Stroud’s new canal mud boats were officially launched by the two men who came up with their names.
Bob Hallam and Stuart Andrews both came up with the names Warp and Weft in the competition run by Stroud Town Council.
The town council decided to run the contest after it awarded a £15,000 grant to the Cotswold Canals Trust to buy the two mud barges. They will be used to remove dredged material from canal, both now and in the future.
Stuart Andrews, a former trust volunteer, was so thrilled at winning that he made the trip from Spain to launch the boat.
“Normally it’s royalty and admirals’ wives who get to name boats. I’ve never won anything before so this is special,” he said.
Bob Hallam, from Coaley, has been a volunteer with the trust for almost 10 years.
“I’ve never had the pleasure of naming a boat before so this has been wonderful.”
Town Mayor Kevin Cranston said Warp and Weft were the natural winners as they represent Stroud’s rich textile heritage.
“Warp is the long thread in a roll of cloth and the Weft is the shorter thread that crosses the warp. We chose the names as they clearly show a link with Stroud’s historic mills and weaving industry,” he said.
“A warp is also a name for a rope used for mooring boats. We also thought that the canal was like the Warp threading is way through the length of the valley whilst Weft represents the links reaching out to and drawing in the community from the sides of the canal.”
Mr Hallam paid tribute to the town council’s support of the trust.
“It is one thing to raise money to restore a canal but quite another thing to keep it going and we are grateful for the town council’s generous support.”