National festival in 2010 to be held at well-known boat show venue

The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) has announced that its 2010 National Festival will be held at Beale Park on the River Thames at Pangbourne, near Reading.

The 2010 National Festival also coincides with the centenary of the birth of one of the Inland Waterways Association’s founders – Tom Rolt.

L T C Rolt met with Robert Aickman and others at a historic meeting in August of 1945, at Tardebigge Lock, on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. This meeting led to the formation of The Inland Waterways Association in the following year.

To celebrate the centenary of Tom’s birth, the Inland Waterways Association will be holding their 2010 Festival in his honour.

Speaking on behalf of IWA, the Festivals Chairman, Ian West, said:
‘We are delighted to be returning to Beale Park, which has proved to be such a successful venue in previous years, and we are pleased to be able to hold it in Tom’s honour in this, his centenary year. In making this return we hope that many members of the IWA will join us in re-enacting part of the famous “Cressy” cruise which Tom Rolt undertook and which he recounted in his book ‘Narrow Boat’, which did so much to capture post war interest in the plight of the waterways.

‘IWA is equally delighted to announce that to support the festival the Environment Agency have kindly agreed to discount the two week or monthly Thames Licence by 33% for boaters making the journey to the festival’.