One of the narrowboats removed from disabled Kennet & Avon Canal boater George Ward is being offered for sale.

The March Hare – made by Thomas Bantock & Co in the 1880s – was owned by Mr Ward until its removal from the Kennet & Avon Canal on May 11.

The 50-foot narrowboat was removed just under a month after the Canal & River Trust removed his 70-ft narrowboat The Celtic on April 19.

Both boats are now languishing in a Commercial Boat Services Ltd storage yard near Chester.

The Trust has since demanded Mr Ward pay fees totalling £48,000 for their removal and the delivery charge for the return of his personal possessions.

The March Hare is now being offered for sale by Commercial Boat Services and is described as a 15-metre narrowboat with a diesel engine with a value of  £11,500.

The CBS advertisement says: “Here we have a Bantock narrow-boat with a historic riveted iron hull with steel superstructure, it has an engine but this doesn't look serviceable.

“The condition of the hull looks reasonable but I would describe this boat as a project requiring remedial work to the hull cabin and machinery.

“Anybody interested would be advised to come and have a look, it is available to view at our Chester yard where it is ashore.” 

Mr Ward, 63, said: “The Canal & River Trust Ltd is responsible for demanding the prohibitive sum of £48,000 to effectively prevent my recovery of the goods.

“Furthermore, the boat appears now to be the property of CBS Ltd. It is an absolute injustice.

“I can scrape together enough savings to pay £11,500 for The Celtic but then I am stuck with the dilemma of not having enough to take it anywhere.”

Mr Ward was evicted from the canal towpath near Bradford on Avon in August after a three-year battle with the Trust.

The Trust claimed he had no licences for the two boats, which Mr Ward denies, saying the Trust would not allow him to relicense them.

The 70-foot-long The Celtic was refloated after being swamped and sunk by the wash from a stag party hire boat in September 2018.

Supporters later rallied around and raised more than £8,000 from a crowdfunding appeal to enable him to repair the boat.

The Celtic was removed from the canal in April.

He lived in a gazebo tent for around two months after the March Hare was removed before finally being evicted from the towpath for trespass.