Aside from moorings London Waterways Projects wants to support active and varied use of the canals. Where possible we want to see the canal be used as it was intended and to make the case for it serving new roles too. Earlier this year an opportunity presented itself which would enable us to take a more active approach to seeing more use of the canals, after some serious deciding we’ve taken a leap with something which feels like a the right plan but one that isn’t fully resolved yet. When an opportunity presents itself sometimes you just have to take it.
The opportunity in question was this:
Barnet is a full length narrowboat built in 1936 by Harland & Wolff and has a complete history of work stretching back over 75 years. Most recently Barnet has been operated under the banner of Canalscape BCN as a volunteer manned work boat performing various duties with Canal & River Trust on the northern reaches of the BCN.
Despite spending a significant part of her life in the Midlands, Barnet was originally built for the GUCCCo in Harland & Wolff’s Woolwich shipyard to carry cargo on the Grand Union Canal between London and Birmingham.
Our intention for Barnet if to bring her home to London with the intention of performing a similar function to the work which it undertook in the Midlands. There are a number of volunteer groups in London and it is our intention to use the vessel to support them as best we can alongside developing work directly with CRT and our own internal projects.
Barnet will be down in London in the Autumn and will be spending the winter getting ship shape and ready for work again in the new year.