Organisers of the Beale Park Thames Boat Show are celebrating another successful year as the three day event attracted more than 5,500 visitors - despite the rain which threatened the show from the outset.
Following the downpour, the event was subject to intermittent showers, but finished on a high with glorious sunshine on the Sunday. Hardened boating enthusiasts and local visitors alike, donned their waterproofs to enjoy a weekend of waterborne activity with a variety of vessels including: wooden boats, canoes and coracles, sailing, steam and electric boats, solar and pedal powered craft which took to the lake.
Show Organiser, Gillie Jackson, said "We were delighted to see that so many people braved the elements and made it to the show."
"It was a remarkable weekend, the bands played on, our dancers still performed and the free boat trips and family canoeing were as popular as ever as visitors ventured out on the water."
Other attractions included displays on the lake by various boating organisations, a Newfoundland Dogs display, Irish and Morris Dancers, cookery demonstrations and the successful introduction of a Talks and Demonstrations Tent, which was new for this year.
Supported by the Environment Agency, the show is designed to introduce and encourage people to take to the water with free boat trips and family canoeing. In addition to this there was the opportunity to "try a boat" through exhibitors, and visitors were offered the chance to win two boating holidays – one, courtesy of Crown Blue Line, a member of the European boating holiday specialist Le Boat group and the second, a weekend break on the Thames, aboard the "African Queen," owned by Andy and Bonny Cowley.
The Beale Park Thames Boat Show is also supported by The Waterways Trust who donated £5,000 to assist in the creation of the show's new web-site: www.bealeparkboatshow.co.uk, which was launched in April 2009.
Now one of the UK's largest regional boat shows, it continues to attract exhibitors and visitors from all over the country. Recognising the diverse range of boats at the event, the organisers are re-naming the show for 2010 by removing the word "Thames" from its title, creating: "The Beale Park Boat Show", to emphasise the fact that the event caters for all types of craft, sea faring vessels as well as inland.
Next year's event will be held on 4th, 5th and 6th June 2010.