Underfall Yard fire: Man 'devastated' after blaze ripped through historic boatyard in Bristol

  • ITV News West Country's Richard Payne's report as more than 200 years' worth of history was eradicated by a terrible fire on 6 May

A boatyard boss has spoken out about the "devastation" left behind after a fire ripped through a historic boatyard.

The blaze started around midnight on Saturday 6 May and engulfed Underfall Yard in just a few hours.

Win Cnoops, owner of Star Yachts, a boat restoration company had two sheds at the yard, one of which was totally destroyed by the fire.

His company lost 5 wooden boats and all of their tools were destroyed.

Win Cnoops told ITV News West County: "Once I've got work to do I'm fine, it's when I start talking about it, then I get emotional.

"We had two big jobs in there, my own boat which went slowly and there was a beautiful cruiser that had a big operation and the owners had just brought it and wanted to do a really good big job on it, that's completely gone, it's devastating."

Five of Star Yachst boats were destroyed in the blaze.

The company has set up an online fundraising campaign that has already raised over £4,000 to replace lost specialist tools.

James Durie, deputy chair of the Underfall Yard Trust told ITV News West Country: "They need a clean and dry space in which to operate, at the moment a number of them are now homeless so we have a job to do to help with other how we can support them.

"We are going to need people to get behind us financially and in other ways to rebuild and we want to build back better and stronger".

James Durie, deputy chair of the Underfall Yard Trust has urged the public to get behind the businesses impacted.

Bristol ferry company's boat maintenance shed was destroyed losing engine tools and safety equipment.

One of the four boats destroyed had just been refurbished and recently returned to the water.

Carrie Browne, Co-director of Bristol Ferry said: "We are all shocked we are trying to get over the shock, we are trying to piece together a plan for the summer and how we continue to operate.

"We got through Covid and we're just getting back on our feet. This has set us a new challenge for sure."

A 45-year-old man has been charged with arson.

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