Certificate no 1657
Status National Historic Fleet


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Tug
Location Brinklow
Vessel type Canal Tug
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Watson, J S (Gainsborough) Ltd, Gainsborough
Built in 1932
Hull material Steel
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
44.98 feet (13.72 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


WHITE HEATHER was built by Watson of Gainsborough at Beckenham on the Trent in 1932 for the Borough of St Marylebone as a refuse tug. She is a copy of a tug built in 1908 originally called BIRMINGHAM and then renamed TYBURN, also owned by Marylebone Council. She was originally fitted with a 2 cylinder semi-diesel Robey Lincoln No 46441 which offered 44hp at 400 rpm. She worked on Section 5 in the Paddington area and was registered there as number 330. In 1939 she was taken over by Thomas Clayton of Paddington and worked extensively on refuse disposal to their pits at Hayes, Yeading and West Drayton. WHITE HEATHER passed to British Waterways on nationalisation and, in December 1958, had a Lister Freedon Engine installed which developed 32hp at 1500 rpm. In 1972, she was acquired by T & D Murrells of Adelaide Dock, during which time she cruised extensively around many of the country's canals. She is at present fitted with a Ford 6 cylinder 120 hp engine and is used both as a houseboat and for cruising. She is the only remaining narrow beam tug built for the Regent's Canal and one of only four round bilge canal tugs still in existence.

Key dates

  • 1932

    Built by J. S. Watson of Beckingham near Gainsborough

  • 1932

    Worked as a refuse tug for the borough of St Marylebone

  • 1939

    Acquired by Thomas Clayton of Paddington

  • 1958

    Passed to British Waterways and a Lister Freedom engine installed

  • 1972

    Acquired by T. & D. Murrells of Adelaide Dock and used for residential and cruising purposes

  • 2012

    Vessel selected for  Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3 June 2012

Own this vessel?

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