We are now well into the season, the Hotpot on 7 th February was well attended by 41 members where we had a talk by Ken Pye on Liverpool. Our Opening Cruise to Wrenbury was dogged by bad weather but the spirit of the members helped to keep things going. The bowls competition was one of the shortest that I have known and after three quarters of an hour we were into the finals when some members arriving late, expected to join in to find it was down to the last two. I have written the alternative story on the weekend elsewhere in Boats Afloat.
We had a St George’s day celebration at Bramble Cuttings on 23 April, CRT failed us and did not come up with the materials needed to carry on the jetty extension. The weekend was still productive as it was spent cutting back saplings and disposing of them by having some lovely bonfires.
At the end of April we were invited to join in the celebrations for the official opening of the Winsford Marina by Timothy West CBE. Again the weather was awful except for the day of the opening when the sun shone. Getting back up onto the Trent and Mersey became a problem for some of our members as the lift had only one caisson working and stopped altogether for one day.
Quite a few of our members, 13 boats in all, cruised the Liverpool Link for the Mersey River Festival and the Northern Boat Show in June. Much fun was had in Liverpool and the weather favoured us, being hot and sunny. Following this we went on into the Eldonian Village for the IWA National Campaign Festival to help celebrate the bi-centenary of the Leeds Liverpool Canal.
Whilst in the Eldonian Village, I had the opportunity to discuss with Richard Parry, the Chief Executive of CRT, the change in the reciprocal arrangements with the Bridgewater Canal Company. A £40 fee is now payable if one returns to the Bridgewater Canal within 28 days, a £75 fine is payable if you fail to purchase the licence. I have followed up my conversation with a letter to Richard Parry.
Sadly in April I had to report the death of one of our long standing members and former Commodore Alan Burgess.
I would like to welcome Barbara Wagstaff in Topaz as a new member to the club and also to welcome John and Jennie Morley as returning members in Sarnia.
I would also like to congratulate John Hulme for being honoured with a British Empire Medal for his for his community services to railways in Cheshire.