Godalming Packetboat Company, horse drawn canal boat trips, Horse drawn narrowboats, River Wey Horse Drawn Boat and Cream Tea, River Wey narrowboat trips Surrey, Surrey days out, The Bargee 1958, The IONA Godalming, Travel the victorian way
On bank holiday Monday SurreyK travelled the Victorian way along an unspoilt stretch of the River Wey in Surrey.
Originally all barges or narrowboats were either hauled by horses or manually by bow haulers. Then came mechanisation with first steam, then diesel and electric motors.
The Godalming Packet Boat Company have revived an old tradition and today the IONA is the only working horse drawn vessel operating anywhere along the river Wey.
Beautiful Buddy is a 12 year old Clydesdale X gelding who came from Montgomery canal where he was working for Bywater cruises.
The IONA is a full length narrowboat (72ft) 19.5 meters, and retains the stunning traditional Victorian paintwork. She began her working life in 1935 carrying cargoes of coal, lime juice, chocolate crumb and steel billets along the Grand Union Canal. In 1958 she starred in ‘The Bargee,’ a canal based British comedy with Harry H Corbett, Ronnie Barker, Eric Sykes, Richard Briers and Derek Nimmo. She was converted in 1968 to operate as a horse-drawn trip boat. Since 1985 she has been a regular sight along Godalming Navigation.
If the stillness and beauty of the River Wey is not enough then you can enjoy a delicious cream tea as part of your journey.
I felt so relaxed by the end of our trip that I was sad to leave.