A few years ago I interviewed Artistic Director Marianne McNamara when Mikron turned 40. It's Britain's only narrow boat theatre, travelling up and down the country delivering theatre in pub gardens and community halls, often tackling political and historical topics such as the Luddites, women's suffrage, the Newbury bypass, and the origins of beer and chocolate. They are absolutely worth seeing if you're out and about over the summer months. You can find their tour schedule on their website and via Twitter.
Sadly, their narrow boat, Tyseley, is in need of repair. It's a listed historic ship built in 1936. You can find its details on the National Historic Ships archive.
The bad news is in, we need a full engine refurb, and rewiring of the electrics in the engine room...
In short, we need to find £10k. It's more serious than we thought. But it's better than the other options available to us:
- A brand new Russell Newbery engine would cost approx. £19k
- A reconditioned RN would cost approx. £14k
- A more modern engine would cost approx. £9k
We would soon incur costs not far from the refurb amount in extra travel and accommodation, and still not have an engine in time to start the tour. We will have a guarantee on the works and a newly refurbished engine and wiring that should last a LONG time. She's our biggest asset and still great value for money.
These guys have been going for 46 years. That's a hell of a run for a small, independent theatre company. They are absolutely unique, and many actors have had their first break there.
There's a sponsored walk this weekend which you can donate to online here. But you can also contact them directly through their website to make a contribution.
Please help Mirkon keep on boating.