This article follows on from the last one as Damian Kemp, our Boaters' Update editor, looks back at the previous 19 shows as Crick Boat Show celebrates its 20th anniversary. This time we're looking at 2008 and 2009.
Sporting achievements, such as Lewis Hamilton becoming the youngest ever Formula One champion and the GB Olympic team having its best Olympics in a century, were overshadowed by the credit crunch with the Government putting in to action a £500billion bank rescue package.
Cries of Mamma Mia could be heard up and down the country. While some were no doubt a reflection of the country’s finances, it was mostly heard in cinemas as the musical romantic comedy hit movie screens.
Thankfully, and as is still the case today, relief could be found on the waterways. The £500,000 renovation of Clarence Dock in Leeds was completed as were Middlewood Locks on the Manchester, Bolton & Bury Canal.
The good news didn’t stop there: just off the Trent & Mersey Canal, work began on the super-sized Mercia Marina and planning approval was given for the Droitwich Canals restoration project resulting in the opening of Barge Lock later in the year.
Saturday of that year’s Crick Boat Show was, by all accounts, a glorious day to be surrounded by boats and water. Unfortunately, the following day, the water started coming down from above and rarely stopped. Monday was drier but the rain gave way to 45mph gusts of wind.
In spite of the weather, it would seem, exhibitors still did ‘roaring trade’ and visitors still managed to get around most of the boats and displays before they were soaked through.
The year didn’t start so well when, early in January, the national institution that was Woolworths closed all its 807 stores. Then, in the first half of February, the country had its biggest snowfall in nearly two decades with some places being buried in up to 22inches of snow.
More positivity could be found in the country’s canals and rivers though. The new Liverpool Link opened at Easter, the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal fully reopened after 18 months of substantial repairs, and the Pontycysyllte Aqueduct was designated as a World Heritage Site.
It was also the year in which British Waterways first announced its intention to move from the public to the voluntary sector. Although reports of the day suggest that the transition could take up to 10 years…
The weather was favourable for Crick Boat Show and, under a benign sky, visitors showed lots of interest in the boats on display but, as with all industries in the global recession, sales were reportedly down.
In the meantime, check out the show website for details of this year’s exhibitor list as, no matter what boaty product (or boat!) you’re after, it’s likely to be there. And, while you’re there, you can also book your advance tickets and save up to 15 per cent on the entry price for the event, which takes place at Crick Marina, near Daventry in Northamptonshire, during 25-27 May, with an extra Trade & Preview Day to be held on Friday 24 May in association with LeeSan.
Thanks go to Waterways World for its help in providing archive material for research.
Last date edited: 8 March 2019