This third extract from my 2004 article for the Historic Narrow Boat Owners Club includes one boat for which I’ve never seen photos and one where the photo might not be of the right boat! Several of these are known to have since changed hands since this was written, but this is the article as it appeared in the club magazine, plus a few photos from my collection at that time.
Iron hull, built at Yarwoods, Northwich. Yard no 460. Launched 17/09/34. Left 04/10/34. Cabined (inc. fore cabin) at Saltley. Commissioned 12/34 Registered Birmingham 1557. FMC fleet no 318.
The boat was with BW in their North Western fleet based at Anderton 1948-1963 then sold to Jack Taylor who had a carrying business based on the Shropshire Union from 1964 –1975. Denis Cooper then kept the boat at Norton Canes until 1993, when the present owners acquired and restored the boat back into FMC livery with a slightly extended cabin. The AS2 engine, which was fitted around 1951 when the boat was intended to tow a butty, was replaced at this time with a 9hp Bolinder engine taken from a boat called Leopard. Whether this is the same boat as Dace (see above) is not known.
Iron hull, built at Yarwoods, Northwich. Yard no 461. Launched 20/09/34. Left 04/10/34. Cabined (inc. fore cabin) at Saltley. Commissioned 12/34 Registered Birmingham 1558. FMC fleet no 319.
Caggy Stevens was reported to have bought two ex-FMC hulls in the 70s, scrapped one and used the other. One was used as the rear 60’ of an unnamed boat with an LMS front end, sold to Eddie Powell and now called Russia. Mullet and Skate are the only obvious candidates as the other boats of similar design are accounted for elsewhere, and as the boat that survived had the letters “LE” still just visible on the hull when it was at Caggy’s yard, it is thought that it may be Mullet.
Iron hull, built at Yarwoods, Northwich. Yard no 462. Launched 22/11/34. Left 03/12/34. Cabined (inc. fore cabin) at Saltley. Commissioned 03/35 Registered Birmingham 1560. FMC fleet no 320.
Engine was replaced in 1951 when the boat was paired with a butty, possibly Dory. Boat is reportedly now in two halves, in Notts. To be rebuilt, with a Lister JP3 installed.
Iron hull, built at Yarwoods, Northwich. Yard no 463. Launched 31/12/34. Left 05/01/35. Cabined (inc. fore cabin) at Saltley. Commissioned 04/35 Registered Birmingham 1561. FMC fleet no 321.
An ongoing restoration project in Bristol Docks (new stern and back cabin being the main projects.) Apparently close to completion, after which it will be based in Birmingham.
Iron hull, built at Yarwoods, Northwich. Yard no 484. Left 11/10/35. Cabined at Saltley. Commissioned 12/35 Registered Birmingham 1581. FMC fleet no 322.
Engine replaced in 1950 when it was paired with the converted Dory. Was later used as a maintenance boat in the north-west until the 80’s when it was sold off after going through a bottom gate at Marple while loaded with piles. It was repaired and is now used to deliver fuel in the midlands, based at the owners coal yard above Bratch on the Staffs & Worcs. Is in owner’s livery.