HILLINGDON’S narrowboat, Pisces, has given more than 50 years' service to the community.

At a celebration at the Hillingdon Narrowboat Association's boat house on the Grand Union, Richard Parry, chief executive of the Canal & River Trust, praised the enthusiasm and dedication of the volunteers who work to run Pisces and her sisters, introducing many thousands to the canals.

He said: “Community boats like Pisces are the unsung heroes of the waterways, doing such a lot of good work, promoting their benefits for the well-being of everyone, and especially getting young people on to the waterways.”

He presented the Mayor, Cllr David Yarrow, with a traditional painted watering can to mark the occasion.

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Cllr Yarrow explained that, in the 1960s, the borough purchased Pisces to use as a floating youth club,hostel and classroom. She was run by youth and community services.

The borough still owns the boat, but her operation moved to Hillingdon Narrowboats Association in the 1990s.

Cllr Yarrow added: “The canals in Hillingdon provide a much-loved leisure facility, a slow fast-track to nature and countryside for people in the borough.

“Pisces is now carrying the grandchildren of her earliest users and we believe she is the country's longest-serving community boat.”

He passed the watering can to Loraine Grainger, chairman of Hillingdon Narrowboats Association, for safe-keeping.