Saturday, September 22, 2012

York. Visitors, crowds and dragons!

We’ve been a little naughty. Strictly speaking we should have left York yesterday. But with so much going on we decided to stay put. The moorings here aren’t desperately busy, any boat that has turned up has got tied up, so I don’t feel too guilty.

Our first visitor was Mags’ son George, who came across from Ingleton and spent Thursday night with us. Also on Thursday we had Arthur and Wendy drop in, old friends from the Dales who now live near York and have a pub here. So on Thursday evening George and I went for a drink there. It’d have been rude not to…

Arthur and WendySAM_3372

Yesterday was Mags’ birthday, I’m not telling you how many she’s had now, but there was no way I could get that many candles on the cake… so I compromised!

Happy Birthday, my love.SAM_3373

With us yesterday was Mags’ sister Dot and nephew Paul, who’d driven across from near Manchester. They arrived after George had left, but in between we had another visit from Arthur and Wendy, bringing Mags flowers and a tub of plants.

With all this going on I hadn’t time to get up into the city to look around; the best I’ve managed is a walk around the Museum Gardens, alongside the moorings.

The Multi-angular Tower, part of the City walls.SAM_3376
And from the inside.SAM_3378
In the area around the Yorkshire Museum there are several buildings and bits of the old fortifications.
St. Mary’s AbbeySAM_3382

A lot of the carved stonework has finished up edging the gardens.SAM_3377

The remains of St Leonard’s HospitalSAM_3379

We’d planned to leave today, but the river came up nearly two feet yesterday afternoon and last night, as the rain that fell on Thursday filtered it’s way down from the moors into the tributaries of the Ure and Ouse. It was also running fairly fast, and this gave us an excuse to stay a bit longer.

York Rotary Club organises an annual Dragon Boat Race, usually in July. But this year the wet weather made the river unsafe for this kind of event so it postponed – till today.
After a cold night (almost a frost) the day has been beautiful, drawing the crowds to the riverside to watch the action. This is the first time we’ve seen this particular nautical activity, and it was certainly fun to watch.
The boats, equipment and steerers are hired in, and crews pay to enter, raising money for charity. Each boat will carry 16 paddlers and a beater to keep time.

The heats were three boats at a time, culminating in two finals for the fastest twelve crews.
Some of the more experienced crews could get a fair move on, but the first timers tended to do a lot of splashing about.SAM_3398

The river was quite busy during the 2 finals.SAM_3454
The six fastest crews all abreast as they head for the finish. It was a close run thing.

The boats weren’t the only attraction; all along the river banks were stalls selling all sorts for charity.
Above us the RAFA were setting up, and a gentleman wished me a good morning. Then we looked again and realised that we knew each other. We’d both worked for the same company, Alan at Leeds and me at Settle, but our paths had crossed on several occasions while working on projects. We had a good chat, and met his wife (another Margaret), when they joined us for a brew.

Arthur and Wendy popped in again on the way to do some shopping, then this evening his daughter, Anita, and family also dropped by to say hello.

Whew, what a couple of days. It’s a lot easier cruising! But it’s been great seeing everyone.

Off tomorrow, short hop downstream to Naburn, hopefully moored in time to watch the Singapore GP. Then down the tideway to Selby on Monday, if the tide times are reasonable.

Locks 0, miles 0


Sue said...

Well a very happy birthday to you Mags.. I wonder how many candles can be made out of that big one then? :-)

Geoff and Mags said...

Ah, now. That'd be telling....

Del and Al said...

Happy Birthday Mags, enjoy that cake, looks yummy! x