Each year a number of historic boats make the journey to be part of Crick Boat Show and in 2023 we had a record number on display.
The boats on display are owned by members of the Historic Narrow Boat Club, which works to preserve the working heritage of UK canals from the boats themselves to details of the waterways on which they travel. We are grateful to them for their support in making it possible to bring so many boats.
Built in 1934 by W. J. Yarwood and Sons of Northwich for Birmingham-based carrier Fellows Morton and Clayton, Lamprey was one of a batch of boats powered by 9hp Bolinders and named after fish. Lamprey was one of very few motorboats to carry a forecabin, but this was removed in 1953 when the boat was purchased by the British Transport Commission (Docks and Inland Waterways Executive, North West Division Fleet).
Lamprey was later hired to Willow Wren Transport Services and Anderton Canal Carrying Company and continued to be used as a carrying boat, before being abandoned in the early 1970s. In 1979 she was sold into private ownership and was restored at Ellesmere Port by Ian Kemp.
Lamprey came into its current ownership in 2012 and has since been undergoing further restoration and was awarded the HNBC’s Hemelryk Award in 2020. Lamprey is at Crick for the first time.
Also a newcommer to Crick this year, Carina was built in 1935, as an unpowered butty by W. J. Yarwood and Sons of Northwich for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company (GUCCC )and was originally paired with motor boat Libra.
It is recorded as being used in 1970s/80s by the Magic Lantern Company, before being sold into private ownership in 1987 and re-united with its Motor, Libra.
During the 1990s it was operated by BW/Staffordshire County Council as an educational resource boat and paired with motorboat Sagitta, which has been seen at Crick in previous years
From 2013, Carina was trading as a bicycle sales and repair boat based in the centre of Birmingham.
Carina was purchased by her current owner in February 2023 and is currently undergoing refurbishment works. Carina is in the livery of the British Waterways fleet.
Also at Crick for the first time, is Corolla, which was built in 1935 for the GUCCC (by Harland & Wolff of Woolwich, London). Up to 1959 Corolla carried general goods, materials, grain and coal between London and the Midlands.
In 1959 the boat was converted to carry passengers and worked between London Paddington and London Zoo as part of the Waterbus/Zoo Bus partnership with the ZSL. During the 1970s Corolla worked as a trip boat in Birmingham before being retired in 1979 and sold by British Waterways.
After falling into disrepair she was restored between 2014 and 2017 and launched in late 2017. She can now be found in GUCCC livery retracing the waterways she used when in carrying condition and also heading to places further afield.
A 1935 Grand Union, Star Class motorboat built by Harland & Wolff as part of the GUCCC expansion. Pegasus is at Crick for the first time.
On nationalisation of the waterways in 1948, Pegasus was passed to British Waterways, initially working in the South Midland Fleet, then passed to the Maintenance Division.
Restored in the 1980s by Ian Kemp, to an immaculate condition, the boat then lay derelict on the Thames for 20 years until purchased by M J Pinnock Water Transport Limited in 2021 and resorted again to full working order. Pegasus is now part of London's fuel boat scene, carrying once more in Britsh Waterways colours.
First seen at the 2022 Show, Sandbach makes a welcome return to Crick this year
Sandbach was built in 1946 for the London, Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS), which owned the Trent & Mersey and Shropshire Union canals at the time.
One of a pair of tug/icebreakers built with wheel steering and a wheelhouse by W J Yarwood & Sons of Northwich. Sister tug was Beeston, both built 25ft long, although Sandbach was lengthened to 35ft less than a year later.
On the nationalisation of the waterways in 1948, Sandbach was transferred to the British Transport Commission (later British Waterways Board) as part of the maintenance fleet, based initially in Middlewich, and later (by the 1970s) on the River Weaver.
Later abandoned and sunk, she was rescued by Malcolm Braine in 1982, and restored at Norton Canes. The original engine was a Russell Newbery DM2 but now has a 1953 Bolinder 1052, (two cylinder 23 hp).
Purton makes a welcome return to the Show.
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, Purton 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 until 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.
Crick stallwart Sculptor is maintained by Friends of the Canal Museum who will be at the Crick Boat Show to talk to visitors about the history of the boat and canal carrying.
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.
Sculptor 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.