Trips had been previously run at the eastern end of the canal in the 1990s and the Society wanted to reinstate trip boat operations.
This provided the Society with a presence in the Woking area and complemented the John Pinkerton II operation at Odiham at the western end of the canal.
In 2016 the Kitty, which was formerly named Egremont was purchased by the Society from the Chichester Canal Trust.
Kitty underwent refurbishment and was repainted in the John Pinkerton colours in readiness for the Woking Canal Festival in August 2016 where she was first introduced to the public.
The Festival provided the opportunity to name Kitty in traditional fashion with a bottle of champagne.
The honours were undertaken by the Society Co-President Liz Dodwell.
Kitty is about 10m (32’) long and 2m (6’ 6”) wide and is fitted with a Beta-Marine 3-cylinder 1300cc diesel engine.
Built in 1987, she started life as a house boat and looked very different from how she looks today. She also spent time on the Regent’s Canal in Islington.
Kitty was purchased by the Chichester Canal Trust and was heavily modified, which included extending the rear deck backwards to facilitate wheelchair access.
Unusually, the propeller and rudder are located some 2m (6’) forward from the stern.
Internally Kitty is lined with pine cladding. She can accommodate up to 12 people on fixed seating down each side of the boat. Tables are available if required.
Kitty also has a hydraulic lift, which enables up to two wheelchair users to enjoy the benefits of a trip on the Canal.
Kitty was named after a horse of that name that worked on the Canal in the 40s and 50s. Kitty the horse is pictured with the then Canal Manager Joan Marshall.