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THIS STORY LAST UPDATED: 06 October 2009 1355 BST
A welcome at The Waterfront, Pewsey
The Waterfront Cafe, Pewsey
Graham Lee describes his role as a 'caretaker' of the Kennet and Avon Canal, but his business venture at Pewsey has breathed new life into the old wharf just to the north of the village and makes a great place to stop and watch the canal go by.
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SEE ALSO

More views of the Kennet and Avon Canal

WEB LINKS

Pewsey Waterfront Multimap location

Kennet and Avon Canal Trust

Wilts and Berks Canal Trust

Pewsey Village Website

Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Marathon

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FACTS

Address: Waterfront Cafe, Pewsey Wharf, Marlborough Road, Nr Pewsey, Wiltshire, SN9 5NU.

Phone 01672 564020

Open daily 0900 – 1700 hours.
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When Graham moved into the old wharf buildings at Pewsey he was faced with rotting timbers, old plumbing, and blocked up fireplaces.

Inside cafe at Pewsey Wharf
Inside the cafe

Applying his natural optimism to the task in hand Graham transformed the old buildings, renovating the wharf's living accommodation and redeveloping the business side of the premises.

"We converted the gents and ladies toilets - into a new kitchen, reception and bar. We knocked a wall down in the old shop, built a new fireplace and generally tidied it up."

He managed to get British Waterways to improve the the car park, while he got on and landscaped the gardens.

"I'm kept very busy and so is everyone else. Pewsey is the half way turn around for the hire boats from Reading or Bristol. It's got its own supportive marina and we can get 14 or 15 boats everyday."

And he says he's pleased not be around places like Bradford on Avon and Bath.

"These places are honey spots - what with the high number of hire boats and private boats it can be a nightmare.

"I much prefer it up here where people have to look for you - that makes it worthwhile."

The Wharf at Pewsey
A great place to relax

Pewsey Wharf lies just off the Pewsey - Marlborough road and has become a popular stop-off for people travelling between Oxford and Bournemouth.

Graham also knows that he's picked a fantastic place to live - as well as to run a successful business.

"The first week we moved in there was a vixen, seven cubs and a dog fox running around protecting them and showing them how to catch rabbits. Then the next day you'd see a deer standing on the towpath."

As well as being open throughout the week, The Waterfront has a busy calendar, including a popular St Valentine's Day celebration, a St Patrick's Day party and a 'midsummer madness' event.

In September, Graham is also hoping to bring back an event once held at the Wharf as part of Pewsey Carnival.

"We found some pictures in the old Western Gazette that showed the canal bank full of people watching a parade of boats - and we're trying to recreate that atmosphere.

"On the weekend that starts the fortnight of the carnival we're encouraging at least forty boats to come along and 'dress-up' for the occasion. We're resurrecting the idea to raise money for the Wilts and Berks and Canal," says Graham.

Graham's love for the canal system extends beyond his business venture at Pewsey Wharf.

He recently took part in the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Marathon and successfully raised £2000 to put towards the neighbouring Wilts and Berks Canal.

"Looking after this bit of water makes you feel like you belong to it and you want to improve it. It's just something about the affinity with water and the fact I just love narrow boats. You can't beat it really."

 
The Waterfront at Pewsey

Pewsey Waterfront Gallery

Click here to start the Gallery

 
 
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