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Maintaining the right to navigate on the River Arun.

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageant may have featured over 1000 boats but it was not the only flotilla to have set sail recently. The number of boats involved in the annual boat rally from Pulborough to Pallingham may have been fewer in number but it is a key event in the aim to restore the Wey & Arun Canal.

Ten boats, crewed by 16 people and one dog, launched on the River Arun from Pulborough in a bid to reach Pallingham Quay (at the start of the Wey & Arun Canal) and preserve the right for future navigation.

"The aim of this annual event held in May each year is to ensure that when restoration of the Wey & Arun Canal is completed, there will be no legal hold ups in enabling the boats to use the River Arun", says organiser John Taylor-Cram.

Work started on restoring the Wey & Arun Canal in the 1970s and the annual event organised by John will play an important role in proving that navigation rights have been used. Organisation of the cruise to the head of the River Arun used to be undertaken by the Solent and Arun Branch of the Inland Waterways Association but The Wey & Arun Canal Trust has agreed to take on the coordination of this traditional boat rally.

"The event was timed to make the best of the tides, but we still had enough time to stop off at the White Hart at Stopham Bridge for some well-earned refreshments" John commented.


Further information and photographs in the form of JPEG files can be obtained from the Wey & Arun Trust's Public Relations Officer: Sally Schupke (01483 560543): email: press@weyandarun.co.uk

The Wey & Arun Canal Trust

The 23-mile Wey & Arun Canal was built between 1813 and 1816 to link the Rivers Wey and Arun, thus forming an inland barge route between London and the south coast in order to provide a safe inland route for military supplies to the fleet in Portsmouth. However, after the Napoleonic Wars, it became a largely agricultural canal, carrying goods including coal, chalk, lime and farm produce. The coming of the railways finally sealed the canal's fate, the waterway being abandoned in 1871.

Since 1971, the Wey & Arun Canal Trust, a registered charity, has been working to re-open navigation along the waterway and, once fully restored, to again link Littlehampton on the south coast with the River Thames via the River Wey.

For further information please contact Sally Schupke 01483 560543 (daytime) or mobile 07771 923368. Photos are available - please indicate what type of photo you would like. email: sas@weyandarun.co.uk

Last updated  Thursday, 7 June, 2012
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