16th Feb 2011
The National Waterways Museum on the Shropshire Union Canal has received a very tasty £10,000 donation towards the restoration of the narrowboat Mendip from confectionary company Cadbury.
The canal narrowboat Mendip, which spent much of its working life carrying chocolate crumb between the Cadbury factories at Knighton and Bournville, is currently being restored at the Museum’s Heritage Boatyard.
The ex-working boat now has had new wooden bottoms fitted and repairs made to the steel hull. Soon she will be craned back into the water, where the refurbished diesel engine will be refitted and painting and other work will be completed.
The Heritage Boatyard is a project working with range of partners and funders. Its aim is to preserve traditional boat building skills relating to inland waterways craft and pass on these skills to a new generation.
Passing on skills
In September, once the work is finished, the boat will make the trip through the canal network back to the Bournville headquarters of the chocolate maker mirroring the trips the boat made by Charlie Atkins ‘Chocolate Charlie,’ the canal personality who was known to all the children who lived near the canal.
Museum general manager John Inch said: “Mendip is an important part of our collection and we’re delighted that Cadbury are supporting its restoration with this generous grant. Mendip, Chocolate Charlie and his cargo of chocolate crumb was a real fixture of the canal scene in the Midlands in the 1950s and we’re excited to be able to re-create the journey in September.”