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'London's Lost Route to the Sea'

A 'wee dram' to help Loxwood Bridge.

On Saturday 7th May, you will have the chance to experience a taste of Scotland deep in the rural West Sussex / Surrey border countryside.

The Loxwood Society and Loxwood Parish Council, in conjunction with the Wey & Arun Canal Trust, will be hosting a Whisky Cruise on the Wey & Arun Canal. Participants will have the chance to sample some interesting malts, under the expert guidance of Chris Parker, Managing Director of London & Scottish International Ltd.

Not only will this be an interesting and enjoyable event in itself, it will also benefit a worthwhile cause for the people of Loxwood and visitors to the village, by raising money for the replacement parapets for the bridge taking the Loxwood High Street (B2133) over the Wey & Arun Canal. When built, the parapets were constructed in steel, at a height demanded by bridleway regulations. All agreed that although functional, the appearance of the metal parapets was not really in keeping with their environment. Fortunately, a new design, featuring brick facings and of a more traditional appearance, has recently gained planning approval. So the Loxwood Society, Loxwood Parish Council and the Wey & Arun Canal Trust have been working hard to raise money locally for the installation of the new parapets.

The Whisky Cruise is one of several fund-raising efforts to finance the bridge improvements. Len Milsom, of the Loxwood Society, said: "We are nearly there, please come and help us replace those ugly bridge parapets." He added: "This is just the first of a number of themed cruises on the canal to raise funds for the bridge. We are following the Whisky Cruise with a Cream Tea Cruise on 18th May and a Cruise with Quiz on 10th June."

The Whisky Cruise starts at the wharf by the Onslow Arms, Loxwood, at 5.30 pm. The 50-seater electric boat Wiggonholt, which has wheelchair access, will be used.

Tickets for the Whisky Cruise, at ?21 per person, and further details are available from Jean Lightman (01403 753117) or Len Milsom (01403 752032).

For further details about the Wey & Arun Canal Trust please call the WACT office on 01403 752403, email to office@weyandarun.co.uk or write to Wey & Arun Canal Trust, The Granary, Flitchfold Farm, Loxwood, Billingshurst, West Sussex RH14 0RH.

Notes for Editors

Information (and a selection of pictures of the work under way) is available from Bill Thomson, bill_thomson@weyandarun.co.uk, 01296 423033 / 07777 668928

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust

The Wey & Arun Canal, "London's lost route to the sea" was originally opened in 1816 between the River Wey at Shalford, near Guildford, and Pallingham, near Pulborough, the head of navigation of the River Arun. It closed in 1871, due to railway competition. Since the 1970s the 23-mile waterway has been the subject of a campaign by volunteers led by the Wey & Arun Canal Trust to restore the route to navigation. Work has been undertaken in a number of locations, most notably the stretch near the Sussex/Surrey border at Loxwood. Over two miles in length, this includes five working locks, two public road crossings, an aqueduct, two farm bridges, and numerous minor works, all built or rebuilt through voluntary effort. Boat trips are available on this stretch, onboard several craft, including the 50-seater electrically-powered Wiggonholt.

Last updated  Friday, 22 April, 2011
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