Llangollen's Grand Prixby Ian H Bruce (2019)Chorus :From Whixall, Chirk, Whitchurch and WrenburyThey're all taking part in Llangollen's Grand PrixA` late start to our cruising, so plans modifiedAnd we turned off the Shroppie in early JulyWe had hoped to relax in the warm summer sunBut the school hols were starting; hire season begunWe moored up at lunch-time, to rest for the dayAll was tranquil and calm, then the boat starts to swayIn every direction, then against the bank smashedBy the wake of a hire boat, that quickly flashed pastThe Llangollen Canal attracts boaters galoreBut many have never been boating beforeNewbie skippers and crews cast loose and in chargeOf a 20 tonne missile, which they call a bargeThey had raced to the hire base on fast motorwaysAttracted by TV shows singing the praiseOf barges on aqueducts, a pub crawl afloatBut did nobody tell them, slow down past moored boatsPerhaps going too fast's not what they intendBut life in the slow lane they can't comprehendThough instructions were given, they forget or ignoreWith white knuckles on tiller, down the cut they do roarThirty, forty or seventy are speeds they can judgeWhen travelling on tarmac; but ploughing through sludgeAt 3 or 4 miles per hour is well off their scaleMore suited to a tortoise or fast racing snailWith one week's boat hire there's no time to be slackingThree days to get somewhere, three more to get back inIt's constant full throttle, there's no time to stopUnless they get a car tyre wrapped round their propSo here's a suggestion for novice boat crewsMake sure that one member brings stout walking shoesThen ensure boat and skipper behind them do lagAs they walk the towpath - with a red flag Having written a song about a 'Grumpy Old Boater' I was determined that the first of the three labels should not apply to me. So when we set off up the Llangollen Canal in 2019 I was determined to exhibit ‘bonhomie’ to all whom I met. This lasted for a few days until the first of the racing hire boats passed and smashed our boat into the bank. Though I managed to refrain from shouting 'slow down' on many occasions on this trip, my patience was sorely tested. This ode to inconsiderate boaters perhaps does a disservice to many hire boaters who are lovely people and who have plentiful waterways skills. Private boaters, who should know better, are often just as guilty of going too fast.
Chorus :[D]From [G]Whixall, Chirk, [Bm]Whitchurch [G]and Wrenbu[D]ryThey're [G]all taking [Bm]part in Llang[A]ollen's Grand [D]Prix[D]A late [G]start to our [Bm]cruising, so [G]plans modi[D]fiedAnd we [G]turned off the [Bm]Shroppie in [A]early Ju[D]lyWe had [G]hoped to re[A]lax in the [Bm]warm summer [G]sunBut the [A]school hols were [Bm]starting; hire [G]season be[D]gun