Er well no actually, even though we only paid £6.50 each as we bought in advance it was still a long way off VFM and a country mile from the excellent (free entry) Richmond festival.
Worse still if you had brought kids with you as the attractions in the very mini fair were an extra £2 per pop. We went on the Saturday expecting it to be the busiest day, and there were quite a few people milling around. Mainly wearing blue IWA T-shirts, I thought they must have been giving them away until I noticed that they were all volunteers! We skirted the periphery and then headed into Watford town to do a couple of jobs.
Watford town is OK, not fantastic but OK. We had stopped here on the way down to London to use up some tesco's vouchers that we had exchanged for pizza express currency. It has all you'd expect in the way of shops along its pedestrianised centre. Over all it appeared to have coped with the last six years economic clusterf##k quite well. We bought some rolls, ham and cream cheese and headed back to Cassiobury park to make our sarnies in front of everyone who would be tucking into burgers and hotdogs, at a fiver a pop I wouldn't be joining them.
The thing that peeved me about the IWA was that I had emailed them three times without one reply. Organisation, company or charity that is beyond poor service. I asked them if there was any space available on their £45 button fender making session, I asked if I paid online if I could pick up tickets at the gate, I asked again this time at the email address published for the event organiser. I emailed again a couple of days later adding a question asking why they had to charge nearly double for boat moorers booking during the final week and why the evening entertainment was closed to ticket holders and open to just boaters and campers - no reply.
There were a couple of good moments but they were more luck than judgement. We met Terry and Monica Darlington of 'Narrow dog to Carcassonne' (and others) fame and of course whippets Jim and Jess. I bought another espresso coffee maker on the boat jumble stall for £1 (once all the volunteers had decided its value) and we also met Andrew Growcoot from Beta Marine who not only remembered our boat from 2000 but also recalled LJ winning a builders award at the IWA that year (hope there was a bigger doo then). We also had a good chat about our engine, the silly prop gen and torque/power/prop thrust. It turns out that Rose boats weren't fully correct (read wrong) in saying we had a normal engine with restricted revs for the generator, we can't just rip it off and turn it back to variable revs. Andrew told us it was built for its purpose and has different internal governance. He did assure us though that it was a full powered 50hp and that 1500 rpm was maximum torque but 1800 was available at full chat. Oh and said he would do us a deal on a new one if we'd prefer.
|Jess and two of Jim's remaining three limbs|
|Sort of morris dancer with a basket on his head - each to his own|
|Ready for the fly past - Maurice insisted that North was the other way saying 'no you're all wrong'|
|Spitfire flypast, taken on mobile phone cam|
|These guys are just everywhere! - lovin the hat Doug :-)|
|My new best mate for a few days, as soon as the hatch was open he'd bring me some stones to throw.|
My only other purchase was an old leaking water pump, funnily enough leaking from the same place as ours, there happened to be two others on the table all with the same fault. I was offered all three, I declined. I don't need it to replace our sometimes leaking one, I intend to cobble together a filtered, pressurised, canal fed garden hose for washing the boat down - eventually :-)