New horse drawn boat on Montgomery Canal

08 May 2012
The steel shell of ‘Countess’ before her fit out – photo: Waterway Images

The steel shell of ‘Countess’ before her fit out – photo: Waterway Images

INLAND WATERWAYS: A new horse drawn passenger trip boat business will shortly begin operating on the northern restored section of the Montgomery Canal, writes Harry Arnold.

Countess is a new 12-seater, 35ft steel shelled craft based on the lines of a Victorian packet boat. The steelwork is by well known canal boatbuilders ColeCraft, which is building a fleet of passenger boats for the London Olympics.

The trips will be run by Stephen Rees-Jones of Byewater Cruises, who has had many years of experience in the passenger and hotel boat businesses, including the operation of horse drawn craft.

The boat will run on the section of canal linked to the Llangollen Canal and the main network at Frankton Locks down to the current limit of navigation at Redwith Bridge. She’s double ended, so the rudder can be transferred from bow to stern, eliminating problems with turning.

Countess will operate from the established tourist attraction of Canal Central at Maesbury, near Oswestry. She will be officially launched by local Shropshire MP Owen Paterson on 15 June.

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