Issue date: 28th May 2013
The annual three day Inland Waterways Association (IWA) National Trailboat Festival was held on the River Rother in East Sussex over the Bank Holiday weekend.
The event was organised by IWA Kent and East Sussex Branch. Over 20 boats arrived on trailers from as far away as Blackpool and Carmarthen. They entered the water at Scots Float near Rye and cruised up the river to Bodiam where the opening ceremony on Saturday was performed by Councillor Ian Jenkins, Chairman of Rother District Council.
The National Trust and the Environment Agency had prepared suitable sections of the banks of the river so that the boats could moor below the castle. This made them an exciting attraction for all those who visited Bodiam Castle over the wonderfully sunny Bank Holiday weekend.
With the river filled with boats, visitors were able to imagine what it might have been like many years ago. A display area told the story of the rescue of a Rother sailing barge by the Hastings Historic Shipwreck Museum. The Primrose, built in 1887, was likely to have used the wharf at Bodiam. There were also displays about the two restoration projects currently underway in the IWA Kent and East Sussex Branch area, the Thames and Medway Canal and the Sussex Ouse.
A highlight of the Festival was on Saturday evening when, following a barbecue and live music there was a competition for the best illuminated boat.
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