Friends of Grand Union Canal, a new London-based volunteer group, now has the use of a narrowboat to help them look after the canal on the Paddington arm and as far as West Drayton. Current licensing of the boat means that the public are not able to board the boat.

Founder David Posnett started the group as an informal litter-collection lockdown project in 2020, via Facebook, and it quickly grew with enthusiastic support from locals and London boaters. He bought the old 30ft 1981 boat Ammonite out of his own pocket. It will carry litter-picking equipment and collected litter, hand out refreshments to their volunteers, carry tinned food to distribute to the rough sleepers they see on the towpath and provide a bit of shelter in poor weather.

This latter point was seized on by the local press as if it were a floating hostel, not his intention at all, but you can't blame him for appreciating the attention it brings the group.

The old boat needs upgrading to meet more formal workboat standards, and David started a fundraiser for expenses here, something that has already attracted appreciable private donations.