Certificate no 175
Status Registered


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Narrow Boat
Location Leeds
Current use Commercial Activity
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Chrichton, C & H Ltd, Saltney Docks
Built in 1929
Hull material Iron
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 0
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Inboard diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Length: Overall
58.00 feet (17.69 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed
Breadth: Beam
7.20 feet (2.19 m)
3.00 feet (0.91 m)


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

Key dates

  • 1929 Built in 1929 for Midlands & Coast Canal Carriers Ltd
  • 1936

    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
  • 1974

    New engine fitted

  • 1989

    New steel bottom was fitted

  • 1998

    New owners


  • June 2015

    A  sustainability grant of £1000 for hull work was made from ,the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships UK

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