Our Story

The Hargreaves Narrowboat Trust is a registered charity (Charity Number 1037467) and is run entirely by volunteers.

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.

Our Mission

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.

Our Team

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.

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.

Boat History

The original 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. Our registered charity number is 1193869.

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 obtained 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.