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May 2022


Nuneatons extensive rebuild is complete, Brighton has had some repairs and refurbishment and the boats are out and about again, visting the Rickmansworth festival and HNBC event in May.  Tomorrow (30/05/22) they wil begin making their way up the Grand Union in order to be at the Brauanston Rally on the 25th and 26th June.   

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NBT News

November 2021:

NBT reviews its Carbon Footprint 


At the Trust's AGM on Saturday 27th November, a proposal that the Trust review its carbon footprint and endeavour to reduce it as much as possible was passed unanimously. 

In a presentation after the meeting, members were informed that the boats overall CO2 equivalent is approximately 2800kg per annum, which compares favourably with the average individuals contribution of over 6000kg.

Switching from red diesel to HVO biofuel and only using solid fuels with low carbon ratings in the cabin stoves will reduce that figure by approximately 75% to 700Kg.    

These changes will be brought in during the 2022 cruising season, taking full effect when our current supply of red diesel has been used up and replaced with HVO.  


October 2021:

Publication of booklet 'Still Carrying - Fifty Years of the Narrowboat Trust'

Narrow Boat Trust Chair, Kirk Martin, and archivist, Fabian Hiscock, have produced a short history of the Narrow Boat Trust in what is its ‘official’ fiftieth year. Although the idea for forming the Trust took place in 1970 the first formal meeting was called in 1971. You will find out about the early days of the Trust and the people involved as well as the first boats acquired and the struggle to get them into an operating condition. Also described in this fully illustrated account are the early coal runs and other activities which enable the Trust to just about keep afloat – and at times it got that bad at times both literally and figuratively – and the development of the Trust into the successful charity it is now which enables people to join and support the Trust objectives as well as assisting with the maintenance and upkeep of the boats and, for those who want some hands-on experience, crewing our motor Nuneaton and Butty Brighton and, given time, becoming captain of a traditional pair. An example of a recent coal run is included to illustrate some of the techniques used in operating a traditional pair of boats along the canals and rivers of Britain. 


The booklets, which are helping us to raise funds at a time when we have had a lot of expenses on our motor Nuneaton, cost £5 each plus £1 post and packing (NBT members p&p free). Please arrange to make an online bank transfer to: 


Bank: NatWest 

Account name: Narrow Boat Trust Limited 

Sort code: 60-50-00 

Account number: 17592992 


Once you have done this please let our Chair know by sending an email to specifying the amount paid, the number of copies required and your full name and address. If you would prefer to pay by cheque please let our Chair know and further details will be sent. 

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January 2021:

Nuneatons engine rebuilt. 


Concurrent with the extensive work on Nuneaton's hull, the engine has been stripped down and rebuilt by Dave Ross of DCR Boatbuilding, based in Brinklow. (07939 515989)

Here it is, looking and sounding mighty fine, running in the workshop and ready to go back in when the engine room base plates have been replaced.

December 2020:

The Trust was awarded a generous donation from Tim Coghlan, the owner of Braunston Marina, as well as some publicity in Towpath Talk magazine. 

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THE Friends of the Canal Museum, Friends of Raymond and the Narrow Boat Trust recently arranged a line-up of historic working boats Sculptor, Nutfield and Brighton at Stoke Bruerne so they could each receive a donation of £1000 from Tim Coghlan of Braunston Marina. Historically Tim has supported all three charities from the proceeds of the annual Historic Narrowboat Rally & Canal Festival held in Braunston at the end of June.
However, as with most events, Covid-19 had intervened causing it to be cancelled this year, so it
was quite a surprise to all three recipients when Tim called them to say he still intended to go ahead with the donations. Standing on the canalside outside the canal museum, where all three boats were tied up together, Tim said: “In making these three donations, Braunston Marina is proud to give its support to preserving these ‘precious cargoes’ of former working narrowboats, and also to supporting the good people who volunteer their services to do so, especially in these difficult times.”
Friends of the Canal Museum chairman, Lynda Payton, standing on the stern of museum boat
Sculptor, said: “We have been totally in awe of Tim’s continued generosity to the Friends and Sculptor over the entire life of our charity, but we are especially thankful this year when
our own fundraising has been halted by the virus.” Kirk Martin and Alison Cannon on the Narrow Boat Trust’s butty Brighton were on their way back to Braunston after a coal run down the Oxford Canal to Reading and Newbury on the Kennet & Avon Canal, returning via the Thames to
the River Wey and Brentford. Friends of Raymond’s Nutfield was on loan to the Narrow Boat Trust
while their own motor, Nuneaton, was undergoing extensive repairs. Nick Lake from the Friends of
Raymond joined Kirk and Alison at Stoke Bruerne. 

Kirk Martin, NBT’s crewing co-ordinator on board Brighton, said: “This donation comes at a time
when we are completing major hull work on our motor boat Nuneaton and may have work to do on our butty Brighton in the near future. As far as we know we are the only charity which allows anyone joining us to learn the skill of working loaded narrowboats along the waterways of Britain.”
Nick Lake added on behalf of the Friends of Raymond: “Tim was a founder member of the Friends
of Raymond in 1996 and a prime mover in the effort to save Raymond, the last wooden working boat, and have her rebuilt in 2000. “In a year in which our income has been severely reduced, this
donation will go a long way towards helping us continue the never-ending work of keeping
both Nutfield and Raymond afloat and we are indebted to him for his generosity.”

Links to articles from Towpath Talk 

July 2019:

Filming of the BBC TV series 'Father Brown'

In 2019, the BBC approached the Narrow Boat Trust asking if we could provide our boats; Nuneaton and Brighton, for the filming of an episode of the daytime drama series; Father Brown.

The boats featured prominently throughout the episode, and the NBT crews were on hand to move the boats to the required positions as requested by the BBC's production team.


Filmed on the Oxford Canal at Cropredy, the filming took place over two very warm days in the summer.


All images © 2020 BBC

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