St. Paul's Community Development Trust

Last Saturday local families experienced a brilliant day on the Midlands waterways, with a trip on a narrowboat.

Our trip started with a short minibus drive to sunny Staffordshire. From here, armed with our sandwiches, suncreams and sunhats, we clambered on board the ‘Truman Enterprise’ – our lovely canalboat for the day. A quick safety and familiarisation talk from our skippers, Mariel and Sheila and the anchor was raised and off we set sail. Going through locks and learning the science and engineering of how these worked was fascinating, as was learning the history behind the Midlands canals.

The Truman Enterprise is a lovely spacious boat with a fully equipped kitchenette, large open windows and a large deck for families to sit and idle away the hours. And that is what we certainly did, as we fed ducks, waved to passing boats and fishermen sitting on the side of the canals. We gasped and gawped at the fields of cows and families of ducks we passed. We desperately looked for herons, but alas they were not home!
Our voyage took us all the way to Coven. Here we sat with baited breath, as Mariel manoeuvred round in a ‘Winding Hole and Sheila kept a look out for approaching boats. Our journey back was eventful as we found a passing canalboat, selling homemade fudge. It all seemed from a world gone – bye as we stepped off and purchased our treats to take home. This also certainly inspired us all to think of enterprises we could all do, sometime in the future.

Time passed far too quickly and too soon the anchor was being thrown as we saw our minibus.

Being on this trip made us all realise the value and importance of renovating the St Paul’s Trust boat; Ellen Gee. To have this as a resource for families to use and have the experience that we all had would be brilliant. We all have to get behind this important cause and make this a reality for local families.

Some of the comments made by families on the trip include:
“Thank you, Hafsha & Salim. It was a WOW day!” 
“Thank you. It was a lovely enjoyable relaxing day out”
Thanks for giving us such a good trip. Really enjoyed it” 
“Very nice – very happy”

It was also so lovely to receive a thank you letter from Mariel and Sheila. Please do take the time to read the letter and take a look at some of our photos from the day.

Hafsha D Shaikh
6th July, 2017

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