Revealing the new Sabrina 5

31 July 2017

Standing in the hold of the newly conserved Sabrina 5 it’s hard to imagine that it may once have been full of tinned tomatoes! The steel hull of the 90ft long boat is now clad with painted timber and fully kitted out to fulfil Sabrina’s new incarnation. After a career carrying cargo she’s now a floating education, exhibition and meeting space for the National Waterways Museum, Gloucester.

The transformation has been carried out for the Canal & River Trust (the charity that runs the museum) by Gloucester boat builders T Nielson and Co. Sabrina 5 is one of the largest vessels in the museum’s collection and part of the National Historic Fleet. By giving careful consideration to her conservation many original features have been maintained, including original timber floors and ceiling. Steel beams may have swapped a functional role for a decorative one but they remind visitors that this is a former working vessel.

The National Waterways Museum Gloucester has exciting plans for Sabrina 5. They start with an exhibition of photographs that capture the boat’s conservation in action. A series of images by Barbara Evripidou show Sabrina 5 stripped-back to reveal the engineering behind the panels telling the story of her construction. (24 July – 20 August 2017).

Other events include a theatre performance and free lunchtime lectures. School groups are already booking the space and over the summer visitors will welcomed aboard. Sabrina 5 will also be available for community events. The aim is to put her at the heart of life in Gloucester and make her as relevant today as she was when she worked the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal in previous decades.

The Canal & River Trust is grateful for the support of funders including the Heritage Lottery Fund and Garfield Weston Foundation.



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