Harland and Wolff - Shipbuilding and Engineering Works

  GUCC Fleet No. 242
  Class Town
  Original Type: Butty
  Known As Large Woolwich
  Date Built 9.12.36
  Hull Construction Steel
  Registered BREN 618
  Intended Paring 123
  After delivery in 1936 Brightons path followed much the same one as Nuneatons. 1948 saw Brighton nationalised into the B.T.C. (D. & I.W.E.) fleet, and active carrying service through B.T.C. (B.T.W.) and into the ownership of B.W.B. in 1963. Willow Wren C.T.S. Ltd. hired Brighton from B.W.B. until 1967, when along with 35 other boats she was repossessed and shortly after disposed of. Brighton's new owners, Union Canal Carriers Ltd. of Braunston, operated a number of carrying narrowboats as camping boats where youth parties would holiday in the hold of the boats underneath the cloths. Brighton, usually paired with the motor BEXHILL, introduced thousands of youngsters to canals over the next few years. Many will have read the discussions in the waterways magazines about the importance of this sort of exposure to boating for young people of that time. 1983 saw the next ownership change, when both BEXHILL and BRIGHTON were sold to the actor James Warrior. Both boats continued to be operated as camping boats at Rickmansworth, though with limited success, as later the same year both were sold to Threefellows Carrying and based on the River Soar at Thurmaston. Both boats were put back to work carrying deep loads of gravel along a short stretch of the river. BRIGHTON developed a reputation at this time for sinking rather than loading. Threefellows carried out the first steps in her restoration (but only what was essential), and continued to work the boat hard. Threefellows sold Brighton in 1990, so passing it into private ownership for the first time. Nigel Heath continued the slow restoration process with structural work being done to the hull as well as replacing the wooden cabin with a slightly extended steel one, by Roger Farrington (Ivy Bridge Marine) of Braunston. BRIGHTON still did a small amount of carrying, though more recreationally than commercially. The Narrow Boat Trust Ltd acquired BRIGHTON in 1995, immediately replacing many of the knees (to hold the sides and bottom of the boat together). The restoration of BRIGHTON is ongoing, although the fitting out of the cabin has recently been completed and painted in traditional style. Like NUNEATON, BRIGHTON's carrying future has been secured, but a great deal of work remains necessary to maintain the boats in a proper state. BRIGHTON's most prominent activity may have been last year, when The Long Haul saw it bow hauled by the Narrow Boat Trust and Cotswold Canals Trust from Oxford to Worcester for the National Festival.