Bedford River Festival, Day 2. 24th July

Priory Marina

Our sun cream would be working harder today as the sky was blue and the temperature higher than yesterday.

Today we’d explore a bit more, well quite a bit more, but not all of the festival sight. It really is huge! Before arriving we’d imagined the festival to be big, but in our minds big was actually about a fifth the size it actually is.

That’s what the scaffolding was for!

We ear marked things we wanted to see during the day, the raft race and the Newfoundland Dog Rescue Team. Then we bimbled round the islands between the upper and lower river.

Plenty to keep old and young busy. How many inflatables?

The bandstand area was by far the coolest place to be.

A craft tent, Psychics.

Anglian Waterways tent where we asked about how to sign up for the stoppage notices via email. This was explained and we were handed over a goody bag with an extra mug so that we wouldn’t fight over one. No-one was manning the Waterways Chaplain part of the stand so we didn’t get chance to say hello to Sallyanne who we’d met in Ely weeks ago.

Rice a fairly safe option

Then a hunt round for lunch. One stand looked a possible for me, but when I asked if anything was gluten free, they said no! What did they do to their roast potatoes! Thankfully a little further there was a Paella stand with a big sign saying Gluten Free. We took our foil tins to stand and watch the Newfoundland dogs.

One dog pulling all those people

With a team of five or six dogs various rescues were displayed to us. Basically the dogs love being in the water, in fact they have webbed paws and an extra joint in their legs which allows them to do breast stroke. They saved the best till last, the dog pulling nine people, a boat and engine back to safety.

Yesterday we’d spotted some chilled medication that wasn’t of the Mr Whippy variety, so we called in for some. The flavours gave away the fact that this wouldn’t be fantastic ice cream but still better than what was on offer elsewhere.

A more comprehensive look around the cars today. A lovely Ford Anglia, more mini’s, a Morris 1000 that must have come from the marina, a Tesla car that did a light and window display to music and Prudence a Triumph Herald!

A very good effort

We then found ourselves a space to watch the raft race heats. On our maps this was meant to take place upstream of Town Bridge, all the teams headed down stream to a muster point. There were to be two heats followed by the final which would be against the flow upstream. But hang on they’d all gone through Town Bridge! The course had been altered an hour earlier and we’d not heard the announcements.

The pink handbag not really helping them to make headway

The last raft took it’s time, in the end it had to be towed to the start line, it’s crew really not helping! One with a handbag that was being used to slap the surface of the water. Another lady at the front using her inadequate oar to move water back and forth in front of the raft, maybe this was their steering method, it certainly wasn’t assisting them any down stream!

Spouting whale

Most effort had been put in by one team in creating a Truck, if it hadn’t had the annoying airhorn they’d have got top prize from us. But another team stood on top of their raft with a wavy scene between them, at the top was a whale spouting water, very good.

The start line

We caught up with Sue and Ken again and made use of their very comfy chairs and another glass of cordial. They had plenty of visitors keeping them busy with tours through Cleddau and I suspect the tally of Monkton Moments and Tudor Rose explanations will have shot up, I’ll have to wait for Sue’s next post to see by how much.

Time to head back to Oleanna. Thank you so much Ken and Sue for your hospitality during the festival and it was lovely to get chance to know you both a touch better. We’ll both be heading the same way this week, so we may even get to share a lock or two.

Black cat pontoon

Back at pontoon C a black cat sat right in the middle. I suspect Tilly and this feline will have had words through the windows over the last few days, we’ve certainly had someone scratching around in one of the troughs of wild strawberries!

At around 8:30pm the music from the festival lowered and then stopped. The end of the festivities for another two years. We’ve enjoyed ourselves and have been impressed at the immense organisation of such a huge event.

Tomorrow it will be time to move on and for me to knuckle down to some serious work. I will endeavour to keep posting every day, but the time to write a post will be much reduced whilst I catch up on Panto.

0 locks, 0 miles, 2nd festival day, 2 paellas, 2 scoops of chilled medication each, 1 handbag, 1 whale, 5 newfies, 2 more loads washing, 1 tank water to top up, 2 boaters ready to move on.