A BOAT trip to Bradford on Avon on the Kennet and Avon canal will mark the centenary celebrations of the Red Cross leaving the old workhouse in Avoncliff, after running it as an auxiliary hospital for over 1,000 soldiers from 1917-1919.

On Saturday villagers will take a trip on the Barbara McLellan canal boat from Avoncliff to Bradford on Avon, recalling the weekly trips that the convalescing soldiers and nurses took into the town. The boat will leave at 6pm.

The celebration will also mark the launch of a new book about the hamlet in the Limpley Stoke valley’s heritage, A Gem in the Avon Valley, written by Trevor Turpin, who lives in Ancliff Square.

He said: “The workhouse in Avoncliff, which many now know as the residence of Ancliff Square, has a fascinating history, which includes its important role as an auxiliary hospital.

“The community felt that the hospital’s role in Avoncliff’s history should be celebrated on Armed Forces Day, and we also decided to use this event to launch a book that recognises the heritage of the Avon Valley.”