the diary of iris lloyd
the rose of hungerford - part two
The Rose of Hungerford is owned by the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust and is run by fully trained volunteers. They can be any age (over 16) as long as they are reasonably fit. Experience is not necessary, as full training is given. All volunteers have to undertake annual safety training so they are ready and able to deal with any problems that may arise.
There are various roles available on the boat:
Outside crew, who work the locks and help with the operation of the boat;
Inside crew, who look after the passengers during the trip and run the galley and onboard licensed bar;
Helm who steers the boat; and Skipper, A Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) qualified Boatmaster, responsible for the safety of passengers, crew and boat.
Volunteers behind the scenes also manage the many diferent but necessary aspects of running the boat such as maintenance, cleaning, accounts, general correspondence, press and publicity, social media, advertising, recruitment, new volunteer training, crew rostering, stocktaking, safety training and running the small onboard shop.
The Rose can carry up to 45/50 passengers with a crew of five (more on longer trips). The boat is equipped with an electric wheelchair lift so passengers are welcome on board whatever their mobility.
In ‘normal’ times, there is a regular programme of trips from April to the end of October with a choice of 1½ or 2½ hour cruises and also a selection of special trips offered, such as the very popular Cream Tea Cruises. There is also an option to charter the entire crewed boat for private events such as poetry evenings; ukulele entertainment; cub and scout trips; company staff parties; talks; retirement, birthday or anniversary celebrations; university and school reunions; and many more.
Children from the parish church have been taken each year on the Christmas cruise, with Santa on board. One year, I was taking the Minutes for the church council meeting and wrote in my notes, obviously without thinking, that the children were being offered the chance to book for Santa Cruz! “Sorry, we aren’t thinking of taking them that far,” was the leader’s comment!
The following are The Rose of Hungerford’s average annual facts and figures taken from a normal year: 660 miles covered (equivalent to a journey from Hungerford to John O’Groats);
800 locks worked; 500 hours cruising; 6,000 passengers carried; £40,000 raised for the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust.
Iris Lloyd, Waterways chaplain (I am heavily indebted to Sarah Warburton for the above details)