Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Trust (SNCT) volunteers are kickstarting their 2023 campaign to complete the restoration of these boats, which were gifted to us via a Deed of Trust by Rodger White. These 70ft long craft are the last working pair of 1936 steel-hulled boats built by Harland and Woolf in London for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company. We are restoring them to their original, as built, condition. They are extremely rare because, as a pair, they have never been separated. Bainton has an engine and pulls Berkhampstead, which has no engine and is known as a ‘butty’.
Currently, they are in the Shropshire Union Canal at Norbury Wharf (ST20 0PN) having been in dry dock for some essential work. Every Saturday, come rain or shine, they are worked on by SNCT volunteers and are now in much better condition thanks to their hard work. Berkhampstead is now almost completely restored, just needing livery to be painted by a signwriter and a new false floor in the hold area.
Bainton, however, needs a new steel cabin over her engine and a new rear timber cabin, as they are beyond economic repair. These are the final tasks required to complete the restoration of both vessels.
Why not come to Norbury Wharf on a Saturday to see the boats and talk to our volunteers?
Our target is to complete this work by the end of 2023. We will then relocate both boats to Wappenshall Wharf (just north of Telford) where visitors can see them and go aboard. Our volunteers will provide information about these historically important pieces of our heritage and tell how they were operated; about the working lives of the people that operated them and the important part they played in accelerating the Industrial Revolution.
Please help us to reach our target, as every little helps!
More information for this fundraiser can be found on their social media pages