River Severn Vessels

barges river severn2barges river severn

Barge’s —

With a beam normally twice that of a narrow boat they were built as sailing and none sailing. Most of the motor barges had a two-man crew. Built to carrying up to 250 tonnes of cargo such as grain from Sharpness or Gloucester to Tewkesbury (Healings Flour Mill, Tewkesbury), operations ceased in 1985. In 1993, the last two ‘Tirley’ and ‘Chaceley’ operated by Allied Mills Ltd began carrying grain again. In 1995, the last skipper being Mr. Chris Witts (web site) until in 1998 the last two barges being laid up again at Tewkesbury.

Oil tanker barges traded in the Bristol Channel and in land as far as Stourport, where they unloaded their cargo at the quay fed accessed from Sandy Lane. For most their homeport was Gloucester. Most of the oil tanker barges had a crew of four, skipper, skipper’s mate, engineer and one deckhand. Each had their own cabin. The tankers stopped their runs to Stourport with the construction of a pipeline to Birmingham.

Which Barges —

These were small trows made to carry their cargo’s in the shallows of the Severn and wide Canals such as the Droitwich Barge canal.

Punt —

A flat-bottomed boat with square ends, it is pushed along in shallow waters by a long pole. They were used a lot at one time on the Severn to ferry people across the River. Also used by fishermen.

Butty Boat —

Generally a name given to a non-motorised boat that is being towed by motorised boat. Quite common among narrow boats carrying cargo.

Narrow Boat —

A flat boat used for carrying cargoes. Some times known on the Severn as a “Longboat” At the peak in 1914 the SCC operated just over 80 on the Severn.

Lighters —

A flat boat used for carrying cargoes. They were approximately twice the beam of a Barge. Used on the Severn.

Coracle —

A small oval shaped boat made of tarred canvas or skins stretched over wickerwork, used in Wales, Ireland and extensively around Ironbridge.
For more information contact the Coracle Center
‘Wherries’ —

Built around 5 to 6 tons they where rowed by 8 oarsmen, and used extensively in the early 18th century, Wherries operated a time tabled passenger-carrying service from Shrewsbury to Gloucester and on to Bristol. By 1844 a regular three times a week service operated between Gloucester and Shrewsbury during the summer months.

Tanker Barge —

Many were used on the River Severn up as far as Stourport on Severn.

The Regent Lady —

One of the last tankers to carry oil to the terminal at Stourport on Severn, lining up for the entrance to Lincomb Lock. Lincomb lock is the last wide beam lock north on the River Severn just before Stourport on Severn.

Ferry’s —

The Severn Princess the last Ferry to operate across the Severn Estuary.

Barge’s —

“Apperley”

A flat-bottomed dump barge built in 1933, at Bristol by Charles Hill.

B.W. Dump Barge No10

Perch’ —

A dump barge, powered by a single 220hp Cummins 6CTA engine, 190T LOA 90ft, beam 19ft 6ins with a 6foot draught.

Pike’ —

A dump barge, powered by 120hp Ford six cylinder engine, 190T LOA 90ft, beam 19ft 6ins with a 6foot draught.

Chub’ —

A dump barge, powered by a single 180hp Scania DS805 engine, 190T LOA 90ft, beam 19ft 6ins with a 6foot draught.

‘Bushley’ —

A flat-bottomed dump barge built at Bristol in 1934, carried grain up to Tewkesbury.

‘Cleprod No1’ —

Dump barge worked carrying oil from Gloucester to Stourport.

BP Explorer’ —

A tanker barge, used to carry oil. On Friday the 17th of February 1961 carrying 18,000 gallons of petroleum she capsized on a sandbank in the Severn estuary while on passage from Swansea to Gloucester killing her crew of five all from Gloucester. No other vessel was involved.

Arkendale H’ —

A tanker barge. Also hit the Severn railway bridge in fog on the 25th October 1960, along with the Wastdale H. They were both was left on the bank to help relieve bank erosion. From the G&S canal bank you can still see them at low water, close to the last remains of the bridge pillar they collided with on that fateful night.

Chaceley’ —

Commercial grain barge originally built by John Harker Ltd in 1964 as the “Nora Easting”. It was lengthened later for carrying coal on the Yorkshire waterways. She last operated on the River Severn, carrying grain to Tewkesbury with a carrying capacity of 250 tonnes, loading taking between 2 hours at Sharpness or 3 hours at Gloucester. It was operated by a crew of two one Skipper and one mate who doubles up as an Engineer. On her two day trip she used 36 gallons of fuel and could travel at 7 knots.

Deerhurst’ –

Motor barge built in 1933 at Bristol, carried grain up to Tewkesbury.

The ‘River King’ —

The River King heading south (c) PJ 1999.

A tanker barge built of steel in 1932. Converted in to a pleasure craft working between Worcester and Stourport. She is owned by The Severn Steamboat Co. For more information on the River King click Here

The ‘Athlete’ —

A tanker barge. Also hit the Severn railway bridge in fog on the 25th October 1960, along with the Wastdale H. They were both left on the bank to help relieve bank erosion. From the G&S canal bank you can still see them at low water, close to the last remains of the bridge pillar they collided with on that fateful night.

The Oliver Cromwell

A Dutch barge converted in 1993 at Sharpness to look like an old Mississippi paddle boat with a turning but not functional stern wheel. Now a holiday hotel boat, operating out of Gloucester in the summer months between Gloucester and Worcester. At weekends it takes a trip down the Sharpness canal.

Severn Trows

For decades, the largest class of boats in Europe. Most were built for, and along the River Severn. There were hundreds of Trows on the banks of the Severn from Shrewsbury to Bristol. Numbering around 700 at one time on the Severn. They were used to carry cargoes of up to 250 tons, tiles etc. up the River to Bridgnorth and as far north, as the Shropshire Severn gorge from Worcestershire.

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Trow moored out side the Angel Pub

Most were built for use on the river Severn. The Trows numbering around 700 at one time.

Severn Trow’s —

A barge like sailing vessel, were direct descendants of Roman and Viking River craft. At around 70 foot long for decades, the largest class of boats in Europe. Most were built for the River Severn. There were hundreds on the banks of the Severn from Shrewsbury to Bristol. Numbering around 700 at one time on the Severn. They were used to carry cargoes of up to 250 tons, tiles etc. up the River to Bridgnorth and as far north, as the Shropshire Severn gorge from Worcestershire. Some times running them up the banks at the Mug house’s as at Bridgnorth & Upton, stopping for a little refreshment.

The sign for the “Trow” public house in the high street at Stourport on Severn was craved by Robert Pancheri from a single piece of teak in 1939, and is now located at a local school.

Waterwitch’ —

A Trow from Gloucester owned by the Severn & Canal Carring Co.

Tug “Addie” —

Tug ‘Addie’ towing 4 Lighters on the Severn

Tug Addie shown here in the 1960’s

Weighing in at 85-tons the tug was built in 1915, she was used amongst other things for towing Lighters from Avonmouth up the estuary to Gloucester ,were she worked for most of her life. She also operated up to Worcester and as far north as Stourport. Often working along side Tug Primrose.

She was moved from Stourport in January 1999 on her journey to Menorca were she will be hired out. Click here for more information on The Addie

Athlete’ —

A steam tug she worked the upper Severn in the Stourport area around 1900~1920, one of its jobs was to pull narrow boats.

Tug ‘Primrose‘ —

A steam tug she worked the upper Severn in the Stourport area around 1900~1920, one of its jobs was to pull narrow boats. Often working along side Tug Addie.

Amo’ —

Owned by Mr. Tom Head who also at the time owned the Chandlers in Mart Lane, Stourport on Severn. It once operated from the bridge as a pleasure trip boat, along with the “Beatrice”.

The ‘Anro Pioneer’ —

A large coaster – scrapped at Bullo Pill

Severn Traveller’ —

A tanker Barge built by Hills in 1935 once operated between Avonmouth and Stourport. She was converted into a pleasure trip boat operating out of Worcester owned by the Worcester Steamboat Company. The Severn Traveler was involved in an accident in which a crew member was killed on the 4th February 1939 when with the Arkendale H and the Wastdale H all collided with the Severn Railway Bridge. Nine people lost there lives in total.

Vic99

boat vic99 99

An “Old Puffer” Victual’s Inshore Coaster number 99, originally a world War 2 supply ship from Scotland she was sailed in the 70’s south, around the coast and up the River Severn, where she moored at Stourport at the parade. There she was converted into a Restaurant for a short while, but due to a strange fire that broke out in three different place’s at the same time, soon fall into disuse. She was sold off soon after the fire and moved to its present mooring just south of Stourport by Stourport Marina. She now sits on the River bed only re-floating when the River is in flood. She is now not able to negotiate Lincomb lock due to the hull expanding with the heat from the fire, now being too wide to enter the lock chamber.

M.V. Conway Castle‘ —

Built in Dartmouth it’s the largest passenger vessel still operated by Severn Leisure Cruises on the Severn, working out of Upton-upon-Severn to Tewkesbury.

Atalanta’ —

A steel Steamer built 1894, in Bristol. She was used to carry cargo’s up to 170 tons including iron ore. Purchased by the SCC (Severn & Canal Carrying Company Ltd) in 1895.

Antwerp’ —

Built by Barnes & Chadborn of Gloucester. Owned by the SCC its fleet number being 16.

Amo’ —

Owned by Mr George Head who also at the time owned the Chandlers in Mart Lane, Stourport on Severn. It once operated from the bridge as a pleasure trip boat, along with the “Beatrice”.

Anro Pioneer’ —

A large coaster – scrapped at Bullo Pill

Beatrice’–

A steamer, operated from its moorings by the bridge close to the tea-rooms, along with “Amo” (two of three brass hinges fitted to the Beatrice, were dug up out of the ground by the dry dock area and fitted to ‘Taigle’ from the SYC in 1998) The walk way that runs on the south side of Stourport bridge is named after it, Beatrice Walk.

‘Bee’ —

A steam Barge, owned by J.Rice & Son of Gloucester. The last Barge to trade between Stratford and Gloucester, carrying corn to the mills.

S.S.Bell —

Wooden steamer later converted to diesel, it was used as a pleasure trip boat.

‘Bilston’ —

Built in 1889 and used by the SCC, a second Bilston was built September 1923, at Beard’s Hempstead Bridge.

Cadburys No1.. —

A motor boat, built in 1927 by the Anderton Company in Middleport. It was operated by the SCC, to carry cargo for Cadburys.

Cadburys No2. —

Built six months after ‘No1’ and used by Cadburys.

‘Cuirassier’ —

Steel steam Coaster with a sliding keel for sea, then able to be raised for the River passage. Built in 1860 capable of carrying up to 140 tons of cargo and used at one time to carry china clay from Poole to Worcester, along with Ironsides. Like the Edmound Ironsides The Cuirassier was unable to navigate above Worcester with full loads due to the low depth of water.

M.V. Darleydale —

Collided with Haw Bridge on The 20th December 1958, the damage done forced its demolition.

‘Duchess Doreen’ —

Wooden steamer used as a pleasure trip boat.

‘Edmund Ironsides’ —

A iron-plated, wooden framed steamer built in 1860. She had a sliding keel for sea then able to be raised for the River passage. Capable of carrying up to 120 tons of cargo and used at one time to carry china clay from Poole to Worcester, along with The Cuirassier. Both unable to navigate above Worcester with full loads due to the low depth of water. Acquired by James Fellows in January 1867, working between Gloucester and Cork until January 1874. Finally sold off in at the end of 1877.

‘Eye of the Wind’ –

A Steel brigantine 90 foot long, often seen on the G&S canal.

‘George’ —

A Trow operating out of Gloucester.

‘John Gilbert’

A narrow boat, operated for many years on the Severn.

‘Hastings’ —

A small Severn Trow used to carry salt from Droitwich down the Droitwich wide Barge Canal to Gloucester Docks. Originally owned by the Droitwich Salt Company.

’Holt Castle’ —

A old steamer capable of carrying up to three hundred passengers.

‘Jubilee’ —

Copy of boat jubilee 99

B.W. Barge Jubilee

A powered dump barge.

‘Marianne’ —

Owned and operated by Severn Leisure Cruises from Upton upon Severn. Moored at Worcester.

‘Miss Jason’ —

boat miss jason 99.jpg (63628 bytes) A steel pleasure trip boat operating from Stourport and owned by the Stourport Steamer Co.

‘Nelson’ —

A dump barge built at Beverley in 1905 used on the Severn. The sister craft built at the same time was ‘Togo’.

‘No. 10’ —

A dump barge owned and operated by British Waterways.

‘No. 13’ —

A dump barge owned and operated by British Waterways.
‘Pride of the Midlands’ —

Converted to a pleasure trip boat. Operates out of Worcester by the Worcester Steamer Co. along with the Severn Traveller.

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Pride of the Midlands on her moorings

‘Queen Boadicea II’ —
Built in 1936 as a passenger boat for use on the River Thames. QB2 was one of the Dunkirk Little ships involved in WW2 to de-embark troops from the beech’s of Dunkirk. Now owned and operated by the National Waterways Museum.

Moored in Gloucester docks and is used as a pleasure boat for day trips on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal, carrying up to 130 passengers operating between May and October.

‘Lapwing’ —

A passenger steamer operated daily from Gloucester to Sharpness stopping off at Hardwicke, Saul Junction and Framton. Lapwing, was operated by the Gloucester & Sharpness Steam Co. (see also Wave)

Tug ‘Resolute Lady’ —

Built in 1897 as a steam tug, later to be converted to diesel. Originally owned by British Waterways and called ‘Resolute’. Working between Gloucester and Avonmouth, in 1970 she was sold off to an Avonmouth company who renamed her ‘Thelm Leigh’.
‘Regent Wren’ —

A oil tanker barge.
‘River Queen’ —

A steamer built of teak, owned by Charles Bathurst. It was 68ft. Long with a beam 12ft. Later a engine was fitted b W.Sissons & Co, she operated trips between Wainlode Hill just north of Gloucester, down River to Sharpness. (See also SS King)
‘Rotterdam’ —

Owned by the S.C.C.

‘Sabrina’–

A small steam passenger carrier.

‘Severn Carrier’ —

Motor tanker built in 1933, at Bristol. Capable of carrying 140 tons of cargo. Her three-man crew died after colliding with the Severn Railway Bridge between Purton & Sharpness, on the 4th of February 1939.

‘Severn Trader’ —

‘Severn’ —

Built in Bridgnorth in 1752, ended its long service at Carrickfergus, County Antrim in 1883.

The Severn Class Lifeboat —

boat severn class life boat named will

Is the largest (1999) lifeboat in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (R.N.L.I) fleet with a top speed of 25 knots, this enables it to reach 50 miles off the coast in 2 1/2 hours.

‘Shell Mex 7’ —

Dump barge worked carrying oil from Gloucester to Stourport.

‘Sincerite’ —

Dump barge worked with the Shell Mex 7 carrying oil from Gloucester to Stourport.

‘M.V. Silver Salmon’ —

Now operated by Severn Leisure cruises from Upton upon Severn. It moors at the Cathedral Ferry site in Worcester.

Silver Salmon on her moorings

‘Sovereign’–

The first passenger carrying steam packet, in 1821 she blow up on her maiden voyage.

‘The ‘Spry’–

The only known Severn Trow still in existence built from timber growing along the Severn banks in 1894 at Chepstow. It was moored rotting for many years at Diglis Basin in Worcester, and is now after complete restoration is a exhibit at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum.
‘Teme’ —

A hopper barge owned & operated by British Waterways.

‘Times’ —

A Trow from Bristol.

‘Tirley’ —

Commercial grain barge built in 1973 at Knottingley by John Harker Ltd. Named originally the “Thealby” built for the Flixborough Shipping Co. Ltd to carry coal on the Yorkshire waterways. In 1975 she was sold to Allied Mills Ltd and converted to carry grain. It was last used to carry grain to the mill at Tewkesbury.
Tug ‘Thelm Leigh’(see Resolute Lady)

‘Trial’ —

Built of Iron by John Wilkinson at Willey Shropshire, in 1787. At a cost almost three times that of a wooden boat and weighing in at 8 tons unloaded. The ‘Trial’ was designed to carry up to 32 tons of cargo, primarily for the canal.

‘Togo’ —

Built as the sister to Nelson in 1905 at Beverley.

‘Virago’ —

A B.W.B. patrol boat moored at Diglis, used along the Severn.

‘Wave’ —

A passenger operated daily from Gloucester to Sharpness, by the Gloucester & Sharpness Steam Co. See also Lapwing)

‘Wastdale H’ —

A tanker barge. The Wastdale H, along with the Arkendale H, another tanker barge owned by John Harker Ltd, hit the Severn railway bridge on the 25th October 1960, in heavy fog.

‘Worcester’ —

A steam tug built in 1908 at Brimscombe by Isaac J.Abdela & Mitchell Ltd At one time it was used to pull craft through the Tardebigge Tunnel on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal. Later being converted in 1929 to diesel. She was used to tow SCC narrow boats down the River Severn to Gloucester Docks. Worcester is now preserved in the Waterways Museum, at Ellesmere Port.

This collection of vessels contained here that operated on and around the River Avon, Severn and its estuary, is not by any means complete.

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