Aug 082016



Mrs Liz Dodwell, Society co-president, naming the Society’s new trip boat Kitty

Joan Marshall & Kitty

Kitty with Mrs Joan Marshall during the 1950’s

The Canal Festival in Woking was a huge success with perfect weather and crowds enjoying the sight of some 50 narrow boats on the canal, some of them over 100 years old. The boaters in turn said that the Basingstoke Canal is the friendliest waterway that they have ever visited, both in terms of the reaction from the general public and dealings with the Canal Authority staff (other boaters please take note – Ed).

IMG_4500One of the highlights of the weekend was the naming of the Basingstoke Canal Society’s new trip boat by their Co-President, Mrs Liz Dodwell. The boat is named “Kitty” after a horse which was originally bought in the late 1940s by Liz’s parents to pull a gypsy caravan that they used for holidays. Liz’s mother, Mrs Joan Marshall, became the General Manager of the Basingstoke Canal in 1949 and Kitty then started to pull boats as well.

The Canal Society has operated the “John Pinkerton” trip boat at Odiham for many years, but has always felt that it ought to do trips in Surrey as well. A recent opportunity arose to buy the 12-seat boat from the Chichester Canal Society and the Society plans to start running regular trips on the Basingstoke Canal in Woking next year if enough volunteers can be found to operate and crew “Kitty” (left). The Society would love to hear from anyone interested in joining this project; please contact Martin Leech at


Issued by:            Roger Cansdale (Editor, Basingstoke Canal News)     01252 678608   e-mail: