Community Work Barge Trips Captain's Report

Captain's report

25th Anniversary Barge Trips

"Diana" on the Kennet and Avon canal

What a wonderful four weeks of barging again this year.

Memories of smiles, laughter, and achievement.

High energy youngsters, many with learning difficulties with the determination & humour of our disabled guests through to quiet cups of tea for our more elderly guests.

We got very hot, and we got very wet, but nothing deterred our guests.

Diana, the boat we hire from the Bruce branch of the Kennet and Avon Canal which is fully fitted to accommodate wheelchairs, performed well.

I am so grateful to our club members and family and friends who freely gave their time to crew the barge and in so doing gave lovely memories to our disabled, disadvantaged and elderly guests.

Over four weeks we needed 112 crew!

We hosted 285 guests

I have particularly fond memories of our last day when we had a group that included two guests in wheelchairs and others with challenging conditions. They each needed their own carer on a 1:1 basis.

They fully participated, got very excited and laughed a lot.

They told us they had achieved things they had not Expected to be able to do through helping with the locks and steering the barge.

At the end of the day I was tired but just felt a warm glow that we had really helped others and enjoyed doing it.

John May

Barge Trips Organiser
Our guests
Our guests
Our guests
Our guests

Groups benefiting from the 2019 barge trips


Guests at a lock
The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper provided trained skippers and crew, assisted by spouses, partners, family and friends. They also paid the full cost of hiring the barge from Bruce Branch of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, from profits made from fund raising, but mainly at their annual Food and Drink Festival and Dragon Boat Racing events. For more information about the Barge trips, please fill in the contact form.