Friday evening and we tried to go out to eat. The first place we stopped as the Boat House, I think that's the name, it use to be the Mill House. 40 minutes before they would accept any orders,good job it wasn't full, so we gave that a miss. Next stop was the Old Plough, all the tables were reserved or in use so we went into the main bar which was almost empty, when we enquired about food it was 30 minutes before taking orders so we walked on to the Braunston Fryer for take away fish and chips, these we ate sitting under a large lime tree overlooking the Bottom Lock Marina and very good there were with light batter and good sized chips.
Following this it was a walk down the towing path stopping to chat ending up in the beer tent at the marina. They were already starting to run out of some of the beers and I took the last but one pint of Frog Island Best Bitter.
Back at the boat by 10 pm we went for a short cruise, 300 yards backwards to fill with water, once full we didn't return to our original mooring by the bridge but dropped into a vacant slot half way along. This turned out to be a slightly quieter mooring and out of the crumple zone of boats failing to negotiate the bridge.
Saturday was spent at the show where we met lots of old friends, by mid afternoon the beer stocks were even lower with promises of more deliveries. We did see one car turn round when they saw that car parking was £10 which seems a bit steep but it did include access to the site free of charge.
We understand that there were over 90 boats present in the end. I would have thought this must make it the largest gathering of historic working boats in the country.
We stayed until about 5 pm when we decided we would move on,we had been moored there for 2 nights which is a long time for us, so we have head north on the Oxford canal. I have never seen so many boats moored in the area,there was not a mooring spot until you reached bridge 88 and even after this there were loads on every length of piling.
We met 3 Willow Wren boats loaded with kids at bridge 87, it was now 5 30 pm and I asked them where they planned to moor incase they were heading to Braunston. In view of the time their reply surprised me, they planned to moor at Stockton overnight, I think it may be nearer morning before they arrive.
We moored for the night a little after 6 pm by the Young Offenders Centre between bridges 80 and 81. Much nicer than in Braunston.