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VISIT TO THE WEY & ARUN CANAL - 'LONDON'S LOST ROUTE TO THE SEA'
Wednesday 11 July 2012

In 2011, whilst planning the 2012 programme, it was suggested that we should arrange one or two events other than on a Sunday. And so we chartered a boat on the Wey & Arun Canal for a Wednesday.

The electrically powered boat Wiggonholt is a new boat, wider than a conventional narrowboat, and can accommodate up to fifty passengers. By the end of June we were oversubscribed, so sorry to those members who could not be accepted. The parking of our motor cars, close to the canal, was a little tight but sufficient, and they were left under the watchful eye of our Minder, Ralph Taylor.

The Onslow Arms at Loxwood agreed to provide an on-board buffet. The Canal Trust volunteers, manning the boat, also sold hot and cold drinks.

We set off at 12 noon for a three and a half hour return journey from Loxwood at a sedately one to four miles per hour. We received the essential 'Elf 'n Safety briefing and also advice from the publican that the food was not to be consumed after 2pm!

Cruising down to Baldwin's Knob Lock several members were then keen to assist with the gates (incidentally Knob is old English for hill and Baldwin was probably the local farmer). Under several low bridges and through the Drungewick Lock, where we were invited to stretch our legs whilst Wiggonholt turned around in the Winding Hole. Unfortunately this was the current extent of the canal because the next land owner(s) has not given permission for the canal section to Malham Bridge to be reinstated.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the plentiful buffet food (there was not much left by 2pm!) and the cruising on this slightly different event. Our thanks to Young Ralph for minding our motor cars.

Ted Meachem - Section Secretary


The Wiggonholt electrically powered canal boat   Members enjoying the on-board lunch
The Wiggonholt electrically-powered canal boat.   Members enjoying the on-board lunch.
1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Saloon   1939 Bentley 4.25 litre
David Gray's 1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Saloon.   Roger Felton's 1939 Bentley 4.25 litre.
1961 Bentley S2 Saloon   1931 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Mulliner Saloon
Chris Tween's 1961 Bentley S2 Saloon.   Dave Carpenter's 1931 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Mulliner Saloon.
Photos: Chris Tween and Jon Lelacheur