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The Boatyard Bus Café opened on 19th September 2018 beside the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at bridge 71 in Heath Charnock near Chorley in Lancashire.
Owners Lucien Burkhardt and Adam Pope decided that the boatyard they owned since April 2004 needed to make more of the available space and that a café was the ideal solution. Adam and Lucien also own a engineering business (P B Mechanical Services) since January 2002 from humble beginnings in Manchester. They rented the workshop from the previous owners of L&L Cruisers in October 2003 then purchased the workshop in April 2004. In March 2007 Ellerbeck Narrowboats was formed and the daily hire boats were taken over from L&L Cruisers in April 2008. More information about how we started can be found here.
The original plan was to by a railway carriage given the history of the boatyard as a coal transfer station from the local Ellerbeck colliery aboard the trains that ran through the yard transferring coal to working barges on the canal. However, the plan changed when the cost of a decent railway carriage was discovered that a decent one was too expensive and anything that could be afforded needed way to much work, time and money to make it work.
Given this situation Lucien and Adam decided that a double decker bus was a more realistic option and set about finding something suitable.
After lots of hunting a Leyland Olympian double decker bus was found on ebay that the owner had already started turning into a café. This was ideal but was in Basildon in Essex. This was not a problem as how hard can it be to drive it back to Chorley near where it was built.
After getting it insured and road legal we were set to drive it back on Sunday 10th December 2017. This was fine other than there was thick snow and ice and the heating in the bus was next to nothing but Adam wrapped up warm and set off with Lucien in the car travelling behind as support. All went well and we arrived safely in the boatyard and set about fitting it out as a café that we are proud of.
After receiving planning permission from Chorley Council and a food hygiene rating of ‘5’ (Very Good) from Chorley Food Safety. Evidence of the current rating can be found here.
We are very proud of our achievement and look forward to seeing you here soon. Please have a look at our menu here and if you have any questions or comments please send them to us by visiting our Contact page.