The Bruce Trust is a registered charity providing specially-designed, purpose-built, wide-beam canal boats, for hire for self-catering, self-steer holidays
by disabled, disadvantaged or elderly people along with their family, friends or carers.
The Trust has a fleet of four boats. Hannah is 12 berth, Rebecca and Diana are 10 berth and Rachel is 6 berth. Each boat has the highest quality accommodation and the ultimate flexibility for people with a wide variety of special needs. They all have a fully equipped galley with cooker and fridge, central heating and flushing W.C. The extra width of the boats provides excellent manoeuvrability for wheelchair users and they all have special built-in facilities:-
- Hydraulic lifts
- Wide-access boarding ramps
- Low-level bunks
- Specially fitted showers and W.C.'s
- Large, low-set windows
- Scissor-action hospital bed on 'The Rebecca'
Additional equipment can be provided on request:
- Transfer Hoist
- Shower Chair
- Cot Sides
- Perching Stool
All the boats have been designed to give wheelchair users the opportunity to steer by using the tiller. However, both Hannah and Rachel have been fitted with a remote steering device that enables someone with less upper body mobility to steer from their wheelchair, using a joystick.
The boats operate from two bases along the Kennet and Avon Canal, which flows through Berkshire and Wiltshire, from the River Thames at Reading to the River Avon at Bath. Three boats operate from Great Bedwyn Wharf, near Marlborough, with a changeover day of Friday or Saturday. These are ideally situated to cruise towards Newbury and Reading or westward to Devizes and down the Caen Hill Flight. One boat is based at Lower Foxhanger Wharf, near Devizes, with a changeover day of Saturday and is well placed for cruising westward to Bath.