The Heritage Boat Association are out in force this week and I wanted to share with you a little bit of what they’re up to.
Fifty years after Canal Boat 51M carried the last commercial cargo from Dublin outbound to Limerick along the Grand Canal and River Shannon, the Heritage Boat Association (HBA) will re-create her historic voyage.
Waterways Ireland, who own the boat, have agreed to allow the HBA to re-create the final farewell to commercial canal traffic in Ireland.
On her last journey 51M’s cargo consisted of a consignment of Guinness for the Limerick depot and at the time their departure caused quite a stir with both the public and the press. Press photos of the occasion still exist including an Irish Times photo and HBA intend to re-create the exact photograph which they expect will again capture the imagination of the public and the press. See the link to the Irish Times archive here.
While the skipper on that historic voyage has since passed away, they will have his sons on board as part of the current crew. A flotilla of other surviving Heritage Canal Boats will escort 51M westward towards the Shannon.
51M will depart from the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre beside the new theatre in Grand Canal Basin on Wednesday 19th May at 2pm, and after a short stop at Mespil Road continue her ‘leaving of Dublin’ on Thursday May 20th departing at 1.30pm.