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Group enjoys tranquillity of life afloat

The hustle and bustle of Redbridge roads was left far behind for members of a social club who took to the water for a canal trip this month. Members of Redbridge 18 Plus enjoyed a week afloat on a narrow boat on the his­toric Kennet and Avon Ca­nal. The 87-mile long water­way from Bath to Reading was an essential route for trade from the 18th century, but fell into disrepair before being restored for pictur­esque boating trips. Seven members of the group negotiated locks and bridges to journey from Aldermaston. near Reading, to Great Bedwyn. in Wilt­shire. They passed through the towns of Newbury and Hunger-ford as well as enjoy­ing the countryside and wildlife sightings, includ­ing red kites, kingfishers and a water vole. Group member Francesca Barclay said: "It was a great experience that is not to be missed, and I particularly enjoyed steering the boat and operating the locks and bridges." Redbridge 18 Plus is a social group offering organ­ised events and trips for 18-to 40-year olds.

• The group meets on Fridays at Redbridge Central Library, Clements Road, llford, from 8.30-10pm

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