Things you never thought you’d be able to say…


I spent Saturday evening on a boat with a steel band, covered in Christmas lights cruising through central Guildford in the dark.

I think I am one of only a very few people who are able to say that. Maybe I should explain. Last weekend saw an illuminated boat pageant rounding off the Wey River Festival at Dapdune Wharf and the Croydon Steel Orchestra were the stars of the show. If you ever have a chance to catch one of their performances I highly recommend it, they are fabulous. They had been performing to the earlier crowds on one of our workboats that had been expertly converted to a floating bandstand by our talented Maintenance Team just for the occasion. As the evening wore on, we headed to Millmead Lock in the heart of Guildford in order to turn round and set the boats in order for the illuminated procession back to  Dapdune Wharf. The unsuspecting final shoppers and early drinkers were treated to a floating concert while we waited for it to get dark so we could twinkle our way back through the town. 


Another unusual statement…

You haven’t lived ’til you’ve heard Bonnie Tyler and Michael Jackson played on the steel drums.

When the light level was low enough for our procession to gain maximum impact, Steve and the other skippers slowly chugged back under bridges full of people and a towpath full of spectators and followers. The bridges provided even better acoustics than the trees and buildings and we even had some happy bats following us along.

It was a fantastic end to a festival of boats, stalls, activities, food and thankfully sunshine for another year. Another highlight I’m told was the human fruit machine (I’m afraid I missed it as the Rugby was calling). My husband spent the day dressed as a monk. He and 2 other ‘willing volunteers’ provided much amusement and raised a good deal of money for charity with their antics.

Hopefully next year will be bigger and better.

Last night I was adjusting the weirs in my pyjamas and wellies… but that is another story.