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 0
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


Built in 1936 by Harland & Wolff, Woolwich, BRIGHTON is a narrow boat of steel construction without independent means of propulsion. Once commissioned, BRIGHTON was fully employed carrying many different loads mainly between London and the midlands (the G.U.C.C.Co. Ltd. built an inland port in Birmingham). 1948 saw Brighton nationalised into the B.T.C. (D. & I.W.E.) fleet, and into the ownership of B.W.B.

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 restoration (but only what was essential), and continued to work the boat hard.

Threefellows sold BRIGHTON in 1990, so passing it into private ownership for the first time. Nigel Heath continued the slow restoration process with structural work being done to the hull as well as replacing the wooden cabin with a slightly extended steel one, by Roger Farrington (Ivy Bridge Marine) of Braunston. BRIGHTON still did a small amount of carrying, though more recreationally than commercially. Her present owners still use her to carry traditionally and give people the opportunity to see narrow boats in full working trim.

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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