Queen Mary’s students ‘press ganged’ to spruce up Regent’s Canal

Students Gemma Hall, Rachel Pincock and Lucy Dolan give fresh lick of paint to canal boat

Students Gemma Hall, Rachel Pincock and Lucy Dolan give fresh lick of paint to canal boat - Credit: Canal & River Trust

Volunteers got stuck in to spruce up the Regent’s Canal next to East London’s Victoria Park.

It was mixed in with fun events with music, a swishing clothes swap and high tea.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing on the waterway as these students from Queen Mary University found out—there was plenty of boat painting to do.

The Canal and River Trust charity that looks after the waterway teamed up with the university to give those working or studying during the day a chance to try summer evening volunteering.

It is part of the charity’s Love London Canals programme, with live music, cocktail-making and paddle boarding, mixed in with tasks to improve canals like flower planting, litter clearing—and of course painting their canal maintenance boats.


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“We mixed up the work and added a bit of fun,” explained the university’s Monica Kolesnik, rumoured to have probably “press ganged” her students to help out. “There’s something incredibly rewarding about giving back to the environment, in this case the Regent’s Canal.”

Well, the canal does run right past Queen Mary’s Mile End campus—so maybe there’s a vested interest!

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