News article created on 29 October 2018

Volunteers spruce up charity boats

Two of our work boats have been given a new lease of life thanks to the hard work of local volunteers.

Work Boat (before) Work Boat (before)

The boats are now ready to launch back into action helping us look after the Oxford Canal, so it can be enjoyed by the hundreds of people who use it each week.

The two dedicated volunteers are Brian and Jenny Saunders from the Banbury Canal Partnership. Both Brian and Jenny spent three weeks repainting the boats a vibrant blue and yellow - the traditional colours for the Trust’s workboats.

The boats will be used by the volunteers from the Banbury Canal Partnership who help clean up litter, remove graffiti, cut back trees and bushes along the canal and create new habitats for wildlife along the canal. The boats will provide a warm, dry place for those who work from them, as well as enabling them to reach parts of the waterways that they can’t currently access from the towpath.

Workboat (after)

Nigel Powell, customer operations supervisor at the Trust, said: "Brian and Jenny have worked really hard to improve these two workboats and they now look gleaming. We need to repaint our boats every few years and its fantastic that we have volunteers who are happy to help us with this task.

"At this time of year, with the changing seasons, the canal is really pretty and a lovely place to be. Recent research shows that just being next to water is good for your mental and physical health, so I would urge everyone to come and visit."

Brian, said: "This was a lovely project to work on and its really satisfying to see how fantastic these boats now look. Having these boats really makes a difference to the type of tasks we can do as we can use them as our base and can easily transport equipment along the canal.

"We love spending our days along the canal and helping to make it nice for the visitors and boaters and I really hope that everyone notices the difference we’re making."