The Shropshire Union Fly-boat Restoration Society Ltd
- a voluntary charitable group – was set up to preserve one of the
two remaining Shropshire Union Canal fly-boats in the World; rare
examples of some of the finest boats to grace Britain’s waterways.
Symbol was acquired but became too decayed
to restore – although parts of her are preserved. Saturn –
the last one – became available and was purchased by British
Waterways Wales & Border Counties Waterways. A partnership – The
Saturn Project – was set up with the society to restore and operate
Over four years and at a cost of £87,000,
Saturn was professionally restored by Malkins Bank Canal
Services, with assistance from society members. This was enabled by
a fund-raising campaign with major contributions by British
Waterways Wales & Border Counties Waterways, Heritage Lottery Fund,
Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN), the Shropshire Union Canal
Society, The Waterways Trust and The Manifold Trust; plus other
donations of money and materials from society members, other
individuals and companies.
Relaunched in 2005 – and celebrating her 100th
birthday in 2006 - Saturn is now the superb example of a
fully operational fly-boat; travelling the waterways and fulfilling
the partnership’s aims to educate future generations about the
history of narrowboats, horse-boating and our waterway network.
The combination of boat, crew and horse – and all the techniques and
skills evolved over 250 years – demonstrates a unique unit of
transport that served Britain from the 18th into the 20th Century.
This boat and these traditional skills must be preserved for the