Sure­fire Shire work­horse...

Canal Boat - - News -

TWO DECADES af­ter Bar­ras launched its Shire range of en­gines, the com­pany has tracked down the first one sup­plied that’s still in ser­vice – and it isn’t just pow­er­ing an oc­ca­sional gen­tle cruise along the cut. It’s see­ing more than 1,000 hours’ hard work ev­ery year in a trip-boat on the Ken­net & Avon Canal.

Pas­sen­ger boat Rose of Hunger­ford, run by the Ken­net & Avon Canal Trust, has been op­er­at­ing since 1982, eight years be­fore the canal’s full re­open­ing in 1990. In 1997, its orig­i­nal en­gine which came “from a crashed ex-Lon­don taxi” in the words of Trust chair­man Mike Rodd, was re­placed with a 40hp Shire which is still in use today.

“The hour me­ter failed some time ago”, he added, “so it isn’t pos­si­ble to cal­cu­late how many hours ser­vice it has given, but given an an­nual es­ti­mate of over 1,000 hours with some years reach­ing 1,500 hours, it must be some­thing like 20,000 to 30,000.”

Bar­rus is cel­e­brat­ing its cen­te­nary this year.

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