Now the boat is back and the dust has settled – or should it be ripples of the water have – it’s time to reflect on what has been a hugely productive and successful promotional trip..from Braunston to Birmingham and back!
We were based canalside in the Brindley Place area of Birmingham – not far from the ICC and SEALife Centre – from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th October, where we were pleased to welcome and talk to many people interested in who we are, and what we do and offer to community groups and organisations with our boats.
Our route took us from Braunston, leaving early just after 7.30am on the Wednesday morning aiming to get to at least in Leamington Spa; the fact the team reached The Cape by evening was a bonus.
Thursday, another early departure from the overnight stop to get through the Hatton Flight, aiming for at least The Wharf on the Stratford Road, Hockley Heath, which was successful.
Friday, the plan was another early departure and to be in Birmingham for 1300 hours.
Obviously an exercise of this size requires a substantial amount of planning and as part of it a whole host of invitations were sent to a number of organizations within the Birmingham and West Midlands area inviting them to pop along and see us; which we’re pleased to report many did.
In addition interest was shown from passers-by from a whole range of different organisations, including a Christian student group, a drama/dance school, two Beavers groups, a Birmingham-based housing association, a community group from South Yorkshire who have formed a Bridge club and a community activist from Stratford-upon-Avon.
Sunday also saw us welcome and talk to a teacher of primary children and a Guide leader from Stockton on Tees, a foster carer from Essex who has connections with Rainbows, and a Birmingham scout leader who had seen our promotion on the Birmingham County website.
So a wide range of different people with different interest and involvements in the community, both locally, regionally and further afield.
As with all these things, there was the odd hitch. The weather was not great at times over the weekend – in particular the gale-force winds – plus the boat broke down en route on Thursday which sadly caused us to cancel the school children and photo opportunity we had arranged for the Friday.
Nevertheless, these were minor disruptions to what was a hugely successful weekend and trip which essentially started weeks before with advance planning before we cast off on the Wednesday morning.
As ‘thank yous’ go, first and foremost a big, big thank you goes to Nigel Smith, our Bookings Officer, for all his substantial efforts in creating, planning and fulfilling this event from start to finish.
Not far behind, a big thank you to all other LNBP members who gave of their time in the delivery of this promotional exercise and event.
And to everyone who either planned and visited us over the weekend or dropped by in passing whilst we were in Birmingham – it was a pleasure to meet you and we hope to hear from and see you again [hopefully on our boats] in the near future.
And finally a thank you to all those well-wishers we passed and stopped to chat on our way to Birmingham and back.