Boating festival ready to set sail

editorial image

THE IWA National Trailboat Festival will set sail for Bodiam next month.

The Kent & East Sussex Branch of the Inland Waterways Association will run the festival in association with the National Trust.

The festival will take place at Bodiam Castle, with a mooring site directly in front of the castle on the River Rother, on May 25-27.

A highlight of the event will be the Saturday afternoon and evening with National Trust extending the opening hours of the castle until 8pm, with free entry from 5.30pm.

There will be a barbecue and music before the traditional display of illuminated boats that the trailboaters put so much enthusiasm into.

Throughout the weekend there will be table-based Wild over Waterways (WOW) activities for younger children.

Amongst the displays in the IWA marquee will be one relating to the restoration of the Rye sailing barge Primrose, which was built by William Evans Clark at Winchelsea Road Yard, Rye, probably around 1887.

Rye barges worked on the River Rother and it is therefore highly likely that Primrose would have traded to the wharf at Bodiam.

The Primrose display will give visitors a fascinating insight into the history of the local rivers.

There will also be displays from The Thames and Medway Canal Association and The Sussex Ouse Restoration Trust.

Standard National Trust charges apply to enter the castle and car parking costs £2 (free to National Trust members) but both will be free on the Saturday evening.