Northampton Boat Gathering Moves to Braunston02 December 2013
IWA Northampton Branch plans to hold its annual May Day Bank Holiday Boat Gathering at Braunston in 2014 – the first time it has been intentionally canal-based in a history stretching back to the late 1970s.
The usual venue has always previously been on the River Nene at Becket’s Park in Northampton, originally being organised as a publicity-generating event to focus attention on maintaining navigation on the river’s Westbridge Arm at Far Cotton and later to promote the waterside at Northampton. However, the last two years have seen the cancellation of the Gathering as a result of river flooding, water supply problems on the linking four and a half mile, seventeen lock Northampton Arm, allied to declining support.
IWA Northampton Branch Chairman Bernard Morton says: “Feedback suggests a switch to a canal-based event seems sensible. Suitable sites for such a gathering in our area are limited, but Tim Coghlan, who runs Braunston Marina and is one of our loyal supporters said: ´Why not come to Braunston? I can find some space for you,´ a generous offer we quickly accepted."
“Importantly, it also gives the Branch an opportunity to promote itself in the far west of its area where many of our members live or keep their boats and who perhaps considered Northampton to be a little too far away to cruise to for a weekend event, especially in view of the heavily locked Arm.”
The Gathering, which is open to IWA and non-IWA members, will run from Friday 2nd May to Monday 5th May. Centred at the former historic Nurser’s Dock on the old Oxford Arm at the Marina, moorings will also be available on the main line of the canal. A full range of attractions is being organised, including evening entertainments, a boaters’ auction, guided walks, quizzes, games, a real ale bar and much more.
For entry details please contact Tony Clarke.
More volunteers are also needed to help organise the Gathering, both before the event and during the weekend. Anyone interested, please contact Bernard Morton on 07785 375787.