T & S Element
Photos of BW boats
Willow Wren Photos
Severn and Canal
Midlands & Coast
T & M Fleets
Early Leisure Boating
Boats in the LMS fleet
Name / BCN Gauging number / Further details
||No 1, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1996.
Steel cabin built at Ellesmere Port early 1990's. Re-named
FORD; converted; was paired with DRAGON at Ellesmere Port;
privately owned. Now at Huxley on the Chester section
Shropshire Union Canal.
||No 710, cabined wooden horseboat, BCN
gauging No 767, 21/11/1923.
||No 4, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 2046.
Re-named ALSAGER. This boat was on BW maintenance Fradley
section mid 1970's; now privately owned. Offered for sale
1981 in working trim. Moored at Bulls Bridge 1980's/90's.
1997, sold locally to Bulls Bridge, and is now paired with
another Josher stern end plus station boat fore-end; (see
||No 5, open iron boat, BCN gauging 2050. Now
the BIRDSWOOD working as a trip boat from Froghall Wharf on
the Caldon canal. Re-bottomed and re-footed 1995, also
hydraulic engine installation installed in the rudder.
||No 7, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1558,
4/2/1930. Length 70ft 0". Now the LINCOLN, recently for sale
(July 2000), half converted, and at Greensforge S & W
Canal. This boat was on BW maintenance on the Caldon Canal
||No 9, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1501,
10/7/1929. At WFB Co for conversion/ renovation July
1985.Converted to a motor boat by Warwickshire Fly Boat Co,
and fitted with RN DM2
||No 11 , Open iron day boat, BCN gauging
1425, 20/9/1928. Length 69ft 11".
||No 12, cabined iron boat, BCN gauging No
1827, 28/9/1934.Length 70ft 6 ".
information supplied by the owner:- BCN gauge table 1827
(LMS No 12 Bride) dated 28/9/1934 refers back to BCN
14870 of 26/2/1896, this shows the boat name Bride with
owner Pickford's, later SUR&CCo. This table
also refers back to an earlier gauging BCN 13558, a
table which is missing but can be dated to June
1893. It is also the only boat in the whole of the
surviving BCN gauge tables with the name Bride. Bride
can therefore be traced right through from Pickford's to
Shropshire Union, LMS, BR (LMR) and Willow Wren and on
to private ownership in 1958. An earlier email
(info from HNBOC Archive??) said this had been traced
through to the mid 1980s. Then in late 1980s we
have a claim that a Club member owned a Bantock boat
named Bride which was modified to fit a motor in 1990,
and which appears to be the boat now carrying the BW
Index No 51170. This now looks pretty compelling
circumstantial evidence that LMS Bride and BW51170 are
probably the same boat
||No 14, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1998,
thought to be the EXETER.
||cabined wooden day boat, BCN gauging No
1076, 14/8/1925. Possibly named COUNCILLOR
||No 16, open iron boat, BCN gauging 1430,
27/9/1928. Length 69ft 11". Converted to a motor boat
1974/75. Had a rough stern on her was taken to Birchills '86
had new stern fitted not long after. Sank at Walsall when
owners son ran a bilge pump pipe out through the weed hatch
but forgot to take it back in when he turned the pump off!!
Same person now owns a radio controlled model of CRETE. (No
||No 17, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1515,
31/7/1929. Length 70ft 0". Offered for sale Sept 1981 by
M.E.Braine. Converted to motorboat by M.E.Braine, in 1983.
Full length steel cabin, with Lister JP2 and now up the
Brinklow arm, Northern Oxford.
||No 18, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1597,
9/5/1930. Length 70ft 0". Extant 1999.
||No 20, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1989.
||No 21, cabined iron boat, BCN gauging No
1742, 28/9/1932. Length 71ft 2".
||No 22, open iron boat, BCN gauging
2002.Built in 1937 for London Midland & Scottish Railway
Company by W J Yarwood & Sons of Northwich. It was then
known as Rhine, Fleet Number 22. In this period it was an
open boat, i.e. without any cabin, and was used for the
movement of cargoes between canalside premises in the
Birmingham area and railway interchange basins for onward
transport by train; hence the name ‘Railway’ or ‘Station’
boats. On nationalisation of the railways, 1st January 1948,
it was transferred into the ownership of British Railways
(London Midland Region). Following the nationalisation of
the canals at the same time, British Waterways decided that
in the North West region it would be more efficient for
boats to work in pairs rather than as single motor boats
which had been the practice previously. Although this
increased journey times, more cargo could be carried.
However, there was a shortage of butties (unpowered boats
which are towed by motors) to fulfill this policy. By the
mid-1950s, British Railways had ceased their canal carrying
activities and their boats were transferred to British
Waterways’ ownership. 12 of the Railway boats were converted
to butties by fitting traditional cabins; some at Stone,
others at Stoke-on-Trent. A distinctive feature of these
boats were their high cabins, to compensate for their
relatively shallow hulls. Rhine was one of these 12 boats,
and following conversion (at Anderton Company’s dock at
Stoke-on-Trent) was renamed “Ditton”. Clearly this work was
done as cheaply as possible; some of the original cabin work
which still survived when purchased by the present owners
was made from broken up packing cases! Ditton was often
paired with the Josher motor Cypress, and later with the
Admiral class motor MOUNTBATTEN. When carrying ceased, the
boat was left lying at Northwich and eventually purchased in
a derelict condition by Threefellows Carrying Company. They
fitted it out as a ‘camping’ boat and paired it with the
Josher motor Apple. Later, it was left lying at Sawley for a
number of years, becoming derelict once more. Ditton was
then purchased by the present owners on 8th March 1993, and
has since been extensively restored, including a new steel
bottom and wooden cabin. .
||No 23, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 2055.
Now the CREWE. For sale as CREWE in 1975, part converted.
Counter stern motorised, privately owned on the BCN at
||No 26, cabined wooden horseboat, BCN gauging
No 1102, 8/10/1925.
||No information currently on the Yarwoods
GAINSBOROUGH. LMS No 32 is listed in the BCN register as an
open wooden boat, named GAINSBOROUGH, late 21220, both
plates missing. Gauged on 14/7/1937. Length 68ft 10". BCN
gauging No 1970.
||No 35, open iron day boat, BCN gauging No
1432, 9/10/1928. Length 70ft 1".
||No 36, open iron day boat, BCN gauging No
1431, 9/10/1928. Length 70ft 1".Was possibly named HARE
||No 37, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1525,
8/10/1929. Length 70ft 0". Converted to a motorboat and now
privately owned, Shropshire. Latest info is that TEBAY is a
52ft tug owned by KW of Vintage marine engine club.
||No 40, cabined wooden horseboat, BCN gauging
No 766, 21/11/1923.
||No 41, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1606,
29/5/1930. Length 69ft 11".LMS owned and worked until
December 1959 when B.W. cut her in half at Gloucester and
used the fore end to make a 40ft hire boat WATER VIPER which
she worked as until 1969 she was sold into private ownership
and with the same family till 2001 when Jason McCabe got
her. Now CHARIENE based at Marsworth and in time will have a
new stern end.
||No 43, cabined iron boat, Registered at
Wolverhampton No. 1137, BCN gauging No 1567, 12/3/1930.
Length 70ft 4".
||No 44, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1529,
8/11/1929. Length 70ft 1". At WFB Co July 1985 for
renovation /conversion. Shortened to 48ft motor boat, engine
12hp Petter Semi diesel. Based at Bulbourne. Other half is
||No 48, open iron day boat, BCN gauging No
1434, 16/10/1928. Length 69ft 11".
||No 49, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1550,
16/1/1930. Length 70ft 1". Now the ELLESMERE working as a
hotel boat for Rushbrooke Narrowboats, Warwick.
||No 50, open iron day boat, BCN gauging No
1435, 16/10/1928. Length 69ft 11". Towed from Marple locks
to the National Trust yard at Lapworth in the mid 1970's.
Used on the Stratford on Avon Canal as a workboat by
Waterways Recovery Group East Anglia, and was loaded with
sheet piles. At that time the LMS owners plate was kicking
around in the bilges! The plate was saved, and is now
re-united with the boat after being on a window sill for 20
years. Sold by BW from the Stratford canal in 1990;
converted to a 60ft motorboat by Five Towns Boatbuilding.
Lengthened to 70ft in 1996. Engine Lister HB3. At Middlewich
rally in June 2k. BCN
||No 51, open iron day boat, BCN gauging No
1442, 14/11/1928. Length 70ft 2". Replaced an earlier boat
of the same name. Towed with MECCA from Marple to Lapworth
mid 1970's. Used as a mud hopper on the Peak Forest
restoration. Offered for sale as an open hull by WFB Co Jan
1995. Currently (Sept 2000) for sale as a 70ft motorboat at
Warwickshire Fly Boat Co.
||No 53, open iron day boat, BCN gauging No
1443, 14/11/1928. Length 70ft 0". For
most of her working life, ‘May’ worked between the canal
and railway interchange basins.
Much of May’s activity centred around factories,
wharves and trans-shipment depots on the Birmingham Canal
Navigations where the open ‘station boats’ were towed
around with tugs, often also owned by LMS.
Station boats had no cabins, unlike some ‘Joey’ boats
engaged in local traffic, so they tended to remain more
local to the area.
Twenty years later, in
1948, on nationalisation of the railways, May came under
B.R. (L.M.R.) ownership and then, in 1954, she transferred
to British Transport Commission (British Transport
Waterways) when they took responsibility for the inland
waterways and the waterways ports.
she was transferred to British Waterways and operated as a
maintenance boat based at Norbury Junction, Staffs until
May was placed in the boat weighbridge
in 1989. She
rests directly on a cradle and has a ‘cargo’ of three
empty rusting 45 gallon drums and a few scaffold poles.
still is in the weighing machine at Stoke Bruerne.
||No 56, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1556,
19/1/1930. Length 70ft 0". Now the KIDSGROVE, was at Caggy's
basin, Tipton in May '99. Sold recently. Also known as
||No 57, open iron day boat, BCN gauging No
1450, 5/12/1928. Length 70ft 0". Extant 1999, 60ft converted
boat, at Springwell on the GU.
||No 58, open iron day boat, BCN gauging No
1449, 5/12/1928. Length 70ft 2".
||open wooden day boat, BCN gauging No 1213,
18/10/1926. known as No.59
||No 597, Cabined wooden horseboat, BCN
gauging No 884, 18/7/1924.
||No 61, cabined iron boat, Registered at
Wolverhampton No. 1134, BCN gauging No 1541, 17/12/1929.
Length 70ft 3".Became Willow Wren HERON. For sale May 1981.
Currently a houseboat in Oxford.
||No 715, cabined wooden day boat, BCN gauging
No 670, 4/6/1923.possibly named REFUGEE
||No 65, open iron day boat, BCN gauging No
1460, 4/1/1929. Length 70ft 2". Extant 1999 as 50ft
||No 67, cabined wooden horseboat, BCN gauging
No 1105, 9/10/1925.
||No 68, cabined iron boat, Registered at
Wolverhampton No 1135, BCN gauging No 1544, length 70ft 2".
||No 69, open iron day boat, BCN gauging No
1461, 4/1/1929. Length 70ft 0". Extant 1999. In July 1979
the RILL was found in undergrowth at Pike Bridge, Eastington
on the Stroudwater Navigation. Owned by enthusiast in the
Banbury area. Other
Photos BCN Photos
||No 72, open iron day boat, BCN gauging No
1465, 4/2/1929. Length 70ft 0". Replaced an earlier boat of
the same name. The information on this boat remains
uncertain, but this is what we have. Re-named the IRLAM, and
was at Middlewich around 1978 in kit form. The fore-end
could be seen stacked high above the buildings opposite
Willow Wren Kearns. It was rebuilt as a 60ft motor on the
offside between the locks at Middlewich, re-named PARAGON,
as the owner came from Hull. I personally can remember the
boat being launched in 1979. See WW Feb 1996 for more
information. PARAGON is currently moored outside the pump
house at Sutton stop. An advert in WW Nov 1989 lists RIVAL
currently in two halves for sale, (this boat we are assured
is the RIVAL, so the above may not be the RIVAL after all.).
The two halves came about by BW requiring a working platform
for bridge work, so 2 x 35 ft boats were made from one. BW
sold the boat halves to Pochin's, (contractors) who used
them for some time, and then craned them out into their yard
at Middlewich. They then moved on to the Colliery Narrowboat
Co, and later still to Mr R Lorenz of Manchester where the
halves were advertised in WW. They were purchased by
enthusiasts and moved to David Jones's yard at Chester,
where the fore-end still remains. The stern has since moved
||No 73, open iron boat, BCN gauging 1557.
Length 70ft 0". Extant 2000, now the JESMOND as a 70ft motor
boat,( Lister SR2, wooden cabin in 1983).
||No 74, cabined iron boat, Registered at
Wolverhampton No 1138, BCN gauging No 1609, 12/6/1930.
Length 70ft 4". Extant Other
||No 76, cabined iron boat, Registered at
W'Ton No 1139, BCN gauging No 1691, 2/9/1931. Length 70ft0".
Still in BW maintenance fleet, based Bradley as a mud
||No 78, cabined wooden horseboat, BCN gauging
No 870, 20/6/1924.
||No 79, cabined wooden horseboat, BCN gauging
No 911, 8/9/1924. possibly named SMILE
||No 698, cabined wooden horseboat, BCN
gauging No 771, 3/12/1923. Undergoing restoration.
||No 81, cabined iron boat, Reg'd at W'ton No
1136, BCN gauging No 1562, length 70ft 2".
|Sir. A. Murray
|Sir H. Smith-Dorrien
||No 750, open day boat, BCN gauging No 773,
||No 86, open iron day boat, BCN gauging No
1466, 4/2/1929. Length 70ft 3". Offered for sale Dec 81.
Back cabin new 1979, with 3ft extension. Was paired with
HYPERION late 1970's, and based at Middlewich.
||No 90, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1697,
21/9/1931. Length 69ft 8".
||No 91, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1483,
30/4/1929. Length 70ft 0".
||No 92, open iron boat, BCN gauging No 1493,
4/8/1929. Length 70ft 0".
L.M.S. owned Yarwoods
built STATION BOATS.
YEAR / NAME / FLEET NUMBER / BCN GAUGE. NO.
1928 F.J.HANKINSON 11 1425
1928 CRETE 16 1430
1928 HOUND 35 1432
1928 HARE 36 1431
1928 MULL 48 1434
1928 MECCA 50 1435
1928 MANCHURIA 51 1442
1928 MAY 53 1443
1928 OCEAN 57 1450
1928 PERU 58 1449
1928 RAT 65 1460
1928 RILL 69 1461
1929 RIVAL 72 1465
1929 SPECK 86 1466
1929 TED 91 1483
1929 TOM 92 1493
1929 AJAX 9 1501
1929 BECK 17 1515
1929 TEBAY 37 1525
1929 FINCH 44 1529
1929 LISBON 49 1550
1930 NAPLES 56 1556
1930 SAXON 73 1557
1930 VENICE 7 1558
1930 SEVILLE 18 1597
1930 DELHI 41 1606
1929 CALEB 61 1541
1929 GILBERT 68 1544
1930 HORACE 81 1562
1930 DORA 43 1567
1930 OLIVE 74 1609
1930 NORAH 76 1691
1930 BRIDE 12 1827
1930 CYCLOPS 20 1989
1930 CZAR 21 1742
1930 GAINSBOROUGH No details available. No details available.
1930 SARDINE 90 1697
1930 No details available. No details available No details
1937 CLYDE 1 1996
1937 DART 14 1998
1938 RHINE 22 2002
1938 ROLLO 4 2046
1938 ROSS 5 2050
1938 RAYE 23 2055
The 12 boats converted at Stone for the BW North
west division carrying fleet to make up for a lack of butties were
re-named as follows;
ROLLO - ALSAGER; ROSS- BIRDSWOOD; RAYE -
CREWE; RHINE - DITTON; DART? - EXETER; CLYDE - FORD; SEVILLE -
GRANTHAM; ? - HEREFORD; RIVAL - IRLAM; SAXON - JESMOND; NAPLES -
KIDSGROVE; VENICE - LINCOLN.