The Boats - 'Brighton''


FLEET No: 242. NAME: Brighton. GAUGE No. AND DATE: 12656-11/02/1937.
HEALTH REGISTRATION AND DATE: Brentford 618-09/12/1936.
KNOWN AS: Large Woolwich. DELIVERED: 27/11/36

History: After delivery in 1936 Brighton's path followed much the same one as Nuneaton's.
1948 saw Brighton nationalised into the British Transport Commission (D. & I.W.E.) fleet, and active carrying service through B.T.C. (B.T.W.) and into the ownership of B.W.B. in 1963.
Willow Wren C.T.S. Ltd. hired Brighton from B.W.B. until 1967, when along with 35 other boats she was repossessed and shortly after disposed of.

Brighton (right) in Willow Wren trim, Sutton's Stop, early 1960's.(pic: Dusty Miller) (pic

Brighton's new owners, Union Canal Carriers Ltd. of Braunston, operated a number of carrying narrowboats as camping boats where youth parties would holiday in the hold of the boats underneath the cloths. Brighton, usually paired with the motor Bexhill, introduced thousands of youngsters to canals over the next few years.

Threefellows pair working the River Soar gravel run in the 80's. Notice the buckled holds.....

1983 saw the next ownership change, when both Bexhill and Brighton were sold to the actor James Warrior. Both boats continued to be operated as camping boats at Rickmansworth, though with limited success, as later the same year both were sold to Threefellows Carrying and based on the River Soar at Thurmaston. Both boats were put back to work carrying deep loads of gravel along a short stretch of the river. Brighton developed a reputation at this time for sinking rather than loading. Threefellows carried out the first steps in her restoration (but only what was essential), and continued to work the boat hard.
Threefellows sold Brighton in 1990, so passing it into private ownership for the first time.
Nigel Heath continued the slow restoration process with structural work being done to the hull as well as replacing the wooden cabin with a slightly extended steel one, by Roger Farrington (Ivy Bridge Marine) of Braunston. Brighton still did a small amount of carrying, though more recreationally than commercially.
The Narrow Boat Trust Ltd acquired Brighton in 1995, immediately replacing many of the knees (to hold the sides and bottom of the boat together). The restoration of Brighton is ongoing, although the fitting out of the cabin was completed and painted in traditional style in 2003.
Like Nuneaton, Brighton's carrying future has been secured, but a great deal of work remains necessary to maintain the boats in a proper state.

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The Narrow Boat Trust is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Cardiff under number 1724536

The Registered Office of the Narrow Boat Trust is at:
23 Redway Drive, Twickenham, Middlesex TW2 7NT

The Narrow Boat Trust is a charity registered in England under number: 288243