Last November, when we took Darley up to Stone for the fireworks we moored just below Star Lock and as I reported in my blog Nightboating, fireworks & eating out we did spend a little bit of time in The Star with friends Viv and Si off Monarch & Grimsby. A conversation must have struck up at some time in the canal bar which probably went something like VIV “you know what you could do with in this canal bar, some canal decorations” GAFFER “that would be good, do you know anybody who could do that?” VIV “yes we will” GAFFER “If you do I will close the canal bar for the day, supply you with drinks, and cook you a dinner”, and so the seed was set. so it was then, that over the last couple of months, I have been busy painting all manner of things to include a Seat board, a GU butty table cupboard, two enamel jugs out of The Star cellar, some old uprights and much more, as well as other old canal paraphernalia such as windlasses, ribbon plates etc. And that’s not including the stuff Viv & Si painted and brought including a GU butty tiller, a small button fender, jugs, a mirror, buckets etc.
Viv & Si turned up at 9.00am last Sunday and after a quick coffee we loaded everything into the back of Viv’s Volvo estate and we headed off to The Star. We arrived at about 10.00am and after unloading everything into the canal bar was met by Jamie & Lindsey,
the gaffer and his missis, who greeted us with a “two pint of Hobgoblin is it then” (a bit early in the morning for me but it would have been rude not to) and so the day rolled out hanging, screwing, drinking, painting, more drinking, splicing, picture hanging, more drinking etc. Etc.
I did notice that the longer the day went on the slower the work rate became. Don’t know if that was fatigue or alcohol! By mid morning we had been joined by Paul Barber, boat builder and owner of big Northwich Whitby, and Viv’s upholsterer, wife & their daughter India. At about 12 00am, Jamie said it’s about time for dinner and disappeared to return minutes later with a huge lamb stew and huge rough cut bread noggins. “Eat as much as you like there’s twice as much as this left.” We all sat down and proceeded to devour this most beautiful lamb stew. When we had all finished Jamie stated we could have a second lot later in the day. So well fed and certainly getting well watered, we continued to dress the bar out with more hanging, screwing, drinking, painting, more drinking, splicing, picture hanging, more drinking etc.
This continued until about 5.00pm when Jamie said are you ready for some more stew and disappeared into the kitchens, he returned minutes with a most apologetic look on his face “ The staff thought you had finished with the stew so I’m sorry but they ate it, there’s only a bit left!” We sat dawn to have another bowl only to find that what the staff had done was picked all the lamb out of it leaving just the broth and vedge. Jamie offered India some chicken nuggets and viv said “can I have some please” 10 mins later Jamie appeared with two very large trays of chicken wings, garlic bread, battered mushrooms and cheesy natchos. Another feast for a king. By 7.00pm, and many pints of Hobgoblin later, we were all finished both all the jobs and tired out
and so we piled all our tools in the car, bid our farewells to Jamie and Lindsey and made our way home. So, any of you out there reading this, if you find yourself in Stone, please call in The Star and have a look at our handywork. PS another trip up has been arranged for later in the year to put more stuff up, so till next time as always
Don’t bang ‘em about.