It was all fun and games at this year’s Audlem RNLI Festival with not only the rain trying to sink the event… Competition at the annual raft race got a little out of hand when holes in the hulls of all the home-made rafts were discovered just before they took to the water!
Competitors were bemused by the sabotage the miscreant had caused with a drill but Simon Peek, workshop manager at Overwater Marina, managed to save the day with his trusty caulking gun. The race was won by Hibberts LLP Solicitors Team who paddled off with their well deserved trophy, kindly sponsored by Baker Wynne & Wilson.
The Audlem RNLI Festival is held every year at Overwater Marina, who won this year’s THYA Inland Marina of the Year Award and is also home to the popular Audlem Lass ferry service that runs between the marina and Audlem every weekend all for the cost of a donation to the RNLI.
As well as the highly eventful raft race, the festival saw the return of some great entertainment including the Lincoln County Regulators with their comedy cowboy shoot outs and Steve Leonard “That Vet off the Telly” injecting his own brand of humour into the fun dog show. Tractor and trailer rides were available for those wanting to see a little bit more of the wonderful countryside that surrounds the marina.
RNLI Sam made a guest appearance to remind everyone what a great charity he belongs to and what valuable work they do saving lives at sea. Mark and Steve from the RNLI education team gave lots of children hours of fun by giving them the chance to become an Overwater Lifeguard by dressing them up in full costume and letting them have a go with real-life RNLI rescue equipment.
There were more competitions and prizes in the form of the duck race, giant teddy raffle, treasure hunt and a design-a-narrowboat competition. Some extremely generous donations were received for our silent auction which included a beautiful handmade quilt, six antique prints of RNLI rescues as well as hand painted canalia.
Also on display were several magnificent birds of prey, old steam engines and even a penny farthing bicycle was seen being ridden around the marina!
Rodney Cottrell event organiser says “We are so pleased to be able to have an annual event to bring all these people together in such a wonderful environment. I hope it raises loads of money for the RNLI so they can carry on their valuable job of saving lives and I would like to express my thanks to everyone who put so much effort into pulling the event together.”
Although attendance this year was slightly down due to the rain, plans are already being floated to make next year’s RNLI Festival bigger, better and more exciting.