A request to clear the weeds which have engulfed Portslade’s wooden ‘gassie’ boat has been turned down by the council.
The gassie is a twentieth century wooden boat, once used to ferry workers to the gasworks on Shoreham Harbour.
A resident asked for the boat, on the corner of Church Road and Wellington Road, to be given some TLC – or tender loving care.
But Brighton and Hove City Council says that de-weeding roads and pavements will take priority.
The woman, Sarah, tweeted: “PLEASE may you give some TLC to this poor Portslade Gassie? Thank you!
“It’s an embarrassment currently – right as you enter the city boundary!”
South Portslade Councillor Alan Robins said: “I would love to see the Portslade Gassie restored.
“It’s only about 20 yards from where I was born.
“Many of the people I knew when growing up worked at the gas works and the small boat known to us as the Jolly Boatman still took people across the canal for a tenner a time.
“Unfortunately, as well as being overgrown, the boat itself was vandalised a few years ago and would need replacing or repairing which may prove more costly and difficult.”
A council spokesperson said: “The Portslade Gassie was vandalised a few years ago.
“Unfortunately we believe it is beyond repair and would need replacing.
“With a forecast budget gap for next year of around £25m all council budgets are under intense pressure.
“In this context we are unable to say at this stage whether we will be able to replace the gassie.
“We are aware it is also overgrown. But our teams are currently having to prioritise weed removal on our roads and pavements, grass cutting and work on sports pitches.”
A part of Portslade history, the boats gave residents a direct route across the canal rather than a long walk to Aldrington.
A sign describing its use sits next to the boat saying: “During the last century, gas works were constructed across the canal to supply the increasing local population with their demand for gas.
“By 1926, the site occupied some 40 acres and provided work for local residents.
“These workers were ferried back and forth over the canal nicknamed gassies.
“The gassies were the most direct route for the staff and avoided a long walk along the coast to Aldrington and then back to the other side.”