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Author Topic: Happy Birthday New Horizons!  (Read 3336 times)

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Happy Birthday New Horizons!
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2011, 07:51:36 AM »
Photos of New Horizons' 30th birthday celebrations have been added to the Virtual Tour this morning:


This year sees the 30th birthday of “New Horizons”, the Marple based narrow boat that provides day canal trips for disabled clients and their friends.

The charitable trust under which “New Horizons” operates was established by Gordon Bayley, the then Mayor of Stockport who made it his Mayoral funding project during his year of office. Funding the boat, and setting up the Trust in this way was an extraordinary achievement and he would be delighted to know that the boat is still as busy 30 years on. Sadly, Gordon died only some 18 months after the boats inauguration.

Prince Charles was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony in 1981, and it has since become something of an icon in Marple and the surrounding area. James Dunlop, the chair of the Trust, estimates that in 30 years of operation, “New Horizons” has hosted between 50,000 and 55,000 passengers, an amazing record by any standards.

Recently “New Horizons” has been in the news because of the potential threat to her moorings posed by British Waterway’s desire to sell the mooring and surrounding area for development. One positive aspect of this situation has been the outcry and support from the people of Marple who have rallied to “New Horizons” – and also to creating a sensible outcome for the future of this area at the junction of the Macclesfield and Peak Forest canals.

The birthday party was celebrated on Saturday 9th April at the Forces and Social Club in Marple. “New Horizons” sailed from her mooring to the club wearing a large and magnificent birthday cake. The Mayor of Stockport, together with the widow of the late Gordon Bayley unveiled a commemorative brass plaque on the boat. The Marple Brass band entertained, appropriate speeches were made and a superb buffet was laid on at the club. It was a lovely evening, and congratulations to everyone concerned.

So, remember when you pass her on the cut, the toast is “Happy birthday New Horizons”

Text provided by Richard Yorke

Mark Whittaker
The Marple Website