Finley heads off to circus with greatest of ease after buying first narrowboat of the year from Braunston Marina

A circus performer didn't have to jump through hoops to buy a narrowboat from Braunston Marina.

By Lucie Green
Monday, 17th January 2022, 9:47 am
Updated Monday, 17th January 2022, 9:48 am
Barunston Marina Narrowboat Sales Manager Victoria Garfield presents circus performer Finley Guy with a bottle of Prosecco following her purchase of narrowboat CHIP – the marina’s first completed sale of 2022.

Finley Guy, 23, had the idea after her uncle and aunt moved on to a narrowboat on the Ashby Canal.

When she realised that canals for the most part were within easy cycling range of wherever her summer employer, Giffords Circus, was performing, there was no stopping her.

Tim Coghlan, of Braunston Marina, said: "Leisure narrowboats have become increasingly popular as a cheap alternative housing, but until now not as an alternative to the traditional showman’s caravan that goes with the circus fraternity. That was until young Finley had the idea.

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"Pre-Covid, Finley had worked for them in the Cotswold and the London area, as a Jill-of-all-trades - front of house, singer, dancer, clown and more - and living in a shared caravan. Optimistically looking ahead, she has just bought her dreamboat CHIP from narrowboat brokers, Braunston Marina. It is an elderly 1980 40ft narrowboat that had been well maintained, including a major makeover to the hull in 2017."

Finley has been walking the boards since she was 16, when she completed her education in music and theatre at Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts in Swindon. She also sings with various bands, and she has been invited to take part in Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rally in June,

Tim added: "Hopefully Finley will be back working in the Big Top when summers return to normal, and she can take her home with her, though nothing is as yet firmed up for this summer."

CHIP was Braunston Marina’s first completed sale of 2022, in a period of great activity that has seen seven other boats going under offer since January 1.

To celebrate this, Finley was presented with a bottle of prosecco by narrowboat sales manager Victoria Garfield, after she had handed over the keys.

Finley is now working her way northwards assisted by a friend who is teaching her the ropes, so in due course she can work CHIP single-handed. First port of call will be the same marina where her aunt and uncle moor.

Later Finley will be moving on to Stockport where she will be in the Easter panto of Mother Goose at the Plaza Theatre. In the autumn she will be back in Stoke-on-Trent, for her fourth season of pantos at the Regent Theatre.

CHIP, marketed at £23,500, will be moored in a secure mooring in the city’s centre for the duration.