Register your interest

Wichelstowe Games raised £3,600 for local project

Fit fundraisers took part in a sports challenge to raise £3,600 for the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.

The first Wichelstowe Games were held on Saturday August 24th on the southern edge of Swindon, where a short stretch of the waterway has already been restored. Organised by the new Hall & Woodhouse pub adjacent to the canal, teams competed across four events – cycling, climbing, canoeing and a tug-of-war. The money raised will support the construction of a new slipway providing safe access into the water near Beavans Bridge.

Tessa Lanstein is the head of projects and a member of the executive committee for the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust. She said: “We are sincerely grateful for being chosen as the first beneficiary of the inaugural Wichelstowe Games and we’re delighted it was such a success. The canal is already proving to be a major asset for the local community and this event has provided much-needed funds to continue its restoration, ultimately providing a vital new source of employment, leisure and tourism, as well as a new wildlife corridor.”

The event was the brainchild of Karl Drew, general manager of the Hall & Woodhouse pub. He said: “We wanted to arrange a fun event to give something back to the local community and were delighted to support the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust at our first games. We’re lucky to have such a beautiful waterway on our doorstep and look forward to the day when it’s fully restored, providing a new tourist attraction which will boost the local economy.”

The aim of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is to restore the waterway from the Kennet & Avon Canal near Melksham to the Thames & Severn Canal near Cricklade and the River Thames near Abingdon, connecting Chippenham, Calne, Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon.

The Wichelstowe Games was organised by Hall & Woodhouse, Waitrose & Partners, Wichelstowe Development Team, Swindon & District Canoe Club, Wiltshire Outdoor Learning Team, The Stowe, Fandagos Events and the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust.

Below are a few of our favourite photos from the day and you can check out our video here

Early morning briefing with the Event Team who all gave their time to make the day a success.

The fantastic team from Swindon and District Canoe Club who were kept busy all day, first with the races and then with the taster sessions allowing lots of people to get out on the water and give canoeing a try.

The Wiltshire Outdoor Learning Team (WOLT) brought their climbing wall to Hall and Woodhouse.  The Avengers team who finished second overall made quick work of the wall!

Along with the canoes, the Dragonfly and Mary Archard trip boats were running which meant the canal was buzzing with activity.

The cycling proved one of the hardest challenges. We'd put this event under cover in case it rained but it was hot work in the direct sunlight. 

The tug of war proved the best spectator event with Rev. Owen Green acting as commentator and getting everyone involved. The Waitrose Warriors came out on top (beating a team with an Olympic medalist included along the way).

Finally here are our winners, the Hall and Woodhouse Trojans, receiving the trophy.