That’s right. ‘Tis the season for Christmas puns and goodwill to all community boating projects. Here’s a roundup of what some of the NCBA members are up to during the festive season. If you don’t see an event near you why not find your nearest project and check what they are up to? Just seeing the charity work that others do can give you a warm glow inside, (healthier than the inner glow provided by mulled wine or mince pies) so do help us spread the word about what the community boats are doing.
The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust offers Santa Boat Trips at Christmas on ice boat Jubilee from Newbury Wharf Saturdays and Sundays 1st to 23rd December. The £8 includes a present for children and mulled wine or hot drink with a mince pie for adults. Advance booking is essential, at the Newbury Tourist Information Centre.
Swinton Lock Activity Centre is a community based arts, education and activity centre on the Sheffield and South Yorkshire navigation. Jayne Senior, centre manager says,
“We will be opening the centre on Sunday 15th December where we will be offering Santa’s Grotto, Christmas Arts and Crafts, and Boat Trips with Santa taking the helm. The centre will also be open for drinks and mince pies.”
The Rickmansworth Waterways Trust is holding a carol service.
Hillingdon Narrowboats Association are running boat trips to meet Santa at the Royal Quay. The boat will collect you outside the Coy Carp, where you can board centrally-heated boats and enjoy an hour-long cruise, including meeting Santa and receiving a gift. There will be non-alcoholic hot punch on board, so everyone can enjoy a warming drink on the way. For more information, visit their Facebook page.
Bob Ratcliffe from The Wharf Project near Walsall says,
“At Christmas I will be using the boat for a Santa Cruise for local children with severe Autism or life limiting conditions. We normally do this between Christmas and the New Year and in the evening we also take them to a pantomime.”
And finally, The Wey & Arun Canal Trust’s festive Santa Cruise travels through a restored lock. Children will receive a gift from Santa who will board the boat at the lock whilst adults enjoy mulled wine and mince pies. The boat departs from behind the Onslow Arms and trips take 40 minutes and depart at 11.00am, 12.00, 2.00 and 3.00pm on Sunday 9th, Saturday 15th, Sunday 16th, Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd, Sunday 23rd December. More info on Facebook and website.
If none of these events are near to where you live why not find your local community boating project, or get involved and train in community boating? Supporting your local project could be a New Year’s Resolution that is fun to keep!