Village enjoys messing about on the river

South Kyme boat gathering and scarecrow competition. Lesley Moore with her Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat scarecrow. EMN-150405-113525001
South Kyme boat gathering and scarecrow competition. Lesley Moore with her Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat scarecrow. EMN-150405-113525001

Villagers in South Kyme welcomed a total of 11 narrowboats for their annual boat gathering over the weekend.

The event is organised in partnership with the Sleaford Navigation Trust. Chairman of the trust Chris Hayes said it was the first time she could remember that it had rained for the event.

South Kyme boat gathering and scarecrow competition. Member of the Australian Canal Society, Martin Smith on his boat. EMN-150405-113443001

South Kyme boat gathering and scarecrow competition. Member of the Australian Canal Society, Martin Smith on his boat. EMN-150405-113443001

She said: “Some boats were local but one came from March in Cambridgeshire, via Northampton, and one came from Stafford.”

There were even enthusiasts from an Australian Canal Society in attendance.

Mrs Hayes said: “There was the usual fantastic welcome and we had the job of judging the village scarecrow competition, which was this year themed on nursery rhymes.”

The winning entry was ‘Pussycat, Pussycat Where Have You Been’, complete with cat, a tin of food in a bundle over its back, a London A to Z, a throne and a mouse.

South Kyme boat gathering and scarecrow competition. EMN-150405-113603001

South Kyme boat gathering and scarecrow competition. EMN-150405-113603001

A highly commended went to a ‘Little Miss Muffet’ design, created by a family of visiting holidaymakers staying in a cottage on the riverbank.

There was a pub quiz and a table top sale in the village. A duck race on the river had to be done in reverse as the wind was blowing the competitors upstream.

The Bishop of Grimsby, The Right Rev David Court, joined the boaters and villagers for a special service in the parish church on the Sunday.

The Sleaford Navigation Trust had hoped to create a more convenient boat turning point, known as a winding hole, and attract more visitors to the village in time for the event but this will now be carried out in the autumn when there would be less impact on wildlife.