Boat Trips Boat Trips News
New Images BMW apprentices from MINI Plant Swindon install wheelchair access lift to canal boat
Sunday, 14 April 2013 09:26
The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust trip boat Dragonfly has been fitted with a lift enabling wheelchair access, thanks to the support of funders and the skills of the apprentices at MINI Plant Swindon

MINI Plant Swindon have now sent us some more images of the work done at the plant,  and of the event itself on the towpath. The disc of images will now be sent to the Trust's Archivist Doug Small for safe keeping

 

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The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust trip boat Dragonfly has been fitted with a lift enabling wheelchair access, thanks to the support of funders and the skills of the apprentices at MINI Plant Swindon. 

See Swindon Advertiser 17 April 2013

See full article in Link Magazine 14 April 2013  

Mike Lang, who coordinated the project on behalf of the Trust, said: "It was wonderful to work with the apprentices and to have all the facilities and equipment on hand to enable the installation – a task which was accomplished whilst at the same time as continuing with their training.

"We were pleased that at the same time MINI Plant Swindon allowed us to work on the boat whilst it was out of the water. We arranged for the propeller, propeller shaft and stern gland to be replaced whilst volunteers from the boat team and the Swindon work party cleaned and reblacked the hull."

Dragonfly is back in the water at KIngshill, and wheelchair users can now enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the canal

See full details about our boats and the Kingshill trip schedule

 

 

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 Dragonfly's

First Trip of the Season

31st March 2013

 

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On January 8th, approaching the end of the “rainy season”, when 112mm of rain had fallen during the previous four weeks, a crane lifted DRAGONFLY out of the canal onto a lorry for transfer to MINI Plant Swindon.

After a short stopover in the compound where we pressure washed her bottom she was off to spend a few weeks in the warm and dry tool room at the MINI Plant Swindon where the apprentices would install a wheelchair lift.

On arrival, so I am told, she was greeted by Mike Legg – the project engineer – who was immediately renamed NOAH by his colleagues.

DRAGONFLY was lifted off the lorry by one of the enormous 40 ton gantry cranes and moved to a corner of the tool room. As the day proceeded the tool room workforce came “two by two” to see the boat and almost without exception asked Noah about the weather forecast.

Next day, it was down to business – the foredeck was removed together with all of the ballast, and the lift, purchased from PLS, was lifted into location. Temporary fixings were welded to the hull (Port side). The appropriate permanent fixings were then designed and manufactured and welded into position.

How wonderful to have all the facilities and equipment on hand to enable the installation – a task which was accomplished whilst at the same time as continuing with their training.

We were pleased that at the same time MINI Plant Swindon allowed us to work on the boat. We arranged for the propeller, propeller shaft and stern gland to be replaced whilst volunteers from the boat team and the Swindon work party cleaned and reblacked the hull.

On 11th March the engineer from PLS inspected the installation, carrying out the required tests before issuing the LOLER certificate. (A certification which has to be renewed on a six monthly basis).

She was then returned to the canal on 22nd March to be made available for duty starting with the Easter weekend.

The Trust owes an immense debt of gratitude to the staff at MINI Plant Swindon and especially to Mike Legg, Andy Craft and the apprentices who have done a magnificent job.

SHE IS NOW WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE