basingstoke canal

TWO young brothers from Sheerwater and their dad have walked the length of the Basingstoke Canal towpath to raise money for a local youth group charity.

Jack Hardy, 11, his brother Aiden, 9, and father Scott, covered the 32 miles over two days and raised nearly £400 for Knaphill branch of the Woodcraft Folk.

Scott Hardy with his sons Jack and Aiden

Scott said Jack had first suggested they walk the length of the Thames, but he was persuaded to reconsider and came up with the more manageable target.

They set off on a Saturday from where the canal meets the Wey Navigation at New Haw. The first stop was at Mytchett, where they caught a taxi to a hotel at Farnborough, and then continued the next day, finishing at the Greywell Tunnel.

They were met at the finish point by Scott’s wife Laura and their other sons Ronnie, 7, Charlie, 5, and Stanley, 3.

The wider family have been involved with Woodcraft Folk for decades. Laura runs the Knaphill branch and her parents were leaders in the 1970s and 1980s. Jack and Aiden, like their mum, first went along at the age of three.

The branch meets at the Dianthus Building, the Sea Cadets’ headquarters in Goldsworth Park.

“It’s a wonderful youth charity that is centred around inclusivity,” said Scott. “They meet once a week, play games and learn and discuss topics such as politics, environmental issues and human behaviour.”

Scott helps at the group’s woodland camps, which are held several times a year.

He said the next plan was to try to cycle the route in one day and that he or Laura would accompany the boys.

Asked if having five sons keeps the couple busy, Scott said: “It keeps us outside.”

For the full story get the 5 September News & Mail

A STALWART supporter of the Basingstoke Canal will be forever remembered – after a lock was named in his honour.

Lifelong St Johns resident Peter Redway MBE lived beside the waterway he so dearly loved, and became dedicated to its restoration after repair work began in the 1970s.

Sadly, Peter, who had been chairman of the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society for 16 years died, aged 79, in 2011.

LOCK, STOCK – guests braved the snow on Sunday for ceremony at Basingstoke Canal’s Lock 11, now renamed the Redway Lock

LOCK, STOCK – guests braved the snow on Sunday for ceremony at Basingstoke Canal’s Lock 11, now renamed the Redway Lock

But his family – including his widow, Marguerite, and two sons – friends and fellow canal devotees braved a snowy Sunday morning to gather as a stone plaque was unveiled in his memory at Lock 11, now forever known as the Redway Lock.

Surrey county councillor and chairman of the Basingstoke Canal Joint Management Committee, Linda Kemeny, said: “Peter’s total commitment delivered the important St Johns back-pumping scheme to ensure a stable water supply for year-round navigation.

“He was honoured in the 2007 Queen’s birthday honours with a well-deserved award of the MBE.”

Guests at the ceremony included Robin Higgs OBE, vice president and former chairman of the now-renamed Basingstoke Canal Society, the current chairman Philip Riley, members Chai Ken and Denise Hall and John Kingsbury, leader of Woking Borough Council.

The party later retired to The Rowbarge pub to thaw out with some liquid refreshments and a buffet provided by the canal events organiser Verna Smith.