Shipshape and ready for cruises on Wey & Arun Canal
The Wey & Arun Canal Trust’s (WACT) fleet of canal boats based at Loxwood has been given a facelift for 2019 and the volunteer team are now gearing up for the start of the spring season of public trips.
Smart new signage and repainting mean the boats look better than ever, said WACT spokesman Gill Davies, with Wiggonholt, Zachariah Keppel and Josias Jessop all getting a revamp outside and in ahead of the start of cruises.
The first public trip will be on Saturday and trips run every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday Monday until Sunday, October 27, except Easter Sunday and Monday.
They begin from the Canal Centre in Loxwood, and vary in length from 35 minutes to two-and-a-half hours. Special Easter Bunny cruises will run on Friday, April 19, Sunday, April 21, and Monday, April 22, lasting 40 minutes.
A chocolate gift and drink are included for each child and hot cross buns for the adults.
Wiggonholt is the trust’s biggest boat, seating 55, and is suitable for wheelchair users.
The electric-powered boat was paid for and given to the Trust by the Wiggonholt Association, a champion of the West Sussex countryside.
The other two boats are named after the engineers involved in the canal’s creation back in the 19th century, when the canal made it possible to travel by boat from London to Littlehampton on the south coast via Weybridge, Guildford, Pulborough and Arundel.
Josias Jessop was responsible for surveying and designing the Wey & Arun Canal, while Zachariah Keppel, a builder from Alfold, was the contractor responsible for building the canal.
The Wey & Arun Canal Trust is once again running its popular boat rally on the River Arun on May 19.
The aim of this cruise is to demonstrate there is a right of navigation on the River Arun as far upstream as Pallingham Quay.
Last year’s event attracted more than 30 small vessels for the three-and-a-half hour trip from Pulborough and Stopham to the tidal limit at Pallingham. The route reaches the furthest navigable point for boats, and it is free. For more information on cruises and to book in advance go to www.weyandarun.co.uk or call 01403 752403.