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Lynher CIC was formed in April 2016 in order to save the Tamar sailing barge ‘Lynher’ which was at risk of destruction. Dominic and Barbara Bridgman started fundraising to buy the timber and other material needed for the restoration which started in Oct 2016. Thanks to the support of the waterways community, during the winter 16/17 the barge was made waterproof again after a painstaking labour of love from over 100 volunteers. The ‘Lynher’ re-launch on 07/05/2017 was a great milestone for all involved but the work was far from finished.
It took two more years of fundraising and income from part-trading to continue to restore the interior and fit a new engine and related system. In April 2019 the barge was fully operational, selling voyages on the Plymouth waterways from the Sound to the Rivers Lynher and Tamar as far as Calstock. Community projects started to take shape thanks to further funding from Sport England. ‘Lynher’ hosted a number of residential weekend for underprivileged families from the PL1/PL2 district under the ‘Making Waves Together’ project. A mix of families would live together in the cargo hold and help crewing the barge whilst discovering the amazing world of the waterways. Everyone came out a better person, and the humbling feeling of exploring a wondrous world so close to the city and so full of heritage linking the waterways to the city people.
Dominic and Barbara have worked all their lives in historic boat restoration and sail training skills. Their involvement with the ‘Lynher’ comes out of their own passion for re-utilise historic boats as a education platform to connect with the people and communites. Since then, Lynher CIC has grown to a board of five directors representing different areas of the community. Their aim is to deliver training in boatbuilding and seamanship in order to continue to maintain our maritime heritage. By doing so the company is able to share the barge and other boats, thus fostering a sense of bonding and identity reflected in our maritime heritage.