Sunday, 5 July 2009

Can You Have a Garden on a Boat ?

As Willawaw is in the boatyard, waiting to have her bottom scraped, we are living ashore for a short while.

Yesterday, we went to the Ware Festival on the River Lee.

The theme of the festival was Gardens.

Many of the boats at the festival entered into the spirit of the thing and displayed their very own rooftop gardens.

Ware combines its annual carnival with a boat festival organised by the local branch of the IWA.

The event was well attended and the moorings in Ware were largely "double-banked" by members of the local clubs like the Stort Boat Club (S.B.C).

Personally, I find these boat festivals a little bit suffocating. 

The "boatees" all moor up on top of each other and they always seem "cliquey" to say the least - I once had a run-in with the commodore of the fleet of the S.B.C, but that's another story. 

The Ware-do was interesting, as all the young people were on the other side of the river from the boats, sitting on the grass in the priory, drinking cans of beer and listening to live bands.

You can just make this out in the background of the "beer garden" photograph above.

With my overactive imagination, the boaters remind me of the white settlers with their circle of wagons, in those old western movies, being circled by whooping red indians (sorry, first nation people). 

Personally, I found the music much more interesting than the static, bunting adorned, boats. 

A local music shop and music school called "The Academy" have a big hand in this.

We were delighted to see young teenagers playing drums and electric guitars to a packed audience in the park, each of whom had paid only £1 to be there.

The Academy offer music lessons and are very active with local kids, keeping them off the streets and coaching them to be rock stars for as little as £6/hour.

It was great to see youngsters getting the chance to show their talents to a real audience and one of the groups called Nightmare did a great rendition of the Guns and Roses' hit Sweet Child of Mine. 

The Academy/Play Something ( have been grooming and filtering would-be bands for the forthcoming Rock In the Priory Music festival on the 26th July.

For more information, click here:


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