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 firstname.lastname@example.org