The list of companies who are supporting the 'Community Boat Project is growing. Many thanks to Tŷ-Mawr Lime who are providing the insulation material for the boat. It is another very generous donation for which the Canal Trust is very grateful.
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Volunteers from SSE’s Uskmouth Power Station are putting their power behind an ambitious plan to bring a 55 foot barge back to its former glory and help to raise the profile of local waterways.
|The team of enterprising employees from the power station, including fitters, electricians, operatives and office staff working with the Monmouth, Brecon & Abergavenny Canals Trust to transform the barge into an educational tool for the community.|
Once completed the 23 year old Enfys of Neath will be used by volunteers from the Trust to provide trips on the barge along the local canal network for local residents and visitors to the area.
The double ended barge weighs a staggering 20 tonnes and can travel in either direction, reducing the need to turn around. It is electrically powered to reduce the carbon footprint of voyages and make it more environmentally friendly.
The aim is to encourage the local community to take part in a journey along the waterways to learn more about the history and wildlife of the area, whilst promoting the work of The Monmouth, Brecon & Abergavenny Canal Trust
Work on the barge will take place over several months and includes replacing corroded plating, complete rewiring, refurbishing the motors, replacing controls and batteries, cleaning and descaling, repositioning rudder steering and finally repainting the vessel. All activity will take place after a thorough on site health and safety assessment.
The barge restoration project is able to take place thanks to SWALEC’s ‘Community at Heart’ scheme, which is designed to get thousands of power workers across the country rolling up their sleeves and putting real energy into the communities they live and work in.
Malcolm White, who works in the maintenance department at the power station, is one of the volunteers who has lent a helping hand to the project. He said, “Volunteers across all operational areas of the power station from administration to power generation, and our local suppliers, have already spent more than 80 man days in total working on the barge so far. We have made a lot of progress, but the job is only half completed and we still have a long way to go.”
Wyn Mitchell, Vice-President of Monmouthshire, Brecon & Abergavenny Canals' Trust and Community Boat Project Manager, said: “The Trust is extremely grateful to SSE's enthusiastic and skilled volunteers at Uskmouth Power Station for making the dream of a Community Boat a reality. Without their commitment to transform a sadly-neglected boat into a much-needed community resource the Trust could not have undertaken the project.”
“At present, other than our 12-seater craft and a commercial operation at Brecon, no boat is available for our community to experience the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal by water. This new, much larger, boat will be wheelchair-friendly, and also accommodate a whole school class - in effect a floating classroom. Our hope is that everyone will be able to enjoy travelling along this beautiful waterway to learn about its history and wildlife.”
We are also very grateful to other locally based companies such as Hempel (UK), Ty-Mawr Lime, Enersys and Noel Fitzpatrick Ltd., for supporting us and SSE's volunteers with donated materials.”