One of the lovely things about running a business and having a narrowboat is the ability to trade from the boat on our beautiful canals. A special licence to trade is required from the Canal and River Trust, who look after the canal network. There are lots of floating markets, mainly organised by the Roving Canal Traders Association and various waterways festivals.
Foxton Locks Festival
I recently had the opportunity to have a pitch at the Foxton Locks Festival Foxton Locks are a very historic part of canal carrying history, they are set in beautiful countryside and well worth a visit. The lock flight is quite unique, being made up of two five chamber staircase lock flights. Right next to the flight you can see the site of the old incline plane, where boats used to be lifted to the top of the hill in water filled chambers that ran up the hill on tracks. The festival is run purely by volunteers to raise funds to restore the incline plane.
We arrived at Foxton on the Friday night and set up along with all the other trading narrowboats eagerly awaiting the crowds arriving for the weekend. The weekend brought mixed weather, with some sunshine, but a lot of heavy downpours of rain! We had a good festival, selling lots of felted natural soap, natural soap bars and fleece rugs, we also made a few new friends among the other narrow boaters.
There is also a festival field, where live bands play each day and Saturday evening and there is a good range of trade stands and food outlets and of course a licensed bar. A real shame that there was so much rain this year, it made the field fairly muddy. The featured bands were great, but the rain meant that it wasn’t as well attended as last year when we had that long hot, dry summer.