My annual pilgrimage to the Crick Boat Show was blessed with a rare day of sun in the coldest Spring for 30 years! Just shows how the sun smiles down on the Good including, of course, canal aficionados.

It was the usual formula (but see after the gallery below for Julia Bradbury’s superb appearance) of the latest boats (for people to crawl over and maybe also drool over), technology, engines and canal lovers miscellany.

As ever, 1909 vintage steam driven working boat President and its butty Kildare from the Black Country Living Museum were in attendance with dedicated “Friends”.

Another favourite usually present at the shows was restored 1958 butty working boat Raymond and its 1938 towing motor boat Nuffield lovingly shown off by their “Friends”.

Here are some photos I took to convey the atmosphere.

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As well as these delights an added attraction this year were two sessions of a talk by TV Presenter of “the Great Outdoors” Julia Bradbury. I know from the visitor statistics on this website how popular Julia is with canal lovers and no doubt people with different interests.

Tickets for these talks were scarce but I was lucky in, having purchase my entrance ticket in advance, I was working on my PC when I received an email from organisers Waterways World with the offer of a ticket. I lost no time in responding to this and a ticket was mine!

I must say Julia gave a wonderful talk and seems to be a very genuine person with a like of people. She comes over as far more of an extrovert than she appears on her TV series – not overpowering simply very engaging and with bags of charm. She talked about experiences gained from her various TV series as well as the Canal Walks programs. A splendid technique she employed was to deliver verbal anecdotes interspersed with illustrative video clips which meant the whole thing was very dynamic and punchy and was obviously well received by the audience. Her young nephew she explained was her IT department and he controlled the videos. Also, present was her sister Gina who organises  her activities.

At the end a number of enthusiasts with cameras waited outside the marquee for her to make her exit which she soon did exclaming with a delighted grin “It’s the paparazzi!”. A little later she signed copies of her books, eg Canal Walks. She was very happy to pose for photos with people.

Below are some photos I took both in the marquee and later. In case you are wondering Julia was not aware that I was taking photos during her talk as I had my camera resting on my lap, and no one else was visibly so doing – so I believe her expressions are not contrived for photo-recording.

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