Funds boost tourist boat hopes

Friends of Cromford Canal has been given a donation of £6,750 thanks to the auction of two steam train plates.

The solid brass number plate and brass and steel nameplate from the Wollaton Hall steam railway engine, built in 1940, went under the hammer on Saturday.

It was estimated that the plates, owned by Peter Stone who is the secretary of Grantham Canal Partnership and also a Trustee of the Friends of the Grantham Canal Society, would sell for £5,000. But they almost tripled that figure to make £13,500, with the commission waived because the money was going to charity.

Mr Stone is donating the sum to be split equally between Grantham Canal and Derbyshire’s Cromford Canal restoration funds. Mr Stone added that he hoped his gesture would encourage others to donate to the Friends or volunteer to help them.

Pat Morriss, Chairman of the Friends said, “This money gives us an excellent boost, some of which will go toward establishing our aim of bringing a trip-boat for tourists at Cromford Wharf.”

Actor Brian Blessed, heads the Friend’s appeal to raise funds to bring a vintage 1930’s trip-boat to the popular Cromford Wharf. This boat will be able to take tourists along the historic mile of canal from Cromford to High Peak Junction. As part of the Derwent Valley’s World Heritage Site, the reasons why the United Nations declared this valley to be of historic importance to the world will be explained. The boat will also be used as a classroom to educate children.