Sleaford Slipway and Bridge Opening
Two Wilderness boats trailed to Sleaford in early July 2010 to help the Sleaford Navigation Trust celebrate the opening of their new slipway and lift bridge in the centre of Sleaford.
Derek and Jeanne Smith arrived on the Friday and were the first to use the brand new slipway when they launched Olive in to the Slea Navigation. Olive was the first “boat” to navigate these waters for over 70 years.
Bobbles arrived early on the Saturday and soon joined Olive, moored against the recently installed stone edgeing.
Volunteers had been busy from early on the Saturday morning erecting marquees and stalls in preparation for the official opening.
The event had been well publicised and was very popular with the locals.
Many people approached the boaters to thank them for coming, several of the older generation expressing the view that they did not think they would ever see boats afloat in Sleaford again.
The slipway was officially opened by Lincolnshire County Councilor Eddie Poll and Chris Hayes Sleaford NavigationTrust Chairman.
The first boat to be officially launched down the new slipway was John Lower’s “Schandelle”
Schandelle then took the VIPs for a cruise along the restored section of waterway.
Olive followed closely behind supported by hundreds of locals who had come along to witness this historic moment.
Bobbles also cruised to the limit of navigation at Cogglesford Mill Lock.
Giving several of the Trust volunteers the opportunity to enjoy cruising the section of waterway they had done so much to restore.
Olive and Bobbles were slipped out on the Sunday to return home having spent a very pleasant weekend helping WBOC to live up to its proud claim “Supporters of Waterway Restoration”.
Photos 1, 2 and 10 taken by John Parker. All other photographs courtesy of Lincolshire County Council.