Blind leading the bland


The High Street is becoming the I Street, so says Darina Kerr, in today’s edition of the free hand-out City A.M. She reports that 32 stores closed daily in July and August last year and claims the High Street is in ‘terminal decline’.

So it was with astonishment I wandered around the London Boat Show.National Boat Shows need a kick up the stern-gland because with the sole exception of the excellent World Cruising stand – displaying three interesting ocean-roving craft, including the fascinating Ming Ming, the Corribee owned by Roger Taylor – there is absolutely nothing to see unless you are a shopper.

And who pays to go into a shop? Don’t NBS get it? Shops are closing in droves. Is it any surprise that the show leaves one with a sense of ‘terminal decline’?

I, for one, would hate to see the London Boat Show die off. I’m an estuary boy and those of us east of the Eden of Southampton have long enjoyed the winter meet at firstly Earl’s Court and for the last few years Excel.

But this year there were very few of the old creek-siders’ faces reflected in the glossy topsides of motor-boats the size of small coasters.

Listen up NBS, you need to cover design: how about getting Bruce Farr along to do a ‘Knowledge Box’ on the thinking behind Bavaria?. You need to cover ocean cruising: where’s Jimmy Cornell when you need him? You need to cover DIY in sailing: What about dragging along an abandoned hulk and re-building her during the show? You need to cover adventure: why not invite Max Liberson who crossed the Atlantic and back in a £1,500 concrete boat?

I could go on, so if you need any more ideas call me: 020 3148 4865.