Waterways assessed in award bid

By Rob George Friday 22 February 2013 Updated: 22/02 11:10

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Members of the Droitwich Waterways (Pamela May) Trust meet assessor Martin Cook during his visit. (s)

MEMBERS of the Droitwich Waterways (Pamela May) Trust welcomed an assessor from the Canal and River Trust as part of their bid to win a national award.

Martin Cook visited the town on February 8 as part of the assessment process for the Canal and River Trust’s ‘Waterways Renaissance Awards’.

The trust promotes Education and Learning about the Canals and their environment, and recreation and tourism associated with the waterways.

Volunteers from the Droitwich Waterways trust have put their names forward for the awards which recognise projects which

bring the waterways and canals into wider public use and enjoyment.

During his visit, Mr Cook met volunteers, learned more about the project with a presentation at St Andrew’s Church and took a trip to the Netherwich basin where the Pamela May is moored.

Since Droitwich’s historic canals were re-opened in July 2011, the Droitwich Waterways (Pamela May) Trust has created an organisation and trained some 18 skilled skippers and crew to provide cruises for residents.

Volunteer Sandy Laird said: “In July 2011 when the canals were re-opened, the Pamela was not operating, as there were no volunteer crew with the RYA Helmsman’s qualification.

“There was also no-one trained to meet new regulations for manning small narrow boats, carrying up to 12 passengers on inland waterways.

“Intensive training in the first year covered all the boat handling skills, emergency evacuation, fire-fighting and first aid.

“As we approach the second cruising season there is a significant, fully trained crew of volunteers, in an organisation with an on-line booking program, financial controls, planned maintenance and a structured management system,” he added.

The trust will find out whether they have won one of the awards later this year.

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