The Monmouthshire, Brecon & Abergavenny Canals Trust is a registered charity limited by guarantee. No 515879

Thursday, 6 October 2011

John Sergeant Visits The Boat

Just over 100 years ago Francis Frith included canal scenes on his photographic journeys around the UK. One of those photographs featured the Cefn Flight of Fourteen Locks. TV personality and journalist John Sergeant is currently filming  a series of programs devoted to the photographs of  Frith and recently visited both Fourteen Locks and the Community Boat. The visit involved a full afternoon of filming and the program will be screened in the February of next year.

Remember you can 'Vote For The Boat' in the Natwest Community Action Award Scheme using the following link -

Don't forget - Vote For The Boat

Photographs by Wyn Mitchell

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Vote For The Boat

The Community Boat has been entered into the 'Natwest Community Award Scheme'. Help us to raise funds for this exciting project by casting your vote at the following link -

Every vote is greatly appreciated

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Bare Essentials

The team at Scottish and Southern Energy has made very good progress stripping the boat down to the very bare essentials.

Windows, wall and ceiling panels, flooring and seating have now been completely removed revealing the innermost structure of the boat to allow inspection by the Marine and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Surveyor. As the boat will be carrying passengers she will also need to be inspected regularly from when the refit begins and then continuously throughout the whole process. The MCA is responsible for licensing river and canal passenger craft in England and Wales.

New Trust president Lord German, accompanied by Lady German, has been taking an active interest in this exciting new project and was clearly impressed by how much had been done to make the boat ready for restoration.

Photograph of Lord & Lady German by Wyn Mitchell

Sunday, 7 August 2011

What Needs To Be Done First?

Before work can begin on the restoration of the boat she will need to be completely emptied so that a thorough inspection can take place. There's a lot to do - including the removal of the kitchen sink!

One of the most impressive aspects of the work of Scottish and Southern Energy is the attention to detail, especially health and safety - nothing is left to chance. In the photograph below work is beginning on the construction of stairway to replace access by a ladder.

Everything will have to be taken out including the flooring, the ceiling and the electrics. 

Sunday, 31 July 2011

The Day of 'Rescue'

The morning of the 24th May when the boat was transported from a scrap yard near Neath to Newport Power Station was a key moment for the Mon & Brec Canal Trust. Share the journey by watching the video below.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Boat - Inside and Out!

It's always useful to record the starting point for any project, so the following photographs of the boat will provide a useful benchmark as work progresses.

The Community Boat - A Journey Begins

Canals seem to have an everlasting appeal that goes way beyond their original purpose – and there’s nothing like being on a boat! With this in mind the Trust has embarked on an ambitious new project – ‘The Community Boat’ – and the journey has already begun.

The Enfys of Neath has lain amongst the weeds and rusty cogwheels of scrap yard near Neath for the last two years. It seemed the ideal boat for the Trust and a team was sent to see what sort of shape she was in. The news was excellent and after a full boat inspection a deal was done. Moving her to her new home at Newport Power Station proved to be something of an adventure.

Trust volunteers gathered early on the morning of the 24th May to make the boat ready. As she had been out in the open air for some time she had taken on board a lot of rainwater. This had to be removed – every bit of weight would count when it came to the lift.

It proved to be just as well that the water was removed, because at 20 tons the boat was at the limit of the crane’s capability. Indeed, it took two attempts to lift her! There was a definite sense of relief when she was settled gently onto her transporter.

The next part of the journey came about as a result of a chance meeting between Wyn Mitchell and Trevor Swales from Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE). SSE needed a community project and after hearing about the boat offered their services at the Uskmouth Power Station. It was a very generous offer and one that the Trust were delighted to accept.

The restoration of the boat will be treated just like any other job on the site and the SSE system of work will be applied to every aspect of the work. While the ‘Maintenance Team’ led by Malcolm White will control the project, members of staff from all areas of the Power Station will be involved. It will take the major part of SSE’s community hours over the next year.

All the work carried out will be in addition to their normal duties at the plant. It will involve key roles. Dave Binding has the responsibility of planning and coordinating the project, Bev Friend will oversee the electrical refit and John Seddon will supervise the mechanical works.

Pulling the boat inside its new home was a real team effort. The track needed plenty of grease! Well done lads!

The Trust is very grateful to Scottish and Southern Energy for their generosity in this venture. It’s a great example of ‘progress through partnerships’.

The Community Boat will be operated by Trust volunteers on the navigable section of the canal. Its function will be to raise the profile of the canal and to assist the Trust in its mission to promote and restore it. Our aim is to include the whole community who will be encouraged to take a trip on this beautiful waterway to learn about its history and wildlife.

Financial help is urgently needed not only to fund the boat’s restoration, but also in future to cover its ongoing running costs. All donations and offers of help to run the boat are very much welcomed – please call the Fourteen Locks Canal Centre on 01633 892167 to find out more.