Flocks of people and flamingoes enjoy first ever Waterways Fun Day

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams


Crowds flocked to the town centre to enjoyv the first ever Waterways Fun Day on Saturday – with music, paddleboarding and canoe races.

Hundreds of residents and paddlers attended the event in Chapel Arches and the amphitheatre to celebrate the opening of the final part of the York Stream arm of the waterway.

More than 50 canoes and paddle boards emerged to music through the arches by Coppa Club at the start of the event.

The section of waterway inside Shanly Homes’ Chapel Arches North development now completes a continuous 1.1km long route from Town Moor to the weir at Green Lane.

Fun on the water included a Flamingo chase, free trial paddle board lessons from Paddleboard Maidenhead and canoe races organised by Canoe and Kayak Tours.

Berkshire Scouts and Taplow Sea Cadets both participated.

Stalls above Chapel Arches and next to the library included the Civic Society, Heritage Centre, Berkshire Scouts, Wild Maidenhead, and the joint organisers Friends of Maidenhead Waterways (FoMW) and Maidenhead Bridge Rotary Club.

The rotary club ran a Hook-a-Duck stall in the fountain at Maudsley Gardens as music filled the amphitheatre, with mezzo soprano Joanna Henwood headlining.

FoMW chair Richard Davenport said: “We had a fantastic day on and by the restored waterway, with activity and entertainment to suit all tastes.

“The mayor Cllr (John) Story was enjoying the day so much he had to have a boat ride, which we were happy to offer aboard FoMW’s service boat, Marmalade.

“We would like to thank our event sponsors the Louis Baylis Trust, Shanly Homes, Areli and Countryside, whose generosity allowed us to run this as a free event for everyone to enjoy.”

MP Theresa May, who was in attendance, said: “It has been a fantastic day and has been great to see the local community come today to enjoy the occasion and benefit from the lovely environment created by the waterway.”

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