Project to restore boat is still afloat

Kidderminster Shuttle: On board: David Little and Michael Freeman with Bramble. On board: David Little and Michael Freeman with Bramble.

A PROJECT to restore an historic canal boat in Stourport is still sailing ahead after a generous councillor and businessman stepped on board to offer their help .

Conservative Stourport town councillor Dave Little and local garage owner Michael Freeman have volunteered to create and install a prop shaft for the working boat, named Bramble , for free .

The pair stepped in after Stourport Forward, which owns the 1934 boat, had difficulty getting companies to commit to fitting the part.

The installation of the prop shaft will move the rebuild one step closer to completion and it is hoped the boat will be ready by the summer .

Once restored, Bramble will be used as an educational resource for children to gain an insight into the Georgian market town and life as it was on the water-wa ys .

The Shuttle launched an appeal in 2012 to help raise cash for the restoration of the historic boat.

Mr Little, a retired engineer , said: “I enjoy a challenge so wh en I heard about the difficulties in sourcing and making the prop shaft I stepped in to help .

"With the help of local marine engineer and garage owner Mike Freeman, who donated most of the materials, I made the flanges and arranged for a local company to fabricate the universal joints to the prop shaft.

“Mike and I recently completed the installation of the prop shaft.”

Pauline Annis, chairman of Stourport Forward, added: “The prop shaft was going to be the biggest single cost of the whole restoration project but Dave and Mike have kindly arranged for this to be built at no cost to us .

She said any one who wanted to join the Bramble volunteers can call 01299 822827 or stourportforward@btconnect.com

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