Boat takes Pontcysyllte aqueduct trips to new heights

The Vale of Llangollen Boat Trust launches their new boat Image copyright Empics
Image caption Charity campaigner Terry Waite helped launch the Vale of Llangollen Boat Trust's latest vessel

The boat has come in for one canal charity after a woman donated £128,000.

The Vale of Llangollen Canal Boat Trust, which takes disabled people across the Pontcysyllte aqueduct, has used the money to launch a new boat.

Lady Winifred, named after benefactor Winifred Hudd from Deganwy, Conwy, made its maiden voyage on Sunday.

It set off amid celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of the aqueduct and canal's designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The aqueduct, built more than 200 years ago, is Britain's highest and longest. The structure was added to the UNESCO list in 2009 - along with 11 miles (18km) of the Llangollen canal. It is just one of three World Heritage sites in Wales - alongside the castles of Edward I in Gwynedd, Anglesey and Conwy, and Blaenavon's industrial landscape.

"This is a wonderful venture, to enable people to sail on one of the most famous canals in the world," said humanitarian campaigner and charity backer Terry Waite, who officially launched the boat.

"It shows that with a donation you can do an enormous amount of good for people who have difficulties. Anything we can do to cheer up people in this world which is so distressed at the moment, is worth it."

The boat trust's president Colin Burman said the Stoke-on-Trent built boat is "an enormous step-up" on their original canal boat.

Mr Burman, who is one of the volunteer skippers, added: "This has the latest technology, the seating is far more comfortable and we have a hydraulic lift at the back. We're absolutely delighted."

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