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The Branch Centre was designed and built to incorporate all of the Seagull Trusts needs and it was opened in 1992. It has a lounge for guests and two spacious toilets equipped for people with special needs. The Centre is on two levels - on the car park level there is an entrance foyer, a furnished lounge with full height windows overlooking the dockside where guests can relax before boarding one of the Seagull boats, and a fully equipped kitchen. From this level a stairway and hydraulically operated wheelchair lift lead down to the dockside where, by means of a gently sloping ramp, our guests can board the canal boat.
The Falkirk Branch was formed in 1982 with the aim of cruising on the Union Canal. After much fund raising, most of it locally in the Falkirk area, a canal boat was designed and built. It was named the “Govan Seagull” in 1984 and entered service with the Branch in 1985. Cruising originally took place on the Forth & Clyde Canal from Lock 16 at Camelon, to Bonnybridge while British Waterways prepared the Union Canal for the Govan Seagull.
Whilst on the Forth & Clyde Canal the Govan Seagull was moored in the open and became the target of vandalism. In an effort to combat this some of the perpetrators were tracked down and taken for a cruise, in order to explain what the canal boat was used for and who cruised on it. Subsequently the former perpetrators became unofficial minders for “their” canal boat - even to the alleged extent of throwing other vandals into the Canal when they were caught in the act!
In 1987 the Govan Seagull was transferred up to the Union Canal and moored at Greenbank, at the extreme West end of the Canal, while the Falkirk reception centre and boathouse was designed and built.
In 1992 the Falkirk reception centre and boathouse was opened at Bantaskine and provided secure accommodation for the Govan Seagull and extensive facilities for our guests and branch meetings.