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New electric boat ‘Maria Constable’ joins the fleet along the River Stour

PUBLISHED: 11:38 16 November 2018

Councillor Christopher Hudson and some of the River Stour Trust boat skippers, with the trusts new trip boat Maria Constable in front of Willy Lotts House at Flatford, scene of many of John Constables paintings, including The Haywain.  Picture: DENNIS WATTS

Councillor Christopher Hudson and some of the River Stour Trust boat skippers, with the trusts new trip boat Maria Constable in front of Willy Lotts House at Flatford, scene of many of John Constables paintings, including The Haywain. Picture: DENNIS WATTS

A new electric boat named after the wife of renowned Suffolk artist John Constable will be used to take the public on trips down the picturesque River Stour.

Councillor Christopher Hudson and River Stour Trust boat skipper Kate Daines with the Trusts new trip boat Maria Constable Picture: DENNIS WATTSCouncillor Christopher Hudson and River Stour Trust boat skipper Kate Daines with the Trusts new trip boat Maria Constable Picture: DENNIS WATTS

The River Stour Trust, that restores and preserves the waterway between Sudbury and the sea, took delivery of the silent, nonpolluting boat, Maria Constable, on Wednesday, November 14.

Constable painted all of his most famous masterpieces, such as The Haywain, during the 12 years of their marriage, and when Maria died tragically young he was heartbroken, and never again painted with the same flair and passion.

A ceremony took place in front of Willy Lott’s House at Flatford, the scene of many of Constable’s best-known works, to celebrate the new boat, which will take the public on trips on the Stour between Flatford and Dedham.

Its purchase was made possible thanks to a “generous” donation of £6,000 from Suffolk County Councillor Christopher Hudson’s locality budget.

At the naming ceremony Mr Hudson said: “I am delighted to support the trust in its work to maintain our priceless heritage.”

The new boat will join the trust’s fleet of six boats that operate at Sudbury and Flatford.

Over the past 50 years these have introduced more than a quarter of a million people to the “delights” of the Stour, plus thousands of canoeists, anglers, and walkers who can now enjoy the river thanks to the work of the trust’s volunteers.

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