Littleborough Canal Boat Project

Date published: 05 July 2014

The Littleborough Canal Boat Project is currently underway transforming a canal boat into a taxi style boat to transport people along Rochdale Canal.

The project, which was the idea of Canal and River Trust volunteer Bob Furnell, will hopefully have its first boat completed soon.

Bob said: “The idea is to turn the boat into a taxi style boat that will hold ten people and run hourly along the canal. We hope to have it on the water by summer but we don’t know exactly how long the work will take.

Bob, who is working on the boat with Steve Pike, is looking for volunteers to help complete the project.

Specifically, the boat needs to have a few more seats for passengers built and the bench/bed seat reinforced. Additionally, the portholes on the boat need to be made into large sightseeing windows.

Bob added: “We could really use a carpenter to come and help and someone who can help with the windows but then anyone who thinks they can help with the transformation would be brilliant.”

Bob is also hoping to get local businesses involved with the boat.

He added: “Once it is ready we would like to get it decorated with artwork and get local businesses involved. At the minute we have the Flower Borough on board who have said they will deck the boat out in flowers and things.”

Bob hopes that the canal boat will encourage people to enjoy the Rochdale canal and help Littleborough to prosper.

“This is for the Littleborough community and hopefully it is something that people will like and enjoy. It really is a community project and we hope to be able to make it accessible for everyone – even people in wheelchairs,” added Bob.

Once the project is complete, Bob hopes to provide information on board, explaining how and why the canal was built between 1798 and 1804 and facts about the nature that lives on the canal.

Depending on the success of this boat, Bob may look into doing a similar project again. He added: “We will have to see how this one goes before deciding if we do it again but it is certainly something we will look in to.”

If anyone would like to see the canal boat, visit Durn Lock 47, Halifax Road. Volunteers from the Littleborough Canal Boat Project will be there every Saturday and Sunday between 2pm and 6pm until the work is completed.

To get involved with the project, contact Bob Furnell on 07572 861544.

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