Boxmoor canal festival cancelled

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CANAL festival organisers have scrapped the event due to lack of interest and are hoping a sponsored walk will be more of a moneyspinner.

The Wendover Arm Trust (WAT) announced on Friday that the the Boxmoor Canal Festival on the weekend of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee would not be going ahead because of concerns that it would lose money.

Only 11 boaters had booked moorings and fewer than half the pitches for craft and trade stalls had been taken up when the festival committee made its decision at a meeting last Wednesday.

Chairman Graeme Lockhart said: “The boaters are most important to the event as they help out by staffing the main gates and run the bar.

“We only had 11 boaters booked – we normally have about 60 booked and 120 arrive on the day – and we were not getting a tremendous amount of enquiries either.

“The last position we needed to be in was the event taking money away from the trust, which raises funds to restore the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal.”

The canal festival is the organisation’s biggest fundraising event of the year and in the past has raised up to £55,000.

Last year it raised a total of £11,000.

Competition from other Jubilee events and restrictions on boat movements due to the drought have been blamed for putting boaters off booking their place at the event.