THE early May Bank Holiday weekend saw the 37th annual IWA Canalway Cavalcade taking place in Little Venice, London.
Unsettled weather across the weekend didn’t dampen spirits with a record number of 150 boats lined up along the Grand Union and Regent’s Canals, many moored by their sterns in Browning’s Pool.
Alongside the gleaming boats, with their bunting flying and brass work shining, there was a great selection of events and activities across the weekend. The Noyze Boyz Jazz Band burst into life as the festivities kicked off on Saturday and soon the pool was buzzing with beautifully decorated boats parading in front of an eager audience.
Elsewhere in the festival, there was a wide variety of stalls selling their wares, including jewellery, plants and traditional painted boating paraphernalia. The Stone Wharf offered many different food and beverage options, keeping the hungry visitors sustained whilst they listened to colourful live music in the festival’s real ale bar.
Libby Bradshaw, Ceremonial and Children’s Activities Manager, introduced the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Lindsey Hall, who welcomed everyone to the City of Westminster and thanked the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) for putting on the event. Mark Saxon, Chairman of the IWA Canalway Cavalcade Committee, followed and welcomed everyone to the event, paying special attention to this year’s theme ‘celebrating our volunteers’.
Libby thanked British Land for their sponsorship and support before the Lord Mayor of Westminster rang the bell to formally open the event. This was echoed by cheers around the pool, the ringing of bells and horns, and the start of the Pageant.
In Rembrandt Gardens, children were entertained by a number of different acts and Sunday saw the wonderful Teddy Bears picnic, which even brought the sun out. Other children’s activities were led by the Floating Classroom on the Electric Barge, the Church Army and the Pirate Castle from Camden. Live music was performed each day from midday in the Amphitheatre, highlights included the sensational Rock Choir on Saturday and Mandolin Monday who always get the audience on their feet!
On Sunday evening Craig Haslam, dressed in full evening dress complete with bow tie, was master of ceremonies for the Procession of Illuminated Boats, where once again the boaters covered their boats with as many lights as would fit along the roofs and sides. Mark Saxon, Chairman produced a spectacular display with disco lights, and even a smoke machine!
On Monday afternoon, the IWA Canalway Cavalcade awards were presented by Libby Bradshaw, Mrs Laura Radley and John Edmonds.
Mark Saxon, Chairman of the IWA Canalway Cavalcade Organising Committee said: “The outstanding success of this year’s event is due entirely to the dedication of the volunteers who organise, set up and run the event. This weekend has been an enormous success, and we’re already eagerly considering 2020. Thank you to you all.”
Next year’s event is planned for May 2-4.
IWA Canalway Cavalcade 2019 – Award Winners
Marcus Boudier Trophy
For the best decorated privately entered boat in Saturday’s themed Pageant:
Stumpy, owned by Samantha Quy
Runner up: Follow your Bliss, owned by Ayesha Walker
The Ray Dunford Buckby Can Trophy
For the best decorated boat entered by a waterway or community group:
The Waterway Recovery Group, decorating the boat opportunity loaned by Laburnum Boat Club
The Cruise Electric Trophy
For the best illuminated boat in Sunday evening’s Procession:
Rachel, owned by Mark & Jayne Saxon
Runner up: My Lovely, owned by Chris Mayo
The Graham Capelin Award
For the best entry by a boater who has not previously taken part in either the Saturday Pageant or Illuminated Boats:
Annie & Walt, owned by Mike and Lorraine Newman
The Westminster Trophy
Donated by the City of Westminster for the winner of the Boat Handling Competition:
Robin Hendley, on boat Middlesex
The Roger Squires Trophy
Presented by St Pancras Cruising Club in recognition of Roger’s 10 years as their Commodore, it is awarded to the best novice competitor in the Boat Handling Competition:
Myles Jackson, on narrowboat Alba
The Vic Trott Memorial Trophy
Is open to boaters and non-boaters, awarded to the couple in the best “Boaters’ Sunday Best” costume:
The Mike Stevens Memorial Trophy
Goes to the “Best Boat” at Canalway Cavalcade, selected from all the boat entries at the event, it is awarded in recognition of Mike’s outstanding contribution to IWA and Canalway Cavalcade during his lifetime:
Duchess, owned by Peter Stanley
Runner up; Nimrod, owned by Craig Haslam
The Idle Women Shield
Sponsored by Jan Knox, proprietor of Canal Experience Training School, the shield was awarded to the best lady entrant in the Boat Handling Competition:
Olivia Cochoran, steering Teazel