Templar's Firs


(A brief report with pictures.)

Just a brief report, and some pictures (just click the thumbnail for the full size image).

The Festival was a huge success, with several thousands of people attending. I have not yet heard of anyone not enjoying themselves. Tony Mason, of AWCC, tells me that there were around 50 powered craft (many of them Wilderness boats) on the water. We also had coracles, canoes and peddle power boats. Attractions such as hot air balloons, and the helicopter rides were very popular.

The weather was exceedingly kind, ranging from brilliant hot summer conditions to the warm overcast that we are more used to. No serious rain till just after the official closure on Monday when we had a really heavy downpour.....to remind us of what could have been.

David Bellamy opened the festival. He also took to the water on the peddle power boats and stayed late into Saturday afternoon.

IWA National Chairman, Audrey Smith, spent the weekend with us and we are exceedingly grateful for her support. Her home branch is hosting next year's TBF so we hope we've set them a good example.

A really special visitor on two days was John Gould (boatman and waterways campaigner), our vice-president. Although having some difficulty walking he was on the water on Monday in the trip boat "Pioneer" and took the helm for a trip down the canal, even assisting in towing back a broken down motor boat. But John is not a person living in the past, just before leaving he was up in the helicopter inspecting the festival and Wootton Bassett from the air.

The Wilts & Berks Canal is now firmly on the map, no longer the K&A's little sister.

Finally a BIG THANK YOU to everybody who worked so hard organising the event and running it over the weekend, and to everybody who visited us, to all the boaters, exhibitors, caterers etc.. the list is endless....THANK YOU.

So here are a few pictures (not in any particular sequence) to remind you of the weekend if you were there, or show you what you missed if you wasn't

Balloons  flying.JPG (43752 bytes)
Early morning launch of two balloons for publicity.
Balloons 1.JPG (62119 bytes)
Floating across the site prior to the opening.

Balloons 2.JPG (82351 bytes)
BT balloon ready for lift-off.

Balloons 3.JPG (87942 bytes)
Waiting for passengers.

Banner.JPG (81455 bytes)
Banner across the canal.

Bellamy 01.JPG (49543 bytes)
David Bellamy.

Bellamy 02.JPG (54545 bytes)
The children's banner.
Bellamy 03.JPG (87908 bytes)
Preparing to launch "Nonsuch".
Bellamy arriving.JPG (75854 bytes)
David Bellamy on a JCB.
Bellamy in Balloon.JPG (69524 bytes)
David Bellamy ready for a tethered flight.
Bellamy in Pioneer.JPG (58200 bytes)
David Bellamy on "Pioneer".
Blessing 01.JPG (108608 bytes)
Blessing the boats.
Blessing 02.JPG (109764 bytes)
Off to bless the boats.
Boat blessing.JPG (103414 bytes)
Blessing the boats.
Boats 1.JPG (155657 bytes)
Watching the boats.
Canoe.JPG (67237 bytes)
Young canoeist
Coracles 1.JPG (144282 bytes)
Coracle building
Coracles 2.JPG (151358 bytes)
Coracle building.
Decorated 1.JPG (126136 bytes)
Decorated boat.
Decorated 2.JPG (105377 bytes)
Decorated boats.
Dodgems.JPG (102085 bytes)
Dodgems at the Fun Fair.
Dog 2.JPG (44409 bytes)
Blue eyed boating dog.
Dogs 1.JPG (78339 bytes)
...with his mum.
Dressed.JPG (121652 bytes)
Decorated boats.
Entertainers.JPG (102657 bytes)
Escargot 1.JPG (94285 bytes)
Escargot 2.JPG (83410 bytes)
"Escargot" being launched.
Face painting.JPG (72375 bytes)
Face painting.
Festival area 1.JPG (129529 bytes)
Festival site.
Flower power.JPG (133886 bytes)
Flower boat.
John & Lee.JPG (87061 bytes)
John Gould with Lee on "Pioneer".

John Allen 01.JPG (112828 bytes)
John Allen, W&BCAG member and Mayor of Wootton Bassett.

John Allen 02.JPG (81716 bytes)
John Allen making speech.


John Gould 1.JPG (63197 bytes)
John Gould on "Pioneer".

John Gould 2.JPG (87200 bytes)
John Gould with "Pioneer" towing a broken down boat.

John Gould 3.JPG (142821 bytes)
John Gould preparing for helicopter flight.

John Gould 4.JPG (89340 bytes)
John Gould in helicopter.
John Gould 5.JPG (87517 bytes)
Take off.

Kirsh.JPG (84877 bytes)

Launch.JPG (77554 bytes)
Trail boat.

Launching Nonsuch.JPG (96722 bytes)
Speeches at launch of "Nonsuch".

Major Wrecks.JPG (125373 bytes)
Major Wrecks!!!!

Model boats.JPG (99018 bytes)
Model boats.

Music.JPG (82746 bytes)
Musical interlude.

Nonsuch 1.JPG (86985 bytes)
Off on "Nonsuch".

Nonsuch.JPG (137751 bytes)

Orchestra.JPG (86167 bytes)
More music.

Peddle boat.JPG (116809 bytes)
Peddle power.

Peddle power 1.JPG (74985 bytes)
Peddle power.


Pioneer 01.JPG (136096 bytes)
Lee securing "Pioneer".


Pioneer 1.JPG (113774 bytes)
Trip boat "Pioneer".


Pioneer at night.JPG (65934 bytes)
"Pioneer" at night.

Presentation 1.JPG (92074 bytes)  
Awards ceremony.

Presentation 2.JPG (60934 bytes)
Audrey Smith presenting David Smith (no relation) with a cup.

Queues.JPG (101471 bytes)
Waiting for the trip boats.

Red Cross 01.JPG (94574 bytes)
The Red Cross ladies.

Ron & Bill.JPG (106665 bytes)
Ron & Bill...give them the tools and they'll finish the canal on their own!!

Sarni cruising.JPG (130997 bytes)

Sarni moored.JPG (132485 bytes)
"Sarni" moored.

Sea Otter.JPG (98047 bytes)
Boats for sale!

Simply roses.JPG (85678 bytes)
"Simply Roses".

Sunset.JPG (73690 bytes)

Tony & Roy.JPG (80603 bytes)
Tony Mason & Roy Murrell....they kept things going.

Wilderness.JPG (86643 bytes)
A bit of advertising.

Anne Rose 04.JPG (27984 bytes)
"Anne Rose".

Bob.JPG (101122 bytes)
Bob from WRG.

Audrey Smith 03.JPG (121532 bytes)
Audrey Smith...off to Salford Quays?

mb&b 01.JPG (90195 bytes)
Richard Chester-Brown from the Manchester, Bolton & Bury C/S.

Festival 03.JPG (123449 bytes)

Festival 06.JPG (119241 bytes)

Festival 09.JPG (107853 bytes)

Festival 12.JPG (99499 bytes)
And more boats.

All pictures are copyright D G & B A Small (May 1998)

WBpmap1.jpg (52072 bytes)


WBmap2.JPG (59711 bytes)


Wessex Waterways | Wantage Waterway | Abingdon's Canal | Wiltshire Waterway Festival | Latton Basin


No fancy graphics and effects, buts lots of interesting articles and pictures.       SWS 2013

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