Sun shines for new Shropshire Maid - with video
A new canal boat specially designed for people with disabilities has hit the water in Shropshire.
The Lyneal Trust has commissioned a brand new, six-berth boat called the Shropshire Maid to provide holidays for elderly and disabled people in the county.
Peter Walters from the charity said: "The boat is special in so many different ways. It was built specially to our design with elderly and disabled people in mind so it's quite unique.
"We've actually got people coming to have a look at it soon to see if they can design something similar."
Take a video tour of the Shropshire Maid:
The 70ft narrowboat is fitted with a wet room and disabled toilet, and has a ramp and lift to enable access for wheelchair users of passengers with impaired movement.
At the front of the boat there is also a large wheelchair-friendly area that can be opened up on fine days allowing the best views of the countryside. It comes complete with a dining area, TV, radio and DVD facilities.
It will work alongside the popular eight berth Shropshire Lass II, which is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment inside and out.
"These boats are fulfilling a demand for people with disabilities to be able to have a holiday they didn't think they would be able to manage," Mr Walters said. "Families and carers can go off as a unit and enjoy their holiday in comfort.
"But we also can't lose sight of the day boat, Shropshire Lady. It's ideal for groups who are celebrating something special like a birthday."
The trust has recently started working with Derwen College, near Oswestry, to provide day trips for its students who have learning disabilities.
Mr Walters added: "We're starting to see younger people use the boats these days too, which we're absolutely delighted with."
For more information on the boats call 01948 710708.