Prince Charles and Camilla

The Duchess has landed: Camilla arrives on traditional narrowboat and opens new landing stage in Swindon



After a busy week in Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall kicks off another week of engagements beginning in Swindon on Monday.

Camilla has been the patron of the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust for the last eight years.

Camilla has been the patron of the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust for the last eight years.

The new Wichelstowe landing stage is located alongside Waitrose at West Wichel.

Camilla arrived at the event on Dragonfly, a traditional style narrowboat built by the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust to provide the public a way to enjoy trips on this historic stretch of water.

Camilla has been the patron of the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust for the last eight years.

In May 2009, Camilla presided over the official opening of the Double Bridge Naish Hill Lacock where she met with the bridge construction and all those involved in the three-year project.

The leader of Swindon Borough Council, Cllr David Renard stated: “We are extremely honoured to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to Swindon and, in turn, showcase our ambitious and exciting plans for the development at Wichelstowe.”

Plans are for the one-mile stretch of the original canal at West Wichel to be linked to the new one-mile canal section recently built at East Wichel.

It will loop throughout the three new Wichelstowe villages that create part of the Swindon development programme.

The Wilts and Berks Canal is going through a massive restoration being closed, and a portion of the canal filled in more than 100 years ago. The trust is endeavouring to reestablish the full 70-mile length over the next ten years.

Lord Lansdowne, the president of the Wiltshire, Swindon and Oxfordshire Canal Partnership, stated: “We are hugely grateful for Her Royal Highness’s continued support which helps to inspire the 2,600 members who still form the backbone of our work.”

“Since we opened just over a year ago we have built an excellent relationship with the Canal Trust, and we are looking forward to that continuing for many years to come. The fact that Her Royal Highness will be officially opening the landing stage is the icing on the cake, ”Ian Smith, a manager at Waitrose commented on Monday’s landing stage opening.

At the end of her visit on Monday, the royal patron unveiled a commemorative plaque at the landing stage.

Photo Credit: Shaun Amey via Flickr