Built in 1946 by Harker's Yard of Knottingley for Hargreaves Transport Company, MARJORIE R is a coal barge of iron construction with a Lister JP3 diesel engine installed in 1950. She was a working West Yorkshire Coal Barge for many years. After her retirement she spent brief periods being lived on, neglected, sunk and re-floated twice before being burnt out and left to rust. She passed through numerous boatyards and owners before returning to Harker's Yard once more where she was up for sale as a ‘project hull’.
Her current owners acquired MARJORIE R there in 2012 and began her restoration journey. Using reclaimed materials as far as possible, and doing their utmost to preserve as much of the original metalwork as they could, they repaired and developed the boat into the Hold Fast, a floating independent bookshop. As of November 2022, MARJORIE R is now on a permanent mooring in Leeds Dock, the former commercial docks in Leeds City Centre.
In June 2023, MARJORIE R was awarded the title of NHS-UK's Static Flagship of the Year, in recognition of her unique offer as an independent bookshop and community base, as well as a planned art programme, exhibition and developing local relationships.
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Received the 2023 Static Flagship of the Year Award from National Historic Ships UK
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