For sale: Own a unique Falkirk canal barge The Queen and Princess Anne travelled in

A canal barge adapted to take people with special needs on cruises is up for sale.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 4:05 pm

The volunteers who maintain the Wooden Spoon Seagull have been unable to continue their work because of the pandemic.

Now the boat, owned by charity Seagull Trust Cruises, is being sold.

Bigger than the other boats, which take parties of 12, the Wooden Spoon can accommodate around 30 children and their teachers.

Seagull Trust Cruises

It has been a familiar landmark on the Union Canal.

The fully accessible boat was originally kitted out thanks to the generosity of the Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity founded by rugby supporters to help disadvantaged and disabled children.

An update this week from Seagull Enterprises said: “Due to Covid19 we are unable to continue our volunteering work on Wooden Spoon Seagull.”

The canal barge was built in Wales in 1975 for Jacobite Cruises.

Rev. Stuart Sharp of Camelon Parish Church. and Princes Anne at the launch of the Wooden Spoon Seagull in 2012 (Pic: Michael Gillen)

She was named Jacobite Princess, and then became the Abbey Princess in 1988.

In 2012, the barge was refurbished and lengthened by three metres to accommodate 35 passengers, and a sliding roof was fitted.

The trust said Wooden Spoon Seagull “has been an excellent workhorse” and added: “Our volunteer crews have enjoyed all aspects of operating the barge.

“Our passengers have included, care home residents, children, birthday parties, other celebrations and running one-to-three-hour trips for the public.”

In 2017, Wooden Spoon Seagull welcomed The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on board on the occasion of the opening and naming of the new stretch of canal, The Queen Elizabeth Canal, leading down to the new sea lock which allows easier access to the Forth Estuary.

It has also welcomed Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, on no fewer than four occasions.

In 2012, she formally unveiled the new name of Wooden Spoon Seagull, and travelled down to the Falkirk Wheel basin, where it was moored.

Putting the barge up for sale, the trust said it could be an “added value asset” to many businesses - from providing additional meeting room space with audio visual facilities to a floating coffee shop - or she could be converted into a liveaboard barge.

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