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Over three weekends in August 2019 some of the ‘Go Boats’ on London’s canal system became Good Hemp Boats – and this is what this is all about! Over these three weekends people were able to hire a Good Hemp Boat, along with a steerer, free food and drinks. Labelled on Twitter under the hashtag #goboatanical – the offer was extremely popular. So popular the first weekend practically every boat was booked.

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Its not just these free trip boats that Good Hemp have been running, there has also been a free drinks boat plying between Little Venice and Camden. The main aim of this is to serve out drinks at the Camden Market end of the canal, however if any boaters did try to stop them en route they would duly do an unscheduled stop and dish up some nice ice cold coffee drinks 🙂

The actual reasoning behind this post is in the past I have been asked by others to write about Go Boats but have declined. I know all about their operation and have dozens and dozens of photographs of their boats in operation, even stricken, broken down, and their rescue boat plying up and down the canal every day. Seeing however that this was Go Boats under a different banner I thought this would be something I could write about.

As some of my readers will know, Go Boats operate along the Regents Canal and the most popular route is that to Camden. Its a very popular choice, for the simple reasons it includes a tunnel, London’s zoo, Regent’s Park itself and a variety of urban landscape both en route and at the Camden end. The canal at Camden is a hugely iconic symbol of that part of North London and dovetails in with the popular high street/Chalk Farm Road and the famous markets.

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Good Hemp’s stall at the Paddington Floating Market 14th-17th August 2019.

Good Hemp are a company from Barnstaple and their philosophy is that hemp is a good way to help the environment. Their main product is hemp milk, a plant based derivative, which is good stuff as I can attest. Better than soya milk! They do a lot of other products all with hemp as the main base, its best to see their FAQs or their list of products.

Over the weekends in August Good Hemp are based at Sheldon Square (Paddington Central if you like) and their first innings was at the Paddington Floating Market event between 14th and 17th August 2019. Their site is right by the canal and so what better way than to use the canal itself to spread awareness of their products?

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Three of Good Hemp’s boats waiting for custom at Paddington Central. I think these were waiting for what became ‘no shows.’ (See Good Hemp’s tweet on this.)

That is how Good Hemp’s Boats come into the equation! As has been mentioned, on the Floating Market weekend itself, this Bank holiday weekend (both of these I am writing about) and then the last weekend of August/first Sunday of September, there are free trips for those who book these in advance via Eventbrite.

Here are some pictures of their specially decorated boats in operation during the Paddington Floating Market festival:

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One of their boats being prepared for its next trip.

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People boarding one of Good Hemp’s boats for a trip to Camden and back – complete with a free food hamper and drinks!

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And this one? Erm, its a Go Boat! I get lots of jest from these Go Boaters! I took this picture as I was waiting for a Good Hemp boat to pass by. So many of these are about – in fact there’s sixteen in the fleet now from an initial start-up fleet of just four boats.

Pictures of the Good Hemp #goboatanical boats beyond the Little Venice pool are just a handful which I took on different days. The picture below was taken bank holiday Monday. Thus for the section the other side of the tunnel to Camden its the special free drinks boat we turn to.

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One of Good Hemp’s boats (its the one with all the plants) by Blomfield Road heading for Paddington, with a Go Boat heading for Camden.

I first spotted the Good Hemp boat just behind Jenny Wren thus once it had got clear of this it was under the railway bridges and that was my first proper picture of it. Alas its a very dark place beneath those railway bridges so the image was a bit blurred but it actually didn’t turn out too bad and sort of looks unusual…

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The Good Hemp boat under the railway bridge near Lisson Grove.

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Good Hemp’s boat by the Iconic Villa – perhaps the nicest of the five Quinlan Terry designed houses along the canal in Regent’s Park.

First we jump along to Regent’s Park where the Good Hemp boat got stopped by a couple on a rowing boat…

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This couple on a rowing boat stopped the Good Hemp free drinks boat and they complied. Free drinks all around and soon everyone in the immediate vicinity on the Regent’s Canal towpath was clamouring for a drink too!

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This was in the section by the six posh Nash style houses that overlook the canal itself. After the rowing boat it was a man and his friend with a bike..

Did you now the Nash houses along this section of the canal are new? The only original Nash houses to remain are Hanover House and Grove House. These other ‘Nash Houses’ in Regents Park were actually designed in stages between 1988 and 2000 by Quinlan Terry and replaced a rather large hostel that once overlooked the canal.

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More people arrived wanting their free hemp based ice cold coffee drinks!

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Yes I got one too!

The boat shot ahead after this brief incursion however I soon caught it up at Camden.

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Good Hemp’s boat seen from just inside the market entrance.

It was perfect timing when they arrived. The mooring spot is usually occupied by the Music Boat. Fortunately they had just departed and so Good Hemp were able to use the mooring for about an hour. Its not even a proper mooring its just for the Music Boat and sometimes for Jason (trip boat) to pick up or set down passengers. Its a great spot though because its right opposite the entrance to Camden market itself.

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Many selfies were taken by Good Hemp’s drinks boat at Camden Market.

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Free drink – anyone? And suddenly everyone swarmed around. So many wanting a drink – and more having to be prepared on the spot!

This was the Sunday, 25th August and a very hot day, thus presumably anything that was offered for free was no doubt going to be a sell out!

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More free drinks being handed out at Camden.

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On of the Good Hemp staff with two free drinks ready for customers.

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Putting the straws in the drinks. (Straws not plastic by the way.)

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Freeee coffeeee! Is the Beadle/Town Crier about? Need a loud voice for this! Freee coffeeee anyone! (It turns out Alan Myatt’s at Camden only Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday – obviously the wrong day!)

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Some extremely pleased Good Hemp customers! (Are people who get freebies in fact called customers? That’s something I do not know! Anyone with an economic ken wanting to enlighten me on this?)

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Two very happy Good Hemp customers! (Yes, I’m still wondering what customers who get free stuff should be known as!)

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A picture of the Good Hemp boat staff at Paddington!

There were four Good Hemp staff – two based at Paddington preparing the foods/drinks (and also managing the Good Hemp hire boats with free drinks and free hampers) and then two on the drinks boat itself. Any others were actually Go Boats staff (steerers, preparing the boats etc) so although it was a Good Hemp initiative the work was collaborated between the two companies.