Historic Boats

Each year a number of historic boats make the journey to be part of Crick Boat Show and for 2024 we have matched the record number we had on display in 2023, with three returning and four new historic boats to explore. 

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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.

Lamprey

Lamprey

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.


Sandbach

Sandbach

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).


Sculptor

Sculptor

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.


Aldgate

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


Renfrew

Renfrew

GUCCCo ‘Big Northwich’ town class Motor Narrowboat

Renfrew was built for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company by Yarwoods at Northwich and launched in October 1936, fleet number 165, paired with butty ROMSEY.

Renfrew worked for the GUCCCo, DIWE, BWB and Willow Wren up to 1965. In1968 she was purchased by Blue Line Canal Carriers who rebuilt the cabin and fitted the Lister HB2 engine. Finally she towed the wooden LUCY on the Jam Ole coal run. In 1970 she transferred to a family who used her for 40 years for camping trips. In 2011 the present owners returned her to carrying. She has carried elm and oak timber for use in the restorations of LUCY, CLENT and JAMES LOADER.

Between 2012 and 2014 she was chartered by the Dog Kennel Hill Project for their experimental dance show “TUG”, in Nottingham, Watford, Kings Cross and Sale.

The present livery is from the new ‘Wonka’ film, when we spent six weeks working for Warner Brothers on the River Thames at Goring and Culham. Much money was spent on carpentry, painting, filming, safety, catering, lighting, for less than a minute’s appearance. Photographs from the filming are displayed on the boat.


Clover

Clover

Clover was built in 1935 by W.J Yarwood and Son in Northwich for Fellows Morton and Clayton Ltd as an Iron composite craft powered by a 15hp Bolinder. Following Nationalisation in 1949 she was purchased by British Transport Commission (D&IWE), South East Division.

In 1965 Clover was solid into private ownership and converted to a pleasure boat. Clover was restored to carrying condition in 1979 and from 1988 she was trading with Captain Cargo Ltd and then South Midland Water Transport Co. Clover was purchased by her current owner in 2006, in recent years she has been re-fitted with a 15hp Bolinder.

Clover can regularly be found trading on the London waterways, with M J Pinnock Water Transport's fleet of fuel boats. In 2014 Clover was the recipient of the HNBC’s Hemelryk Award; this is awarded to an iron/steel/composite narrow boat that has been the most improved during the year.


Effingham

Effingham

Effingham was one of the first boats to be built to 6ft 10" beam, which allowed passage through bulging locks awaiting rebuilding! She is one of the Admiral class of boats, built at Northwich by Pimblotts in 1959. Effingham was considered to be modern, having opening portholes, toilet and electric lighting throughout.

The hold was covered in cloths laid over hoops and secured with chocks. The hull design is a hydrostatic curved bluff bow. This unique design allowed the vessel to carry a maximum load of up to 29 tons on a badly maintained canal, by creating a bow wave which forced water under the craft, lifting the stern and assisting prop throughput.

Following her rescue as a sunk boat in 2007, major restoration processes have been completed including a new bottom and footings to the side plates, replica boatmans cabin and most recently new stern tunnel bands. Effingham was bought by the current owners in December 2019 and they are continuing her preservation.


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