- 25 Jun 2020
The Godalming tourist horse drawn 70 footer still operates, Co
Copied from another river group. Posted on the 27th Aug.
The Godalming Packetboat Co gives the reasons for the sale of the IONA on their Facebook page. "Iona" leaving the River Wey.
It is with great sadness that we have decided that "Iona" will leave the River Wey after 33 years of owning her.
All passenger boats can only operate under Maritime & Coastguard Agency rules and we have come to the conclusion with my experience that unfortunately the River Wey is no longer a safe environment to run a horse drawn boat.
There are now an unprecedented number of unlicensed paddle boards and inflatables with inexperienced people on them this is just an accident waiting to happen, when trying to dodge them with 17 tons of narrowboat that does not stop on a sixpence.
The towpath is very narrow with high undergrowth on both sides, and it is getting increasingly difficult to get the National Trust to do anything about it. With large numbers of speeding bikes, runners, dogs off leads and people with pushchairs, we are also suffering a fair bit of verbal abuse, the towpath has become totally unusable for a horse.
It is the end of an era and a sad loss to Godalming as there are now only 3 horsedrawn boats left in UK.
"Iona" is going to Tiverton to carry on being used as a horse drawn boat for the Tiverton Canal Co