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Newbury's Crafty Craft set to sail this Bank Holiday Monday

More than 20 homemade boats expected to take part in this year's charity race

Chris Ord


01635 886639

18 2605r Crafty craft 2005

Bank Holiday Monday will once again see a flotilla of wacky homemade boats attempt to make their way down the Kennet and Avon Canal with the return of one of Newbury’s biggest events.

However, with rain forecast over the weekend it may not just be the competitors in this year’s Crafty Craft who end up getting a bit wet.

The event has enjoyed perfect weather in recent years, with spectators enjoying a dry day out, which is more than can be said for many of those taking part.

The Met Office has forecast light rain going into the weekend, with conditions unlikely to improve on Monday.

The weather, however, is not putting a dampener on organiser Marcus Franks’ spirits as he hopes for another successful year.

He said: “We’ve had three dry years in a row and that’s pretty much unheard of.

“It’s the first bank holiday in May, so a bit of rain should be expected, and I’m sure it won’t put people off.”

The event is once again organised by Newbury Round Table, which has so far raised more than £300,000 for local causes.

Mr Franks added: “We’ve been organising this for more than 40 years; we’ve raised a lot of money. I’m sure there’ll be a great turnout this year too.

“We’ve got some great entertainment and it’s always a good day out.”

This year will see the crafts decorated in a ‘Rio Sporting Carnival’ theme to tie in with this summer’s Olympics.

As usual, the race will start at the Dundas Arms in Kintbury, with the first daring watergoers setting off just before 9am.

Competitors will then try to stay afloat as they travel six miles down the canal to Newbury’s Victoria Park, where will there will be a whole host of entertainment for spectators to enjoy.

Activities will start at 10am at Victoria Park with bouncy castles, games and refreshments, along with live music from local bands The Mini Band and Beetle Juice.

Organisers hope to raise more than £6,000, which will go to help a number of local charities – the public will be encouraged to make suggestions for worthy organisations on the day.

See for up-dates and photos throughout the day as well as following @NewburyToday and our facebook page.

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