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Test Valley outing on the Basingstoke Canal

Sandy Hill Bridge, Basingstoke Canal, 13 July 2015 Sandy Hill Bridge, Basingstoke Canal, 13 July 2015 Photo: Moya Grove

20 July 2015 

A very successful event held by the Test Valley District Group on 13th July.

“What a good time can be had by not getting to the planned destination but, instead, messing about in a semi-grounded barge all afternoon in good company with a cream tea and an interesting and entertaining speaker! Despite things not going totally to plan it was a very enjoyable event”.

This comment from a happy CPRE member reflects everyone’s response to the very successful event held by CPRE Test Valley on Monday 13th July 2015. We embarked on the John Pinkerton Canal boat owned by the Basingstoke Canal Society at 2pm after a drizzly morning. Despite the wet, the canal level was so low that it was impossible to go west to Odiham Castle as planned, so we set off eastward along the long loop of the canal. The barge crept almost silently along the river, ably skippered by Dave King who skilfully negotiated the shallows where we occasionally grounded; once calling us off the bow to free the craft!

Over excellent (and very large) cream teas supplied by a local bakery, 38 members and friends chatted and renewed acquaintances while others enjoyed the tranquillity and watched the water birds and flowers as the bank side views slowly slipped by.

On the return leg Edward Dawson gave an excellent and very amusing talk about King John, the Plantagenets and Odiham Castle’s role at the time. Tales of knights and barons and revolution along with dysfunctional families and broken vows of chastity featured strongly in the story he told.

Thank you everyone who came for their support and for buying raffle tickets, for their company and especially for their good humour as we returned over half an hour late to Colt Hill Wharf.

Moya Grove, Secretary
Test Valley District Group

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