Certificate no 2008
Status Registered


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Narrow Boat
Location Regents Canal
Vessel type Town Class Large Northwich
Current use Community Vessel
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions Yes
Info required No
Web address www.camdencanals.org


Builder Yarwood, W J & Sons Ltd, Northwich
Built in 1937
Hull material
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 0
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
7.00 feet (2.13 m)
3.60 feet (1.10 m)
Length: Overall
72.00 feet (21.96 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



A narrow boat with a hull of steel plate built in 1937 by W J Yarwood, with a Lister diesel HR2A engine, installed in 1958. She was one of 37 Large Northwich 'Town' Class boats. She was built for commercial cargo use and was part of a major order from the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company. 'Town' Class boats were named in alphabetical order after towns and villages in the UK - the first to be delivered was 'Halsall' and the last 'Yeoford'. She was paired with her wooden butty boat (originally TAUNTON) and both vessels were absed at Bulls Bridge in Southall and, during and after the Second World War, carried cargo around the London area and as far afield as Birmingham. In 1957 TARPORLEY was leased to Willow Wren Transport Services who continued carrying cargo in her, but then changed hands several times, finally being sold in 1970, still as a working boat. In 1972 she was bought by the London Borough of Camden who wanted to provide residentail and day trips for, particularly, the young and elderly. LBC converted her with this purpose in mind; retaining many of the original features such as the boatman's cabin and the engine room, but adding, where once the cargo was carried, accommodation for 12 passengers, a shower room and a galley. She was also re-engined with a 1958-built-2-cylinder air-cooled Lister H Series. For more than 20 years, she was operated by the LBC using professional skippers and was busy taking groups of people of all ages on day, evening and residential trips. In response to rising costs and competing priorities, Camden ultimately decided to transfer the boat, and the opportunities that it provided for the local community, to the voluntary sector. Thus the Camden Canals and Narrowboat Assocation (CCNA) was set up in 1998. Since the CCNA took on the responsibility to operate and maintain TARPORLEY as a community boat, she has continued to take groups of people of all ages on trips along the Regents Canal. Occasionally she ventures as far as the River Lea, the Thames and the Grand Union Canal.

Key dates

  • 1937

    Narrow boat built by W.J. Yarwood and Sons Ltd of Northwich

  • 1957 Vessel leased to Willow Wren Transport Services
  • 1970 Sold as a working boat
  • 1972 Bought by London Borough of Camden to provide day trips
  • 1998

    Vessel transferred to the ownership of Camden Canals and Narrowboat Association

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

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