Fair weather favoured the guests and volunteer crews for the Rotary Newbury annual barge week which took place in September.
The week gave the Newbury Rotary crews the opportunity of giving local community groups a day out on the beautiful Kennet & Avon canal on sections between Great Bedwyn and Woolhampton and back to Bedwyn.
This year, the Rotary club entertained groups from Eight Bells Mental Health, Fairclose Day Centre, Kintbury Volunteers, The MS Society and The Polio Group.
The final leg between Hungerford and Great Bedwyn proved to be hard graft with low water levels causing two other boats to be marooned.
Not so with the Rotary team who managed to get the boat ‘Hannah’ back to base.
This is an annual event in Newbury Rotary’s community calendar in which the club uses a specially adapted barge from the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust (KACT) fleet.
This event fully demonstrates our Rotary community focus. We get great joy from operating the barge week and seeing the pleasure that this gives to those members of our local community and charity groups that join us.”
‘Hannah’ is a specially-designed, purpose-built, wide-beam canal boat which can be used by disabled, disadvantaged or elderly people.
It has wide-access ramps for boarding at the stern deck and a electro hydraulic lift down into the boat.
The extra width of the boats provides excellent manoeuvrability for wheelchair users and they all have special built-in facilities.
Since the late 1980s, Rotary Newbury has used one of the Kennet KACT Bruce Branch canal boats to treat local charities to day trips as part of their community programme.
To date, in excess of 200 day trips have been provided enabling more than 2,000 charity members to enjoy the tranquility of canal barge travel and the Kennet Valley scenery.
Irene Waters, the current Newbury Rotary President, said: “This event fully demonstrates our Rotary community focus.
“We get great joy from operating the barge week and seeing the pleasure that this gives to those members of our local community and charity groups that join us.”