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Yarwoods order 397


Heartland
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For those who follow the history of LMS station boats, Clive Guthrie, who researched their history found a boat with no name.

 

Order 397 (5)

1930 BRIDE

1930 CLYCLOPS

1930 CZAR

1930 SARDINE

1930 ??

 

Has anything been found about the missing identity, I wonder.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Bee said:

Horse?   ..... No name? ......., I'll get my coat.

Just remember that "riding through the desert" is not on the officially approved list ...

1 hour ago, Heartland said:

For those who follow the history of LMS station boats, Clive Guthrie, who researched their history found a boat with no name.

This may be of some interest ...

 

 

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I discussed this Yard Number (not Order) at some length with Clive Guthrie and finally managed to convince him that this Yard Number was never fulfilled. If it had these  6 boats would have appeared in the B.C.N. gauge registers along with all of the others built for L.M.S.R. by W.J. Yarwood and Sons Ltd.. Clive never got to publish his works as he passed away whilst the manuscripts were being proof read by three trusted friends, but under Yard Number 397 he wrote:

 

"6 open type narrow boats - L.M.S. Rly?" "The above is as shown in the yard book, including the question mark. There is no evidence that these six boats were ever built. The two Yarwood yard books in existence do not list any names or completion dates for these six boats. Gauging registers for the Birmingham Canal Navigations (B.C.N.) do not list any new boats for the London, Midland & Scottish Railway Co. (L.M.S.) in the 1930's, yet all the previous Yarwood boats for the L.M.S. are listed in the B.C.N. gauge registers"

 

I have a photocopy of the W.J. Yarwood and Sons Ltd. Yard Book held by Cheshire Records Office and I can confirm it reads "397. 6 open type canal boats. L.M.S.Rly Ltd."

 

Clive was a dear friend and is sadly missed, and the work he did regarding all of the builds by W.J. Yarwood and Sons Ltd. and their predecessors warrants great merit. What Clive was not was a canal enthusiast, and by his own admission his knowledge and understanding of 'historic' narrow boats was extremely limited. He could not understand why there was no register for canal boats, like Lloyds established for ships, and found the fact that a boat name could be used countless times very confusing. Some time after starting his research into W.J. Yarwood and Sons Ltd. he came across Malcolm Braine (amongst other) who started putting some of his notes right, and a little while later our paths crossed and the rest is history. During Clive's earlier period of research he made some assumptions, and one of those was that the B.C.N. gaugings for BRIDE (BCN1827 - 28/09/1934), CYCLOPS (BCN1989 - 03/11/1937), CZAR (BCN1742 - 28/09/1932), GAINSBOROUGH (BCN1970 - 14/07/1937), SARDINE (BCN1697 - 21/09/1931) and ? were for those boats mentioned under W.J. Yarwood and Sons Ltd. Yard Number 397 as they were all for the L.M.S.R. (I think he got a printout for all L.M.S.R. boats on the B.W.B. archive gauge database) - hence the association with these boat names and 397. The reality is that the B.C.N. gauge registers tell a very different story as these five were re-gaugings of old boats, so there was never a boat to cover the ?? in your question.

 

What has been unhelpful was Clive's tendency to circulate aspects of his research that was either incomplete or incorrect. These notes are still in circulation and a blooming nuisance  :captain:

 

 

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12 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

This may be of some interest ...

 

 

It appears that this thread is a case oh history repeating itself. I wish I had thought to refer to the earlier thread from 2012 on this subject rather than writing all of that stuff in my previous post :captain:

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Just now, pete harrison said:

It appears that this thread is a case oh history repeating itself. I wish I had thought to refer to the earlier thread from 2012 on this subject rather than writing all of that stuff in my previous post :captain:

At least it shows you are consistent over the years!

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Yes, thank you Pete, I had raised Clive Guthrie's interest earlier on the web site and thank you for the clarification. I had correspondence with him and went round to see him in the quest of getting a better understanding of the railway boats. Tom Foxon was there with me. Clive, may have had interests elsewhere, but he was dedicated to discovering the truth about the Yarwoods boats. He followed their history where he could and was often frustrated by some issues, such as the boats in Yard 397.  His frustration can be seen in the comment:

 

"Many of the station boats have been cut; generally around 20ft from the stern to make motorboats. The fore-end remains the same, but there are now a number of stern ends that have been made into fore-ends. Identification of these will only be possible if the BCN plate to the stern, port side, is in place, or the owners know the history. In addition, there are a few that have new names, because the original was not known; AMSTERDAM is one such boat, (60 ft motor). "

 

This seems to me to be a useful comment, but others might either disagree, or add to it. He sent out enquiries to gain a better understanding, as competent historians do. It would be nice to see the fruits of his labours published.

 

As the LMS boats on Midland waterways, the numbering of the new boats did seem to fit slots in the numbering scheme used by the LMS boats, which had presumably had been replaced. These would have been from the former Shropshire Union Fleet used in boatage service and no doubt the numbering scheme was a product of the change over. With the decision to dispose of the Shropshire Union canal carrying trade, the railway boats remained in service and it would have been the LNWR who decided to keep the fleet there. The number series may well have dated from that time.

 

Whether the LMS adopted a general numbering scheme for all their boats seems at present unlikely, but again somebody might want to comment. A reason for this is that in looking at records at the National Archives, so far it is not possible to find other numbering schemes. Some former canal boats ended up as work boats for the LMS on their canals and also harbours.

 

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I have a photocopy of the W.J. Yarwood and Sons Ltd. Yard Book held by Cheshire Records Office and I can confirm it reads "397. 6 open type canal boats. L.M.S.Rly Ltd."

 

The key point here is were 6 boats constructed for that "order" ?

 

And this is still a point of interest to me, even after the span of years. Whilst the BCN gauging list record a lesser number of 4 and Clive's list had 5. His next list order had one, which was dated in 1937, so there is a much to say in favour of the possibility that the order was cut short for the reason of economy or necessity. 

 

There might be something in LMS records that might confirm this, yet there remains the other possibility of 2 boats going to another part of the LMS canal network. I have  a vague recollection of such a discussion with Clive that the one boat he queried did end up on another canal.  

 

The LMS had then the Ashby, Huddersfield Broad & Narrow Canals, Lancaster, St Helens, Shropshire Union & Trent & Mersey. The aspect of new maintenance craft would have been a need, even if the LMS was trying to cut back on the canal operations. Of this list the last two named canals might be candidates for the supply of maintenance craft. Such a possibility might even have resulted in such craft surviving into BW times. It would be of interest to know if there were any Yarwood type craft whose origins need to be clarified.

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15 hours ago, pete harrison said:

I agree, Clive Guthrie's work is well worthy of publication - although I fear much of it is now lost :captain:

How come his family didn’t turn over all his notes to someone who could could have sorted that out?

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12 hours ago, jenevers said:

How come his family didn’t turn over all his notes to someone who could could have sorted that out?

At Clive's funeral / wake the subject of seeing through the publication of his book was discussed, by both his family and quite a number of influential waterways personalities - including me but I am not influential or a personality. Clive's son was keen to lead this, especially as the manuscript was complete and all that was left was to place the photographs and send it to the publisher (Clive's publisher was already in place) - and he  had countless offers of help and assistance, including from me. After the funeral / wake we all went our separate ways. I think the great plan unfolded when Clive's son become overwhelmed, both emotionally and because he new nothing of W.J. Yarwood & Sons Ltd. and their work, making placing photographs almost impossible. Unfortunately Clive's son did not reach out for assistance and by the time 'the great and the good' of the canal world started asking questions and renewing their offers of help it was too late. It became apparent that different members of the family retained Clive's computer, documents and photographs and that they were spread across the midlands and south west - and nobody seemed to know who had what. I fear much of Clive's stuff will have been lost now due to house moves, garage clearances, life and the like.

 

Personally I think the important part of Clive's work is the manuscript, which as I have said before has been circulated to three individuals, proof read and corrected. I think if this were to be published as it is it would make a great reference book and be an ongoing testament to Clive. It could even be populated by some photographs as finding images of the boats / ships / bridges e.t.c. built by W.J. Yarwood & Sons Ltd. is not difficult at all, although copyright might be a bigger issue. I would still prefer this to be driven by Clive's family, but with it being 13 years since his passing I just can not see this happening :captain:

 

edit = I have been involved with a similar thing over the past 5 years or so as Mike Webb's widow struggles to make sense of his photographs and associated records, mostly dating from the 1950's to the mid 1980's - and although she supported Mike's interest in working narrow boats she knew nothing of the detail so at almost every turn is confusion when her quest is for accuracy. At her request we published a book of Mike's photographs a couple of years ago, but in Mike Webb's name of course.

Edited by pete harrison
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On 09/04/2020 at 09:03, Heartland said:

The key point here is were 6 boats constructed for that "order" ?

 

And this is still a point of interest to me, even after the span of years. 

Yard number 397 is particularly interesting for its lack of detail when compared to other boats in the W.J. Yarwood and Sons Ltd. 'Yard Book'. There are 950 yard numbers that span everything that they built - from narrow boats to ocean going tugs, from lock gates to bridges e,t,c,, What is common to every Yard Number is a "Date Commenced" and a "Date Finished", the latter of which is sometimes altered to "Away". Every boat has one or the other or both of these dates regardless of whether the Yard Number was allocated to a single vessel or a batch of vessels (batches have each boat named and dated for completion). Yard Number 397 has neither, the first thing that suggests these 6 boats for the L.M.S.R. were never started and never completed.

 

We have already discussed that there is nothing in the B.C.N. Gauge Registers that captures 6 boats for L.M.S.R. in or around the period Yard Number 397 were allegedly built, in fact all of the L.M.S.R. boats captured within the B.C.N. Gauge Registers can be accounted for as either W.J. Yarwood and Sons Ltd. new builds or acquisitions from other carriers.

 

So this leaves the possibility of the 6 boats of Yard Number 397 being constructed for use on other waterways operated by the L.M.S.R.. Apart from the narrow boats built for Fellows, Morton and Clayton Ltd. and the 2 pairs of 'admirals' all W.J. Yarwood and Sons Ltd. built commercial narrow boats have a common feature - the rolled over stem post, and this includes all of the new build L.M.S.R. day boats. If the 6 boats under Yard Number 397 were built I can see no reason why they would have not had the rolled over stem post, in fact my opinion is that they would have been very similar to the other day boats built for the L.M.S.R. but perhaps scaled up or down to suit their purpose on another canal. I have been around 'historic' narrow boats since before they were historic (50 years), and I have been carrying out detailed research into 'historic' narrow boats for over 30 years - yet I have never come across a oddity that could be attributed to W.J. Yarwood and Sons Ltd.. There is also an army of 'historic' narrow boat owners and enthusiasts the length and breadth of the country who I am sure would highlight a boat that seemed out of the ordinary - but nothing !!!!! There is the possibility that the 6 boats in question could have all of been scrapped, but looking at the survival rate of other metal hulled boats of this period I think this is highly unlikely.

 

I think the above is fairly well balanced and is based upon years of accumulated documents and personal experience. I am no longer looking for the boats from Yard Number 397 as I do not believe they were ever built, and in his later stages of his research Clive Guthrie was of the same opinion :captain: 

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Stating these craft were not built, opens up another question, which is that four boats are given as registered by the BCN craft and at different times, who built them?

 

BRIDE     12            BCN 1827  28/09/1934        LMS   Brierley Hill                           cabin iron

               20           BCN 1989   03/11/1937        LMS   Brierley Hill                            open iron

CZAR      21           BCN 1742   18/09/1932        LMS   Brierley Hill                            open iron

SARDINE  90         BCN 1697    21/09/1931        LMS   Brierley Hill                           cabin iron

 

If they were not made to order, or yard no,  397, then were they from another part of the LMS network? If they were made to the 397 lot, the differing registration dates also deserves further consideration.

 

The date distribution does fall in with the theory that the 397 lot was dispatched to other canals. If this had been the case some craft might have been moved onto the BCN later

 

As to the answer? There may be details in the LMS Works records at the TNA.

 

At the back of all this was the LMS attitude to canals, which was not helped with the drought that visited their canals in the early 1930's

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I do not know what you are using as your terms of reference but the B.C.N. gauge registers state CZAR 21 (BCN1742) was a cabin iron boat and SARDINE 90 (BCN1697) was an open iron boat'

 

As I have already said all of the boats you list above have previous B.C.N. gauge numbers to those you have listed and all are cross referenced within these registers - as are all other previously owned L.M.S.R. boats on these registers. At least three of the boats above are traceable to Pickford and Company, and I suspect the forth is from Pickford as well. At least one of these boats, BRIDE, still exists and its construction is what enthusiasts now call a 'Mk.1 Bantock' - but this is an enthusiast term and I think there is little evidence that Thomas Bantock actually built them. 

 

I have carried out a massive amount of research into B.C.N. gauge registers, and I have databased four separate complete sets of remaining tables. I also have a complete set of B.C.N. gauge registers digitally photographed so I can always check for typo's. Because of this I can collate information very quickly and can trace a boat history in minutes.

 

I do not think I can add anything else to this thread, except to say that I hold my ground in that there is no evidence that W.J. Yarwood & Sons Ltd. yard number 397 was ever built :captain:

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Sorry must have transposed the two Czar and Sardine when copying it on to the screen. 

 

The list is yours via Martin O Keeffe some years ago. As you know Martin was very active making the registers in the BCN Society possession available for research as well as cross reference with records elsewhere such as at the TNA. 

 

But thanks for the information. regarding the Pickford link, that could explain how the boats have different gauging dates and have no connection to Yarwoods.

 

At the same time it illustrates how much guesswork has been involved with canal boat histories.

 

As to Pickfords, they retained a depot at Wolverhampton (Walsall Street) into the early years of the Twentieth Century. They ended that duty, which was essentially railway interchange, before the Shropshire Union.

 

I am sure you know the story of these boats subsequent to leaving Pickfords ownership, so there is no need for me to also dwell any further on this topic

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  • 2 years later...

Welcome to the forum.

A simple typo probably, but it's Yarwoods, not Yarwards. Both Yarwoods and Harland & Wolff built hundreds of working narrow boats during the 1930's and as plans will show, they were mostly 71' 6" in length overall - but not including the rudder blade or any fenders. Generally these are commonly referred to as seventy footers or 'full length'. But for all I know you may have this information, so apologies if this sounds pedantic. As such, it would seem most likely that the 'Station' boats would also be built to the same lengths.

 

Why 71' 6"? Possibly because the maximum length available within a lock on much of the system was 72', builders would maximise on length to accomodate as much hold space as possible.

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On 09/09/2022 at 22:05, Phil.specialist.electrical said:

Old thread I know but just in case.. I’ve just bought an LMS station butty. I’m sure it must be Czar no 21 as notes say Czar was 71’. My new boat Ethel is 71’ and I can’t see that Yarwards made any other 71’ers. 

 

 

And continuing with Derek's pedantry theme, were all the station boats not built as 'horse boats' rather than butties? 

 

Not that I know the differences but I imagine there are bound to be lots. The differences between a horse boat and a butty is subject for a thread I've had had in mind for a long time and never got around to posting. 

 

 

Edited by MtB
Remove some redundant words.
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On 09/09/2022 at 22:05, Phil.specialist.electrical said:

Old thread I know but just in case.. I’ve just bought an LMS station butty. I’m sure it must be Czar no 21 as notes say Czar was 71’. My new boat Ethel is 71’ and I can’t see that Yarwards made any other 71’ers. 

There is some information about Ethel on the HNBC listing here:  https://hnbc.org.uk/boats/ethel

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9 hours ago, MtB said:

And continuing with Derek's pedantry theme, were all the station boats not built as 'horse boats' rather than butties? 

 

Not that I know the differences but I imagine there are bound to be lots. The differences between a horse boat and a butty is subject for a thread I've had had in mind for a long time and never got around to posting.

And taking the pedantry even further....

Were these LMS horse boats "station" boats from the outset?

A view I have seen argued, (but I can't immediately recall where), is that they were built as "railway" boats.

The subset of those "railway" boats that ended up being "repurposed"  as butties are the ones that should then be called "station" boats, as it was at this point they acquired the names of railway stations.

Maybe this argument isn't valid, but it does fit the facts rather nicely.

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On 10/09/2022 at 09:41, Derek R. said:

Welcome to the forum.

A simple typo probably, but it's Yarwoods, not Yarwards. Both Yarwoods and Harland & Wolff built hundreds of working narrow boats during the 1930's and as plans will show, they were mostly 71' 6" in length overall - but not including the rudder blade or any fenders. Generally these are commonly referred to as seventy footers or 'full length'. But for all I know you may have this information, so apologies if this sounds pedantic. As such, it would seem most likely that the 'Station' boats would also be built to the same lengths.

 

Why 71' 6"? Possibly because the maximum length available within a lock on much of the system was 72', builders would maximise on length to accomodate as much hold space as possible.

Thanks for you reply. Yes typo on my part there.  My curiosity was that the only LMS boat I can find that is 71’6” is Czar, so I wondered if that helps identify that Ethel was once Czar? Ethel was thought to of been The May, but ‘The May’ is in Stoke Brurne weigh bridge. I was looking at her just yesterday actually and id an identical build to Elthel, I might measure her length to see if there is in fact a difference. 

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Take a look through the LMS boats in the NBOC historic pages, especially BALTIC (not the ice boat); RAT and OCEAN.

https://hnbc.org.uk/lms

(No Station names there Mr. Fincher . . . "Second class ticket to Ethel please, changing at Rat.") But several did get Station names as the NBOC page states.

The LMS Railway boats were used between interchange basins. One of their features is a longer foredeck than most long distance boats. Generally nice fore ends.

Edited by Derek R.
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Birdswood is an example of a Station boat converted to a butty by BW NW when they had a shortage of them in their fleet in the 1950.s. Ditton was another one. My understanding is that LMS boats or station boats were used in traffic to interchange basins and did not have cabins.

Edited by Ogwr
correction
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In one of Tom Foxon's notes he mentioned that as of April 1954 61 Boats were given up by the British Transport Commission. 

Previous images of these craft show horse haulage in the Midlands and it would be of interest to know if any tugs were employed prior to that date. After that time the surplus craft went on to other duties or were sold.

 

May be members of the Forum can advise if they are still members of this exclusive club, the Club 61, or the station boat club of 1954 and then there is also the wider club of all surviving station boat, which would comprise those disposed of before April 1954, but still remain !

 

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