Friends of the Canal and Crazy Raft Racing Day, 16th August 1997

Wootton Bassett branch had been holding events on the water almost every year since the first 300 metres opened in 1993, and already in 1997 there had been a festival to celebrate the launch of the new strategic partnership with local authorities.

VM Pioneer at WB 1997 000 Frank John etc beside slipwayVM WBCT launch 1997 15 Frank John plus 1

 Already, the Branch was planning for the National Trail-Boat Festival to be held in Wootton Bassett in 1998, so it would have been resonable to take a break for the rest of the summer and simply to operate the trip-boat 'Pioneer' at weekends.

Branch chairman John Allen took the story a stage further during the summer, as recorded in 'Dragonfly' magazine 66:

"Early this year, it was felt that with so many demands on people's time there was unlikely to be the people available to hold an event. However as a result of two questionnaires sent out on the subject of assisting the Branch in various ways a very positive response for an event was forthcoming, so one was organised.

"Despite some difficulties beforehand and although some attractions did not tum up as promised on the day, the event went ahead and was very successful, making over £300 profit for the Trip-boat and bridge fund.

"Joyce and I carried out the preliminary organisation of the event, but we would like to thank publicly all those who offered to assist on the day and did so which contributed to the event's success."

Once again, Vic Miller (who took over chairing the Wootton Bassett branch from John) was on hand to create a photographic record of the raft-racing and other activities on 16th August.

VM WB Raft Race Day 000 raft at slipwayVM WB Raft Race Day 003 rafts at startVM WB Raft Race Day 002 rafts galoreVM WB Raft Race Day 006 Life Guard at hand  





VM WB Raft Race Day 011 Town Council entry VM WB Raft Race Day 001 raft in actionVM WB Raft Race Day 004 rafts beside BlockhouseVM WB Raft Race Day 010 busy slipway