On Wednesday 3rd June Kennet Radio boarded The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust boat trip on the narrow boat The Jubilee from Newbury Wharf to Northcroft and back for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. We were welcomed aboard by the crew ; Chairman of the Trust Council Rob Dean CMG, MV Jubilee Boat Manager Trevor Staig, MV Jubilee Marketing Manager Jenny Abbott , Jill Staig, Keith, Helen and Peter. During the trip we learned about the historical periods of Newbury and historic sites; Newbury Bridge which dates back to 1769 and has 3 arches but only 1 is visible, The West Mills, one of the eldest parts of Newbury and that the canal stretching from Newbury Wharf to Reading was opened for navigation in 1723 making Newbury a significant port and prosperous town from exporting wood, corn, malt and flour to London. We sighted swans and their cygnets, moor hens, ducks and geese which are just some of the wildlife which resides around the canal. There are 4 boats that run up and the Kennet & Avon Canal stretching across 87 miles from the Thames at Reading across into Newbury up through Hungerford; Marlborough and dropping down into Devizes, Wiltshire and onto the Avon through Bath & Bristol.
Kennet & Avon Canal Trust obtained charitable status in 1962 lead by the late John Gould and a group of enthusiasts who had stopped the closure of the Canal after the decay of its locks and the rising popularity of travel by railway to restore it to its former glory 25 years ago. Rob Dean was appointed the Chairman of the Trust in 2013, he also drafted the partnership with the Canal & River Trust and in June the same year The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Rob expressed the importance of looking after the canal and how much hard work it takes to keep our heritage with flowing waterways; The trust are currently looking to raise £5 million. There are 400 volunteers who give their time to safety on the canal, administration, running the cafes, shops & the boat trips from Easter to October every year including themed trips such as Pirates, Halloween and Santa as well as chartered trips for special occasions or business meetings. The whole experience is educational, therapeutic and fun; many schools, community groups and other voluntary groups have been aboard The Jubilee enjoying the waterways our local heritage.
Click the play icon to hear the interview with Chariman Rob Dean, The KENNET & AVON Canal Trust :
The Newbury Waterways Festival will be held over the weekend of 25th & 26th July At Victoria Park, right in the centre of Newbury, there will be a flotilla of boats and this years theme is Flower Power.
For further information or to volunteer : http://www1.katrust.org.uk/