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Week 2

Week 2 began with shows at Cavalcade: tasters in the morning and shows in the evening. On Saturday, Kate performed Isobel’s War under extremely challenging circumstances! A last minute change of venue meant that our sizeable audience carried chairs from one marquee to another while Kate set up to perform. When it became clear that audibility would be a problem, a small PA was generously donated (thank you, Christine!) As it was a hand-held microphone, Kate couldn’t really hold it whilst in character, so she decided not to use it. However Alex (owner of NB Tench) quickly stepped in as boom operator, doing her best to position the mic in front of Kate’s mouth at all times for the whole show. The audience loved it!

On Sunday, still at Cavalcade, after Heather had performed Idle Women and Judies to an equally large audience, both ‘Idle Women’ took part in the illuminated procession – Kate on the roof of NB Second Time Around holding a shaft, echoing our poster image, while Heather sang The Idle Women Myth inside the boat, again with the help of Christine’s PA. Not only did Kate join in the singing from the rooftop, but there was joining-in from the towpath too from a woman who had learned the song at one of our shows!

Monday’s performance involved a car journey to perform in the splendid Dorchester Abbey for their biennial Festival. After a day ‘off’, though as always there was boat moving to be done, Wednesday’s show took place in a hayloft at Horsenden Hill Farm, Perivale. We were due to be outside but, as the weather was cold and rather damp, we were grateful of the unexpected chance to perform indoors. Refreshments were delivered by The Village Butty in a Canadian canoe (at least that’s what we think it was – there was some discussion ….) and the following day, Tench took on some cargo for delivery further along the cut. Payment for delivery of one bale of straw was a box of eggs. Apparently we should have been be reported for not taking a full load. (Molly Traill was, and she was only a couple of tons light.) Thanks to Mike Constable for that information! As we were leaving Perivale, the lyrics to Heather’s song about Molly Traill were adapted …. “We took a trial run from Ellesmere Port to Birmingham” became “We took a trial run from Sowerby Bridge to Barnoldswick …”

Books have been selling very well, as have our new badges! These are replicas of the national service badges given to the women when they had passed their training and were produced for us by Adforce UK Ltd. We are very pleased with the quality. It was a tricky order because we couldn’t risk sending him the precious original. So not only is there chance to see an original badge, worn by Heather at the show, but now you can buy your own to take home.

Tench and Morning Mist are currently moored outside Hillingdon Canal Club ready for tonight’s show at 7.30pm. Tomorrow we move on to Rickmansworth (5pm) and then to Hunton Bridge 7.30pm on Sunday.

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