Sep 012018

To celebrate our very proud achievement of a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, around 150 Society volunteers, both past and present, recently gathered at the Basingstoke Canal Centre for a celebratory barbecue come hog-roast. 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.

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.

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

As Chairman Philip Riley explained, it was initially thought that the QAVS award (which consists of a glass trophy and certificate signed by Her Majesty) 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 we have been notified that HRH The Duke of Kent will be doing this on November 13th. Further details about the arrangements for this event will be announced. 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 (right).

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

If you would like volunteer on the Basingstoke Canal, read about the various ways you can become involved.