All About Us
The boat is fully equipped for disabled passengers, and bookings are welcomed from Care,
Residential and Nursing Homes, Day Centres and Special Interest groups. As a community boat,
we also welcome social groups, families and youth groups. Arrangements can be made for
special occasions, eg weddings and anniversaries.
To promote for the benefit of the local community the provision of a narrowboat for recreation, education or other leisure time activities of individuals who have need of such facilities by reason of their youth, age, infirmity or disablement, financial hardship or social and economic circumstances with the objective of improving their condition of life.
The Trusts Objectives
To improve the quality of life for people, who by virtue of age, infirmity, physical disability,
mental disorder or social factors, are disadvantaged or deprived, and to provide them with an
experience outside of their normal environment. It is now well recognised that social meetings,
activities and trips help people feel better, and give them something to look forward to.
The Hargeaves Narrowboat was built in 1977 by Cammell Laird Shipyard as a first year apprentice project, using surplus steel from HMS Coventry. The Prince’s Trust and The Bernard Sunley Foundation supported the project.
Tom Hargreaves, the Mayor of Nuneaton in 1989, chose to raise funds to acquire a narrowboat for use in the local community. The boat was purchased from the Bernard Sunley Foundation and renamed The Hargreaves.
An inaugural meeting was held in February 1993 and eventually in May 1994 The Hargreaves Narrowboat Trust became a registered charity.
Many problems were encountered in the early days and help was enlisted from local businesses such as scaffolding for a landing stage, and engine repairs.
Booking enquiries commenced and volunteer crews recruited offering trips on a donation-only basis from May to October on 3 or 4 days a week. Demand grew rapidly to 7 days a week from April to October. Each year, we do about 200 day trips, carrying over 2,000 passengers. The Trust has about 30 unpaid volunteers, made up of Trustees, RYA qualified Captains, Competent Crew and Trainees.
As it has now been over 40 years since the boat was built, the Trustees have decided to obtain the necessary funds to commission a new purpose built boat, to enable this successful project to continue to serve the community in the years to come.
Read more from the history archives of The Hargreaves Narrowboat and The Coventry Canal on our dedicated history page by using the button above.
The Hargreaves Narrowboat Trust is a registered charity (Charity Number 1037467) and is run entirely by volunteers. The crew and trustees are all unpaid and give up their time to support this important community service.
On a trip, the crew comprises a Captain and normally two Crew. The Captain is trained and examined by an independent external training organisation (RYA). The Crew are trained and assessed by the charity to assist the Captain and are also deemed capable of taking over from the Captain in emergencies. There may occasionally be a 4th crew member, in training.
Original poster from 1989 adverting trips on The Hargreaves Community Narrowboat
If you are interested in volunteering with The Hargreaves you can find more information on our Volunteers page. Click the button above.