Sell-out success for new canal boat trips.
First running of a new cruise route on the Wey & Arun Canal has proved a hit with visitors with almost every place on the trips that ran on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd September sold out.
The trips on the recently restored Alfold section of the canal, close to the Three Compasses pub, marked the first boat use on the Surrey section of the canal for over 100 years. According to Wey & Arun Canal Trust chairman Sally Schupke, the new cruise route marks a milestone in the Trust's 40 year restoration efforts.
In the run up to the trips, even though the event and the Trust's restoration work was promoted at Dunsfold's Park's recent Wings & Wheels event, the Trust had no idea if the cruises would prove popular. Sally comments "We have run regular boat trips from our Loxwood centre in West Sussex for a number of years now and these generate a regular stream of visitors but we were very pleased with the response to the new cruise route."
The Trust moved one of its boats - the "John Smallpeice" (which was named after the Clerk of the original Wey & Arun Junction Canal Company) to the newly restored section of canal at Alfold especially for the inaugural trips in September. It is now hoped that boat trips on the summit section of the canal can become a more regular feature in the Trust's cruising calendar.
For further information, please visit www.weyandarun.co.uk.
Further information and photographs in the form of JPEG files can be obtained from the Wey & Arun Trust's Public Relations Officer: Sally Schupke (01483 560543): email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wey & Arun Canal Trust
The 23-mile Wey & Arun Canal was built between 1813 and 1816 to link the Rivers Wey and Arun, thus forming an inland barge route between London and the south coast in order to provide a safe inland route for military supplies to the fleet in Portsmouth. However, after the Napoleonic Wars, it became a largely agricultural canal, carrying goods including coal, chalk, lime and farm produce. The coming of the railways finally sealed the canal's fate, the waterway being abandoned in 1871.
Since 1971, the Wey & Arun Canal Trust, a registered charity, has been working to re-open navigation along the waterway and, once fully restored, to again link Littlehampton on the south coast with the River Thames via the River Wey.