National Trust launches Historic Barge Appeal


Issue date: 1 August 2010

The National Trust has launched an appeal to raise funds to save Perseverance IV a beautiful 1935 river barge, so as to ensure the barge is taken into The National Trust's care and maintained for future generations to enjoy on the River Wey.

Why save Perseverance IV?

The Museum of London, which currently owns Perseverance IV has recently undertaken a review of its floating collection and has concluded that Perseverance lV no longer has a role to play delivering the museum’s interpretative and learning aims.  The museum has therefore approached the National Trust to help save the vessel, which is currently in a poor state of repair, and secure its long-term future for the nation.

Historical significance

Perseverance lV is a River Wey Barge, the tenth of eleven barges, built in 1935 by GJV Edwards and Sons of Dapdune Wharf for the last navigation owners Wm Stevens & Sons.

Perseverance IV is one of only three of the batch of eleven barges to survive and the only floating example.  The other two barges are Reliance, owned by the National Trust and kept out of the water on the graving (dry) dock at Dapdune Wharf, and Speedwell owned by The Waterways Trust and kept at the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port, where the vessel is believed to be in a very poor condition.

Perseverance IV is particularly significant to the river Wey Navigations, and is an iconic reminder of the commercial importance of the navigations in days gone past, and the people who worked and lived along them.

Fundraising target

The National Trust needs to raise £200,000 by 17th September to be able to take over ownership of  Perseverance IV from the Museum of London and provide a regular maintenance programme for the barge.  A further £300,000 is needed to fully restore the barge and secure its long term future.

With the backing of National Trust and other waterways supporters, Perseverance IV could once again become an important river craft on the nation’s waterways.  The vessel would be kept at Dapdune Wharf in Guildford where she was originally constructed and initial plans are to make good use of the craft to provide boat trips for public enjoyment.

Regrettably if the National Trust’s Save Perseverance Appeal fails to reach its target, the vessel's details will be recorded and she will be broken up.

How can you help?

Please make a donation towards the rescue of Perseverance IV, her upkeep and restoration now by visiting the Just Giving page:

The page is 'owned' by John Gibson, the National Trust's navigation manager on the Wey.


By saving Perseverance IV you would be making a generous gift to future generations. Your donation no matter how great or small will help secure the survival of this beautiful craft and our country’s unique maritime history for ever, for everyone.

The picture to the right shows the barge in commercial use in 1966 at Coxes Lock on the Wey.