5th to 7th May 2012
A dedicated team of about 60 IWA volunteers pulled out all the stops to put on a wonderful show to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at the annual Canalway Cavalcade at Little Venice during the May Day Bank Holiday weekend.
118 boats attended the Cavalcade. Several of which were on their way to join in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant but stopped to entertain crowds at the Festival. The boats taking part in the pageant on the Thames in June include Quercus, Ketura, Scholar Gypsy, Hazell Nut and, of course, Steam Narrow Boat President with her butty Kildare.
The Festival was opened by Councillor Jan Prendergast, Locum Tenens Lord Mayor of Westminster, Jon Guest, Waterways Manager British Waterways London, Clive Henderson, Chairman of the Inland Waterways Association and Sir Brian Fender, Chairman of the newly formed Canal and River Trust London Region Partnership.
Thousands of visitors braved the chilly May weather to purchase from the many and varied traders’ stalls, which were laid out attractively along Warwick Crescent and the Paddington Towpath. The vendors were very upbeat about trade during the three day festival.
The many children who attended were entertained with activities and workshops in the West London Floating Classroom Elsdale II, by the staff of the London Canal Museum, in Rembrandt Gardens by John Styles and by Mr Punch. On Sunday about 80 parents and children joined in the Teddy Bears’ Picnic, organised by Graham Nunn of the Church Army.
Reverend Gary Bradley, Vicar of Little Venice and Chaplain to the Lord Mayor of Westminster blessed all the boats as he cruised through the Pool and along the moorings, which stretched along the Grand Union and Regent’s Canals into Paddington Basin.
One of the many highlights of the weekend was an appearance by Maggie, of the London Waterbus Company, who steered her historic narrow boat Water Ouzel in the Working and Historic Boats Parade.
The Awards were presented by John Edmonds of the Inland Waterways Advisory Council, who has kindly agreed to be the new Vice President of IWA, London. John was accompanied by Paul Strudwick, Chairman of IWA’s London Region.
The winners were:
Murad Qureshi MA announced the nine winners of the Grand Prize Draw, which raised over £3000 towards Inland Waterways Association campaigns and projects.
The Festivals Chairman, Ian West, said the event had been a fantastic success and wished to thank all the volunteers of IWA, The Waterway Recovery Group, The Church Army, the Pirate Castle, The Westminster City Guides and all the other people who made such a massive contribution in time and effort towards its success.
(photo by Hannah Ranken)