Society celebrates

Around 150 Society volunteers, both past and present, gathered at the Basingstoke Canal Centre.

To celebrate our very proud achievement of a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, a celebratory barbecue come hog-roast was held. It was a joint event with, and hosted by the Canal Authority, and we thank them for their involvement with setting up and providing some of the refreshments.

It was an opportunity for a lot of people who were involved with the restoration of the Canal to meet once again.

HRH The Duke of Kent aboard JP I at the Canal re-opening in 1991, with then chairman Robin Higgs OBE.

We put up several gazebos just in case it rained, but thankfully it stayed fine. Clearly if we hadn’t bothered with the cover then of course it would have bucketed.

As Chairman Philip Riley explained, it was initially thought that the Queen’s award was going to be presented at the event by perhaps the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey. However we subsequently heard that a senior royal had taken an interest in making the presentation, and were notified that HRH The Duke of Kent would be doing this. It is of course fitting that The Duke should be attending the Canal again since he was present at the original re-opening in 1991.

All in all, the celebration event seemed to go well – and all the pork was eaten!