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Supporters pull out all the stops for Poddle

Walkers were blessed with fine weather for the annual Poddle held on June 3. More than 144 undertook all or parts of the 12-mile route, which this year offered the opportunity to discover the disused Portsmouth & Arundel Canal along with the picturesque River Arun.

The circular route began at Walberton Village Hall in Arundel and participants were not only able to enjoy the Sussex countryside but get a fascinating glimpse of canal structures, including the entrance to the Portsmouth & Arundel Canal at Ford, a buried canal bridge hidden in a new housing estate and a refreshment stop by the Hollingworth swing bridge.

The Portsmouth and Arundel Canal was abandoned in 1855 after it failed to be a financial success. It had been part of a larger scheme to allow craft to move from the Thames in London to Portsmouth without having to enter the English Channel, and be subjected to poor weather or enemy boats. It formed the southernmost half of the waterway link of which the Wey & Arun Canal forms the northern route.

Lunch was provided at Yapton Village Hall, where walkers either continued the full walk by foot, or were returned to the village hall by car.

The Poddle raised an amazing £10,000 and chairman Sally Schupke praised organisers and volunteers for their efforts. She said: “The event brought together members and supporters for a fantastic day out. All those participating enjoyed exploring the stunning countryside and discovering more about the story of our lost canals.

“I would like to congratulate those who took part and event organiser Margaret Darvill and her team for their incredible dedication and hard work.”

Wednesday, July 4, 2018