IWA Chiltern Branch
Written by

Jenny Brice

As the boat glided along the tranquil waterway, the group marvelled at the lush greenery lining the banks. Ancient trees leaned in, their branches dipping toward the water, creating a natural archway. Ducks and swans swam gracefully alongside, seemingly unfazed by the passing vessel.

The boat’s crew ensured everyone was comfortable, offering refreshments that included buffet lunch and afternoon tea. Many members were reliving memories of their boating exploits, stories were shared, and friendships renewed. This was one of the purposes for the trip, as some members are now unable to join the monthly meetings due to ill-health.  The Grand Union Canal, with its rich history and serene beauty, provided the perfect backdrop for this leisurely escape. As the boat turned at a bend, revealing the first lock, the crew alighted and wound us through with ease, no windless work for the members, although a reminder of hard work with heavy locks in the past.

And so, under the warm sun, surrounded by nature’s embrace, the waterway group forged memories that would linger long after the boat docked. As the trip concluded, they disembarked with smiles, grateful for the camaraderie, the refreshments, and the gentle rhythm of the Grand Union.

In just four hours, they had navigated more than a canal; they had sailed through past memories and reconnected with friends. As they waved goodbye to the boat, they knew they’d return—drawn back by the allure of the water, the company of friends, and the promise of another delightful journey.

Further photos and pdf report available here.

[Photos by Dick Pilkington.]