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Lower Avon Navigation Trust - membership badge (1950’s / 1960’s) | by RETRO STU
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Lower Avon Navigation Trust - membership badge (1950’s / 1960’s)

The Lower Avon Navigation Trust was formed in 1950 and in 2009 merged with their sister organisation, The Upper Avon Navigation Trust to form The Avon Navigation Trust. Today, the Trust has charitable status and is funded mainly from boat license tolls. The Trust is a volunteer organisation and continue the work of maintaining the navigation infrastructure on both the lower and upper reaches of the Avon River.


Around 1635 work had started to make the Avon river navigable to larger sailing vessels and barges by construction of new cuttings, weirs and locks. The river continued to be maintained and partially financed by tolls well into the 19th century. In 1879, the rights were acquired by the Great Western Railway (GWR) but they took no interest in maintaining the river’s navigation infrastructure and so it fell into disrepair. In 1889 the River Avon Improvement Association was formed to advocate for its restoration but despite their best efforts, the river’s infrastructure continued its decline into further dereliction and this situation continued up to the mid 20th century. In 1949 the Lower Avon Navigation Company was bought by Douglas Barwell who sought the support of the Inland Waterways Association to form the Lower Avon Navigation Trust. In a first phase of work, the new Trust carried out major restoration and repairs till in 1962 the Lower Avon river became partially navigable once more. Similar work was carried out on the upper sections of the river by the Upper Avon Navigation Trust, formed in 1965. Through the dedication and hard work of both Trusts, the River Avon was officially opened to navigation between Tewkesbury and Stratford in 1974



References: (The Avon Navigation Trust history). (Tells of some of the work done to restore the river after 1950). (The River Avon).



Enamels: 1 (blue).

Finish: Nickel or tin plated

Material: Brass.

Fixer: Pin.

Size: 1 ¼” x 1 1/8” including the pin (about 32mm x 28mm).

Process: Die stamped.

Imprint: No maker’s name or mark.



Thank you for reading.



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Taken on July 21, 2012