Historic narrowboats won’t be stuck in the mud at Braunston Marina

The project cost �6,000.

The project cost �6,000.

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A popular sight for visitors to the annual Braunston Historic Narrowboat Rallies has been consigned to canal history.

This is thanks to a dredging exercise of the canal outside Braunston Marina, which was sponsored by the rally’s co-host Braunston Marina.

Tim Coghlan, owner of Braunston Marina, said: “This winter, using the expert services of GJP Marinas, we carried out a major long-overdue dredging exercise to the ancient canal reservoirs, which together since 1962 have formed the marina water-space. We are fortunate to own the adjacent seven acre field where we can dispose of the dredgings, eventually spreading them over a wide area, so in time they are hardly noticeable.

“The dredging exercise was proving such a great success, that I was inspired to dredge the canal betwby een the two marina entrance bridges. The shallow canal had become a major problem at our rallies, by causing havoc to the parades of 80 plus historic narrowboats, and restricting the number we could moor in that very popular area.

“Once I had the idea, I approached the CRT, who own the canal and also support our Rally, and they were brilliant. Like something out of TV’s Anekka Rice, within days local canal engineer Lea King and his team had carried out all their required checks, including lab tests of the dredgings for any contamination, of which fortunately there was none.”

It cost Braunston Marina some £6,000, but Mr Coghlan said he hopes it will prove to be money well spent.

Vicky Martin, Waterways Manager South East said: “We really appreciated Braunston Marina’s generosity, and I am sure it will make a significant difference for boaters in general, and in particular, over the Braunston Historic Rally weekend.”

This year’s Braunston Histroic Narrowboat Rally will be held over the weekend of June 25 -25.