Fourteen Locks Canal Centre Boat

Bill  Ashman in a chair
Bill Ashman

At the heart of the Canal Centre is the Fourteen Locks Boat that also serves as the shop counter. It’s a wonderful construction, superbly made and skillfully painted in traditional canal colours and imagery. Sometimes visitors notice it immediately and there is an immediate wow! Other times it takes people by surprise, but there is always a universal appreciation of its unique beauty. Inevitably, the question arises – who made the boat?

It was built locally by William Eifion Ashman, known as Bill to his friends. Bill was a skilled cabinet maker and learnt his trade as an apprentice at Roath Furnishing Company in Cardiff in the the 1950s. He enjoyed his work and it is easy to see that he took great pride in what he did from the quality of the workmanship that we all enjoy today. How did he feel after he made it in 1987?