Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Ho, Ho, Ho! Santa Trips on the Kennet and Avon This Christmas

December Santa Trip Schedule:
Below are the details of each Santa boat trip being run out of the respective branches next month. The trips provide vital fundsfor the following year’s projects:

1) Bradford on Avon:(Barbara McLellan)
Such is the demand for the excursions that this year that the last date for booking places has been confirmed as 30th November, to give Santa’s helpers time to pack the presents.
Departs from: Wharf Cottage
Trip length: 1 hour
Times and Dates:
Saturday 15th December – 2pm
Sunday 16th December – 11.30am 
Wednesday 19th December – 2pm
Saturday 22nd December 11.30 am
Sunday 23rd December – 2pm

Ticket costs:£9 per person and includes the cost of refreshments and gift.  A bar is also available on board. To book, contact 0800 121 4679. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

2) Devizes (Kenavon Venture)
Departs from: Devizes Wharf
Trip length: 1 hour
Time: 11am
Dates:  (there is currently good availability on weekdays)
15th December
16th December
19th December
20th December
22nd December
23rd December

Ticket costs:£7 for adults and children and includes the cost of the gift/refreshments.  Places need to be booked in advance. Call:  01380 721 279, or call into the Trust shop/office at Devizes Wharf, Couch Lane.

3) Hungerford (Rose of Hungerford)
Departs from: Canal Wharf, just off Hungerford Street
Trip length: 1 hour
Times:10.30am, noon, 1.30pm and 3.00pm


8th December
15th December
16th December
22nd December
23rd December
24th December

Volunteers can also arrange ‘Santa charters’ to suit the particular needs of organisations, such as nursery schools, parent and toddler groups, as well as  youth groups such as Rainbows, Brownies, Beavers and Cubs.
Ticket costs: £7 per person all inclusive. To book, call 01635 255 367.

4) Newbury (Iceboat Jubilee)
Departs from: Newbury Wharf
Trip length: Up to 90 minutes
Times: 12 noon and 2pm
Days: Every Saturday and Sunday from 1st to 23rd December, inclusive
The boat will travel to the ‘Northcroft Pole’. Volunteers can also put on trips for local nurseries and playgroups.
Tickets costs: £8, which, for children, includes the cost of the present. To book, contact Newbury Tourist Information Centre on 01635 30267.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Devizes Branch News: 6 November 2012

Devizes Branch’s major late summer focus was the Celebration on Devizes Wharf on 23rd September to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Trust.  A great deal of work and planning went into the event, and we were encouraged by the number of friends in canal-based organisations, voluntary and commercial, who took part.  We had representation from Wiltshire Council, the CRT, the Wilts and Berks Trust, and the event was opened by the Mayor of Devizes, supported by David Bruce and Mike Rodd.

There was entertainment from the Regency Dancers, Roses Morrismen and Devizes Town Band.  Victoria from the Wharf Café fed us from a delicious barbeque, and Alan Smith’s family manned the beer tent.

Exhibitors included author Esther Smith and local artists Alan and Sarah Padwick.  The Trust was represented by the Museum, the Archives and a display by the Crofton branch.  The Residential Boat Owners Association were present, and Elaine Stanley from CRT provided children’s activities.

The Bruce Trust’s boat Rachel was moored alongside and welcomed visitors, as did White Horse Boat’s Moonraker.

Devizes own radio station, Fantasy FM, provided a running commentary as well as live hook-ups into their programming, and interviews with key participants.  The event was covered by the Gazette and Herald, and made it to the BBC news website.

The disappointment of the day was the appalling weather, however, and very few people not directly involved attended the event.  This was an obvious disappointment to all those who had made the effort to contribute to it, though there were benefits in terms of the ‘profile’ of the Trust in the Devizes area, and the positive feeling of teamwork among the committee and others involved.

Kenavon Venture has had a very successful season, with more trips and more passengers despite the inclement weather.

The Wharf Café is up and running, and provides very good food and drinks.  There is a discount for Trust members.  A new monthly social, “Canals and Coffee” is an informal get-together in the café at 2.30 on the first Sunday in every month. Much of the work to upgrade the Wharf building – and there is much more to be done – was achieved by a tiny group of members, to whom our thanks are due. 

We are now into the winter season, and various events are now planned.  Details are on the Devizes Branch page under Events Calendar which can be accessed here. Our next more formal Branch event is Carols on the Wharf on Saturday 8th December, led by Rev Sue Rodd, and accompanied by Devizes Town Band, to which all are welcome.

Given the cost of postage, most branch correspondence is now by e-mail.  Please let us know your up-to-date e-mail address.  Information on this website will also be updated regularly. Devizes residents can also check the notice board outside the office on the Wharf.

Further details from the Branch Secretary, Val Noviss on 01380 813227 or at