Gloucester shipbuilder completes historic trow barge

Work on a replica historic boat to be used in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations has been completed.

The trow has been built by shipwrights at Gloucester Docks and is based on designs of River Severn and River Wye cargo barges from about 200 years ago.

The 36ft long (10.9m) flat-bottomed vessel will represent Herefordshire in the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant along the Thames in London on 3 June.

The Wye trow's first sea trials will take place on Wednesday.

It has been built using traditional methods by shipbuilders T. Nielson and Company at Gloucester docks. Work on it began last October.

'Important for region'

Timber to build the boat was sourced from estates in Herefordshire.

In the 18th and 19th centuries trows were used to carry cargo such as coal, cider and wool.

Andrew Wynn, from the project, said River Wye trows were once "hugely significant and important for the region".

The replica, which was paid for by an anonymous donor, will be named The Hereford Bull at a ceremony on 12 May.

A team of eight volunteers wearing period costume will row it at along the Thames as part of a flotilla of 1,000 vessels to mark the Queen's 60-year reign.

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