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Historic River Stour venue re-opening to be celebrated with half-price boat trips

The restored Stour lighter John Constable Picture: RIVER STOUR TRUST

The restored Stour lighter John Constable Picture: RIVER STOUR TRUST

Archant

People are being invited to take a half-price boat trip through Constable country to celebrate the re-opening of a historic building which lies next to the river synonymous with the famous artist.

The bride-to-be arrives via a River Stour Trust boat Picture: RIVER STOUR TRUSTThe bride-to-be arrives via a River Stour Trust boat Picture: RIVER STOUR TRUST

The Granary, in Quay Lane, Sudbury, has undergone a £50,000 refurbishment and the River Stour Trust will also celebrate the relaunch of its disabled trip boat on Sunday, July 22.

The red-brick Georgian building, which was built in 1807, will be officially opened by the mayor of Sudbury and chairman of Babergh District Council at 10.30am.

Trips will run from 11am-1pm and boats will include the trust’s disabled access boat Francis J, its restored Stour lighter John Constable, and electric launch Edwardian Lady – subject to availability.

Adults will pay £2.50, with children under 12 and people with disabilities going free.

The River Stour Trust's disabled access boat Picture: RIVER STOUR TRUSTThe River Stour Trust's disabled access boat Picture: RIVER STOUR TRUST

The Granary was restored by the trust’s volunteers in the 1989, and is now used as a beautiful waterside venue for weddings, and by the town’s clubs.

The trips are part of the trust’s activities for restoring and preserving the whole length of the navigable Stour, from Sudbury to the sea at Manningtree, including all the locations that Constable made famous in his masterpieces.

Sudbury is one of the villages and towns on the 25-mile long River Stour Navigation and the right of navigation was granted by an act of parliament in 1705.

The navigation fell into disuse in the early 20th century, with the last commercial traffic using it in the 1930s.

In 1968 the then Anglian Water sought to have the right of navigation extinguished but the newly-formed River Stour Trust fought the application, and in a landmark case in the House of Lords, it was maintained.

The River Stour Trust’s volunteers have worked tirelessly over the years to restore the waterway to through navigation and have achieved a long list of successes.

As well as rescuing the Granary buiiding, they have also built a new lock at Great Cornard, built a visitor and education centre at Cornard, re-opened two of the locks at Flatford and Dedham, built two new slipways, and opened a riverside picnic area at Cattawade.

The trust’s trip boats have introduced more than 250,000 people to the river, many of whom have come from all over the world to enjoy Constable country.

The trust recently re-opened Stratford St Mary Lock, renamed the Roger Brown Lock, to honour the trust member who led the 12-year project, which marked another step towards the eventual complete restoration.

The trust’s vice president, Griff Rhys Jones, who is a great supporter of the Stour, conducted the opening ceremony

The Granary re-opening is aimed to highlight the asset that this building is to the people of Sudbury, and to introduce people to the delights of the river, and its benefits to the local communities along its length.

Visit the Trust’s website www.riverstourtrust.org for more information.

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