THE Shuttle has launched an appeal to restore a historic canal boat named Bramble to her former glory at Stourport Canal Basins.
Their Bramble Appeal hopes to raise £7,000 to get the 1934 working boat looking ship shape so children and visitors can learn from the heritage treasure.
Stourport Forward, in partnership with Stourport Civic Society, acquired Bramble from British Waterways for just £1 and envisages her becoming a piece of living history.
Generations of schoolchildren will be able to use her as an educational resource, to gain an insight into life on the waterways.
In the future she might even take passengers on trips around the basins.
The Georgian town of Stourport began life as a port on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal which was built by engineer and industrial revolution pioneer James Brindley and opened in 1771.
It is not all plain sailing, however. First, Bramble needs a new prop shaft, mechanical and electrical work, new covers and fenders, a lick of paint and historic and replica items to furnish the living quarters as they would have been in times past.
The Shuttle is asking the district to come together to raise money to pay for the materials needed for volunteers to give her a new lease of life.
The team, some of them members of the British Waterways Historic Working Fleet, are rolling up their sleeves to start work as soon the project gets afloat and hope to launch her by March, 2013.
Jim Amos, a Stourport Forward volunteer at the helm of the Bramble Appeal said: “This is such a wonderful opportunity to restore Bramble for use as a historic working canal boat on site.
“On project completion, visitors will be able to step inside the recently restored canal boat, see the way that the boat would have been furnished with rag rugs, lace plates and even a table that converts into a bed and learn about what it would have been like to live in tiny living quarters and the physical labour involved in working on a canal boat in times past.”
Ways to jump aboard our Bramble Appeal: If you or your school or group can organise a fund-raising event, contact The Shuttle and we will help publicise it by featuring it in our weekly coverage of the appeal.
If you wish to send a donation, make cheques payable to Stourport Forward Limited and send them to Jennifer Meierhans, at The Shuttle, 6 Towers Buildings, Blackwell Street, Kidderminster DY10 2DY. Please include your contact details as Stourport Forward would like to respond with letters of thanks to all those supporting the appeal.
As work progresses on Bramble we will upload pictures to the website.
The Bramble Restoration Project would like to thank the following people / businesses for their kind donations:
Kidderminster & District Lions Club
Clive Fletcher Associates
Pam Brown Associates
Maggie Smith – The Hollybush
Mrs Shelia Watson
Brantano – Kidderminster Branch
Windlass Cafe – Stourport Canal Basins
The Inland Waterways Association
Thomas Vale Construction Plc
Cllr Dixon Sheppard
Lynne Round – Windlass Cafe
Cllr Mike Salter
Cllr Cliff Brewer
Alan Milward and Rita Phillips
Cllr Dave Little
Mark and Josh from The Cleaning Faerie