Poirot actor to open Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally and Canal Festival later this month - The Rugby Observer

Poirot actor to open Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally and Canal Festival later this month

A BELOVED star of stage and screen will take to the local waterways to open the 20th Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally and Canal Festival later this month.

David Suchet last opened the Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally and Canal Festival back in 2018. Also pictured are shipwright Aubrey Berriman and former working boat woman Alice Lapworth. Picture by Harry Arnold / Waterways Images

Canal enthusiast David Suchet – best known for his definitive portrayal of Agatha Christie’s detective Poirot – will formally open the rally, which takes place in and around Braunston Marina on the last weekend of June.

Continuing his 30-plus years of association with Braunston Marina, the actor will open the event aboard restored second hand dredger Diana the Dredger – named after marina Managing Director Tim Coghlan’s wife, who died in 2014.

Tim said: “Amazingly, this will be our 20th Rally since we started what was supposed to be a one-off event in 2003 to celebrate the restoration of the historic steam narrowboat President.

“This could well be a vintage year. Our initial soundings of owners of historic narrowboats is that they can’t wait to come.

“These leviathans of our canal-carrying past are the making of the rally, which, as for some years now, will probably be the largest gathering of them anywhere on the waterways.”

The festival’s music impresario Janul will curate musicians for the beer tent known as the Dry Dock Inn – which Tim describes as ‘a mini-Glastonbury without the mud’.

Members of Alarum Theatre will perform their latest production, featuring Braunston thespians young and old.

Trade exhibitors, canal societies and canal artists will also showcase their expertise at the festival.

The festival will drift out of the marina with a parade of historic narrowboats, with around 5,000 spectators expected to line a mile of towpath along the canal.

And David Suchet will help to raise money for the Buckingham Canal Society by inviting visitors to take selfies with him for £10 each.

Tim added: “With the threat to government funding, the waterways need to have something to celebrate and look forward to. Hopefully this event will be a showcase for our wonderful waterways heritage.”

The Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally is sponsored by Braunston Marina and Towpath Talk, with support from the Canal and River Trust. It takes place on Saturday June 29 and Sunday June 30.


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