Nick Birch sent me some more photos from his area on the banks of the Avon River.
Above is a fresh image of the boathouse, with all the different kinds of boats for rent. Nick's gondola isn't in the shot because she's still out of the water - getting some last-minute TLC before launch.
I owe Nick a debt of gratitude: when my parents were in Stratford a few years ago, he showed them great hospitality. They tell me that it made their visit to the area.
Nick's gondola, the Rosanna, has a great history, which you can read about on http://www.avon-boating.co.uk/htmlpages/gondola.html.
One item you'll sometimes see on the Rosanna, that you won't find on many gondolas these days, is the "felze di tela" or felze of cloth.
Here's a photo from last year with the canopy.
Way to go, Nick, you guys look great!
Of course it's easy to look good on a boat like that.