Fundraising results in a new Pewsey clubhouse for canoeists

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Community First’s Mary Hardwidge, front right, with Monique Hayes of Hills and Mike Goodhew, the Pewsey Canoe Club chairman, at the clubhouse opening       (pm1319) By paul morris Community First’s Mary Hardwidge, front right, with Monique Hayes of Hills and Mike Goodhew, the Pewsey Canoe Club chairman, at the clubhouse opening (pm1319) By paul morris

Canoeists in Pewsey have waved goodbye to the days when they had to get changed in the car park now their new clubhouse has officially opened.

The Stonehenge and Pewsey Canoe Club, based at Pewsey Wharf, had been operating out of a dilapidated garden shed, so in November last year members started applying for funding for a permanent home.

In January they were given £3,300 by the Pewsey Area Board and, after receiving the other half of the funding from Hills Waste, the work was completed in April.

Chairman Mike Goodhew said: “We went from having the idea to finishing the project in six months so we’re really happy.

“Before members had to get changed in the car park in the wet and cold so we thought we needed to get something with proper changing facilities.”

The club has around 60 members aged between eight and 61 and provides canoe and kayak coaching.

On Friday, club members and Scouts got together at St Francis School, where the new clubhouse is situated, to celebrate the opening of the new facility.

Mr Goodhew said: “We’re really grateful to St Francis School for allowing us to use the land so the official opening is a chance for us to say thank you and to show Hills and the area board that we have actually used the money for what we said we would.

“We are a very inclusive club. We don’t do the long distance races but other than that we do pretty much everything.

“We work closely with local youth groups like the Scouts and the Girl Guides introducing them to canoeing and getting them used to the water.

“The next thing we’re looking at is getting some new equipment.”

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