Beale Park


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Bristol based charity All-Aboard! recently launched their new St Ayles skiff Hannah More and in early June gave it one of its first outings at the annual Beale Park Boat and Outdoor Show in Berkshire.

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The relaxed and friendly event gives traditional boat builders the opportunity to demonstrate their boats on a beautiful lake beside the Thames, and to invite the public to try them out. Wooden boats, classic boats, steam launches, sailing dinghies, river boats, canoes, canvas boats and even a few coracles were all out and about on the lake over the weekend.

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There was considerable interest in the St Ayles skiff, with plenty of people trying it out for themselves and volunteers from All-Aboard! on hand to make up crews and provide coxes. Kit supplier Alec Jordan was on hand to answer questions from people interested in building their own skiff, and one of the All-Aboard! team even provided a head and neck massage for anyone who found the row had over-strained their muscles.

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The Beale Park Lake is separated from the River Thames only by a swing bridge, which allowed the skiff to be taken out onto the river for a very enjoyable early evening row.
The Beale Park show organisers seem to have been impressed. They’ve already invited the St Ayles skiff back for 2017, and asked if a few more skiffs can come along and have a race as part of next year’s programme.

Robin Miller
All-Aboard! Watersports

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