Kennet Valley TR Group hear a talk by Kennet Avon Canal Trust
Kennet Valley TR Group members enjoyed a talk on their February club night by David Copley - Chairman of their Reading Branch, the a talk about this famous waterway that runs through our area and links the Thames, Avon to the Severn. David gave a verbal and pictorial tour of the length of the canal from Reading to Bath.The Kennet and Avon Canal has an overall length of 87 miles (140 km), made up of two lengths of navigable river linked by a canal. The name is commonly used to refer to the entire length of the navigation rather than solely to the central canal section. From Bristol to Bath the waterway follows the natural course of the River Avon before the canal links it to the River Kennet at Newbury, and from there to Reading on the River Thames. In all, the waterway incorporates 105 locks.
The two river stretches were made navigable in the early 18th century, and the 57-mile (92 km) canal section was constructed between 1794 and 1810. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the canal gradually fell into disuse after the opening of the Great Western Railway. In the latter half of the 20th century the canal was restored in stages, largely by volunteers. After decades of dereliction and much restoration work, it was fully reopened in 1990. The Kennet and Avon Canal has been developed as a popular heritage tourism destination for boating, canoeing, fishing, walking and cycling, and is also important for wildlife conservation.
In 1995, the Queen formally re-opened the navigation and took a trip down Devices locks, you can see her in blue in the bow of the canal boat, and the Trust was able to supply just enough water to allow the boat to travel down without beaching.
Picture 1: David Rumens
Picture 2 & 3 compliments of David Copley.