Sunday 22 July 2018

Floating Market, Bradford on Avon, July 28 - 29 2018

What it is
For the third year running, there'll be a floating market on the Kennet and Avon Canal at Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire. Artists, craftspeople and traders who live and work on the canal will have their stuff on display and for sale by their boats. There will also be stalls for other traders. And music and stuff.

photo: Deborah Harvey

Where it is

Bradford on Avon is in the valley of the Avon south of Bath. Lots of it is too steep and inaccessible for cars, so it's good for walking around. Check out the medieval tithe barn, the saxon church, the maze of twisty little passages (all different), the ancient packhorse bridge over the Avon. But better still,  it's also the hub of the Kennet and Avon Canal's West End, and there's a lock, a basin and boatyard, and lots of boating action. And pubs and cafes too, right by the towpath.

Here's the canal on Google Maps Streetview. Get here and you'll have no problem locating the market; it's on the wharf below the bridge towards the tithe barn. Follow the noise!

How to get there

The railway station is close to the canal; if you're driving, there are car parks down by station and the river Avon; and another car park right by the canal, off Moulton Drive.

Saturday 21 July 2018

smouldering resentments

Yesterday a man walked by talking in a Complaining Voice into his telephone. “...they’ve got a fire on the towpath; it’s making a LOT of smoke and it’s hard to get past”

Ten minutes later we hear a NEENAH NEENAH and a fire engine appears on the little road that runs below the canal alongside the Avon.
I cycle along to Smelly Bridge where a solitary fireman dressed in all the gear is looking all about. And looking a bit harassed, to be honest. Those firefighters' suits are not the best wear for a heatwave.

“You’re looking for a fire aren’t you”
“It’s just along there”

A couple of boaters had been doing some home improvements and burning off the old wood in a furnace that was previously a washing machine drum.
The fireman and boaters seemed in perfect agreement that the call-out had been a bit of an overreaction, and he went on his way.
There are some spectacularly untidy boats along thus bit of the canal (heck, you’ve seen my boat?) -and Bongo George’s encampment at Smelly Bridge is very much disapproved of by folk who would like to keep Wiltshire a game reserve for the polite middle classes...