also joined us, the last event in its 100th birthday cruise and always a very welcome visitor, plus ex-steamer Monarch who celebrated her 100th birthday in 2008. Harbourmasters Pat Barton and Mike Moorse were kept busy organising all the moorings and what a great job they did. Barry Kenn also did a sterling job running boat trips for visitors on the day boat DAYSY, very kindly provided by Ray Bowern of Streethay Wharf. For the first time we also had six “floating traders”, including the Cheese Boat, the Fudge Boat and the Ice-cream Boat.

On the field we had over 20 stalls with sales and displays, steam vehicles and as an added bonus we had at least 70 classic cars, whose attendance was organised for us by Janette Horton. By a lucky coincidence, also at the gathering was ex-working narrowboat Minnow, which used to belong to John and Jan Horton, and is now owned by Malcolm (Blossom) Edge, the great grandson of Stanley Edge who, at the age of 17 helped Sir Herbert Austin to design the Austin 7.

Three musicians from the Three Spires Morris came along to give us some live music, and a “Hurdy Gurdy” boat was also there adding to the festive atmosphere. The barbecue was busy all day selling burgers, hot dogs and bacon baps and the Cruising Club were serving tea, coffee and cakes in their “Coffee Shop” marquee. “Stronger stuff” was available in the bar, including two new bottled beers brewed specially for the Trust by Blythe Brewery - “L&H Bitter” and “Navvies Brew”. The bitter was also available on tap and proved extremely popular.

As part of Lichfield’s weekend of celebrations to mark the 300th birthday of Dr Samuel Johnson, this year’s gathering was graced by the presence of the venerable gentleman himself, (in the guise of Rob Davies), and a birthday cake in the shape of his famous dictionary had been made for us by Kathryn Matthews. After the ceremonial cutting of the cake slices were sold to raise funds.

Tickets for the evening entertainment with young jazz quintet Funktional were sold out three weeks before the event, the hottest ticket we have ever had, and they certainly lived up to it; an impressive performance from a band whose average age is 18½. The ladies of the Cruising Club put on a most excellent hot supper (with puddings) and the bar was busy again all night.

We would like to thank the 1st Whittington Scouts for the loan of a marquee and a number of tables and benches, and Kevin Grattan and Frank Bartlett of the Whittington First Responders for First Aid cover. Special thanks must also go to Frank Weetman, Rose Bell and all the members of Lichfield Cruising Club who made us so welcome from the Friday right through to Sunday and worked so hard to make the weekend the success it was. To everyone who helped in any way, making cakes for the cake stall, selling programmes, putting up and taking down marquees, all the dozens of other jobs whether before, during or after the event, our grateful thanks. It would not have been possible without you.

As an added bonus we made a profit of about £2,000!

We hope to do it all again in 2011. See you there!

Saturday Evening Entertainment

Funktional, a young jazzy band who have been together for two years and are building a great following and reputation. The band consists of Nick Dewhurst, trumpet (18), Tom Miner, tenor sax (16), Sam Craig, piano (17), Chris Langford, bass (18) and Matt Sellar, drums (23).

They have a wide repertoire featuring jazz, funk, blues, pop, salsa and Nick's own compositions. Some of Funktional's highlights in 2008 included supporting rising jazz star Abram Wilson, and performing at the Lichfield Real Ale, Jazz and Blues Festival.

Take a look at photos taken by Paul Marshall here Photo Gallery Huddlesford 2009

or enjoy Paul's video clip on YouTube
Huddlesford Boat Gathering 2009

To see photos of the 2007 gathering

To see photos of the 2004 gathering

Back to the 2011 Gathering   The 2004 Celebr18th Gathering

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