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Our First Visit to the Canal Festival

July 20th, 2019

The event began on a very sunny, breezy day, with James, Joe, Robert and Michael meeting at the canal, at 11:30am near Spiers Wharf, in Glasgow.
We had been asked by freelance artists, Nadia Rossi and Ruby Pester, who are based at the Whisky BNadia & Rubyond at Spiers Wharf, to participate in the Canal Festival, using our "Hands-On" boats, to tow the sculptures they had created, from rubbish floating in the canal. The event was very busy with a large crowd turning out for all attractions, there was also a tremendous carnival atmosphere, all day.

We were situated at the canal basin, next to the Waterways HQ and the old swing bridge and from the start we were kept busy with kids and parents wanting a shot of the "Wee Boats", towing the sculptures. Some of the children needed some coaching on how to use the boats, but despite our best efforts, many just did it their way. We also had to contend with a very strong breeze that was constantly blowing the boats under the bridge, and several went AWOL.
James Rober t & XXXX
James and I, had the task of rescuing the wayward boats, by lying flat on the banks and grabbing them, before they drifted off towards Cowcaddens. It was, however, all very rewarding and good fun, to watch the faces of the kids and meeting their parents, made it all worthwhile.

It was a very good exercise for the club, getting out to meet the public again, to raise awareness of the club and promote our hobby. We should consider doing it next year.

Unfortunately, James and Joe had to leave at 1:30pm which left only Robert & myself, to man the boats until 4pm, when we had to stop as our battery packs were exhausted. We had left them with Nadia and Ruby some days earlier so they could fully Tug & Floatcharge them.

This is something we should consider next time, as part of the refurbishment of the "Hand-On" boats, so we don’t run out of charged batteries, and disappoint our waiting children.

We should also consider setting up a stall, with a banner promoting the club, as it’s great PR. but we might need a few more members, to man it.

We worked hard, to keep the boats running for most of the afternoon, but we really need, at least 4 members to run this type of event.Launch area

Weed in the canal didn’t help as it constantly clogged the props.

Thanks to Harry who arrived in the afternoon with his grandkids, and lent a hand by rescuing one of the AWOL boats from a moored canal boat beyond the bridge. (I promised to mention him in dispatches).
Robert also promoted the club very well all day with his patience and good nature, and even sailed his police launch, which drew admiring looks from the crowd. We had a few disappointed faces when we were forced to stop around 4pm, but it had been a successful day, with Ruby thanking us for our participation.

Thank you to the GRMBC committee for agreeing to support this event by providing the boats to Nadia and Ruby.

Report by: Michael Austin

Photographs courtesy of: Jassy Earl

GRMBC 2019