GALLERY: Happy Birthday to You! Middle Level Watermen’s Club celebrates its 50th anniversary

Middle Level Watermen's Club 50th anniversary. Left: Mayor of March Cllr Andrew Pugh, Paula Syred fr

Middle Level Watermen's Club 50th anniversary. Left: Mayor of March Cllr Andrew Pugh, Paula Syred from Fox Narrowboats and Commodore Bill Barry. - Credit: Archant

A BIRTHDAY cake was cut to mark the 50th anniversary of the Middle Level Watermen's Club at their new Skoulding's Rest riverside headquarters in March over the weekend.

Middle Level Watermen's Club 50th anniversary. From left: Paula Syred, Bill Barry, Lorraine Walters,

Middle Level Watermen's Club 50th anniversary. From left: Paula Syred, Bill Barry, Lorraine Walters, Cllr Bernard Keane, Patsy Brewin, mayor of March Cllr Andrew Pugh, Ken Cain and Jeff Walters. - Credit: Archant

Paula Syred from Fox Narrowboats in March officially opened the four days of celebrations on Saturday and cut the cake.

Middle Level Watermen's Club 50th anniversary. Molly Darwood with a hot dog.

Middle Level Watermen's Club 50th anniversary. Molly Darwood with a hot dog. - Credit: Archant

Harbour master Jeff Walters said: 'We were delighted that Paula was with us. Her father Charlie Fox did a lot for the club and local waterways.'

Middle Level Watermen's Club 50th anniversary. Brooke Davis on the bouncy castle.

Middle Level Watermen's Club 50th anniversary. Brooke Davis on the bouncy castle. - Credit: Archant

Founder member Brian Gowler of March also attended the event, along with hundreds of local people and visitors from Peterborough Cruising Club and Northampton Boat Club.

Jeff said: 'We had a fantastic weekend. I would like to thank the people of March for coming out to support us. After a lot of hard work the site is almost complete and we have a facility to be proud of. We have new moorings and slipway, and water and electricity on the site. We also have a new canoe portage and public mooring which must be booked in advance.'


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The Marylebone footbridge site was covered in marquees for the celebrations, which kicked off on Friday evening with live music. Saturday morning's opening ceremony attracted hundreds of visitors, along with VIPs including Mayor of March Councillor Andrew Pugh, past president Patsy Brewin, and current president Councillor Bernard Keane.

A variety of musicians performed throughout the weekend, and on Sunday evening professional singer Chris Elliott got everyone dancing. Monday's celebrations included a boat jumble and bric-a-brac stalls.

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Jeff added: 'We had barbecues running all weekend, and we ran out of beer several times. It was a fantastic weekend.'

Councillor Rob Skoulding represented the Skoulding family at Saturday's opening ceremony. There is a plaque on the site, erected to the memory of his father, the late Peter Skoulding.

Rob said: 'As a young lad my father used to go canoeing from the land, and he would be delighted to see everyone having such a good time on the river. The transformation of the site has been incredible, the club has worked tremendously hard to create a wonderful facility in the town.'

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