Bid to revive historic Lincoln pleasure boat

A dedicated group in Lincoln has made a bid for funding to revive a historic city pleasure boat.

The Mary Gordon Trust hopes to restore and manage The Mary Gordon, a passenger boat used between 1942 to 1969, in order to offer a unique experiences for private functions, school trips, and short courses for young people who are vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalised, or with mental health conditions.

As well as a new experience for people, the project hopes to highlight Lincolnshire’s waterways history, social and environmental importance, and how modern technology is used in a traditional setting.

The Mary Gordon boat in Lincoln. Photo: The Mary Gordon Trust

The Mary Gordon boat in Lincoln. Photo: The Mary Gordon Trust

The pleasure boat, currently moored in Newtoft, was built in 1900, and ferried people between Lincoln and Gainsborough when in use.

The Trust have put in a £100,000 Heritage Lottery (HLF) bid in order to help with the restoration of the vessel.

The Trust hopes to add apprenticeships in shipbuilding to help with the restoration and revive traditional skills in the Lincoln and Gainsborough areas.

Photo: The Mary Gordon Trust

Photo: The Mary Gordon Trust

A previous bid in 2008 by the Trust, set up in 1999, had been unsuccessful due to the lack of a permanent mooring spot on Brayford Pool.

However, a place for the pleasure boat is now in place at Torksey Lock from the John Kinch Group.

The mooring will offer trips to Lincoln and Gainsborough easy due to being placed between the two locations.

Photo: The Mary Gordon Trust

Photo: The Mary Gordon Trust

Trust Chairman Peter Harrold said: “The Mary Gordon is currently in a very poor state of disrepair and if she is not restored in the near future she is likely to rot away and her historical significance will be lost forever.

“I appreciate that it has taken longer than we expected to restore the vessel, but we have never given up and I do feel that our latest bid has a good chance of success, as we are including a wide range of local people in the activities we plan for the boat when she is restored.”

Stuart Kinch, Managing Director of The John Kinch Group, who offered the mooring, added: “We are privileged to be able to offer the help of moorings for the restoration of this fantastic piece of Lincolnshire’s heritage.

“If the latest bid is successful it will be a pleasure to watch the progress as she transforms into the condition she once was.”