At the back of my mind when we got to Pelsall was an e-mail which listed the various awards and the entry conditions. Two days before the deadline I decided we could enter for a couple of categories, namely the most "meritorious route", that including little travelled waterways, and the longest route. We'd certainly been to some out-of-the-way places, such as the Grazebrook Arm, the Fens Branch and the Ridgeacre Canal, and I thought we stood a chance in the "most meritorious" category. I calculated the miles and locks we'd covered since 1st May this year, the start date for the "journey", and made a document with these figures, some photos and a detailed diary of where we'd been before arriving at the Pelsall Festival of Water.
This morning I got a phone call from one of the organisers of the event suggesting we might like to be in the marquee at 1215, so I thought, "That's interesting". We were, nevertheless, surprised to be announced as the winners in the Longest Route category and were presented with the most enormous trophy.
Oh - our totals were 521 miles and 372 locks since 1st May.
Other things which happened today include: a two-hour stint by me handing out programmes to visitors arriving by car; Kew returning in the afternoon having finally successfully winded at Birchills Junction; Jan doing a two-hour stint working with children in the WoW tent (photo below); helping our neighbour on the next-door stand to dismantle her gazebo (we have commissioned her to paint our coal shoot); helping Captain Ahab dismantle his gazebo; me helping with the dismantling of two large IWA marquees; going for a meal in the Finger Post pub with David, Mary and the aforementioned Captain; jamming along on my recorder to some folky-type stuff in the entertainment tent this evening.
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