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Beale Park Report
If you are still thinking about going to the Beale Park Boat Show then that's tough because it is all over! Our stripey stand is all packed away and most of the goods have been put back in the wrong place at the shop. I know the show pretty well because we used to exhibit under the guise of Flints Marine but because of the kerfuffle with the take over of Arthur Beale's we decided to skip the show last year. Things have changed a bit while we were away.
On the plus side, there were plenty of beautifully built small craft of every type on display often with the craftsman or craftswomen standing alongside. Beale Park can't be beaten if you are thinking of commisioning that dream dinghy to go camping and sailing in. If you can't afford to commission one then why not enroll at the new Portsmouth International Boatbuilding School and build your own wonderful creation? Nat Wilson (Headmaster!) was there as usual emcamped in a snug spot on the far side of the field - while we were packing up Nat just stays on for an extra night and leaves peacefully in the morning, very civilized. Mike Smylie was there demonstrating the joys of kippers - there is a link to his website on the links section. Dick Wynne had his whole range of Lodestar books on sale but don't worry if you missed his stand because Arthur Beale's stock them all. Gavin Atkin of intheboatshed fame was there. Dan Houston - ex Classic Boat Editor visited our stand and told us of some very exciting plans! Peter Willis introduced me to Cluadia Myatt who illustrates many of the RYA childrens books plus a lot more. I think you get the picture of a great social event but add to the mix some lovely weather and the most beautiful surroundings and you can see why we like exhibiting at the show. We even row to the pub in the evening!
On the down side, our enchanting stand was tucked away behind the burger bar and we felt a bit left out. There seemed to be fewer visitors with genuine technical interest in small boats and maybe there was a slight drift towards "lifestyle" exhibitors. That said there were still enough small craft enthuiasts who really appreciated the soft classic ropes, small hemp cords, and bronze fittings to make it all worthwhile.
We will be back but not behind the burger bar!