The NarrowBoat Trust owns and operates the 'Large Northwich' motor boat Nuneaton and the 'Large Woolwich' butty (unpowered boat) Brighton, built as part of the massive expansion programme of the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company in the mid-1930's.
The Trust gives the general public the opportunity to operate the boats laden in full working trim, crewed entirely by volunteer members as they travel the system or are displayed at Canal Festivals. If you'd prefer a support role, given the boats age, there is always something to repair or replace.
The Trust's main source of income is from the sale of solid fuels, transported across the UK from the Midlands to the South, along exactly the same routes in use when the canal system was the backbone of the industrial revolution.
As a crew member you will get fully involved in all aspects of running the boats. It's most definitely a working holiday and the days can be long but it's more fun than going to the gym. By way of further compensation for your efforts, the UK's canals are rich in heritage and traverse some of the country's most scenic areas - and we have been known to enjoy the odd very pleasant evening in the canal-side pubs.
If you are interested in joining in, the Trust would love to hear from you. No matter if you are an experienced boat owner, regular hirer or complete novice you will find handling our boats an interesting and rewarding experience as well giving you an insight into a way of life and skills from an age gone by.
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Trust sponsored by Nauticalia, The Ferry Point, Ferry Lane, Shepperton-on-Thames, TW17 9LQ
Website Sponsored by Oasis Bar Southampton, 137 High Street, SO14 2BS.