The Trip Boat build has been started

The Trust is delighted to say that, at long last, the build of our trip boat has started. You can certainly see that bow and hull is starting to take shape. A lot of steel has been welded in the first week but, as time goes on, the work will be more detailed which will be more time consuming.
There will be another update and more photos next week.

Exciting new development in Sleaford

For many years the Trust has had the aspiration of running a trip boat on the section of the river in Sleaford. We have seen the success of similar boats elsewhere in providing an enhanced visitor experience whilst at the same time making the case for further restoration of the waterway in question.

We are delighted that this project can now become a reality thanks to a successful application to the North Kesteven Shared Prosperity Fund. The money we will receive means that we have been able to commission the building of a 30’ steel narrowboat shell which will be fitted out by volunteers. When completed, the boat will be crewed by volunteers and carry twelve passengers between the Hub and Cogglesford Watermill. The funding also provides for crew training and maintenance of the boat.

Public response to the plan has been very encouraging and several people have already expressed interest in being involved in both the initial work on the boat and in its operation. We are hoping that delivery of the shell will be in June with internal woodwork and seating being installed shortly after that. This will take place on the water at the mooring area near the Hub.

If you would like to find out more about being involved in the fit-out of the shell, or the later crewing of the boat, please get in touch via the website or by emailing the Trust at

Pat Taylor – the smiling face of SNT.

Pat Taylor

It is with extreme sadness that I have to report the death, on September 25th, of Pat Taylor. For decades Pat has been an integral part of the Sleaford Navigation Society and the later Sleaford Navigation Trust. As a committee member with special responsibility for sales she has indeed been the smiling face of the Trust behind the sales stand at events both national and local.

Pat’s late husband Derek was an early driving force in the move to restore Bottom Lock to navigation and their boat, Wigford, was the first to pass through the lock at the official opening. Later renamed Taylors Lock, this has always been a special place full of memories for the family and so it remains. Who could forget the work parties there where Pat weeded the garden and often turned her attention to tending a bonfire to burn the trimmed tree branches. On one occasion she complained all day that the fire just refused to burn properly only for us all to see it spring into life just as Wigford was leaving at the end of the day! A hasty winding and return ensured all was safe! There were picnics and birthday celebrations there with rope swings over the river to be enjoyed by grand-children and others. A special place indeed.

Pat will be remembered for her enduring enthusiasm for boating and for the restoration of the Sleaford Navigation but there is so much more. An integral part of the December committee meeting was the celebration with a glass of wine and one, or maybe more, of Pat’s amazing mince-pies. Bric-a-brac on the sales stall had to be arranged, and adjusted, as Pat wanted it to be. Anyone who had the temerity to move stock themselves would be given a glance which would make sure they didn’t do that again. Things had to be done properly. For so many, my children included, she was Grandma Pat and she will be remembered fondly and missed.  I know that many members of SNT, IWA and beyond will join with me in sending condolences to her daughter Sue, son-in-law Mel and grandchildren Tom, Ellie and Ed. We have lost a good friend, a lovely lady.

Chris Hayes

Winter closure on the Navigation

Today we chained the gates back at Bottom Lock so the Navigation is now closed for the winter.  There was thick ice below the lock as you can see in the photos, probably about 25mm thick.

Bottom Lock, the new culinary venue

When we visited Bottom Lock this morning we were surprised to see some improvements we hadn’t expected.  Is Bottom Lock a new culinary venue? The seating round the fire pit has been somewhat improved and the cooking facilities also enhanced. Many thanks to the mystery chef/gourmet!

Heckington Show

If you’re at the Heckington Show this weekend come and visit us in the Heritage Village area. We don’t have the big stall with us this weekend as there isn’t the room but come and see us. Find out about what the Trust’s plans for the future are and how you could possibly volunteer with the Trust.

Low water levels 28/07/2022

Please be aware that, due to many months of very low rainfall, water levels above Bottom Lock are currently low. This has been further exacerbated by the recent high temperatures which has triggered more than average abstraction for the irrigation of crops. If you want to try to navigation the Slea in a powered craft your boat will need to be a fairly shallow draft. Unpowered craft should experience no problems.

Sleaford Navigation Footpath Appeal


Local parish boundaries were changed in 1948 and this created an anomaly as far as the recording of the footpath beside the River Slea near Ferry Farm was concerned (see map above).  Inadvertently, perhaps the result of a lack of co-ordination or attention to detail, a very short section (shown in green) between the parishes was omitted. This led to a break in the recording on the Definitive Map of an otherwise continuous path between Sleaford and Chapel Hill.

In order to re-establish the right of way and reconnect the path, it is necessary to show that the section has been walked over a long period of time. If you, or anyone that you know has used the footpath at any time in the past 20 years, your evidence could help establish that usage and enable an application to be made to The County Council for a Modification Order to re-establish the missing section of footpath.

Please consider helping by contributing to the gathering of relevant evidence and contact Councillor Mervyn Head for an LCC Evidence Form by 30th April 2022.


Phone:      07305 326285