Today, Friday 28th May, local Entrepreneur and Chairman of Milton Keynes Dons F.C., Pete Winkelman, performed the official naming ceremony at Milton Keynes’ Campbell Park.
Accompanying him, to unveil the name, were Sheelagh Rix and Don Allison, who had both proposed the name following a media appeal for suggestions.
Also present to welcome Electra were the Mayor, Cllr Mohammed Khan, and members of the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust (B&MKWT), who were responsible for commissioning the boat.
Pete Winkelman said: “I was delighted to be asked to perform this naming ceremony on behalf of the Waterway Trust. Milton Keynes has a well-earned reputation for innovation as well as enjoying a wealth of history and Electra has managed to combine the two perfectly, with a traditional hull and pioneering electric propulsion.”
Jane Hamilton, B&MKWT chair said: “The Waterway Trust was established to promote the new waterway park, linking Bedford and Milton Keynes. Electra joins her Bedford-based sister boat, John Bunyan, to promote this nationally recognised project whilst offering relaxing cruises along the wonderful Grand Union Canal”.
Jane Wolfson, Chair of the project team commented: “This naming ceremony is rather like introducing a new baby to friends and family. It has been an exciting process and now that she has been ‘delivered’ I can’t wait to see Electra gliding quietly along the Grand Union Canal on her first official trip.”
Sheelagh Rix explained why she had suggested the name: “I was listening to BBC Radio Three Counties’ Breakfast Show and heard that they were wanting suggestions for a name and Electra sprang to mind. She is powered by electricity and, as boats often have a female name, adding an A gave it a feminine sound, so I called the presenter and was put on air. It was an honour to be here to unveil it with Don”.
Electra was craned into the Grand Union Canal on 5th May. Her volunteer crew are currently undergoing practical training, so they can get used to handling her. Fare-paying cruises will begin at the end of July. For further details, please visit Electra information