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Northampton Boat Gathering postponed

The irony of too much rain – rather than too little – has caused the postponement of next weekend’s Northampton Boat Gathering, on the River Nene at Becket’s Park.

Earlier this month it had been feared the Gathering would be curtailed because of drought restrictions preventing boaters from coming via the Northampton arm of the Grand Union. Then agreement was reached with British Waterways to allow the event to go ahead with a provisional six-day opening of the Arm.


But now the heavy rains have led to flood conditions on the River Nene, closing it to navigation and stopping river-based boats downstream of Northampton from reaching Becket’s Park.

The Northampton branch of the IWA has organised the Gathering for many years. The branch’s chairman, Bernard Morton, said: “We’ve decided to postpone the event until later this year, probably until the August Bank Holiday weekend. By that time we hope the water shortage situation on the canals will have been resolved – and this would  allow many more canal-based boats to get to Northampton, resulting in a bumper Gathering.”

Highlighting the dangers of the swelling river last weekend, over a thousand holidaymakers were evacuated from the nearby Billing Aquadrome and Cogenhoe Mill riverside camping sites, as a ‘precautionary measure’.

Tuesday 1 May  | Andrew Denny  | 1.26pm, Tuesday 1 May 2012

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