Seeking new homes for Boats following Collections Review

The museum is seeking new homes for twelve vessels following a review of the historic importance of all boats currently in its collection.

Marple from the boat disposals register

Like all museums, the Canal & River Trust faces huge challenges in looking after the large numbers of objects in its care and keeping these in a condition that visitors can enjoy. Following a review by an expert panel, the Trust has made the difficult decision to re-home twelve of the less significant vessels in the collection.

Holding a collection of national significance, we have specific obligations around the boats in our care. Our dedicated staff and volunteers have strived to find solutions to the many challenges in caring for such a large fleet, but ultimately, with limited funds and storage space, we need to reduce the number of boats to focus our efforts on those of the greatest historical importance.

Our review concluded that it is far better to have a representative collection of fewer items, comprising the most historically significant, cared for in the most appropriate way.

The vessels identified for rehoming, range from the iron hulls of icebreakers to a salmon fishing boat. In some cases, the museum already has better examples of that type of vessel, others, didn’t play a significant role in the history of the waterways, while some have been changed so much over the decades that very little original material remains.

We anticipate that there are museums that may be interested in taking some, and that there are many enthusiasts who could form themselves into organisations to provide the right loving homes for these displaced vessels.

Further information can be found in our FAQs sheet. If you are interested in knowing more please email nationalwatersmuseum@canalrivertrust.org.uk or complete the expression of interest form here.

Last date edited: 14 August 2019