FINE English sparkling wine was served in a stately home to the 3,000th person to join the Wey & Arun Canal Trust.
Significant recruit Roy Tanner and his wife Caroline were entertained “with a fizz” by WACT president Lord Egremont and Lady Egremont at Petworth House in West Sussex.
His lordship said he was proud to serve champagne-style wine from a nearby vineyard to celebrate the Trust reaching 3,000 members.
Lord Egremont also presented Mr Tanner with a certificate to mark the milestone recruitment figure. Mr and Mrs Tanner, who live at Dorking, are members 3,000 and 3,001 of the Trust.
Mr Tanner retired after a career as a BT engineer, driving instructor and security officer and has since become a canals enthusiast.
He and Mrs Tanner signed up after enjoying towpath and countryside walks and excursions on the Trust’s boats along the fully restored section of the canal at Loxwood.
“We visited in March hoping to go on another trip,” said Mrs Tanner. “The boats were not yet running so we went to see what was in the Canal Centre, where we realised what good work was being done and decided to join.”
Lord Egremont is the great-great-great grandson of the 3rd Earl of Egremont, who promoted the canal and was first Chairman of the Wey & Arun Junction Canal Company, which built the northern part of the waterway which opened in 1816.
Two hundred years on, the trust is aiming to officially reopen its first fully restored Surrey section in late summer next year.