John’s Boat Works is negotiating a Lease to take over the former Thames Lighter boatbuilding facility at Lot’s Ait, one of Brentford’s historical waterfront businesses.
Lot’s Ait is one of London’s lost and abandoned islands. Located between Kew Gardens and the Brentford shorefront, Lot’s Ait is one of the Brentford Aits, whose early function was to provide a screen of trees between Kew Palace and the offensive goings on on the Brentford shore.
Originally used as a place to harvest willow, the island bacame the home of the Thames Lighterage Company during Brentford’s heyday as the principal freight transfer link between the Port of London and Brunel’s Great Western Railway.
In the 1960′s, with the coming of motorways and containerisation, the Docks went into terminal decline, along with the majority of the marine service industries that supported them.
The boatbuilding facility on Lot’s Ait was abandoned, and left to return to nature.
Now, 40 years later, the original boatbuilding facilities are in the process of being restored and brought back to their original use, and will become the new London home for John’s Boat Works.
The revitalised yard will be one of the few active boatyards on the upper tidal Thames, serving the boating community on the river and on the Grand Union canal system.
Our services will include boatbuilding, repair, service and maintenance, DIY boat repair, education and courses, and involvement in local community and heritage projects.
John’s Boat Works Lot’s Ait boatyard will be opening for business in early 2012, and we look forward to servicing and contributing to the local community, and bringing back to life a small part of Brentford’s riverfront heritage.