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A historic moment for The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust and especially The Royal Wootton Bassett Branch saw the successful delivery of a new day trip boat – the Nonsuch.

thumb Trip boat 3Made possible with the remarkable help of Bevan Transport Ltd of Swindon and Ellis Crane Hire of Gloucester, the arrival of Nonsuch marks the start of a new era.

Passers-by were treated to a spectacle as Bevan Transport’s lorry brought the boat alongside the slipway. Next, ready and waiting on the hardstanding, Ellis’s perfectly-sized crane skilfully manoeuvred Nonsuch off the lorry and lowered it carefully onto the water. Job done, you might think. But to return to Marlborough Road, the lorry driver had to reverse all the way – no mean feat.

Back to the water. With Nonsuch ready to go, the boat wasted no time in setting off on its inaugural journey along the canal. On reaching Hancock’s Water, the Nonsuch crew gave a perfect demonstration of how to turn a boat and headed back towards Templars Firs.

Thrilled at the boat’s arrival, Royal Wootton Bassett Branch Chair, Steve Bacon, said, "We are looking forward to using our new day trip boat at Royal Wootton Bassett. It is licensed to carry eight passengers plus a skipper and a second crew member”.

thumb Trip boat 5Steve went on to explain the choice of name. “The boat will be called ‘Nonsuch’ as a tribute to the late Vic Miller, whose legacy has paid for the boat as well as canal restoration projects and land purchases in the town. Many of our members have fond memories of working with Vic”.

Nonsuch will play a vital role in bringing the canal experience to life at Royal Wootton Bassett and marks a new chapter in the Trust’s progress in preserving and celebrating canal heritage.

If you would like to train as a skipper or crew member on Nonsuch, please contact Steve Bacon at

The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust would like to give special thanks to Lakeland Leisure Boat Sales, Bevan Transport and Ellis Crane Hire for their part in this milestone.


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Photos courtesy of Court Above The Cut and Steve Bacon.

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