A Change on the River Tawe

A book written in 1888 lists the Tawe as the fourth industrial river of the United Kingdom.

Today, the waters of the Tawe are marked only by the occasional canoeist or rowing team. But things are set to change.

Just before Christmas, the ‘Black Prince’ arrived by road in Swansea and was craned into Kings Dock. It was then sailed round to Swansea Marina to start a new life as The Swansea Community Boat, thanks to Welsh Government ‘Invest Wales’ funding, matched by donations/loans from firms, individuals and charitable foundations.

Launch of the Swansea Community Boat at Kings Dock, 16th December 2010

Previously based at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, the vessel is licensed to carry 50 passengers and will take children, disabled people, older people and community groups for trips between Swansea Marina and the Liberty Stadium. To raise revenue, public trips will be run to view the “Copperopolis” heritage sites and sponsors will use the boat for corporate events.

Arrival of the Swansea Community Boat at Swansea Marina 17th December 2010

The Community Boat will offer study programmes based on the heritage of the river navigation. A heritage trail leaflet of the Navigation has already been produced. Funding from CADW and CapReg enabled the Trust to commission Hurley Design to turn rough notes and graphics into a quality visitors guide.

It is planned that recreations of historic landscapes will be displayed on screens as the Community Boat moves along the waterway. Animations might include “Copper Barques”, “Medieval Ships at Swansea Castle”, “Swansea Potteries”, “Copperopolis”, “Regreening the Valley” etc. This “time travel experience” will hopefully enthuse young people using the floating classroom.

Arrival at Swansea Museum Historic Vessels landing stage, 17th Dec 2010

If you would like information about becoming a sponsor of the Swansea Community Boat, please contact us.

Any size donations would be most welcome. If a really generous sponsor comes along, the Trust might discuss the naming rights of the vessel…….

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