New welcome boat launched on the Kennet & Avon Canal
A new boat that will welcome visitors to the Kennet & Avon Canal has been launched by the Trust.
Named in honour of Sir William O’Brien, a Royal Navy veteran who became a key figure in the restoration of the waterway, ‘The Admiral’ was launched at the annual public meeting of the Trust’s Kennet & Avon Waterways Partnership.
The event was held to celebrate the huge amount of work put in by volunteers to fit out the boat, which will be moored at the famous Caen Hill Locks near Devizes in between its visits to various festivals and events along the historic canal.
The boat was launched by Richard Parry, chief executive of the Trust, and Tamsin Phipps, chair of the Kennet & Avon Waterways Partnership, a group of volunteers who advise the Trust on issues along the 87 mile long canal.
Tamsin said: "We’re extremely excited to get ‘The Admiral’ launched, and offer our huge thanks to the volunteers, who put in a massive 3,000 hours of work to get the boat ready to go. It’s going to be a fantastic boost for the waterway, offering a place for people to come in and find out more about our wonderful canal. Please do keep an eye out for it on its travels.
"We’ve had a fantastic year on the Kennet & Avon Canal, and this is one of a number of projects that we’ve had the help of volunteers and businesses in the local community to get off the ground. We know how many people care about the waterway, and as a partnership we believe that the more people who are willing to get involved from all walks of life the more successful the canal will be. If you’re interested in playing a part in the future of the Kennet & Avon Canal, please do get in touch."