AN MP has hailed the 'fantastic work' carried out by the Vale of Llangollen Canal Boat Trust as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Simon Baynes, Member of Parliament for Clwyd South, joined the team for a trip across Pontcysyllte Aqueduct to mark the occasion.

The Trust, which currently provides day trips for disabled and disadvantaged people of all ages, runs solely through donations and the hard work of volunteers, including its 21 skippers who have all been trained by the Trust itself.

Every year, the Trust hosts over 100 boat trips on its latest boat the Lady Winifred.

Its first boat was built by the Cammel Lairds apprentices in Birkenhead as part of the Rainbow Trust and launched in 1985 by Sir Harry Secombe.

The Lady Winifred has a hydraulic lift to enable wheelchair users to board and also has wheelchair friendly toilet facilities and plenty of space within the boat to move about and enjoy the panoramic views of the Dee Valley.


During the visit, Mr Baynes met with the president of the Trust, Colin Burman, and the chairman, Tom Lewis, the only remaining founders, as well as other volunteers and supporters.

Mr Baynes also had the opportunity to meet Kerry Evans, a wheelchair user, who demonstrated the hydraulic lift.

Following his visit, Mr Baynes said: “It was a great pleasure to visit the Vale of Llangollen Canal Boat Trust during its 40th anniversary year and to learn about the fantastic work they have been doing for 40 years to allow disabled and disadvantaged people to enjoy Llangollen’s canal.

“The Trust enables those who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to access our waterways to enjoy them in safety and comfort whilst also showcasing the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the beautiful Dee Valley. I look forward to following their continued work and wish them all the best for the next 40 years!”

Speaking about the Trust’s work, Colin Burman, President of the Trust, said: “It has been a pleasure to see so many disabled and disadvantaged people over the years enjoy a day trip on the Llangollen Canal. 

"They can relax and enjoy the view from our specially built and designed narrowboat, and after boarding they can unwind as they go over the World Heritage site the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and travel on the beautiful Llangollen Canal as part of their day trip.”