APOLLO is a narrow boat, built in 1929 for Midlands & Coast Canal Carriers Ltd, of Wolverhampton. She is of composite construction (i.e. iron sides/elm bottoms), with a carrying capacity of 25-35 tons. Her wooden bottom was renewed in 1971/3 and then replaced in steel in 1989. She originally had a bow cabin and was horse drawn, working mainly between Ellesmere Port and Wolverhampton.
In July 1936, APOLLO was converted to a motor boat at the company’s Fisher’s dockyard in Old Hill and an 18 horsepower Petter engine fitted. The following year, the company was sold to Fellows, Morton & Clayton Ltd and APOLLO became number 349 in their fleet. In 1943, her forecabin was removed at Saltley Dock. She was sold to Ernest Thomas (Walsall) Ltd in May 1946. Until 1951 she carried coal from Brownhills to Birchley Rolling Mills, usually towing butty ‘Birchills’. Captain was Frankie Dumbelow. In January 1951, she was shortened to 58 feet and re-gauged (10th Jan - same no.). A Fordson engine was fitted. After changes of ownership she worked as a tug on the Birmingham Canals, prior to restoration for passenger carrying in 1970/1.
She was purchased by her present owner in 1970 to operate on L&L Canal as ‘Apollo Canal Cruises’ and converted to a 34 (later 48, now 12) seater passenger boat by M.E.Braine at Norton Canes Dockyard, Pelsall, Walsall. An Ailsa Craig RL2 20 hp diesel engine was fitted and was replaced in 1973 by a Ford 4D, 57 hp, and in 1974 by her present Lister HRW2MGR2 29 hp diesel. In 1989, a new steel bottom was fitted at Leeds.
Geoffrey Hamer, Trip Out 1995/6 - A Guide to the Passenger Boat Services of the British Isles (1995) pub: G P Hamer
- 1929 Built in 1929 for Midlands & Coast Canal Carriers Ltd
Converted to a motor boat at Fisher's dockyard, Old Hill.
- 1951 Shortened to 56 feet and re-gauged
- 1970 Bought by her present owner and converted to a 34 seater passenger boat
New engine fitted
New steel bottom was fitted
A sustainability grant of £1000 for hull work was made from ,the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships UK
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