STRATFORD-upon-Avon Boat Club retired one of their fleet of doubles which has been used on the river for almost half a century.
The club’s boatman, Phil Marshall, put the call out to local restaurants and pubs in order to find a new home for ‘Audrey’ – a beautiful wooden Sims built double.
And a new home was found just a few metres from the club at The Boat House restaurant as Stratford’s boat repair crew and restaurant staff planned an operation to move the double.
Marshall said: “The fun began when we had to move a nearly 10-metre double down the path from the Boat Club to The Boat House restaurant, through a window 15 metres above the river and then onto the rafters in the restaurant!”
The Boat House General Manager, Mat Faulkner, added: “Audrey looks perfect in the rafters and will be a talking point for our diners: we’re very happy to have been able offer a new lease of life for Audrey now that her sculling days are over.”
Audrey was beyond repair, having been used by the club for the last 40 to 50 years, and was named after a character in Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It.
The club name all of their boats after ladies, sprites and spirits in Shakespeare’s plays with Audrey described as ‘a homely and ignorant shepherd girl’ and ‘a goatherd from the Forest of Arden’.
In the comedy, Audrey is said to be ‘unlearned, honest, looks for honesty in others, does not consider herself good-looking, and is virtuous’.