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Regent's Canal passenger service expands

Hidden Depths Canal Cruises, one of the most popular passenger boat services on London's canals, has expanded its fleet of craft to accommodate growing demand on the Regent's Canal. New to the service is a regular waterbus between King's Cross and Islington, through the Islington Tunnel and City Road Lock.

Founder Denise Walker was inspired to start the business after discovering her first boat, Lapwing, derelict in a field near Wigan on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in 2012.

“It had lain there for approximately six years and most sane people would have left it there” she said. “However, for some unaccountable reason I bought it without hesitation, and so began its journey – and mine, both physical and spiritual.”

Denise cruised the boat to London. “Lapwing never faltered and completed the journey in a mere five weeks. It was then that we realized what a Trojan this vessel was!”

She wrote to WW's Reader's Scrapbook (March 2013) asking about its history, and technical writer Graham Booth recognised it. It had been part of Willow Wren’s 1960s fleet of wooden top hire-boats, and built in the 1960s by Hopwood Craft on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

As a consequence, she decided to retain the traditional colours of Willow Wren and to restore it to its former glory days, and these continue to be the colours of all Hidden Depths boats. Later in 2013, Lapwing began a passenger business on London's canals that has continued to grow.

For more information see hiddendepthscanalcruises.co.uk.

Hidden Depths Canal Cruises' new full length boat Freda at St Pancras.

Lapwing on the Regent's Canal.

Tuesday 21 May  | Andrew Denny  | 3.57pm, Tuesday 21 May 2019

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