Certificate no 2142
Status Registered


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Narrow Boat
Location Braunston
Vessel type Town Class Large Woolwich
Current use Commercial Activity
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Harland & Wolff Ltd, Woolwich
Built in 1936
Hull material Steel
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts
Propulsion Towed
Primary engine type None
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
7.00 feet (2.14 m)
4.25 feet (1.30 m)
Length: Overall
72.00 feet (21.96 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



After delivery in 1936 to the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company, BRIGHTON was transferred on nationalisation to the British Transport Commission (D. & I.W.E.) fleet, and then into the ownership of the British Waterways Board in 1963.

Willow Wren C.T.S. Ltd. hired BRIGHTON from B.W.B. until 1967, when along with 35 other boats she was repossessed and shortly after disposed of.  BRIGHTON's new owners, Union Canal Carriers Ltd. of Braunston, operated a number of carrying narrowboats as camping boats where youth parties would holiday in the hold of the boats underneath the cloths.  BRIGHTON, usually paired with the motor Bexhill, introduced thousands of youngsters to canals over the next few years. 

1983 saw the next ownership change, when both Bexhill and Brighton were sold to the actor James Warrior.  Both boats continued to be operated as camping boats at Rickmansworth, though with limited success, as later the same year both were sold to Threefellows Carrying and based on the River Soar at Thurmaston.  Both boats were put back to work carrying deep loads of gravel along a short stretch of the river.  BRIGHTON developed a reputation at this time for sinking rather than loading.  Threefellows carried out the first steps in her conservation (but only what was essential), and continued to work the boat hard, until selling her in 1990 to a private owner who continued the slow conservation process with structural work being done to the hull as well as replacing the wooden cabin with a slightly extended steel one. BRIGHTON still did a small amount of carrying, though more recreationally than commercially.

The Narrow Boat Trust Ltd acquired Brighton in 1995, immediately replacing many of the knees (to hold the sides and bottom of the boat together).

BRIGHTON's carrying future has been secured, but there is always some repair or maintenance work to be done.

Key dates

  • 1936

    Built by Harland & Wolff

  • 1990

    Passed into private ownership


  • January 2010

    A Sustainability Grant of £750 for restoration work was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

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