Society marks 50th birthday with boat rally

The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society will celebrate its 50th year with a Boat Rally Weekend next month.
The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society will celebrate its 50th year with a Boat Rally Weekend next month.

The Pocklington Canal Amenity Society celebrates its 50th year with a Boat Rally Weekend next month.

The rally, held at Melbourne Village Moorings, takes place from Friday, September 13 to Sunday, September 15 between 10am and 4pm.

The society is hoping to raise funds to restore Sandhill Lock.

The society is hoping to raise funds to restore Sandhill Lock.

There will be various stalls, activities for children, wildlife walks, lovely food and lots of canal boats for visitors to enjoy.

Tim Charlson, of the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society, said: “We celebrate the founding of our society by local people in 1969, concerned by the possibility of the closure and infilling of this beautiful rural canal.

“The society continues to raise many thousands to repair and restore the waterway.”

Paul Waddington, chairman of the society, said: “The society was founded in 1969 by local people who cared deeply about their historic built heritage and wanted protect and restore the nine-mile canal.

“They did this to ensure that it didn’t suffer the fate that befell other canals in this country when many were filled in and disappeared in the 1950s and 60s. Work by the society was, and continues to be, entirely voluntary and we have archive photographs of people clearing vegetation that had grown in locks, with local farmers helping with their machinery.

“It is an honour to continue their work of 50 years, in fact we have now restored over seven miles of the canal to improve water quality for the varied and unusual wildlife that lives in and around this important waterway.

“It has been a busy time for us over the past few years with the restoration of two miles of the canal. We have begun work on the final two mile stretch of canal with repairs to Coate’s Lock.

“We are actively raising funds to restore the next one, being Sandhill Lock which will require a lot of work but we’ll get there. Here’s to another 50 years!”