By Dave Martin - 18th January 2012 7:09am
As a resident, boatowner, moorer and towpath walker, over the last nine months the three questions I've continually been asked are:
- Have you given up boating? Answer: "No, we haven't stopped boating, just in limbo."
- Where's Frederic? Answer: "Frederic's been sold and we're waiting for a new boat to be completed."
- Why was the boat called Frederic? Answer: "it was named after "Frederic's Ale", a very tasty & strong pale ale brewed by Robinsons, named after the brewery founder, Frederic Robinson."
Unfortunately, Frederic's Ale is no longer brewed: a great shame. However all is not lost. Some people might (just) remember the first beer to run out at The Shroppie Fly during the 2011 Beer Festival was a strong pale ale, brewed in Bakewell by Thornbridge Brewery, called Jaipur: it got the nickname of "loopy juice".
So where's this ramble leading us?
As Frederic's replacement, built by Stoke-on-Trent Boatbuilders, took shape we couldn't decide on a name: it had to be unique and relevant.
Audlem Lad plus many smutty suggestions were discarded and the date for signwriting was getting closer. It looked like Black Fox, a very tasty real cider, was the favourite until Nessa discovered this was a nickname for Hitler, so we were back to square one.
But come the beer festival, the answer was obvious. Continue the real ale theme: Jaipur it had to be. Jaipur's now moored above the locks, not in Frederic's original spot, as that length has silted up, hopefully to be sorted by dredging over next few weeks.
The canal magazine Waterways World persuaded us and the builders to let them review the boat before Christmas. So if you're interested in what's inside it, get a copy of the February edition from the newsagents: there's five pages of pics and story about its build.
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