Robert’s barge is back - Stevenage old boy renovates former Nazi munitions boat

Canal Boat restoration

Canal Boat restoration - Credit: Archant

A Dutch grain barge used by the Nazis to transport munitions during the Second World War is about to take to the water again.

Rob Lowe aboard the Rijnstroom IV

Rob Lowe aboard the Rijnstroom IV - Credit: Archant

Robert Lowe, left, who was born and grew up in Stevenage and still visits family here, bought the Rijnstroom IV in 2005 for £135,000.

He spent eight years lovingly refitting her at Newport on the Isle of Wight and, along with wife Elaine, kitted her out as a floating bed and breakfast.

But disaster struck in May last year as the couple were about to sell the boat, when a sudden fire engulfed the wheelhouse.

But Rob set about refitting the barge after having her towed to Hythe in Kent.

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Now he has completed the interior refit and will have the barge towed back to Bembridge – where he will put the finishing touches to her before putting the boat up for sale for an estimated £345,000.

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