Despite poor weather, a total of 67 historic narrowboats and some 7,000 visitors attended the recent 14th Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally, along with the Canal Museum's NB Sculptor and her volunteer crew. The Rally was opened by Les Etheridge, Chairman of the Inland Waterways Association, in recognition of this being the 70th anniversary of the founding of that Association in 1946, which has done so much to save and preserve our inland waterways.
Les Etheridge sportingly donned Arthur Bray lookalike traditional working boatmen costume which he wore throughout including during the very welcome presentation of a cheque for £1,000 from Tim Coghlan, proprietor of Braunston Marina to the Friends of the Canal Museum from the proceeds of the event towards the maintenance and upkeep of NB Sculptor. Tim has generously supported the work of the Friends for a number of years on condition that Sculptor attends the Rally which she is delighted to do! Braunston Marina was also our No.1 Corporate Member signing up right at the beginning of the formation of the Friends in 2006.
Tim Coghlan of Braunston Marina said, ‘For me what was most pleasing was the number of boats that came which had never been before, and the comments from so many owners that it is events like the Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally, which inspires them to restore and maintain their boats which are such an important living and moving part of our canal heritage. Each year I hear the same gratifying story, which makes organizing the Rally so worthwhile’.
The Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally is sponsored by Braunston Marina and Towpath Talk, and is supported by the Canal & River Trust. Braunston Marina will be hosting the event again next year on the same last weekend in June 24th – 25th.