In 2007, Challenger Syndicateships acquired a lease on the ex Grand Union motor boat "Barnet". The intention was to restore the boat foruse on the Northern BCN and adjoining waterways.
Challenger went into administration in December 2007 and in the intervening months, negotiations by persons with an input into the boats' restoration have taken place with British Waterways. Formation of CanalScape-BCN Society has now led to the acquisition of the craft on a new lease with its purposes mirroring those intended previously.
A considerable amount of capital has already been spent on the project with grants and donations actively being sought to finish the boat to a good standard to sustain the operation in the coming years. Inherent in this new venture will be an opportunity for wider operational participation through a membership scheme. Agreed with British Waterways is an intention to use the boat to demonstrate that the Northern BCN is not only navigable but also could be used in a wider fashion. The boat will carry the name of the Society which is affiliated to the CanalScape-BCN online community and will be promoted at forthcoming events.
Further details of the society will be announced shortly.Contact 01902 602180 for further information.
For the boat enthusiast here is some background information.
· Built for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Co by Harland and Wolff at the Woolwich yard.
· GU type "D" "Town" class boat, commonly known as a "Large Woolwich".
· Launched September 1936, fleet No 109, registered for public health at Rickmansworth No181. · Length 71ft 6 ins, beam 7ft ½ inch, draught 3 ft.
· Max load tonnage 27 tons
· Transferred to British Transport Waterways on nationalisation working as a single motor until transfer to maintenance fleet.Restored in 1998 at Bradley for private use, returned to BW in 2003.
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