Perseverance IV

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Perseverance IV after launch in 1937.jpg
Perseverance IV immediately after launch in 1937 at Dapdune Wharf, Guildford.
Name: Perseverance IV
Owner: Wm Stevens & Sons
Operator: Wm Stevens & Sons
Route: From Coxes Lock Mill, Weybridge through the Wey and Godalming Navigations and the Thames, to the London Docklands
Builder: GJV Edwards and Sons, Dapdune Wharf
Launched: 1934
Out of service: 1982
Refit: 1964-6
Name: Perseverance IV
Owner: National Trust
Acquired: 1982
Refit: 1986–87, 1998
Homeport: Dapdune Wharf
General characteristics
Type: Wey barge[1]
Tonnage: 32.25 long tons (32.77 t)[1]
Length: 74 ft (23 m)[1]
Beam: 13.66 ft (4.16 m)
Draught: 4 ft (1.2 m)[1]
Installed power: Bow-hauled
Capacity: 80–90 tons

Perseverance IV is a preserved Wey barge, moored at Dapdune Wharf on the River Wey. She was the final barge to leave the historic yards at Dapdune, Guildford, in 1966. She is on the National Register of Historic Ships under registration number 2080, but does not form part of the National Historic Fleet.


Perseverance IV in 1934 (left) and 2010 (right) at Dapdune Wharf.

Perseverance IV was built in 1934 by G J V Edwards and Sons at Dapdune Wharf, Guildford – the tenth of eleven Wey barges constructed by the company.[1][2] The barge was built for the then owners of the Wey Navigation, Wm Stevens & Sons, and carried bulk wheat between the London Docklands and Coxes Lock Mill at Weybridge.[2] After more than thirty years working the route, she was rebuilt at Dapdune Wharf from 1964–1966.[3] She then went back into service, before being sold to another owner who used her as a cable-laying barge on the Regents Canal, where she ended her working life in 1982.[2][3]

In 1982, she came under the ownership of the Museum of London, and was rebuilt two further times: in 1986/87 and 1998.[1][2][3]

She is one of only three remaining Wey barges in the world, and is the only floating example. The barge Reliance is permanently damaged and in a drydock at Dapdune Wharf, whereas Speedwell is in poor condition at the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port.[4]

In future, the National Trust hope to use the barge for public boat trips up and down the Navigations.[4] Unfortunately, due to a lack of annual maintenance, she is in dire need of repair, and requires £10,000 per year to maintain.[2] Consequently, the National Trust has launched an urgent appeal to raise funds for the vessel's purchase and restoration. £200,000 is required (by 17 September 2011) to transfer the vessel to National Trust ownership, and a further £300,000 is required to fully restore the barge and support it in the future.[4] However, if the appeal fails, her details will be recorded, and she will be broken up.[4]

See also[edit]

Barges of the Wey Navigation


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Perseverance IV". National Register of Historic Ships. 7 April 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e "River Wey Barge – Perseverance lV" (PDF). National Trust. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ a b c "Trust aims to save historic River Wey barge". BBC News. 16 July 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d "National Trust launches Historic Barge Appeal". Inland Waterways Association. 1 August 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2011.

External links[edit]