Workers in London's smart Paddington Basin are looking out the red carpet this weekend after news broke of the imminent arrival of narrrowboat Herbie on her farewell tour of the capital city. The boat's owners, Kath and Neil Corbett (127) revealed that this will be their last floating visit to the metropolis for some years.
"I know that London will miss us terribly, " said an apologetic Mr Corbett, "but we have neglected our followers of the East Midlands for too long. The people of Leicester and Leamington deserve a visit. So we are moving our operations to Crick. Sadly, this will be our last appearance in central London for a couple of years at least."
If things go according to plan, Herbie (9) will make her entrance to the capital on Wednesday and remain on view in Paddington basin before making a farewell parade through Little Venice early next week. "We may even fit in a procession through Regent's Park to show our gratitude to the wild pigs and African hunting dogs in the zoo." said the couple. " They usually come out to see us as we pass."
If it is not too windy, Herbie will be displaying her full regalia of decorated Buckby cans and as a special treat Mrs Chippy the strangely comatose ship's cat is expected to put in an appearance on the roof".
"As it's our last visit for a while," said Mrs C. we really wanted to push the boat out."
" I thought we were using the engine" muttered her other half.
In an official statement today, the Mayor of London welcomed the news of the visit but asked people to show restraint in throwing ticker tape because of funding cuts in the litter clearance budget