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Replica ‘Cuckoo Boat’ Launched

PUBLISHED: 17:02 27 April 2015 | UPDATED: 17:02 27 April 2015

The launch of the new cuckoo boat is the culmination of Chesterfield Canal Trust’s New Dawn project

The launch of the new cuckoo boat is the culmination of Chesterfield Canal Trust’s New Dawn project

Archant

A ‘cuckoo boat’ – the characteristic working narrowboat of the Chesterfield Canal (nobody’s quite sure where the name came from) – is now floating on the canal for the first time in many years, with the launch of an exact replica of the historic boats.

A ‘cuckoo boat’ – the characteristic working narrowboat of the Chesterfield Canal (nobody’s quite sure where the name came from) – is now floating on the canal for the first time in many years, with the launch of an exact replica of the historic boats.

The Chesterfield Canal is a long way from the main narrow canal network, and its only access to the outside world is via the tidal Trent. So it developed its own type of cargo boat, more suitable for river work and capable of carrying a sail. They survived little-changed – still wooden and horse-drawn – until the end of trade in the 1950s, but the last one finally rotted away over 20 years ago.

The launch of the new cuckoo boat is the culmination of Chesterfield Canal Trust’s New Dawn project (the last surviving boat was called Dawn) to re-create these distinctive craft. The boat, built using traditional methods and materials, was launched at Shireoaks Basin, filling a gap in the canal’s heritage and providing a useful educational resource.

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