Messing about on the water at Chesterfield Canal

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Messing about on the water meant there were no damp spirits when a host of activities took place on Chesterfield Canal.

Among those was the official naming of a new tripboat, the ceremony being carried out by outgoing Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, Alan Charles.

The vessel, which belongs to Chesterfield Canal Trust and was part-funded from the PCC’s NICE (Neighbourhoods Investing Criminal Earnings) Fund, has been called John Varley II.

The new PCC, Hardyal Singh Dhindsa, also attended the event, which was held in torrential rain and included the pouring of beer on the bow and stern.

The boat is now in full operation based at Tapton Lock, which is just off the Tesco roundabout on the A61 in Chesterfield. It runs walk-up trips every Sunday plus a huge range of other events, including fish and chip cruises and all day trips with a meal at Hollingwood Hub.

The waterway also recently hosted a boat pull all in aid of charity.

The Friends of Dawn Rose organised the fundraiser which involved teams pulling a 70-foot long, hand-built, wooden narrowboat on the Chesterfield Canal from Shireoaks to West Stockwith and back. The journey was split up into 20 sections varying from less than one mile to four miles and no locks to eight locks.

Finally, the canal trust recently hosted the National Trailboat Festival which began with the offical opening of the new Staveley Town Lock by Councillor Anne Western, leader of Derbyshire County Council, which owns part of the canal.

Scores of small boats moored on the waterside made for a colourful spectacle, and visitors could enjoy a cruise.