After weeks of river cruising the Cleddau crew were back in canal-land last weekend. 17 months ago there had been one of those Keep this date free emails: keep the July 12th/13th 2014 weekend free for an Event to mark my 40th birthday,
was the message issued by Techno Son-in-Law. The Event, two years in the planning, had no requirement for dinner jackets or ball gowns but a dress code of scruff gear and kit for getting wet...
Rudyard Kipling whose parents had courted at Rudyard before moving to India. More recently, in 2006, global fame came to Rudyard Lake when it was the venue for Clarkson, Hammond and May of Top Gear to race their specially adapted (supposedly) amphibious vehicles... Now does that episode ring a bell...?
Report to the Rudyard Lake Activity Centre by 10 o’clock was the instruction from Techno Son-in-Law. Folk were prompt, ready to be organised.Alex of Wacky Woods to make decorations and pictures;Moorland Adventure provided boats and gear along with instructors with lashings of patience and humour - and via another organisational masterstroke* the sun shone all day. Did the birthday boy get a dunking? Of course he did,
The core group of Graftonites, undergraduates together nearly two decades ago at Reading University, maintain regular contact. Four families slept under canvas. Pack up your tents on Sunday morning was their instruction and report up the road to Langley Village Hall. There the Saturday attendees reconvened and set off for a country walk,Library in the Landscape, high up there on Tegg’s Nose.The zoology graduates were photographed
Later the Captain and Boatwif retreated back to the Rudyard Hotel
– and contemplated how the fringing and tassels, the flock wallpaper and highly patterned carpets may have been the epitome of good taste for the visiting Victorians; while the food was excellent the quaint serving practices and haphazard admin perhaps might score it a fair few points on a Fawlty Towers scale...
Countdown time now: the Bedford River Festival is this coming weekend and Cleddau has a mooring booked.
*Reading’s Meteorology Department was well represented by past students and post-grads. Did they use special powers to secure the sunshine?!