Certificate no 1638
Status Registered


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Barge
Location Iver
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Harland & Wolff Ltd, Woolwich
Built in 1937
Hull material Iron
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
6.98 feet (2.13 m)
2.98 feet (0.91 m)
Length: Overall
71.54 feet (21.82 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


ELSTREE is a 'big Woolwich' narrowboat, built by Harland & Wolff Ltd. at Woolwich in 1937 and launched on 15 June. She was registered at Rickmansworth as number 161 and operated for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company Ltd. (GUCCCL) under fleet number 139. Her hull is made from riveted iron and steel and she has a pointed bow, with a counter stern. The cargo area is fully clothed up with the living accommodation underneath. The current engine is an inboard Gardner 3LW, with three cylinders and 53.5 brake horsepower, made in 1948. ELSTREE was originally part of the GUCCCL fleet of three hundred and eighty boats plying trade from London to the Midlands. In 1948, she was transferred to the ownership of British Waterways and then, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, she was leased to Willow Wren Carriers before being abandoned at Braunton in 1963. However, she was taken on by T. Collier in the 1970s, based at Leighton Buzzard. She was used for cargo carrying and was paired with the butty LYRA. In the summer, she also offered camping holidays. By the 1980s, she had been sold again and was employed by R. Fuller carrying stone. The following decade saw her supplying diesel and coal and being used to pump out boats around Little Venice. She was bought by private owners again circa 1997 and was converted to provide living quarters.


Faulkner, Alan H, The George & the Mary, Robert Wilson, 1973

Key dates

  • 1937

    Built by Harland & Woolf as a Narrow Boat for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company.(GUCCCo)

  • 1947

    The GUCCCo became British Waterways

  • 1950/60

    Leased to Willow Wren, carriers

  • 1963

    Abandoned at Braunston

  • 1970s

    Used by T Collier of Leighton Buzzard for carrying and in summertime used for camping and paird with Butty Lyra

  • 1980

    Used by R Fuller of Stone for carrying

  • 1990

    Used in Little Venice for diesel, coal and pumpout

  • 1992

    Sold to Christine J Sawyer and converted to a live-on boat at Little Venice

  • 2005

    Sold to present owner

  • 2016

    Vessel is thought to be in good condition and fully converted in The Grand Union Canal in Watford

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk