PRESS RELEASE: Record Breaking Attendance at IWA's Canalway Cavalcade 2014

Issue date: 6th May 2014

Record numbers of people came out to enjoy the colourful spectacle and fun of The Inland Waterways Association’s (IWA) 2014 Canalway Cavalcade over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend at Little Venice in London.

Over 130 boats attended, including a Dutch barge, Azolla, owned by Graeme Heap. She celebrated her 100th birthday at Cavalcade, en route to her birthplace in the Netherlands.

At the Opening Ceremony on Saturday afternoon Libby Bradshaw, Events Manager on the organising committee, introduced Richard Parry, Chief Executive of the Canal & River Trust, and Les Etheridge, National Chairman of IWA. Both emphasised the value of the waterways, the work already achieved and the necessity to continue the job of preserving them. They also stressed the need for more volunteers, not only to work to restore the waterways, but to assist in the organising of such successful events as Canalway Cavalcade.

Councillor Sarah Richardson, Lord Mayor of the City of Westminster, welcomed everybody and thanked IWA for putting on the event. As has become the tradition at Cavalcade, she then rang the ship’s bell to officially open the festival.

The pageant, after the opening ceremony, and procession of illuminated boats on Sunday evening were very well attended with some remarkable constructions including Nelson’s Column, a replica Boris with one of his bikes and some guards from the Trooping of the Colour. There was a wonderful atmosphere amongst the crowds, throughout the three days of the festival.

The awards were presented by John Edmonds, Vice President of London Region IWA, on Monday afternoon and all the waterborne competitions and processions were supported by British Land.

The Marcus Boudier Trophy, for the best decorated privately entered boat in Saturday's Pageant went to Muttley owned by Michael and Marion Birch.

The Ray Dunford Buckby Can was not awarded this year because there were no entrants.

The Vic Trott Memorial Trophy, for the couple in the best 'Boaters Sunday Best' costume was awarded to Robin and Laura Ormerod on Miss Matty.

The Cruise Electric Trophy, for the best illuminated boat in Sunday evening's procession went to Tryst No. 1, owned by Tim and Sue Gwynne-Evans.

The Graham Capelin Award, for the best entry by a boater who has not previously taken part in either the Saturday Pageant or Illuminated Procession of Boats, was awarded to Little Gem, owned by Franze Progatzky.

The Westminster Trophy, sponsored by the City of Westminster for the winner of the Boat Handling Competition, was won by Ray Oakhill on Stronghold.

The Roger Squires Trophy, presented by St Pancras Cruising Club in recognition of Roger's 10 years as their Commodore, for the best novice competitor in the Boat Handling Competition, was awarded to Little Gem, owner Franze Progatzky.

The Mike Stevens Memorial Trophy, for the 'Best Boat' at Canalway Cavalcade, selected from all the boat entries at the event, awarded in recognition of Mike's outstanding contribution to IWA and Canalway Cavalcade during his lifetime, went to Nimrod, owned by Craig Haslam.

Christine Smith, Publicity Manager, said "I wish to especially thank the young people who have worked so hard supporting me with the publicity this year: Hannah and James Ranken, Lydia Collins, Gemma Bolton and Stefanie Pay. I have waited years for a TV channel to feature Cavalcade and then three came along at once!"

Jerry Sanders, Chairman and Commercial Director of the IWA Canalway Cavalcade Organising Committee said: "Attendance has been record breaking - over 32,000 people came, boosted on Monday by our appearance on BBC Breakfast TV. The traders were extremely busy and many have already booked for next year. I’d like to thank all the 100 volunteers, who helped to organise and set up the event. for their hard work and dedication. It was an outstanding success."


Notes for Editors

About IWA

Image: IWA Canalway Cavalcade 2014 by Roger Squires. Download image from Flickr

More photos are available to download from Dropbox

IWA campaigns for the use, maintenance and restoration of Britain's inland waterways.
About IWA
Volunteers restoring the waterways. The Waterway Recovery Group is part of IWA.
About WRG

Image: IWA Canalway Cavalcade 2014 by Roger Squires
Download image from Flickr