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'London's Lost Route to the Sea'

Rare chance to sail on the Upper Arun.

Boatowners will have a rare chance to navigate part of the former Arun Navigation on Sunday 11th September when the Wey & Arun Canal Trust is holding a small boat rally as part of the inauguration of the Lordings Waterwheel.

The waterwheel is believed to be the only one of its type in the country. It is driven by the flow of the River Arun, and lifts water from the river level to the summit level of the Arun Navigation canal, about 3m above. It was originally restored about 10 years ago, and has since been rebuilt with new parts to improve its performance and durability. The rebuilt waterwheel is to be inaugurated by local MP and government minister, the Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP.

Local owners of trailable, unpowered boats are invited to join in the celebrations on the day, when they will be able to use the Arun Navigation and observe the effectiveness of the waterwheel. Participants in the boat rally, as well as observers, will be able to enjoy a barbecue on site, with beer and soft drinks on sale, provided by the Hammerpot Brewery.

Entry forms and more information about the boat rally are available from John Taylor-Cram, on 02392 250463, rallies@weyandarun.co.uk

Further information about the Wey & Arun Canal Trust is available from the Trust's office, on 01403 752403.

Notes for Editors

Further information is available from Bill Thomson, bill_thomson@weyandarun.co.uk, 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  Sunday, 28 August, 2011
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