- Published: 28 May 2014 28 May 2014
Bank Holiday Market and then cruising home on The Lady from St Ives to Paxton, completing necessary repairs en route after the coldest and wettest spring bank holiday since records began in 1941 as Eric Morecombe dies on stage and Zola Budd won the UK championship 1500m with a world junior record run
We awake to more continuous rain and on another cold morning but by now we are getting used to it. Not much leakage during the night and a sound night’s sleep for all of us without Debbie having any unsettling dreams. After a breakfast of melon, toast and tea I leather the outside of the boat down as the rain has virtually stopped and the rest of the family go out for a walk around St Ives. Gradually more and more people and cars arrive and this, plus the failure of the others to return, signals confirmation that St Ives Bank Holiday Market is taking place today. By now the rain is only in the air and we enjoy one of the best markets in the land with the whole of the high street and overflow streets crammed with many stalls and a good crowd disregarding the weather.
We take coffee and cakes in the Guides Hut and are served by Brownies which makes Daniel squirm! We buy a weatherproof for Debbie, some cheap toys and I bring back a pint of cockles from the excellent sea food stall. Having run out of water and virtually empty of diesel fuel we cast off and shoot St Ives Bridge in a fair flow. We take both on board and I get details of suppliers of our ships wheel, Aquamarine, in order to pursue them for a spare boss or hub. Then a cruise back through St Ives, Hemmingford, Godmanchester, Houghton and Offord locks with the rain falling and river levels high. At Offord we had to roll back the roof to fit under Offord Bridge and were fortunate for a gap in the weather. Disaster struck at Wray House as a fuel pipe ruptured with copper fatigue and I had to cut a section off, retrieve the seal, replace it and bleed the entire fuel system before being able to start up again. Nevertheless we arrived home to find 11 ducks waiting for us. The news is that temperatures (9-11*C) and rainfall (30mm+) have meant that the spring bank holiday has been both the coldest and wettest since records began in 1941! But we still enjoyed it with the Wimpy and Kentuckian as gastronomic highlights and Godmanchester Bookshop, Huntingdon shops and market, St Ives swimming pool and Bank Holiday market as the highlights. Sad news tonight of the death by heart attack of Eric Morecombe and in recent weeks both of my favourite funny men – Tommy Cooper and Eric Morecombe – have died by heart attack during or after their performances. I am quite numbed by this news and moved by the fact that Eric was due to step down his involvements soon to pick up his family life. Zola Budd won the UK championship 1500m today in 4 mins 4.39 secs, a world junior record.