History

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The Alvecote Marina Group consists of our three organisations, to cover all of your boating needs.

In 1970 South Midland Water Transport began life, seeing the tailend of long distance canal Carrying. David Blagrove was Director and busy Loading Loose coal at Atherstone and bringing it from the Warwickshire coal fields by boat into Northamptonshire, where it was weighed and bagged then sold on to retail customers. This continued along with other 'Long Distance Canal Carrying' and over the years both the SMWT name and fleet grew.

Today the fleet is still in active service and coal retail is still a part of the business. For more infomation about the SMWTLtd Fleet see Canal Carrying.

By 1985 Narrowcraft began life in the old Colliery Basin at Alvecote. Indeed one of the very Basins that working canal boats used to load loose coal straight from the pit. Now the mine is worked out and the basin lay derelict. Peter Pratt dredged and rebuiltStartedbuilding the basin to the original shape and constructed buildings resembling a Welsh train station as boat building workshops on the old wharf side giving a new lease of life to the Basin.

Boatbuilding was the main business, however an enterprising Peter also managed to run a Hire boat Company, Successful Boat Brokerage and a small number of moorings all from the Basin. He also appointed his apprentice Andrew Davies who is still a valuble member of the team today.

In 1997 Malcolm Burge took over took proceedings and the large plot of land opposite the basin enterance. The earth moving equipment came too, and he soon constructed Alvecote Marina. He was also at the time a Director of South Midland Water Transport and with him brought a wealth of experience and ethusiasim to the site. Over the years Alvecote marina has settled to become an established location on the canal map. Canal-time moved in and operated a vast timeshare fleet from the marina in 2000. Their head engineer was Mark Spencer who remains here in the Alvecote workshops, long after the Canaltime fleet had left.

Clubhouse

 

 

By 2003 Malcolm was already onto constructing the Samuel Barlow pub and clubhouse.

Nowadays the pub is completed and the wildlife has come back. Narrowcraft did during 2007 reach International status in having a boat building factory in Gdansk, Poland. The very heart of Polish Ship building. A good number of very smart new boats were built and many of which still moor in the marina today. Matthew Burge, Malcolm's Son worked closely with his father during the International boat building era and his brother Andrew was based at the Factory. Between them they have a pretty good understanding of what goes into a Narrowboat!

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Along with a wealth of Knowledge and a lifetime of business experience from South Midland and other companies, Malcolm Burge also brought along Lawrence Williams. Lawrence had been David Blagrove's apprentice at South Midland and now worked closely with Malcolm at the Alvecote end of the operation, both with the Marina operation and the engineering requirements of the Polish fleet.

Today the wealth of experience brought by Malcolm and Lawrence is evident in the running of Narrowcraft & South Midland and along with their very experienced team look after the day to day running of Alvecote. Matthew Burge can be found at the Samuel Barlow, where there is always a hearty welcome.

 As you can see....

 

When it comes to boats both new and old...we know our stuff!