A different view of Great Britain

October 14, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

Like American retirees buying motor homes to travel across country, many retirees in Great Britain also enjoy seeing the sights of their homeland at a leisurely pace.

But instead of buying a Winnebago, they buy or rent narrow boats - some complete with satellite TV and rooftops that slide back - to tour England, Scotland and Wales via their canal systems, said Fran Reidelberger.

Reidelberger will discuss such travels as he presents the film "Canal Adventure in England, Scotland & Wales" on Wednesday night as part of the Kiwanis Club of Hagerstown's 33rd annual Travel & Adventure Film Series. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. in South Hagerstown High School's auditorium. This year's series began in September and will continue through April.

So many travel films have been made about Great Britain that Reidelberger said he and his wife, fellow cinematographer Brooke, set out to explore Great Britain from a different angle during 2004 and 2005. It is a view the couple filmed before, 20 years earlier, but there has been tremendous growth on and along the canals since then.


Barges used to haul coal and steel along the canals during the Industrial Revolution, Reidelberger said. The modern barges are 7 1/2 feet wide and can be from 35 to 72 feet long, containing the amenities needed - and some more luxurious features - for a family to travel around for months.

People navigate the canals and work the occasional locks. If someone needs help, there is enough traffic on the canals today that someone else often comes by who can assist, Reidelberger said.

The Kiwanis Foundation uses proceeds from the travelogue show for scholarships for Washington County high school students, including Key Club members at North and South Hagerstown high schools. Proceeds also are used for a Christmas party for about 70 first- and second-graders to give them a better holiday, said Stephen Geiman, chairman of the travelogue program.

Last year's travelogue program raised about $2,200, Geiman said.

If you go ...

WHAT: 33rd annual Travel & Adventure Film Series, sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Hagerstown. Continues with "Canal Adventure in England, Scotland & Wales" narrated by Fran Reidelberger.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17

WHERE: South Hagerstown High School auditorium, 1101 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown

COST: Single admission tickets sold at the door the night of each performance are $8 for adults and $3 for students. Season tickets for the five remaining travel programs are $22 for adults and $8 for students.

MORE: For more information, contact Stephen Geiman by calling 301-739-1981.

Upcoming shows

Other travelogue shows, which start at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, are:

· "Cruising the Orient on the Queen Elizabeth 2" by Doug Jones on Nov. 14

· "Venture to Alaska" by Dale Johnson on Feb. 13

· "At Home in Austria" by Charles Hartman on March 12

· "Italy's Fabled Islands" by Stan Walsh on April 16

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