DARLEY is a narrow boat, built by Harland & Wolff Ltd. at Woolwich in January 1937. She was registered at Rickmansworth as number 160 and was fleet number 135, with gauging number 12661. Her hull is made of riveted steel and, although she would have originally had a wooden cabin, this has been replaced with a steel structure. She has a pointed bow with a raked curved stem and a counter stern. Her current engine is a 1957 Petter PD2, with two cylinders and 20 horsepower. She was commissioned by the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company Ltd. and named after Darley Dale and was initially intended for pairing with the butty, DENTON. She carried loads from Birmingham to London until the advent of nationalisation in 1948 when British Waterways took over and kept her until 1962. She was sold to Alfred Matty near Tipton for use as a dredger and approximately 15 feet was cut from her bow. The present owner purchased the two halves in 1982 and restored her to her original condition with work on the bottom, footings and cabin. She featured in a film called 'There go the Boats'. This showed her being loaded with twenty-five tons of wheat, towing the butty AYR with thirty tons of wheat. The man steering the DARLEY was Mr. Alf Best and his wife was filmed on the tiller of the AYR with a baby on the roof. The wheat was going to Whitworth Mills on the River Nene at Hopehampton. At this time, DARLEY had a National two cylinder diesel engine.
Built by Harland & Wolff in Woolwich, London as a Narrow Motor Boat for the Grand Union Canal Co.
Passed to British Waterways. Used in a film, ‘There go the Boats’
Used by British Waterways
Purchased by Alfred Matty & Co who cut 15 feet off the bow to make a Dredger
The two parts were purchased by the present owner who restored her to her original condition
The present condition and whereabouts of the vessel are unknown
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