Thursday, 21 July 2016


Before leaving Nantwich today we nipped into the town for some provisions. At the church we saw that we were in time for a lunchtime concert, so we went in and enjoyed an astonishing piano recital.

It was given by Leo Bailey-Yang, an eight-year old pupil of Chetham's School of Music in Manchester. Yes, that's right, eight years old. Here he is, standing next to his raised piano stool and introducing his first piece, a Scarlatti sonata.

He performed two Scarlatti sonatas, one by Haydn, the Fantasie-Impromptu op. 66 by Chopin, Ravel's Sonatine and Étincelles op.36 no.6 by Moszkovski. All from memory, and all played with incredible accuracy and musicality.

The programme notes give a few details about Leo: he started learning the piano at six years old; the next year he got a distinction at Grade 8, being the world's fastest and youngest to do so - and with a score of 144 out of 150. He has, the notes go on to say, appeared on the TV show "Britain's got Talent" and has won many piano competitions; in May this year he played at the Carnegie Hall in New York. Oh - he's a swimmer too. He's won medals in his first UK swimming competition.

Take a bow, Leo Bailey-Yang.

He received a standing ovation after his recital; for his last of two encores he played Rimsky-Korsakov's The Flight of the Bumblebee.


If he plays like a prodigy aged 8, which he does, what will he be like at 18? I think we'll hear more of him, and we were privileged to be at his first Nantwich gig.

Onto more mundane matters, albeit canal-related. We reversed to the junction with the arm to Nantwich Basin where we winded in order to proceed northwards. In the arm was this boat. It took me ages to work out the name; Jan got it straight away. (Answer at the bottom).

Approaching Bunbury I was surprised to see a boat with its stove going. Perhaps that's its only means of cooking. It has been slightly cooler today, but not that cool!

We tied up shortly after the Bunbury staircase pair of locks. Tomorrow we'll push on to Chester.

The boat's name is James.

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