Heather Bell

built 1937 by Nurser, William, Braunston,

Designated ensign Designated house flag

2059

Registered


Cargo Vessel

Narrow Boat


Cambridge


Ongoing conservation

Restoration


No

No


14/09/2007

15/11/2011



Gallery


Propulsion

Motor

Inboard diesel


1966

None


None


Dimensions

To be confirmed

6.80 feet (2.07 metres)


70.25 feet (21.43 metres)

3.00 feet (0.92 metres)


0.00


History

Built in 1937 by Nursers of Braunston, HEATHER BELL is a narrowboat of timber construction. Her current engine is a Lister diesel SR3 installed in 1966. In World War II she was used for the training of women who replaced men during the war. At that time she was crewed by her owners, Daphne March and her mother. In an article written by Daphne March in 1945 she describes life on the canals, previously the province of men. The work was hard and physical, relieved occasionally by incidents such as a tow from a petrol tanker in the River Severn. In December 1941 she sank in 8 feet of water after a collision and was refloated after 3 days. HEATHER BELL was owned by the March family from 1937 to 1954 and had 6 more owners from 1954 to 2003 when she was bought by her present owner. She has never been renamed or shortened or substantially rebuilt and has never carried a full cabin; a pictorial record of her exists from her earliest days. She is now being restored in Norfolk and the restoration is 80% complete in September 2007. We are lacking information on this particular vessel. If you have any information on this vessel past or present, please contact us.

Key dates

  1. 1937 Vessel built by Nursers of Braunston
  2. 1941 Vessel sunk after a collison and was refloated

Grants

  1. April 2008 A Sustainability Grant of ú525 for renewal of bottom boards was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships
If you are the owner of the vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

parrel:

a rope, chain or iron collar which attaches the yard to the mast but which allows vertical movement