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
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.