Historic Boats

Historic narrowboats at Crick Boat Show

Each year several historic boats make the journey to be part of Crick Boat Show. These are the boats that are confiemed to be on display in August 2021 and more boats will be added as information becomes available.

 

Sculptor

A Small Northwich motor boat by W.J. Yarwood, Sculptor was built in 1935. It was registered on 5th May 1936 and its cabin was described as a dwelling to accommodate 'three persons or man, woman and two children'. It was paired with butty Toucan and delivered to the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company as part of a fleet of 12 pairs. Sculptor and Toucan began their cargo carrying days taking general goods from the Midlands to London.

NB SculptorSculptor was commissioned by the Ministry of War Transport department in 1943 to be used as a fire fighting facility based on the Grand Union Canal in Greenford, Middlesex. The alterations made to accommodate pumps are still evident on its hull.

After the end of the war Sculptor was returned to the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company and in 1948, when the canals were nationalised, was passed to the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive's South Eastern Carrying Fleet where extensive work was carried out on the boat's bottom and keelson. Shortly after it became a maintenance boat for the Engineering Department at Northwich. Its engine was replaced in 1960 with a 2-cylinder air-cooled Lister HB2 diesel engine.

Sculptor retired from the maintenance fleet in 1985 and was restored at Ellesmere Port, returning to its Grand Union Canal Carrying Company black and red wartime livery. Since 1986 the boat has been located at the Canal Museum in Stoke Bruerne as a floating exhibit. In 2012 it was re-bottomed with a wooden hull and is now one of very few composite boats in existence.

Sculptor is maintained by Friends of the Canal Museum who take it to events to help publicise their work. The Friends will be at the Crick Boat Show to talk to visitors about the history of the boat and canal carrying.

 

Purton

Last seen at Crick Boat Show in 2017, Purton makes a welcome return to the Show. 

HistoricNBPurton.jpg

Built by W. J. Yarwood & Sons Ltd at Northwich Cheshire in September 1936. Purton is one of 38 all-steel motors known as a Large Northwich built for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company Ltd.

Her fleet number was 162. Originally fitted with a National diesel, Puton was re-engined in 1962 with the present Lister HA2 and also shortened to her present length of 57ft 6 in by British Waterways at Knottingley Yorkshire where she worked untill 1989. Purton then went into private carrying with West Riding Canal Carriers until she was purchased on the Kennet and Avon Canal by the current owners in 1998, since when time a considerable amount of work has been carried out throughout the boat.

Purton was originally paired with butty Purley, one of 62 built by Walkers of Rickmansworth.

 

Renfrew

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Image courtesy of www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk

Renfrew was built for the Grand Union Canal Cargo Carrying Company Ltd by W. J. Yarwood & Sons Ltd. at Northwich and launched in October 1936, with the British Waterways number 060962 and the GUCCCL number 165.

The hull is riveted and welded steel plate, with oak gunwales. The current engine is a 24bhp Lister HB2, made in 1968.

Renfrew initially worked with the butty Romsey, principally on the Birmingham to London route. With the outbreak of the Second World War, the fleet became part of the government transport system. In 1948, the fleet passed to the Docks & Inland Waterways Executive of the British Transport Commission, which subsequently became the British Waterways Board.

In 1963 to 1965, Renfrew was on hire to Willow Wren Carriers. The cabin was rebuilt in 1968 out of various woods and marine ply and the current engine insalled. She was then laid up until 1986 when she was purchased by Blue Line Canal Carriers. The present owners discovered her in October 1970 and have maintained her as a working boat. All the timber has now been replaced and she has had a new bottom and other steelwork.

Technical data: length 70ft; width 7ft; draft: 3ft (empty); engine -  Lister HB2

 

Aldgate

After nationalisation in 1948, Aldgate was transferred to the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive of the British Transport Commission (later British Waterways) and leased to Willow Wren Canal Transport Services. Working in the South Eastern division until well into the sixties, Aldgate was at one time paired with the butty Brighton working up to Whitworths flour mills at Wellingborough with Ron Green as steerer. After the decline of Willow Wren she was sold to Alfred Matty & Sons of Oldbury, and used on the phosphorus waste run from Allbright & Wilson to Dudley Port. Following Alfred Matty's death, Aldgate was abandoned on a disused arm in Oldbury and allowed to sink.

She was recovered in the early 1980s by Steve Priest, and after substantial rebuilding was sold to P. Ayres who used her, trading as Colne Valley Carriers. In 2007 Aldgate and Angel were bought as a pair by Nick Wolfe, whose care, time and money (aided by a grant from the Register of National Historic Ships) has brought Aldgate to the condition she is in today. Nick now works Aldgate under the name Nick Wolfe Canal Carrying. Aldgate parted company with Angel in 2008 but the two boats can occasionally be seen together at Badseys Wharf, Hillmorton.

Technical data: length 71ft 6in; width 7ft 0.5in; draft: 3ft (empty), 4ft plus (loaded); gauged for 41 tons; engine - air cooled Petter PD 2 (20hp @ 1500rpm); gearbox -  Parsons 3:1

 

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