Dazzling narrowboat takes to the water on Newport Canal with aid of large crane

A town councillor's vision to improve the canal in Newport has taken another step forward, with the installation of a 42-foot long canal boat.

The boat being lifted into place on Newport's canal
The boat being lifted into place on Newport's canal

The narrowboat took to the water of Newport Canal on Thursday morning, travelling down to the town basin – the original wharfage of Newport.

Thanks to the efforts of Steve Robinson from Shebdon Crane Hire, the boat was lifted across the Black Shed car park, with onlookers cheering as it made a splash in the water.

The boat being lifted into place on Newport's canal

The boat will be an added embellishment to the town, to be admired by families, cyclists, dog walkers and joggers who travel the route of the canal.

Councillor Tim Nelson, of Newport Town Council, said: "It was absolutely brilliant. I decided to support the canal people years ago. Hundreds of people use the canal every day for walking, dog walking.

"Waterways should have boats in them and people like looking at canal barges. For the residents, it's new and different and looks very attractive, but it also looks very nice for visitors and we are trying to grow Newport as a visitor economy."

The boat being lifted into place on Newport's canal

The 32-year-old narrowboat has recently been refurbished, including new signage, and has been loaned to Newport with permission of the wharf's director David Ray.

It cost less than £5,000 altogether, Tim Nelson confirmed, to get the narrowboat onto the water, covering the cost of the crane and road closures.

Now Councillor Nelson is looking forward to the next project, which will consider options for having a cafe set up on the waterway to enhance the already-present 'cafe culture' in the town.

He thanked the volunteers from Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust, who played a key role in the heavy lifting and spend a great deal of time maintaining and caring for the canal.

He also extended his thanks to Newport Town Council, especially Louise Tunks, for helping to organise the event, as well as a local police officer who helped to shift remaining cars out of the car park during the lift.

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