The Caen Hill Marina in Devizes is the best in the country and that is official.
Rob and Cara Hodgson-Reed heard last Tuesday that the 248-berth marina they have managed since it opened in October 2011 has been voted the best inland marina in The Yacht Harbour Association’s (TYHA) annual awards.
But the couple had another surprise in store when they heard Mrs Hodgson-Reed had been voted employee of the year 2014 by boaters who use the marina.
Mrs Hodgson-Reed, 43, said: “I couldn’t believe it. When they told me I burst out laughing.”
The couple quickly had to make arrangements to travel to the London Boat Show at the XL Centre in the city on Thursday to receive their awards from members of the judging panel. There were just four awards made at the ceremony and Caen Hill Marina received two of them.
Mrs Hodgson-Reed said: “It was really exciting and I was quite nervous going up to receive my award in front of all the other people in the industry.”
The couple went into marina management after being dedicated boaters for years.
Mr Hodgson-Reed, 60, said: “We had never managed to get to this area of the canal system before but we love it.
“We have forged such good links with the community. We have boats from all over the country but quite a lot from the local area as well.”
The marina has links with Rowde Primary School, Rowdeford School and Rowde community shop, which provides groceries for boaters throughout the year.
The couple also organises numerous events for boaters and the community including bake-offs, Tai Chi classes and, at Christmas, a carol concert, which all take place in the marina centre building.
The marina has previously won four TYHA gold anchor awards for the excellence of its on-site facilities.
Neil Warren of Land & Water Services Limited, which designed and created the marina, said: “We are extremely proud of the awards as they show recognition for all the hard work put in.”