Issue date: 17th July 2013
On 3rd July Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust received its brand new community boat when the John Bunyan was craned gently into the Great Ouse at Bedford's Priory Marina – the result of two years’ planning and fundraising by the Trust. On 9th July, the boat was officially named before a gathering of local councillors and officials, Trust members, supporters and sponsors. Guests of honour were the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Trust Patron, Sir Samuel Whitbread.
The new £150,000 purpose-built river boat, measuring 72 foot long and 10 foot wide, will accommodate up to 70 passengers. As a trip boat, it is available for hire to schools and colleges, community groups, businesses and individuals for parties and weddings. Operated by the Trust's volunteer crews, the boat will ply the river Great Ouse from Bedford to Kempston and eastwards to Great Barford. Over 100 similar community boats are registered across England but John Bunyan is believed to be the first in the area.
Photo courtesy of Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterways Trust