Boat Trips
Boat Trips News
Heron Henry in National Press February 20
Sunday, 21 February 2016 12:36

Henry in_Daily_Mail-_1000

 

 

As part of the Daily Mail's "Wildlife Photo Contest" under the section "Top Marks for fun"

Henry, our Heron appears. 

Daily Mail Weekend 20 February Photo by Julien Simmons

 

 
2015 Santa Photos
Saturday, 21 November 2015 00:00

 Pictures of 2015 "Find Santa on the Wilts & Berks Canal"

Beccy 2 Wednesday 23 December  
Beccy 4 Santa on_the_Canal-9532 Santa on_the_Canal-9548
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 "Once again, a massive thank you
to you and the Dragonfly team
for making this such an
enjoyable experience.
We all had a great time again!
Please pass our thanks
to everyone involved".
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"And the only Santa with a real beard!!"
 
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Tuesday 22nd December
 "Thank you, we had a lovely time, the boys throughly
enjoyed themselves.  Very well organised and fabulous gifts".
 
 

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Monday 21 December
"We had a fantastic time seeing Santa
yesterday - the best ever Santa visit
we have done. Max absolutely loved it
and I cannot praise Santa 
and the other chaps on the boat
highly enough for the jolly time
they gave us all.
Well done to all of you."
 
 
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Sunday 20 December

"Many thanks to Captain Sally,
Helen and the rest of the crew for an
enjoyable afternoon.
The gifts were amazing!"
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Photos December 13, 16 and 19  Photos December 5, 6 and 12  Photos November 21, 22 & 28  
 
Latest Dragonfly Boat News.
Thursday, 01 October 2015 00:00

 

 The last scaffolding has been removed

and the crews of nb Dragonfly celebrate

by taking her down to the 

Kingshill Landing Stage

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Sunday 8th November    
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Cyan reports

Wednesday 4th  November

Down to the last level of scaffolding at 4pm today. 
The scaffolder i spoke to seems fairly confident
that they will finish tomorrow.  
He did add that council would need to clean up the towpath
so that might be a little longer before it re-opens.
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Monday 2nd November

I walked along the towpath at lunchtime today and the scaffolding at the Skew Bridge
is coming down.  I spoke to one of the scaffolders and he said that it would
all be done by the end of the week. I'll check it out again later in the week but with luck
we should be back to running the full trip down to Kingshill at the weekend.  
 
Woohoo! 
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Sunday 11th October

Just another beautiful day on Dragonfly on the Wilts & Berks Canal in Swindon

swindonian.me/2015/10/11/dragonfly-the-wilts-berks-canal/

  

On Sunday,September 20th,  Carsten and Andrew extended the trips
by reversing up to the bund as far as possible.
 It is much better reversing as the propeller clears the silt first and then,
if/when the boat gets stuck, powering forwards (with large side to side
swings) allows the boat to break free from the suction.
In addition to clearing the weeds and silt, this seemed to be well received
 and some of the passengers commented that they thought it the
highlight of the trip.  The photograph(right) was from the last trip but one.
For the last trip they managed to get a few feet closer. 
 Up to_the_Bund

 Saturday 5th September  - Work being carried out on Skew Bridge

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Despite Skew bring closed for repairs Dragonfly is still running on Saturdays and Sundays

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Henry is always there Happy Charter Flotilla outside Waitrose Store

IMGP4075-1000HRH The Duchess of Cornwall inaugurates Landing Stage

The Dragonfly Boat Team worked  hard  to produce a faultless performance for Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall. Cleaning, painting, filling up with diesel and water and all the tasks that made Dragonfly look wonderful.  Then Annie and Wendy who practised hard and produced a first class journey for the distinguished guests.

 See all the pictures

 

 

 

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Waitrose Landing Stage  

Yay, rain water coming into the canal at Skew 5th July 2015

 Pictures of the Building of the Landing Stage

 

 

Gifts & Souvenirs of your visit to nb Dragonfly

 

On Sunday, Carsten and I extended the trips by reversing up to the bund as far as possible. It is much better reversing as the propeller clears the silt first and then, if/when the boat gets stuck, powering forwards (with large side to side swings) allows the boat to break free from the suction.

 

In addition to clearing the weeds and silt, this seemed to be well received  and some of the passengers commented that they thought it the highlight of the trip.

 

The photograph attached was from the last trip but one. For the last trip I managed to get a few feet closer.

 

 

 
Dragonfly Boat 2015 News.
Friday, 08 May 2015 00:00

 

Images from 2015

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Henry is always there Happy Charter Flotilla outside Waitrose Store
DSCF6463-1000    
Jigsaw Competition 
Penny Gould
   

IMGP4075-1000HRH The Duchess of Cornwall inaugurates Landing Stage

The Dragonfly Boat Team worked  hard  to produce a faultless performance for Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall. Cleaning, painting, filling up with diesel and water and all the tasks that made Dragonfly look wonderful.  Then Annie and Wendy who practised hard and produced a first class journey for the distinguished guests.

 See all the pictures

 

 

 

rain water_2-1000

Waitrose Landing Stage  

Yay, rain water coming into the canal at Skew 5th July 2015

 Pictures of the Building of the Landing Stage

 

 

 CCBM Course & Exam

Four members of the Dragonfly Boat team will be taking their CCBM test on the Kennet and Avon Canal in July and had some practice on board Lynda May on the Grand Union Canal

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Sequel1-1000Seqol Day Centre OK for You Charter Thursday June 25th

We had 2 wheelchair users and all of them seemed to have a lovely time. They reported that SEQOL have 50 carers all responsible for a number of individuals, and feel sure there would be a lot more bookings in the future. One of the carers said it was so relaxing she felt she'd been given some sort of medication.
 

Doctor saves life on CanalBird resued1-1000

During the trip retired GP  saved a life (hopefully). He fished a young bird out of the water that would otherwise have drowned at Beavans  Bridge on the final return run. We think it was a young crow. The bird stayed on the roof of Dragonfly all the rest of the trip; even when moored at Christine's  it just sat there through the whole procedure.  We weren't sure whether to leave it there, but in the end walked along the outer gunwale & waved  hands a bit and  it flew off into Christine's garden, so we are sure it's OK. 

 

Makes it all worthwhile Swindon Advertiser Letters to the Editor 24th June

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/yoursay/13350139.Top_canal_experience/

 

 12th Swindon Beavers

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One of regular groups joined us again for a trip down the canal on Monday 8th June.
As usual they had a great time.
 
 

 

 

 

 12th Birthday Party - Dress to Impress!

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Dragonfly Boat Team bring Peterborough Arms to life. 

IMGP3064-1000Peterborough Arms held its first Trust Social event for the Trust on Saturday 21st March, although meetings had been held there previously. The Dragonfly Boat Team enjoyed a skittles evening. We had skittles, darts and an old 1980’s electronic pub game called Galaxians (shoot the alien spaceships).

Dawn

Also available were, cards, draughts, chess, Monopoly etc, however we did not have time for all of those.  A substantial buffet was provided and a small profit was made for the Trust. We were please to welcome some members of the Peterborough Arms Steering group to our event.

The feeling was summed up by one member “it was fun to meet and play skittles and darts in our own pub! And good to meet up with some fellow Dragonfliers”

 

Gifts & Souvenirs of your visit to nb Dragonfly

 

 
Dragonfly Trips in Swindon
Friday, 20 February 2015 14:06

Third poster_of_the_season_2015

 

 Dragonfly Trips started again on Sunday 29 March.  

We will be running every Saturday & Sunday

10.30, 12.00, 13.30 & 3.00

Plus some Wednesdays during the School Holidays.

Trips on Wednesday 27th May 

10.30, 12.00, 13.30 & 3.00

Adults £5 Children Free

More Details

Gifts & Souvenirs of your visit to nb Dragonfly

 
Great News - Mr Swindon- the Swan is Back !
Monday, 01 December 2014 00:00

IMG 6219-1000The Boat Team are please to announce that on Monday 1st December

Mr Swindon was brought back  to the W&B Canal in KingshillJohn farrow_Swan3-1000

 
The doom and gloom of a December wintry afternoon was highlighted by the return of Mr Swindon (the male swan from the Kingshill section of the canal).  Sue Hulbert who rescued him earlier this year was there with a colleague Peter Martin (both volunteers from the Swan Sanctuary) to release him.

Fortunately Mrs Swindon and their remaining cygnet were close at hand and as soon as he saw Mrs Swindon he called to her, she called back (so much for swans being mute!) until they both met in the canal the pictures tell the rest of the story.

IMG 6217-1000He has been very poorly and had a swollen face which became infected needing 3 operations and antibiotics. Members of the boat team and regular towpath walkers and dog walkers, have contributed to a collection and £40.00 has so far been sent to the Sanctuary to help towards paying for his care. 

One of Mr & Mrs Swindon's cygnets, who took up residence at Waitrose (below centre), has now been taken to the Swan Sanctuary. Therefore the collection box will remain on the boat during the Santa Special trips and contributions can be made via the shop in Swindon and through the boat team.

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We would like to thank Sue, Peter, for his rescue and return, Melanie and all the others at the sanctuary who were involved in caring for him and hope that we can send another contribution towards the swan's care 

 

 

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Dragonfly Boat Team Appeal for Donations to Swan Sanctuary

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Barn2The male swan on the Wilts and Berks Canal - Swindon section was taken to the Swan Sanctury some weeks ago and has been receiving treatment since then at Shepperton. Melanie Nelson has sent us this report.

“Mr Swindon had a very severe sinus infection when he arrived here. His face was very swollen. He had his face drained and flushed and he has had a long course of antibiotics  and is now doing very well. 
 
He does (and most likely always will) have a chubby face. Swan skin once stretched is not very forgiving.  
 
BarnAs soon as we are sure the infection is properly cleared we will return him to his family. We hope everyone that knows him will keep an eye on him.”            

The Dragonfly Boat Team are organising a collection to send a donation to say thank you for the treatment he has received.

If you would like to give please contact any member of Dragonfly Boat Team, or send your donation by cheque  to 11 Cawte Mews, Stratton St Margaret Swindon SN3 4DF, 
or take it into the Trust Shop in Theatre Square Swindon SN1 1QN (Open Fridays)
 
 
Mrs Swindon_and_Family Cygnet in_Waitrose_2014-1000 Rainbow at_Wichelstowe_under_Bridge-1000
Mrs Swindon waiting
for Mr Swindon to return
One of the cygnets has
taken up residence at Waitrose
View under Waitrose Bridge
 
Photos of 'Find Santa' on Dragonfly
Friday, 28 November 2014 00:00

WBCT Swindon_Dec_14-1000

 Report from 2014

 For the fourth year The Trust has  run trips on its narrowboat to try to find Santa along the Wilts & Berks Canal at Kingshill Swindon.  There were 51 trips  over the 13 days during the end of November and through December, 4 , and sometimes 5 trips per day. We were fully booked by late November. Please note Bookings open for 2015 trips on 1st October.

The boat was decorated and our guests enjoyed mulled wine & mince pies for the adults,squash and sweets for the children. The task was for the children to spot Santa who then got on board laden with presents for them.

Each child received a named personal present, plus a bag of Magic Reindeer Food. 319 adults and 271 children joined us compared with a total of 469 in 2013,  and 351 in 2012. It is hard to imagine that it all started in 2011 with just 16 trips on 4 days.

Proceeds were in aid of the Trust but more important many children, parents and grandparents now know about the Canal and the Trust in Swindon.

We would like to thank all of our volunteers who worked so hard  that we were able to run such a  large number of Santa Trips. Many thanks to all our helpers and  their ever patient partners. Also we are grateful that Santa finds time in his busy schedule to visit the Wilts & Berks Trust and Dragonfly on the canal.

We also wish to thank all those who chose to join us to look for Santa and hope they will be back next year to see if Santa returns to the Canal at Swindon

 

A message from Chris Coyle

 "I am delighted to say that Santa Trips are fully booked.  This is a really terrific achievement by the boat team, involving a lot of work to organise the trips: take all the bookings; find skippers, crews and Santas; prepare individual presents for every child; as well as the sheer hard work of running up to five separate trips per day.  All in all, a great advertisement for the Trust, and a great contribution by the team".

 

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Here are some of the many photos we have been sent from our passengers.

 

 

"We had a great time thank you",

  

Tuesday

23

December

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Monday

 

22

 

December

 

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Castle 0

castle 1 castle 2 castle 3

 castle 4

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Sunday

21 December

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"Just a line to say a big thank you for a wonderful trip on the 20th Dec.
The children all thoroughly enjoyed it and so did we!
 The gifts from father christmas were fantastic too.  
Please pass on our thanks to the whole team."

Saturday

20

December

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"Thank you, we had a great time and thank you for putting on these boat trips
and all the hard work that goes with it.
My grandchildren keep talking about it and I think grandma enjoyed it too !!! (see picture)
Can you spot the reindeer in the field under the arch ??
My very best wishes to you and your team for very memorable day"

Sunday

14

December

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"Thank you for a most enjoyable
trip to meet Santa,
my grandchildren
loved it and what lovely presents". 
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Saturday

13

December

 

"I would be very grateful if you would pass on our very warm thanks
to the crew of the Dragonfly who took us  on our Santa boat trip earlier today
We all had a really wonderful and enjoyable time! Santa was amazing and the
children loved him!  We had such fun and are really grateful to your volunteers who put in
 such hard work and give so generously of their time.
The mulled wine, coffee, tea, chocolates and mince pies were very welcome.
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and here's to the success of the WBCT in 2015!" 

WBCT 13_Dec_Cropped2 

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Sunday 7_December

Sunday

7

December

 

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"Thanks ever so much for fitting us
all in. We loved it, as always. 
The gifts are also the best in Swindon".
 
"Just an email to say any thanks
for the trip. We really enjoyed it
and more importantly so did Oliver.
 Please pass on my thanks to
the team for making
it a really special occasion". 
 
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photo 3_2

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"As always we had a lovely time".

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 Saturday

6

December

"We had a wonderful time on Dragonfly. The kids absolutely loved it and Santa was very good.
Presents were brilliant. Probably the best we've ever had from a Santa visit.  It was great they
were age specific too. Many thanks to all involved".  

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Sunday

30 

November

 

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"Thank you for a fabulous afternoon, both the adults and children
had a great time,  please do thank the ladies on the boat for making us so welcome.
We were also very impressed with the quality of the presents.
We will definitely be booking next year".

 

Read more...
 
nb Dragonfly back in Swindon after Melksham River Festival
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 09:16
10th September  Dragonfly is back in Swindon after her adventures at The River Festival  at Melksham.  
 

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Protecting the Pavement

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Daylight

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Mind that Lampost

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Almost there

 

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Not quite a splash

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She is home !!- Rob in the white hard hat
   
 

The Independent Melksham News"First ever Melksham River Festival hailed a huge success"

Read article in The Melksham Independent News

Boatmaster Robert Yeowell said, "We were delighted that so many people
wanted the chance to experience this beautiful river and its wildlife
from the water. Some were lucky enough to see a kingfisher, heron or even
a bird of prey, as well as the local moorhens, coots, swans and ducks.
 
Any visitors who were disappointed not to get a trip at Melksham,
will be very welcome at Kingshill Swindon once Dragonfly is
returned to her usual berth." 
 
Photo from The Melksham Independent News Wednesday 10th September

 

Click here to read report and photos on the Melksham River Festival 
 
26th August Dragonfly has been lifted out of the Wilts & Berks Canal and taken to Melksham.  
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Swindon Advertiser 

27 August 2014

 

Read the article on line

 

Comments from the Swindon Advertiser

 
I'm glad she'll get to be with other
boats for a bit. She seems a little
lonely up on the canal never seeing
any other boats. All the more
reason to get the restoration
process completed 
Swindon will be a better town for it. 
Believe me !

Redhouse Red

They've done a superb job
with the canal.  It' really is
something for the town
to be proud of.
Well done to all concerned

Alan

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Above and below Dragonfly being steamed cleaned at Thamesdown Transport Ltd
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Above - Arrival at Cooper Tyre & Rubber Co
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Gentle lift into the River Avon
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The tree that was removed
at the last minute so that the
Festival can take place

 

 
     
 
Dragonfly Boat Trip News - August 2014
Friday, 30 May 2014 00:00

 

Sally-1000

Dragonfly on front cover

of Dragonfly - the Magazine

Trainee Skipper Sally Parkin

brings Dragonfly through

Beavans Bridge

Summer 2014

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Charter and BBQ in the Evening sunshine Wednesday July 30th 2014
"It was a great success. Many thanks for organising for me".

 May 24th Charter 

and Public Trips

 24May-Charter  24May-charter2
 24May-Ducks  24May-Swans  24May-Waitrose

Corportate Evening out 23 July 2014 

 The Outside Clinic

"We all had  a wonderfully  relaxing evening and thank the Crew
for their very attentive service. 
It’s really great that there is such a wonderful opportunity
to sample life in the slow lane so close to the centre of Swindon"
 
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Mike Lang moves to Devon

Canal Postcard-1000In June Mike  Lang wrote his last report for  Dragonfly – the Magazine -  before moving to Devon.

Public trips started on Sunday 13th April and since that time we have operated Dragonfly for  trips on each Saturday and Sunday. In addition we have carried groups on various “official” trips and  charters. As I write this report, we have carried a total of 185 passengers (not including children) and raised over £1100,  and so with good weather this will be a very successful summer season. We have also been asked to accept pre-booking for some Santa Trips, because some of our summer passengers were upset that they were unable to join us as for the last 2 years we were fully booked  within days of starting the advertising.

The new store at Waitrose has also raised our profile because each time the DRAGONFLY passes the store Waitrose customers ask the store welcome staff about her, and indeed the staff have started to hand out both Joining and Canal Trip Leaflets.

We now await the construction of a Landing Stage at the Waitrose site and the Boat Team feel that business will substantially increase when we are able to embark and disembark passengers at the store.

It would be good to offer weekday shopping trips from Kingshill to Waitrose (indeed if we started early enough we could offer staff transport to work (yes - some walk the towpath to work).

With all these extra trips we would welcome some more volunteers both as Crew and as Skippers. There will be a course later in the year, so anyone wishing to train for the CCBM Certificate should please email  the Boat Team

This will, however, be my last BOAT report as Teresa and I are moving down to Devon. It has been a privilege to look after DRAGONFLY for the last two years and I trust that my successor will have as much enjoyment from the task as I have done.

I look forward to returning to Swindon to embark on the first cruise from Kingshill  under Mill Lane to Wichelstowe (hopefully early in 2015).

GOOD LUCK TO THE BOAT TEAM AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

M A Lang

Group-1000So on Wednesday 2nd July the Boat team gathered on Bruce Trust boat Diana to say thank you to Mike and Teresa for all they had done for Dragonfly – the boat. They were presented with a oil painting of Dragonfly coming through Skew Bridge shown above. Mike and_Mike_on_Diana-1000The artist was Mike Pattenhall who the week before had repainted the actual Dragonfly after all the wear and tear are of her Swindon trips.

It was a wonderful evening spent in the sunshine on the Kennett & Avon with a rare chance for the Boat Team to meet up and share an excellent supper. 

Postcards of the painting are now available - please contact the Boat Team

 

 
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