Henley Royal Regatta is in full swing yet again with umbrellas erected and rain diluted champagne. As usual, HSC is doing everything we can to make people’s day as special as possible – nothing is too much trouble!
I am celebrating 25 years of catered charter and will be bidding a sad farewell to some of our long term customers as I hang up my apron. A big thank you to everyone who has enjoyed Lady Florence, Gipsy Willow, Princess Marina, Alaska et al. Have no fear as Charter is not about to die, so please come and see us in a more intimate setting on our 12 seater Midsomer Maiden or rent a self-drive boat from our base at the Swan at Streatley or the Boathouse in Wallingford.
One of the reasons for cutting down on large charter jobs was to concentrate on our core business which has grown a great deal over the past few years. Indeed, prior to the result of the referendum, boat sales were booming as several brokerage boats went to new homes all in the space of a couple of weeks. However, as anticipated, some potential purchasers looked at their bank balances and decided to hold fire on owning a boat. We hope this will be a temporary glitch while the pound stabilises and our politicians reassure the voters (if only).
With just under a week to go until Henley Festival 2016 and the biggest lineup yet, make sure you don’t miss out! Seated and General Admission tickets are still available for Thursday 7th with Elvis Costello, Friday 8th with Bryn Terfel and the Welsh National Opera Orchestra and Sunday 10th with Will Young. Saturday 9th is amost sold out! River rumour has it that there will be no small boat pool this year! Midsomer Maiden is a lucky lady and has a mooring for three nights with the usual banquet on board for our gorgeous guests. Alex and I will be on Alaska with scrumptious seafood buffets and some of our favourite customers.
Ever optimistic in true British fashion but with an international flvaour, we are very much looking forward to the Traditional Boat Festival later this month and we hope our readers will come and say ‘hello’. Of course there will be an Andrews slipper stern launch; the 30ft Oleanda alongside the fab Henwood and Dean superyacht tender, Henrietta, which will be afloat on the Thames for the first time since Goodwood Revival last Autumn. Maken from Norway will be on our stand as well as Nina (nee Georgiana, originally from East Germany and now a silent electric sports boat), and various other gems including the steam launch Duet. Too large for the Thames and eminently suitable for long distance cruising, maybe in the Mediterranean sunshine (ooh, yes please), Nerissa is still for sale so ring us for a demo in Brighton.
Mudlark Moves to Wallingford
George and Luke join our team fresh from University and will be running our new charter operation from the Boathouse in Wallingford. At one time we are told there was even a boatbuilding operation on site and the pub and restaurant operated from the first floor. It will be a pleasure to see boats on the frontage there once more. For electric and rowing boat bookings please ring the office. After Henley Festival, Midsomer Maiden will be operating between the various restaurants on the Goring to Wallingford reach and will also be available for corporate and private charter bookings. Once again details from Alex at the office on 01491 578870.
Congratulations to Vicki Fash who carried off a People’s Choice Award at the Balboa Yacht Club’s Wooden Boat Festival with the second boat she purchased from HSC in as many years!
Another congratulations go out to Stuart and Lisa, who have recently brought into the world little Esme Annabelle. To celebrate, HSC is naming a Frolic 21 Annabelle X, which will join the Wallingford fleet in time for the summer holidays. We wish both Stuart and Lisa the best of luck in raising their new baby girl together.
Boatique is looking for a new owner, so we will shortly be having a fantastic clothing and shoe sale to clear the decks for whoever decides that running a web shop, and possibly a retail outlet in Henley (and why not Salcombe and Fowley too) is an exciting possibility. I love meeting our customers at 5 Friday Street as they browse for gifts and picnicware and will continue to run HSC boat sales in the town centre.