FELLOWS MORTON and CLAYTON (FMC) The company was founded by James Fellows in 1837, and although he started in West Bromwich, he established a depot at Toll End (Tipton) soon after. James's son Joshua took over the company after his father's death and was responsible for the growth of the firm. When the Grand Junction Canal Company ceased trading in 1876, Joshua and Price & Son bought a number of the boats and formed the "London and Staffordshire Carrying Company". Frederick Morton joined the company in the same year, bringing with him sufficient funds to continue the expansion. The name change to "Fellows Morton and Company" quickly followed. The year of 1887 saw the take over of the London and Midlands Carrying Company, and two years later in 1889 the general carrying business of Thomas Clayton was absorbed. Thus "Fellows Morton and Clayton" was born. In the fleet of mainly horse-drawn narrow boats FMC had acquired were several steam-powered craft, more were built at their own works at Saltley (formerly Thomas Clayton's yard) along with the engines. The success of FMC was a fast, complete service, with warehousing at their main depots and daily delivery and distribution. During the 1920s they were the major suppliers of Tea and Sugar to the majority of shops in Birmingham. FMC also experimented very early on with alternatives to horse and steam power. In 1912 they built "Linda", powered by a Bolinder semi-diesel engine. The boat was a great success, being a trendsetter for many years to come. FMC thrived and remained profitable throughout the 1920s and 30s, surviving in the face of opposition to the railways by continuing to offer their "delivery to the door" service. Suddenly, in 1948, the company made its first trading loss ever, the canals where nationalised, and the shareholders apparently panicked and decided on voluntary liquidation. All the company's assets were bought by the British Transport Commission and, sadly, one of the most famous and prolific canal carrying companies ever to grace Britain's inland waterways was confined to history. What did they carry? All types of groceries and perishables including tea and sugar, paper, metals, wood, cement, cocoa beans (supplying Cadburys among others), sand, gravel, coal and pig-iron. There were, of course, many other items carried, but the above formed the bulk.
still carrying 9/89. Was based at the Black Country Living Museum sold 12/00 still has wooden bottom PhotosLYNXLink
Lapwing is a trip boat based at Little Venice. This is from www.floatingboater.co.uk "Built as a working boat in 1913 for transporting goods, "Lapwing" is one of a unique small band of vintage boats still operating on the English Inland Waterways. She still has her original livery and boatman's decorated cans on the engine room roof. In 1999 we undertook a major refurbishment and she now has a mahogany paneled saloon, well stocked bar, central heating and a large open foredeck. She is available all year round and is ideal for smaller receptions, parties and exclusive dining." fs 2007 FMC photos
possibly converted 47ft Ernie Thomas. Waterways World. 2/01 Gardner 2L2, converted, fitted out Norton Canes. New 11mm steel bottom. For sale 1995. Now fullish length with new counter. Pic Drews Josher site
She operated under fleet number 45, Birmingham Canal Navigation number 21980 and Grand Union number 11893. LAUREL carried various cargoes from 1914 to 1947, working for Fellows, Morton & Clayton Ltd. With nationalization, she was transferred to British Waterways and used on the Coventry Canal between 1948 and 1960. She later sank at Hartshill, Nuneaton, and remained there until she was acquired by the present owner in 1964, when she was converted to pleasure use. Her hull is composite, with riveted wrought iron sides and an elm bottom converted with full wooden conversion. The current engine is an inboard diesel Freedom Range (FR3) made by Lister Blackstone Marine Ltd. It has three cylinders and twenty-four brake horsepower at 1500 rpm. Pic
Sold into private ownership during late 1960s. Worked as a hotel boat for several years. converted 5/89. for sale 9/92 now unconverted was at Braunston 2000. 2007 The inside of the cabin has unfortunately been burnt out by a fire but Andy is determined to restore it. Currently powered by a 20Hp Gearbox Bolinder ex-Jaguar, one of 5 imported for the GUCCCo. LilyFMC photos
she was once owned by Colonel Richie a director of Willow Wren She was converted for many years lived on by the Butler Family in London she was sold and eventually bought by Peter Fitch who had her restored into working condition by Keith Bull at Stretton in 1989 She is now owned and lived on By Dave Wright and may be seen at most canal festivals Extensively rebuilt at Stretton on the SU 1980's. Now powered by a Lister JP2, unconverted. Jan 2001, at Rickmansworth having a total repaint. sc 2/00: LUPINFMC photos
Shortened to appx. 55' . Owned by same person for many years. May be paired with FMC butty Kingsbury. PENGUIN
Originally fitted with a Bolinder Semi Diesel engine, it is now powered by a Lister HR diesel. The boat passed into the hands of BWB upon nationalization and thereafter to Union Canal Carriers before being bought by its present owner in 1981. Unconverted motorboat; widely travelled. Has been to the current heads of navigation on the Idle at Bawtry, and the bottom lock at Turners Wood on the Chesterfield. FMC photos
Sold to BWB in 1952 when her name was changed to PARROT. Engine changes: 1967 - Armstrong Siddeley, 1988 - Lister JP 3. Sold on to Peter Froud in 1962 and then to Warwickshire Fly Boat Company by 1973 when she reverted to her original name. Her present owners acquired her in 1999. For a number of years, a camping boat operated by WFBCo. Extension cabin built, and recently undergone footing work at Stretton on the SU Canal, (Summer 2000). While being lifted out for more work at Industry she slipped off the crane and a few butt seams parted, she will be returned to good as new condition. PLOVERDrews siteFMC photos
The first steamer to have a Bolinder fitted, E type, Job No 839. Sold to Joseph Holloway of Oldbury. Rebuilt WFB Co 1989, Bolinder 1053 diesel fitted. Unconverted trading condition, and based at Denham on the GU. Attended Braunston in July 2000. FMC photos
Cost �450 excluding engine. Rebuilt at Uxbridge 1941. Engine 10hp Bolinder. Re engined in 1925 with a 15hp Bolinder. Entered the BW South East Division, and paired with BASCOTE. Bought by Willow Wren in 1954 as QUAIL. Regd at Uxbridge No 598, and paired with FMC FLORENCE, (W.Wren KINGFISHER). 1969 at Cowley and converted, and at Paddington in 1980. In 1998 at Coppermill, and hogged. Autumn 2000 craned out at Devizes and broken up after repeated sinking.
sld.TCO.4/48. Thought to have been cut up for scrap on the BCN but this boat is actually cruising the system under the name EMPRESS. PhotosDrews siteFMC photos
Was rebuilt at FMC's Uxbridge yard in 1925 and fitted with a 15 hp Bolinder. Became W Wren's AVOCET in 1950s
Last owned by Hector Bijl who lived aboard at Paddington there was a fire on board and it was possibly dumped on the Slough arm in the 50's
sold to Ernie Thomas after being bombed in B'ham shortened and converted by him for pleasure craft.
Sold to ET. Was thought to have been EMPRESS. Evidence now points to ENVOY having been cut up by Ernie Thomas.
purchased this boat in 1974, sunk in Chester basin. She was raised by Chester fire brigade and I put her on the dry dock, where we spent a couple of months patching her up. (we being myself, Cliff Bennington, Mandy Maynard and our daughter Tama). The previous owners were a canal restoration co. and prior to them a Chester resident named John Bowles.
I exchanged the rusted two cylinder Thorneycroft engine for cash and an oak counter block from Yan at Willow Wren and obtained a snatch to Worsley where we spent some months replacing the rotten counter and some half dozen oak planks. We built a steam box so that we could bend and twist the 2" oak to the counter. The next job would be the fore end but I needed money and decided to move nearer Manchester and bow hauled to Hyde. The boat was then stolen whilst I was away and I eventually traced it to a Manchester based restoration company in 1979. What eventually became of her I've no idea but would be interested.
Shortened to 62ft. In BWB ownership until mid 1980s. Based at Tardebigge. The original 15hp Bolinder went into ENGLAND. Adder
In the 1970s, the names COURTNEY and ISIS were connected with this boat. Photo
Became Willow Wren GREBE. Oct 2000 at Stone and fully converted. ANTELOPE
Registered Northwich no. 48 on 3. 10. 1958. Sold by BWB in 1974/5. seen converted. 8/94 Owned by Iain and Louisa Bryceland, Braidbar Boats, Lord Vernons Wharf, Poynton on the Macclesfield canal. BADGERDrews site
BISON was fully operational until well into 1955. It was sent to Boyers Pit, Harefield in March 1956 and sold in June 1956. Although there is a possibility that BISON may have sunk during this three month period due to rain water or a hull leak there is no evidence of such in the 'British Waterways' records.
She was then sold into private ownership in the 1950s and has been a houseboat ever since. She has a pointed bow with raked curved stem and a counter stern. Her hull is in very good condition, but the cabin needs replacing. The hull has original riveted iron sides, although she now has a steel bottom. The current engine is an inboard diesel made by National, model DM2, with two cylinders
converted by Warwickshire fly Was BW maintenance boat, North East, and sold into private ownership 1980's from Nottingham. Engine at the time was a Lister HA2. The boat initially went to Macclesfield, and has now been rebuilt at Stockton. Fully converted, the engine is now a Russell Newbury DM2, ex GUCC ELSTREE. FMC photos
Paired with butty BULBOURNE in 1933, and crewed by the Brookes family. converted for sale. 5/89 2007 lying at market drayton. used to live on the Upper Peak Forest at Disley. has a full length cabin conversion. it is believed that only the stern and back end is original and that the front end was added early 80's.
Now 59ft and renamed General Lee. fs.11/00 Drews site
Under restoration at Industry Narrowboats, Stretton Postcard view
Sold to Barlows 1941. Shortened to 57ft at Charity dock, converted, engine Lister SR3. Moored on Caldon Canal 1980's. Rebuilt at Dimmingsdale on S&W. Currently on Leicester section at Debdale Marina. as seen in 'changing places' in WW 11/02 Pic
sold to S.Barlows.9/41. renamed Winston cut up and used as a landing stage in Hatfield reservoir Pic
sold to T.C.O. 5/47. converted fs.4/91 On Dickinson's contract in 1901 with butty MAUD until 1927. 1940 city boat motor captained by Tom Boswell. 1960 owned by C.W.Mitchard, Tipton and re-named VICTORY. Shortened to 50ft, and later stretched to 60ft. Converted, based Wolverhampton. CAPTAIN
sold to E.Thomas .renamed Victory ended life as Peter Keays DART sunk at Pratts Bridge
sold to Leonard Leigh 1/41 at some point Ernie Thomas had this boat shortened to 57ft. converted tug was @ Rickmansworth 10/99 as full length tug. When shortened by Ernest Thomas, the boat was called MERCURY. Recently lengthened using side plates from the FMC butty BRENTFORD. Now based on the GU at Uxbridge and owned by Peter Thompson of Marine Engine Services. Has a 15Hp Bolinder. Pic
BCN 979 on 11.12. 1924. Sold to Willow wren now converted for sale. 5/92, 2007 owned by ray bowern, owner of streethay wharf, is unconverted and awaiting further restoration. Cabin is in good order and new running gear.
sold to E Thomas
conv steamer.fs.6/91. Converted to motorboat 1925. Was BW maintenance boat Macc Canal. Based at Ellesmere Port 1980's. Engine Gardner 2L2 from NCB boat FRED now on dry land at Astley Green Colliery. Boat sold and shortened to 62ft at Longport Wharf, in 1992, (middle plates scrapped). Converted and steam engine fitted. Based on the Macc Canal at Bollington, 1998, on the Northern Oxford, Oct 2000. Attended Braunston in July 2000. she was fitted in 2005 with a Lister jp2 and has been moored on the Trent and Mersey at Fradley since June 2004 PhotosMONARCHMonarchFMC photos
Now owned by Andrew Hoyle and rebuilt as working boat. Moored at Shadehouse, Trent and Mersey. From the current owners :- According to Albert Jones (ex-steerer of BRITTANIA) Caggy Stevens bought DOVE, and called her SWAN and converted her to a trip boat for Second City Cruisers. She was then re-named BRITTANIA.Albert then took her down the GU to Ricky and started to convert her to a live-a-boardWhen we saw her, she was slowly sinking and looked, well!...... I can't think of a good word.We towed her to Teddesley and craned her out. Me and Andrea (my missus) then set about to restore her.Dove infoDoves RestorationFMC photos
unconverted for sale. 4/88. Also went to Dunkirk with Monarch and England. Rebuilt at Brinklow boat services. FMC photos
Info sent in by P. Hunter - Marquis was sold off by FMC in 1942 to Joseph Holloway of Oldbury (where Allen Brothers used to be) and as far as I knew disappeared until about 1970! Well its been hard work but I have managed to fill in some gaps. It now appears it was renamed "Sally" and sold at some stage to W. J. Haywood of Tipton who still had it in 1957. Joe Holloway's wife was called Sally so I presume it was renamed by him. (He also had the Helen built by Harris's later passing it to Leonard Leigh and this was presumably named after a daughter.) At one time it had a 20hp (yes 20hp!) Bolinder which is now at Ellesmere Port Museum but in 1957 this was replaced by the present FR3. In about 1960/61 it was converted (appallingly) by, I think, Jim Yates. At some time between 1957 and 1961 it was shortened, probably by Harris's as it has the big chunky slightly oval towing studs they used to fit. In about 1964 it was renamed Calypso, reverting to Marquis in 1974 when it was reconverted by Malcolm Braine. Haywoods incidentally were a colliery owners who also had a number of joeys and an ex-Elements little Ricky motor (King or Prince something I think) fs 2005 MARQUISPostcardBCN Photos
Allegedly was E Thomas's STAR then SALAMANDER post sale from fleet ownership. Engine changed to Lister JP 2 at some time, changed to Gardner 4 LW in 1994. converted for sale. 11/93. seen in canal Boat 10/01 and at National 2005 sold to ET 7/47.Renamed Star Now called THE KING again and fully converted. Based at Anderton on T & M THE KINGPostcard
as ENTERPRISE: 1944, sunk by bombing in Birmingham, and sold in 1945 to Ernest Thomas of Walsall. Shortened to 52ft for tugging on the BCN. Engine, Gardner 5L2 Diesel, from 1931 Pagefield Paladin lorry, Reg JJ950. Parsons gearbox, driving prop 35"x25" via a 2:1 reduction.. Main use tugging; pulling day boats from Cannock to Birchills Power Station, Walsall. Became semi-derelict after 1960, and purchased by the present owners in 1973. Maintained in working tug condition. Postcard
Sold by FMC to the Oxford Co Op for carrying coal from Coventry to Oxford. In 1946 the boat was sold to Tom Whitley, who converted her for living on during the next 3 years. At the time the engine was a 15hp Bolinder. In 1951 he set up Waterborne Tours, with the wooden butty MAFEKING, bought from Barlows at Braunston. The butty was sold in 1962, and PRINCE continued as a hotel boat until 1964. She was then moored outside the stables at Audlem bottom lock for retirement of both boat and steerer. Sold by Tom in 1977 for a major re-build. Now based at Malkins Bank, totally rebuilt and fully converted. Pics
Northwich 69 on 3.10. 1958 Sold by BWB in 1970s. Converted with wooden cabin based on the Macclesfield canal ELK
Willow Wren as Tern '64
Willow Wren as SANDPIPER Reg Uxbridge 42, on 14. 12. 1954 : GU Gauging 12160. based at Stourbridge paired with FMC butty VENICE PicsFMC photos
Ferret is powered by a Bolinder BM 15 hp hot bulb oil engine.As well as carrying her own cargo, this gives enough power to pull an unpowered narrowboat called a �butty�.A motor and butty together are called �a pair�.During her working life Ferret was paired with several butties as part of the Fellows, Morton and Clayton north western fleet.Rumour has it that Ferret was a �change� boat, used temporarily while the boatman�s usual motor boat was in dock for major repairs.This might explain why Ferret was paired with so many different butties.Ferret was based at Albion Wharf, Wolverhampton, and travelled to various places in the North West of England such as Ellesmere Port, Weston Point Docks, Runcorn and Manchester.The butties it is known she was paired with include: Clara, Grange, Stone, Winsford and finally, for 4 years, Urmston.
On nationalisation, Ferret was sold to the predecessor of The British Waterways Board on 18 November 1948.She was allocated to the North Western Division, Southern Carrying Fleet but transferred to London in 1953.This time the butties she was paired with were Northwich, John, Nebula and Bangor.
After a spell as a maintenance boat, the Ferret was sold in 1960 to Waterdale Canal Services at Moore in Cheshire with the intention of converting her to a floating hotel.At some stage, her original Bolinder engine was removed (this was fitted into Dragon, a Yarwood�s built boat).
In a rather poor condition and still in British Waterways colours, she was sold to Mr and Mrs Clark in 1964who based the boat at Preston Brook and then Barbridge.During the mid 60s, they built cabins in the hold and the Bolinder engine from the motor Elk was installed (by Peter Froud) and served them well for nearly 20 years of extensive cruising on the canal system.The boatman�s cabin was restored professionally by Taylor�s Boatyard, Chester in the mid 70s.In 1983 she was sold to the City of Nottingham Industrial Museum.Although working well, at this time, the Bolinder engine was overhauled.
The Bolinder engine is a lamp-start, single cylinder 15 horse power semi-diesel two stroke.This engine type was the work horse of the Josher fleet and has a highly prized exhaust note with an unusual hit and miss governor arrangement.
In Waterways World, March 1986, John Cockcroft gives a colourful account on the starting procedure for the �terrifying� Bolinder engine when he brought the boat back from Norton Canes to Nottingham:
�This 15hp (1500cc) single cylinder engine has to be kick started � against compression � after being heated at the cylinder head by a blowlamp!Kick starting is achieved by means of a pin or plug which projects from the front face of the flywheel, it is spring loaded so that normally it is retracted.The victim puts his right foot on the pin, a small grab handle is provided for his right hand while the top of the fuel tank supports his left.The idea then is to concentrate all the force in your body onto that right foot and push down to the deck as hard and far as possible.When your foot hits the deck the pin springs back, onto the flywheel, which returns powerfully in the direction whence it has come, hopefully to start the engine by its inertia.Obviously if the would-be starter has totally committed himself, and the engine fires prematurely, then like a winged spirit he takes flight, hence our trepidation.�
The Clark family have added that, �Starting the engine was not a matter of strength but the correct knack in �kicking it over� once the engine was hot enough�.The family were quite small but were always able to start the engine easily. In 1999 Nottingham Industrial Museum closed and Ferret was transferred to the Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port.PhotosDrews siteFMC photos
In 1980's was at Matty's at Coseley, unconverted. Wooden cabin, and powered by a Bolinder 15HP semi Diesel. Now part of the South Midland fleet, regularly loaded with coal etc. Full details and pics
1947 with butty SPAIN on GU, captained by J. Fitchford Jnr. Became Barlow's FRANKLYN in 1950s. 1983 for sale unconverted with JP2, new cabin and bottom. Now has extended cabin, based on the Ashby. VANGUARDFMC photos
Poss sighting at Bulls Bridge GU 2007
BCN 1238 on 7. 1. 1927 HARE was cut into two parts by BWB in the late 1950s, and part was used in early hire boat WATER BULRUSH. The HARE referred to here has been re lengthened. conv.60ft.7/93 HARE
BCN 1298 on 17. 6. 1927 Re registered Northwich 76 on 3. 10. 1958 BW.historic.7/99 based at Red Bull Pics
BCN 1846 , on 13. 3. 1935 Uxbridge 44 , on 28. 2. 1950 .hotel boat as JUPITER 60s -80s fs.5/89 Now fully converted and based on the River Severn (Waterways World Aug 07) Drews site
original fore end made into WATER GENTIAN, a 60' boat on the peak forest canal, now renamed Jackal description as follows:- Everything external newly built throughout 1990's to highest standard. Double flywheel vintage JP2 engine1932. New bottom in 10mm steel. New steel cabin in 5mm, roof in 4mm. Recessed panels. Newly painted. New plastic water tank. New stainless steel gas locker. Dry Docked regularly. Watertight extended tug style front deck, fixed planked in iroko hard wood. Stern to bow layout is... Cosy Boatman's cabin, into engine room, into bathroom, into galley, into saloon into under deck storage/second bedroom.For sale 2008 �49k. starn made into a push tug stern and fore end of FMC butty JOHN are now together as JACKAL. Based at Trent Lock paired with HEREFORD, both owned by J&C Deuchars. JACKALPhotosFMC photos
Shortened in 1946 . Renamed PACIFIC in late 1940s & 50s. Renamed MALLARD in 1962 & re engined using Lister CE 2. as tug Mallard.fs.00 VICTORYFMC photos
Sold to E Thomas, then given to Walsall boys club. Sold into private hands owned by C.Foster for 6 years. was used experimentally to test a Crossley gas engine in 1906, which survived in the boat until 1910 when the steam plant was replaced. The space taken up by the gas engine was similar to the steam plant, but economies were made with fuel and crew numbers. Converted to motorboat 1927. 1979 rebuilt at Keays, Walsall. 1983 for sale with JP2. 1987 for sale with under cloth fit out. Was based at Little Venice, London. Now based in B'ham and for sale 2005 PicsFMC photos
Built 1909, a narrowboat said to be the last Fellows Morton & Clayton steamer. She was converted to diesel in 1927. Today she is fitted with coal fires and a compound steam engine built between 1875 and 1880. Last FMC steamer to be converted to motor boat. Much restored in 1970s. Owned by same person for many years. She is based at Bathampton, Avon and is in commercial trade. VICEROYDrews site
Went into the BWNW fleet upon nationalisation then onto the Trent and Mersey canal society was then sold into private hands (when I tried to buy her) Now part of the South Midland fleet, and regularly loaded. Powered by a 15HP Bolinder, ex FMC AZALEA. This engine was sold from a collection at Sutton Spring Wood, Chesterfield. The boat has been rebuilt at WFB Co. PicsFMC photos
Cut into two boats by BWB in 1959, WATER LILY was thought at one time to be part of FMC's OSTRICH. Bow of what is almost definitely KESTREL, however, formed part of WATER LILY , stern remained as KESTREL. HNBOC archive has full saga of identities of KESTREL and OSTRICH. conv.fs. 11/87
From a former owner I received - My husband and I owned a motor from 1965 to about 1971 which we were first told was "Ostrich" but various BW maintenance men we talked to all over the Midlands all said that it was "the old Kestrel" - Ostrich having been cut up by mistake and BW switched their names. The boat we owned has various dents in the back counter caused by use at some point without fenders and this is how these old BW employees recognised the boat. We subsequently called the boat Kestrel which we believed to be No.202 GUCCC At first the boat was converted to residential accommodation but we "deconverted " it by transferring the conversion wholesale on to a wooden butty we had acquired which we called "Delta" *(the original name having been forgotten but the BW men said it began with D and was about9 letters) we used the lock at Stoke Prior wharf as a "jack" to do this job, which worked very well. We then proceeded to restore Kestrel to working condition before selling it to two brothers Roger and Peter Currell in about 1971 who continued the restoration work. Kestrel had an Armstrong Siddeley engine in it and was full length. We restored the back cabin. KESTRELStern photoDrews site
tb. Easily identified by the large rivetted patch on the fore-end port side; done many years ago. Tastefully converted by Warwickshire flyboat co. Lister JP3 with lister gearbox. Back cabin with solid fuel range and roses and castle painting. Living area to front of boat, at Willowbridge on the GU Oct 2000.
conv BW.60's WATER LILY poss. Cut down to circa 45ft, converted as a pleasure boat; original fore-end. Oct 2000 at Langley Mill.
Advertised for sale 1975, full length, new wooden cabin with Kelvin J2. At Charity dock, Bedworth 1975. Based at Rickmansworth GU Dec 2000.
was worked by the Edwards and Russon families who were based at Suttons stop. After nationalisation Owl was used a maintenance boat, and in 1960 it caught fire and was sold for scrap for �50. It passed through a large number of private owners and was used as a camping boat at Foxton. Finally it was bought by Jim and Sue Hutchinson in 1989 and ten years later was restored with an under cloth conversion by Warwickshire Fly Boat Company. The 25hp Seffle semi diesel engine was replaced by a Kelvin K2 in 1999. Now has a KELVIN engine Seffle has gone into SEVERN ex TCO. Further information received from Jim Hutchinson (the Seffle) it was sold and as far as I know it still hasn't been put into a boat. I think Steve Priest has got it at the moment. Willow Wren bought four 25 hp Seffles in 1953 (I think). One was cannibalised; one is now in Severn (this one came out of FMC Lily); one is in a modern boat called Beckwood and the third was in Owl (this one came out of Willow Wren's Avocet). Many thanks for that Jim. OWLPicsFMC photos
BCN gauging No 1600. Length 70ft 6in. Originally powered by a 15hp Bolinder. She was sold to British Transport Commission in 1948. Shortened to 53' whilst in BWB's ownership, engine by mid 1960s was a Lister HA 2. She remained in work until the late 1970s. Acquired by her present owners, the Coventry Canal Society, in about 1990 and is now a BW Heritage boat used by them for rubbish collection. Has a unique fore-end (not original) with the guards running vertically. PANTHERFMC photos
shortened by BW. 1980's
unconverted for sale. 12/89 1987 based on the Caldon Canal as BW maintenance boat. ACACIA was one of six boats built by Yarwoods in coppered steel, which was unusual material for that period. She was commissioned by Fellows, Morton & Clayton Ltd and worked the northern half of the Shropshire Union Canal. In 1948, ACACIA became a maintenance craft for British Waterways and remained in that role until purchased by her current owner. She was re-built by G. Edgson of Norton Canes Boatbuilders in 1991 and given a new superstructure and steel hull. Fully converted, based at Norton Canes. FMC photos
Alder II - BW paint boat in 1970s, bow part with no engine. Bow section (40') used as part of 57' craft by 2005. rebuilt 4/93 57ft converted seen at Dutton on the T&M 10/00. BW maintenance boat at Northwich in 1989. The stern had been cut off, and the boat was 50ft in length, with cabins at each end for the painters. Sold into private ownership 1990, and rebuilt as a 57ft motorboat at Ellesmere Port. ALDER was commissioned by Fellows Morton & Clayton Ltd. and built in 1931 by W.J. Yarwood & Sons Ltd. at Northwich, Cheshire. Her original engine was a fifteen horsepower Bolinder semi diesel, but she currently has a nineteen horsepower Gardner engine installed which previously belonged to the narrow boat tug FRED. She has a coppered steel hull, with iron frames and a steel bottom that was originally made of elm. Her initial length was seventy-one feet, but she was shortened to fifty-seven feet in the 1960s. She operated as fleet number eighty and was based at Anderton, Cheshire, as part of the Northern Fleet. Between 1949 and 1990, ALDER worked for British Waterways as a maintenance craft. In 1990, she was bought by the present owner and fully restored to 1931 condition and her original red and green livery. She has the correct period back cabin and engine room and is moored at Ellesmere, Cheshire. Oct 2000 at Dutton T&M.
In 1964 the stern 22 ft of Alder was made into a push tug (along with FMC Bream) at Bradley workshops in Birmingham, the fore end was as you say made into a painting boat called Alder II. Alder the push tug worked at Hillmorton and Hatton for a few years, but was unstable and essentially not very useful, in late 1968 the tug was taken to Gloucester Repair Yard to have the bows of a Harris Brothers dayboat added to make it into a 38ft tug with a then new Lister HA2. A Lister HR2 was installed new in 1969 and the tug Alder was transferred to Padworth. It worked on the K&A until about 2000 and was offered for auction by BW in the first round of auctions 2 yrs ago or so. I persuaded BW that it had historic value and it was withdrawn from the auction, In October 2007 the Hereford & Gloucester Canal Trust having been leased the boat by BW, removed it from the canal at Devizes and took it to their basin at Over near Gloucester. Over the winter it has been cleaned, welded and painted, it's running gear has been renovated and it is now in the basin awaiting work to the topsides and interior. We intend in the future to get the boat back onto the main system travelling around, promoting the Trust and ultimately being used to pull mud hoppers about for the restoration of the canal up to Hereford. (from C Jones - H&GCT) ALDERFMC photos
Currently in Bristol Docks, unconverted. Previously owned by Threefellows Carrying of Long Eaton.
APPLE is a narrowboat built by W. J. Yarwood & Sons of Northwich in 1931 and commissioned by Fellows, Morton & Clayton Ltd. Her fleet number was 302 and she was registered at Birmingham as number 1537. In 1958, she was re-numbered by the Inland Waterways and then re-registered at Northwich as number 46. She was originally used on the Grand Union Canal between London and Birmingham as a 'flyboat', operating day and night carrying perishable goods. Later, she moved to the North West area between Birmingham, Manchester and the Mersey estuary, towing an unpowered narrowboat. APPLE passed to British Waterways in 1948 and was then sold to Threefellows Carrying Company. She was bought by the present owner in 1993. Her hull is currently sound and her cabin, containing mostly original fittings and fixtures, is under restoration, together with the running gear. The hull is riveted, with coppered steel plate sides, and initially had an elm bottom which has now been replaced in steel. The cabin is made of pitch pine, with oak frames. APPLEs current engine is an inboard Lister HB2, with two cylinders and twenty-nine brake horse power, made in 1960. APPLE
for sale. 10/92. Converted for sale. 11/00 FMC photos
Craned onto land at the end of the Engine arm Smethwick for rebuilding, this project failed and the boat was scrapped, parts remain in other boats including table cupboard and 15hp Bolinder which is in KANGAROO
This boat was cut towards the stern by BW, and the fore end part used for maintenance on the Coventry Canal. It was sold, and ended up in the middle of Fradley Airfield, where it was purchased in the 1980's, and a new stern added. Attended Middlewich rally in June. Stern end of BREAM was used as a pusher tug, but is now added to a BCN day boat. The original stern has the Bolinder fuel tank, and Armstrong Siddeley AS2. Shortened to 55'. Rebuilt to 70' by Keith Ball with full length cabin. Lister HA2. Rear section still exists with BCN day boat front end, based southern GU. Her current engine is an inboard Lister diesel HA2, with two cylinders and twenty-two horsepower, made in 1953. BREAM was the first of the Fish Class of single motors. She carried up to 32 tons and is believed to have broken all records for the fastest runs, fully laden. She was part of a special fleet of fast express boats, each with a hold two feet longer than the standard motors, enabling them to carry twenty-five tons easily. They could be more flexible and offer an express service in response to increasing competition from rail and road. The new design was approved in 1931 and in July the following year, BREAM was ordered as the prototype vessel. She was aptly nicknamed the MAURITANIA by the crew after the Blue Riband Cunard liner of the time and carried wheat grain and flour amongst other cargoes.
In the late 1980s, BREAMS hull was bought by Keith Ball of Industry Narrowboats. Over a period of four years, he gradually restored her to original condition. By 1994, she was complete. She had a new bottom and stern, with a full length steel cabin containing exceptional steel work and recessed panels, sign-written in Fellows, Morton and Clayton livery. She was fitted with a traditional Lister HA2 and a new PRM gearbox. After several years, BREAM was sold to Roger Murray who based her at Bollington on the Macclesfield Canal. She was later bought by Martin Knott from Corwen and moved to Ellesmere Port for two years, before being purchased by the Roberts family. BREAMFMC photos
After service in the North Western fleet of BTC, Brill had been used as a canal maintenance boat bearing the number RB/128/NWS but by September 1964 had been sunk in Billinge Green Flash, south of Northwich on the Trent & Mersey Canal. Part of Brill was recovered (along with several other boats) by Ian Riley during the mid 1980's. Broken up recently (2000) at Runcorn. Look at Steve's fish class site for photos of BRILL at the end.
Following supplied by Graham Holland :- Owned by myself and used as a tug, towing Stewart and Lloyds' BCN day boat 116, carrying general cargos until it was sold to Brentford Bridge Boatyard, who were in a better financial position to restore it (I was just a boatman). They removed the fine national Diesel and abandoned it and let it sink in Brentford Tide Lock cutting on the down-river side, against the bank, where I saw her remains only a few of years ago, when passing through by car. I could not resist visiting her grave. Even then there was enough to manage a restoration. All ironwork including the knees and wooden ribs round the front end and the stem post were there; as was the Counter Block. She is exposed at each low tide and can be approached from the rear of the Heidelberg building. She had even had enough life in her bones to sunk a pleasure boat which had moored over her grave and got impaled on her ribs. She never did much go for pleasure boats. She kinda thought they got in her way when she was up for boating. Carp would have made a fine flyboat. Ian Riley had recovered Carp from Norwich Middle Flash where BWB dumped her when they closed commercial carrying and abandoned the boating families to council houses; and then it had been acquired by Steve Wakefield. It was later sold to a group of young musicians and abandoned, sunk, at Croxley Green, Rickmansworth from whence I raised it. It never sank whilst in my possession; although that was darned hard work as it had some serious rot around the counter and the stem. It was badly hogged until I risked weighting the keelson with water barrels. This resulted in a period of nearly a year during which time, she was very inclined to suddenly leak like a sieve; but she came pretty-well straight in the end. It was a nightmare, but a delight. That was the finest motor I ever steered. I ran her out onto The Thames River on a couple of occasions. She was not overly happy about that. She didn't handle high winds over flooding tide too well. The chop brought waves up over her sensitive parts around the cheeks and a following tide (when going the other way) would flood over her low, 20" counter and leak in the back doors when running full chat. But we made it out and we made it back a few times, to and fro from Twickenham. The crucial bit was timing the tides and not trying to punch them. Carp was quick, but not as quick as the Thames River in full flood; by a very long way. We nearly missed the Brentford Tide Lock cutting entrance a couple of times, and I thought we'd end up coming in at Limehouse instead; but we just made it thanks to that old National engine. But at the end of it, she never let me down and could pull 3 loaded butties or day boats without complaining much more than a steam of water over the counter boards into the cabin; single handed! BWB hated Carp, but everyone else loved her. The thing with these Fish Class wooden single motors was that they swam so well. Her swim went forward of the engine hole. I guess it was on account of the relatively low power of the 9 hp. Bolinders which were fitted. 900 r.p.m., they did and swung an 18" prop! Never intended to boat with a butty, they flew astern as well as they went ahead. I once reversed her the full length of the Tring Arm; only having to go ahead to straighten up twice, when I lost concentration for a second. I was pissed off about that! Steering was heavy, but accurate to the inch. There was no counterbalance on the rudder; this built your tiller arm, but gave the ability to tuck her in sideways. That was always a pretty trick! The pleasure boaters were terrified; but perfectly safe!. The cabin was a treat, too, and warm as a you could want in the hardest winter, which is more than I can say for the steel cabins of some of the GU Motors that Murrells used to use on the Lime Juice Run between Brentford and Boxmoor. I Lock-wheeled the last of those with Andy Farquarson at the tiller of TOWCESTER! No butty. Just a half full single motor. Sorry, I'm rambling. Never quite lost the inclination for Tales From the Tiller to earn a pint outside a canalside pub each night when we tied up. Silly really! At 51 y/o (and heavens knows how many years since) I still have a soft spot for the memories. Would I go back tomorrow? Not on your life! But I'm delighted and proud to have done it. Carp (affectionately known as anagram) had a Commercial Narrow Carrying Licence and worked commercially till I took her off the cut into the River Brent because BWB would not re-licence, being convinced she was going to sink. I wasn't quite sure, but she managed another year or two on the half-tide (with up to 20 feet of water under her belly) till I gave her to B.B.B.Y.
No confirmed details. reportedly shortened and used for maintenance but not confirmed. Jim Taylor of BW recalls that the boat was scrapped at Northwich in the mid 1970's.
Converted to butty in 1950s.After a period as a single motor, the boat had the stern off and was converted to butty in 1951. It was photographed at Gnosall in 1957 being towed in a line of three with two motors ahead of it. Some time after this, the bow was also cut off and replaced with straight section when it was being used as a maintenance boat. (I do not know when this happened.) When the boat was converted to a pleasure boat at a later date, the straight bow was used as the stern and the butty stern was modified to become the bow. The boat was also renamed to Leopard at some point. The boat's home mooring is at Oldbury Boat Services in June 2004. Again photos can be seen at Steves Fish class site.
This boat was converted to a butty in 1951, along with Dace. Possibly paired with Perch, but this is not confirmed. It is now a motor again, with the original stern shape restored. The boat was subsequently renamed Elaine and liveried by the Bath Stone Co. The company used to gain publicity for the restoration of the Kennet & Avon Canal (for which they were one of the suppliers of stone.) They also used the boat to deliver stone from Bath to Windsor for use in restoration of the fire-damaged Castle, an event which also generated much press interest. Unconverted in FMC livery. Used on promotional photos for the 2002 IWE
Built 1935 by W J Yarwood of Northwich, a narrow boat with a steel hull built for Fellows Morton & Clayton, subsequently passed to British Waterways carrying fleet and then to BW maintenance fleet. She was cut down to a tug around 1960 and is being restored to her original condition. Shortened to a tug for BW up for lease as part of the friends of working boats (2001) 10/00 Bramble is undergoing restoration. So far she has been put back to full length, a new cabin, counter, foredeck, rudder, fuel tanks all fitted. The HR2 has been rebuilt and thanks to a grant from National Historic Ships we have just completed fitting the gunnels and the mast, stands, planks and cratch. PhotoFMC photos
1885 on 24. 1. 1936 Birmingham 1555 on 7. 9. 1934. Birmingham 1642 on 20. 11. 1953. Northwich 80 on 3. 10. 1958. Unconverted. Was at Ellesmere Port for a long time, now based at Stretton on the North Oxford. Has a fore cabin. PicsFMC photos
Unconverted. Still on maintenance duties with BW. Based Staffs & Worcs. FMC photos
BCN gauging No 1896, 1/4/1936.
MINNOW was one of only eighteen 'Fish Class' motor boats built for Fellows, Morton & Clayton Ltd. She was designed for use as a 'single motor' and carried pottery and similar goods to Ellesmere Port, as well as imports to Wolverhampton and other depots. She was sold to BW and then Jack Taylor on the Shropshire Union in the 1960s. She was subsequently owned by Dennis Cooper Canal Transport in the 1970s and was bought by the present owner in 1993. residential.12/94.Extended cabin & fore cabin.5/00.Minnow was restored to original condition, with the cabin ahead of the engine room extended slightly to provide additional accommodation. The boat is seen at many boat shows and is often used to promote the work of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust. Until recently the boat had a permanent mooring at Hartshill on the Coventry Canal. The boat is fitted with a Bolinder engine taken from Leopard (previously Dace) so it may be the only Fish with a Fish engine. Minnow is (2008) owned by Blossom and Dawn Edge and is painted in FMC livery. She is powered by a 9Hp Bolinder \'Pup\' which is believed to have originally been fitted in sister boat Dace. The boat has a short cabin extension ahead of the engine \'ole and is kept on the Trent and Mersey canal at Kings Bromley Wharf. MINNOWMinnowFMC photos
Thought to have been broken up 1970s.Skate and Mullet were reported to have been broken up or renamed. One of these stories has the stern of NB Russia based at Bull's Bridge to be either Skate or Mullet.
converted for sale. 1/88
Northwich 90 on 3. 10. 1958. Built with fore cabin. Sold into private ownership in 1972. Engine changes : 1951 Bolinder 15 hp. , 1980s 4 cyl. Gardner. Currently in two bits undergoing major restoration. In May 1999 this boat was at Caggy's yard, Tipton. PERCH is now in two halves, in Notts., the stern half in a back garden, whilst the other half is in store. Both fortunately are owned by the same person, and the boat is to be re built, with a Lister JP3 to be installed; both owned by Ikes son Barry.
Largely rebuilt at Charity Dock in the 1980's BEECH
Sold into private ownership in 1970s. Engine changes : Lister HA 2 in 1960. approx. An ongoing restoration project in Bristol Docks. New rivetted counter, and Iroko bottom; fore-cabin being worked on.
willow wren MOORHEN
conv. tb. M.Braine. The 100th motor boat built for FMC. CACTUS was the first of an order for ten similar craft and was built in 1935. She operated as a city boat, mainly traveling between Birmingham and London, towing a butty boat. CACTUS worked for Fellows, Morton & Clayton Ltd. until the firm went into voluntary liquidation in 1939, when she was transferred to the British Transport Commission. She later moved to British Waterways, withdrawing from the trade in 1963 when she was sold to the present owner. In 1967, she was converted to a passenger boat with a capacity of forty-six seats and used in this way for twenty two years before being withdrawn from service for a complete restoration to her original condition. She was judged winner of the Alfred Ritchie Award at the Inland Waterways Association National Festival Rally; an award given to the boat deemed to be best presented as a genuine working craft of its type and consistent with its recent record of actual working commercial movement. Has the 15hp from Daffodil. CACTUSDrews site
Northwich 55, on 3. 10. 1958. Sold into private ownership in early 1970s. Privately owned unconverted motor, based at Moore on the Bridgewater Canal. CLEMATISDrews site
Unconverted, and in 1970's was based at Chester. Engine was a Petter PD2, with air ducting coming out of the front engine room bulkhead. Now part of the South Midland fleet, and regularly loaded. Engine (2001) Lister HB2. Wooden back cabin and bottom. Now owned by M Pinnock based at our yard at ponders end on the river lee. Current engine is a bolinder 1053 with bolinder box, engine completely rebuilt early 2007. still retains the wooden cabin but now has a steel bottom. Drews siteFMC photos
She was one of the 'Tree' class and was operated by Fellows, Morton & Clayton until 1948. British Waterways then took her on and she remained in their service until 1965, when she was bought by the Birmingham & Midland Canal Carrying Company. CYPRESS starred in the Cliff Richards film 'Take Me High' in 1974 as the SOPHIE, and was a regular feature in ATV's Crossroads as the residence of Vera Downend. CYPRESS' original engine - a Bolinder with one cylinder and fifteen brake horsepower - has been removed, along with its replacement an Armstrong-Siddeley AS2, with two cylinders and twenty brake horsepower. She has a steel bottom and sides, although these were originally made of elm. Pic
Was a regular fixture below Wheaton Aston lock on the Shropshire Union for many years. Broken up at the Black Country Living Museum 70's/80's
Roach continued carrying for British Waterways until they finished cargo carrying in the early 60s. She was subsequently used as a maintenance vessel by British Waterways until 1985. Bottom of Yard In 1985, Roach loaded with 20 tons of piling, sank whilst negotiating Marple locks on the Peak Forest Canal . This disaster occurred as the steerer failed to stop the boat from hitting the bottom gates of a full lock whilst going downhill. She was subsequently purchased by Ken Robertson and re-built, the original elm bottom being replaced with steel, the timber cabin likewise being replaced with steel. Roach was acquired by John Jackson in 1988 and has been used for carrying coal by him since 1994 delivering coal from a yard near to the Bratch on the Staffs & Worcester Canal. Still used to deliver fuel in the midlands. Is in owners livery. ROACHFMC photos
She was built as a bare hull and Fellows Morton & Clayton fitted her out and put the cabin on at Saltley, in Birmingham. RUDD was launched in February 1937 as a single motor, intended to work alone without a butty or tow. She traded for Fellows, Morton & Clayton until nationalisation and then worked for the Docks and Inlands Waterways Executive which later became the British Waterways Board. After 1963, she was transferred to the maintenance fleet. Northwich 96 on 3. 10. 1958. Unconverted in BW livery. Extended engine room with replacement 15hp Bolinder engine. From owners website. Rudd is fitted with the 15hp Bolinder engine originally installed in the motor boat Aster. The Aster was built in 1931, the engine dates from 1929. When the present owners restored Rudd from derelict she was rebuilt with the 7 feet long engine room which was normal, not the 5 feet long engine room which the fish class had. The 7 foot length is by far the most representative. She was acquired from British Waterways in 1979 and rebuilt using, as far as possible, the original methods and materials. This means she is still of composite construction having rivetted wrought iron sides, an elm bottom and a wooden cabin. All the components which were wood are still wood. RUDDDrews site
At Crick May 2000, and Braunston July 2000. Unconverted. Engine Lister HA2. Part of the Ellesmere museum fleet. This is from the museums own 'blurb'- Shad is of composite construction (iron sides and elm bottom) and could easily carry 25 tons. She was part of Fellows Morton and Clayton's northern fleet working between Wolverhampton, Ellesmere Port, Manchester and Nottingham, carrying all kinds of cargo. Shad was part of the British Waterways North West Division's Carrying Fleet, who found it more economical to run pairs of boats rather than single motors. When British Waterways ceased carrying by boat in the early 1960's, the boats, including Shad, were leased by Willow Wren Canal Transport Services, who continued to run the Northern fleet. In 1969 when Willow Wren ceased trading, the leases on the boats and the carrying contracts were taken over by Alan Galley, a former clerk with British Waterways and a manager with Willow Wren Canal Transport Services Northern fleet, who formed the Anderton Canal Carrying Company. Over the next few years the Anderton Canal Carrying Co. built up a fleet of lorries, and in 1971/72 ceased using the boats . "Shad" along with the other boats reverted to British Waterways and was taken to their Hayhurst Yard at Northwich, where she sank and lay derelict until she was bought by the Boat Museum in 1980. She has been fully restored and painted in the livery of British Waterways. SHADDrews siteFMC photos
Thought to now be the rear section of Russia, based Bull's Bridge.
BWB changed engine to 2 cyl Armstrong Siddeley AS 2 , 20 hp in late 1960s, enabling TENCH to work with a butty. Sold into private ownership by BWB in mid 1970s. Rebuilt at Horseley Fields dock; owned by Midland Canal Transport and based at Dimmingsdale S&W. FMC photos
9 hp Bolinder replaced by 15 hp Bolinder in 1950s. Sold by BWB in 1970s. Lister HA 2 engine installed in 1971. Lister JP 2 engine installed in 2001. sc Based Shardlow, Derbyshire. Visited Llangollen in summer 2002. One photo of the boat in HNBOC magazine. It is currently undergoing a partial conversion under canvas to make it more suitable for family use. From new Owner :- In my ownership now, bought from Tony Gregory, Midland Canal Transport, in 2005. Home mooring Hadley Farm, Llangollen Canal, near Whitchurch. Repair and restoration under way. Fully mobile, painted in colours of the Shrewsbury Canal Wharfingers, I'm Chair of the Shrewsbury and Newport Canal Trust. TROUTFMC photos
sunk in gravel pit Harefield
sold TCO: renamed Adder D&IWE:cnv.fs.5/94. All the evidence points to JASON of Jason's trip being the original FRANCE. See PORTUGAL FMC photos
trip boat fs.3/91 (2007-08-14) currently lying at the stink 'ole below springwell lock, lower grand union. Still afloat
converted by BW.60's to Water Arabis. 11/00. Shortened to 50ft, converted, and based at Marsworth GU.
In the BW North West Heritage fleet. Based T&M North. Attended Middlewich rally in June 2004.
Generally thought to be the boat currently having the name FRANCE. Photo
converted 6/93 no forecabin : Dunkirk 1940. was GERMANY as a butty. Attended Middlewich rally in June, 2000. Fully converted with steel cabin, with Lister HRW3. Station boat fore end. FMC photos
trip boat .K&A. ENTERPRISE. 80's:unconverted. fs.9/96 Currently at Brinklow having an extended back cabin and fore cabin built. (BCN Gauge # 1111, 1616 & 2020) (ex FMC and DIWE) bought by Charles Ballinger in 1953 renamed SUSAN skippered by George Page during Ballingers ownership. Mainly used to carry for Cadburys from Frampton to Bourneville, but on exceptional occasions carried loads from BW barges from Diglis to Birmingham. For Example George Page loaded aluminium from Diglis to Sherborne Street in September 1956. Later renamed KIMBERLEY again. Moved to Kennet and Avon (Kennet Carrying Company) used as a trip boat and then a camping boat. Later hired out as a working boat and worked on the UCC fleet from Braunston. Also worked for Foxton Canal Carriers in 1969. Sold at (but not owned by) Warwickshire Flyboat Company and now owned by a Mr J Birtles since 1997. Currently moored at Brinklow Arm North Oxford Canal. Still unconverted motor. KIMBERLEYFMC photos
For many years this boat was tied in the basin at Tardebigge, but is now at Charity Dock, Bedworth, and still retains a full conversion wooden cabin. Now in Poland for a steel conversion and hull refurbishment. Drews site
BCN 1313 on 10. 8. 1927 for M & CCC . as LEO: 1873 on 6. 9. 1935 for M & CCC as JUBILEE post conv. to motor. Wolverhampton 1125 on 26. 9. 1927 as LEO. Wolverhampton 1144 in Dec 1935, as JUBILEE. Originally named 'Leo', built in 1927 at Yarwoods yard in Northwich as a horse drawn vessel, she was in Fellow Morton & Clayton's fleet until the end of the war. it then passed to ernie thomas, who had it as a houseboat She was purchased by Malcolm Braine in 1973 and converted to a passenger boat. The first passenger carried on June 1st 1974 was H.M. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. On June 27th 1974 Jubilee conveyed Her Majesty the Queen on the Avon during the Shakespeare Theatre Centenary celebrations. Jubilee has now been de-converted and is now owned and operated by Mike Partridge, J & M Canal Carrying Co., supplying solid fuels between Whilton & Stoke Bruerne. PicsOther Photos
sc Iron composite built 1929 by Crichtons of Saltney Ferry, Nr Chester for Midlands & Coast C.C.Co. as a horseboat. Regd BCN No 1490 on 15 May 1929. Registered at Wolverhampton No 1130 on July 8th 1929. In Sept 1936, converted to a motor boat by Harris's of Netherton, re- registered at Wolverhampton No 1147 on 15th Sept 1936, and new BCN No 1917 on 17th July 1936. February 1943 the fore cabin was removed at Saltley, and Registered at Birmingham No 1626 on 19th Feb 1943. In May 1946, she was sold to Ernest Thomas, (Walsall) Ltd, and had a new BCN No 2257 on 11th Sept 1946. In January 1951 she was shortened to 56ft, a Fordson engine fitted, and re named DOT No 4. Around 1968 she was sold to M.E.Braine. 1969Purchased by David Lowe to operate on L&L Canal as �Apollo Canal Cruises� and Dec 1970 to April 1971 converted to a 34 (later 48, now 40) seater passenger boat by M.E.Braine at Norton Canes Dockyard, Pelsall, Walsall.Ailsa Craig RL2 20 hp diesel engine fitted. Replaced 1973 by Ford 4D,57 hp, and in 1974 by present Lister HRW2MGR229 hp diesel. 1989 New steel bottom fitted at Leeds. 1998
August onwards.Owned by David Lowe t/athe Airedale Barge Co. Ltd & on charter to new owners of Apollo CC. Chartered toA&G Passenger Boats, Sheffield - from Sept 2003, and to Bluewater Experience Ltd, Yeading,from 2007.APOLLO
stern only for sale at Warwickshire Flyboat 7/94 now part of a 50ft boat.
converted 4/91 Privately owned and based at Weston on the T & M.
tb Could well be one of the 7 chopped by BW in the North West.
Reportedly scrapped, with the fore-end going onto GAMBIA.
Bow is trip boat fs.5/89: Stern history as follows, taken from owners description on Apollo Duck:- She originally had a 9hp Bolinder but this was replaced later with an 15hp Armstrong Siddeley AS2 so she could tow a butty.
She was sold to British Waterways in the 40s and worked for them until the 70s by which time she had been shortened to 54ft and used as a maintenance boat.
She was then turned into a pleasure craft and had a full cabin.
She was bought by a friend of mine in Sept 05 who lived on her for a while until unfortunately the boat set on fire not long after a survey had been carried out in Nov 05.
She was then placed on a mooring in Blisworth and sold to someone else who did nothing to her except let her sink!
This how she came to be in my possession in Sept 06.
I refloated her and immediately got her into a drydock, I obtained a copy of the survey done a year before, so I knew what was wrong with her and what was right!
I completely stripped her out and started work on her, I rebuilt the As2 engine and replaced all the control gear, she now runs beautifully and blows some cracking smoke rings!
I rebolted some of the back planks and recaulked the joints, I replaced the steel tube in between the counter and the back deck which the rudder shaft goes through.
She was then shipped off to Dave Thomas in Braunston to be stretched back to her original size, so she has had 27ft of new bow section completely replaced with a 10/6 mm steel spec.
Dave also built a new 15ft steel back cabin with recessed panels. While out of the water she was blacked this was in Nov 06.
I was going to have the Elm bottoms taken off and replaced with steel as well as being refooted this means that 12in of the boat sides are taken off and replaced along with the new steel bottom, but decided not to as I wanted to keep as much of the original boat as possible. FMC photos
As her original 9 hp Bolinder engine was not powerful enough to tow a butty, she worked as a single motor.
She was later, possibly after nationalisation in 1948, fitted with the 3 cylinder Russell Newbury Engine.
In 1950 Chiltern was inspected, at East 9, for the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive (subsequently renamed British Waterways).At the time her master was J. Bradley of Marple in Cheshire.The boat was registered for 3 adults in the aft cabin but, at the time, was only occupied by the master.
The Ashby coal run was her last commercial journey.
Chas Hardern, aged 17, purchased the boat in 1971.Growing up by the Llangollen Canal, Chas had, from a relatively young age, had his heart set on working with the old commercial boats.He had learnt to competently steer Dick Edgley�s boat (the ex Mersey/Weaver boat �Dorset�) around Henhull Bridge and expertly manage its hot bulb engine.
Under the company heading of Chas Hardern & Co. (his parents were the �Co.�), Chiltern was converted, at Beeston Castle Wharf, to a camping boat accommodating 12 customers.For a while, she worked in tandum with �Dorset�.
In 1978, Chas brought Chiltern to Ellesmere Port for the Easter gathering of commercial boats.Used again for transporting cargo, she left the port loaded up with newspapers that had been collected by the Wirral Branch of the Friends of the Earth from various centres throughout the area.Her destination was the TPT Paper Mill on the Peak Forest Canal at Romily.
Within a couple of weeks, Chiltern was purchased by the North West Museum of Inland Navigation for �4,000 and in 1985, with grant funding, Chiltern had an extensive rebuild to her stern end and cabin.At Ellesmere Port Boat Museum, where it currently resides in a disgusting state and is slowly rotting away to nothing, so much for a museum being there to protect our national heritage. PicsFMC photos
Ellesmere museum under restoration 3/00: fs.8/00 Re engined using a Lister HA 2 , in 2001 during extensive restoration. FERN
Recently had major rebuilding work done at Charity Dock Bedworth.
CLENT was the last wooden narrowboat to be built by Fellows, Morton & Clayton at Uxbridge in December 1947 and cost �1080. Her British Waterways number was 071242 and her fleet number was 354. She worked for the company for only a few years before nationalisation, with Charlie Atkins or 'chocolate Charlie' as her first steerer. She was then taken over by British Waterways and based on the canals north of Birmingham, where she regularly carried twenty tons of flour. In the late 1950s, CLENT was sunk at Northwich by British Waterways, along with other surplus boats. However, in 1974, she was acquired and restored, together with the steamer PRESIDENT. She remains unconverted today The current engine is a 1930s Bolinder B type, semi-diesel, with a single cylinder and nine to twelve brake horsepower. Extant Oct 2000, on the Oxford Canal. CLENTClent
BW maintenance boat Northern T & M. Converted to a trip boat 1977 at Newark, and based at London Waterbus Co. GARDENIA
6/99 In the BW North West Heritage fleet. Based T&M North.
Built 1948 by W J Yarwood & Sons, Northwich, a narrow boat with a composite hull of iron sides and wood bottom. Her current engine is a 18 bhp Lister FR2 installed in 1956. In February 1950 records show that �Mendip� was inspected at Weston Point.Fred Morton was her master however, within a year, �Chocolate Charlie� had taken over as master.His association with the boat was to last for more than 30 years.
When �Chocolate Charlie� (Charlie Atkins) first became her master, �Mendip� was worked regularly between the North West and Birmingham carrying chocolate crumb.The crumb was carried from Cadburys of Knighton on the Shropshire Union Canal(Market Drayton) to Bournville at Birmingham.The journey, carrying a 25 ton load, involved 50 locks and took 14 hours.In a normal working week, Charlie would manage to do two round trips.
Charlie was born in 1902 into a boating family at Moss Pool Lock on the Newport Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal.He learned his boating skills on the Shroppie Flys until, at the age of 17, he took over his own boat, the horse boat �Skate�, working for the Chester and Liverpool Lighterage Co.He then worked for Midland and Coast for 12 years before joining FMC.When the chocolate crumb trade finished in 1962, Charlie and �Mendip� joined the British Waterways� Anderton-based fleet.Trade was in aluminium ingots from Manchester to Wolverhampton, and feldspar (a basic pottery material) from Weston Point to Stoke-on-Trent, with a return load of coal to Seddon Salt at Middlewich.Later, grinding sand was carried locally for I.C.I.
In 1963 �Mendip� was transferred to British Waterways Board and the following year was leased to Willow Wrens.In November 1967, when the manager of Willow Wrens formed his own company, the Anderton Canal Carrying Company, Charlie and �Mendip� joined them until 1974.Her last load was transporting concrete piles used to reinforce canal banks at Calf Heath.Once �Mendip� and Charlie had finished their working lives, they moored up at Preston Brook.It was during these years, with the rising interest in canals, that Charlie appeared in various television programmes which earned him modest national fame.In 1976, he was reverently described in a national boating magazine as follows: �At 74, he still has the same tanned, weather-beaten face, creased with almost as many lines as miles of canal he has travelled; the same deep-set twinkling eyes, always smiling and the same optimism.�
As the area round Preston Brook began to be developed, it was suggested that both man and boat should move to Ellesmere Port as a sort of floating resident caretaker at the Boat Museum.Charlie was considering it when, because of ill health, his doctor ordered him to move off the boat.He went to live with his son in Birmingham.
In the meantime, the boat was kept at Preston Brook as it was hoped he would return to it.Sadly he didn�t and he died in June 1981.
Following his death, Harry Arnold said of him in Canal and Riverboat, �He was a gentleman in the proper sense of the word and his death is like the closing of a door on another era of canal history.Many of us will miss the twinkling smile and the shake of the head, but there will be many times with Charlie Atkins that will never be forgotten�.
British Waterways loaned this boat with its unique association with �Chocolate Charlie� to the Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port.Shortly after her arrival, she was repainted in the blue and yellow British Waterways� livery of the 1950s.
A few years later, in September 1986, following some restoration work on �Mendip� funded by Cadbury Typhoo Ltd, she was loaned to Premier Brands UK Ltd at Knighton, now owners of the Cadbury�s brand, as part of their factory 75th Anniversary celebrations.A number of people involved in the Cadbury�s trade and the canals revisited the boat bringing back for them some poignant memories.
In 1993, Derek Cochrane, Regional Manager for British Waterways, presented the ownership of �Mendip� to the Boat Museum.Major restoration/conservation work was carried out on her in 1998/99.She was repainted in the Anderton Canal Carrying Company colours and the traditional Roses and Castles style.
The last Josher motor built. Fitted out at Uxbridge in 1951. the last motor to be built for them. She subsequently went to work in the British Transport fleet as No 359. She thereafter was re-allocated to the South Eastern Division. As the canals went into decline she was cut in half The fore-end half of the boat was later used as BW hire boat WATER LUPIN and the stern section was dumped at Slough. She subsequently had a new but much shorter bow fitted and was used by British Waterways Board as a tug/icebreaker Much cut about : 15' of stern used in construction of IBIS in 1966 by W Wren Kearns. She was sold to the Warwickshire Flyboat Company and was bought by her present owner in 1986. FMC photos
eng to HECLA (I I)
Not Queen of WCBS
cut up post 1917, after being sold to the Thames conservancy.
poss by Yarwoods
to Charlie Court sunk 1937. Itchington AFAIK.
Cm PILOT 12/24
sld to E.T.27(IA)
Cm CAPTAIN 7/24
she was originally registered at Birmingham as number 897 on 1 October 1897. Her hull has iron sides, riveted to iron knees and she now has a steel bottom, although this was previously timber. Her current engine is a Lister JP3 diesel, with three cylinders and thirty-five brake horsepower, made in approximately 1950.
It is believed that she was fitted with a steam engine by Haines Ltd. of Fazeley St, Birmingham. She was contracted out for many years to John Dickinson's of Croxley as a 'paper dasher'.
In 1924, she was re-named by Fellows, Morton & Clayton Ltd. as CAPTAIN following conversion to diesel power. She now has a full length cabin rather than an open hold.
sld to TCO.47. 57ft Now near full length based in Wolverhampton and converted. fs 4/91
sold TCO 4/48 Extant as EMPRESS you can see the brackets for the tanks in the hold. EMPRESS
Cm ENVOY 10/19
sld. ET.2/48. cut up as ENVOY ET.
sld CO OP oxford 11/41.hb
sold.3/47 .j. Holloway. N. Cres. S.J.b
Cm BRITON 5/15
sld J.Dean&Sons 1/47
sold E.T. 12/41; cut up by ET in the 50's
Sold to E.T. renamed ENTERPRISE seen around the system extensively.
sold to Leonard Leigh 1/41: Was E Thomas's MERCURY. 15hp Bolinder installed in 1975. tug @ Rick99
sld ET 7/47.Renamed Star Now called THE KING again and fully converted. Based at Anderton on T & M
sold S BAR 5/42.now 57.5ft
sld ET.7/46: now GENERAL LEE (poss) fs 9/00
sld ET6/46: BCLM (allegedly) this may not be the same boat
sold ET 8/48 renamed Ernie Thomas. Built 1909, a narrowboat said to be the last Fellows Morton & Clayton steamer. She was converted to diesel in 1927. Today she is fitted with coal fires and a compound steam engine built between 1875 and 1880. She is based at Bathampton, Avon and is in commercial trade.
sld.ET.10/47.Donated to Walsall boys club 50's. Sold to C. Foster 1970 sold 1977 after bad advice