Jun 062019

The Woking Town Wharf on the Basingstoke Canal (right) was officially opened at a short ceremony on Friday 31st May.

Those present at the ribbon cutting ceremony aboard the Society’s trip boat Kitty (below) included Councillor Colin Kemp, Councillor Saj Hussain (Deputy Mayor), Mrs Farra Shahi (Deputy Mayoress) and Philip Riley (Chairman of Basingstoke Canal Society), with around 80 members of the Society, the BCA and the general public in attendance.

Created in 2018, the Town Wharf project was funded as a joint initiative by Woking Borough Council and Surrey County Council with a contribution from Basingstoke Canal Society. River and Canal Services were the main contractor, who are a local specialist company for Inland Waterways. working with James Taylor of the BCA and engineer Steve Williamson.

The new Town Wharf came about as an idea from Woking Borough Council and the Basingstoke Canal Society to attract visiting boaters to stop off in Woking, the idea being to encourage visits to Woking’s many and varied attractions and facilities as part of their longer visit to cruise the Basingstoke Canal.

The wharf also creates an attractive area for all to enjoy by the canal side, whether it be a lunchtime spot away from the office or a place to get a few minutes peace and quiet or a start point for a jog along the canal.

Woking Wharf Interpretation Board

Woking Wharf Interpretation Board (click on image, then on enlargement, and then on “+” symbol for close-up)

It also provides a focal base for the Woking trip boat Kitty and accessible trip boat Maggie G which have provided a new visitor attraction in the centre of Woking enabling all visitors and residents to have an opportunity to explore their local waterway by boat.

An interpretation board describing the history of the wharf area, paid for by the Surrey CC Community Fund, was also unveiled at the event (right).

It was generally agreed that the occasion provided a significant boost for the canal in Woking.

To see newspaper reports, click here and here, and to see Facebook coverage of the event, click here.

Many thanks go to Woking BC and Surrey CC for co-funding the wharf construction, to Richard Kelly for organising the ceremony, to the councillors and other guests who took time out to visit, and to Rob Locatelli of RCS for providing the refreshments.