Lady Hatherton 1898 was christened on 20th September 1898 by Lady Hatherton at Penkridge. She was to be used as the inspection launch, or committee boat, for the Directors of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Company. The interior boardroom is constructed of mahogany and Canadian maple, there is a ventilator on the roof to let out the cigar smoke, the nine windows down each side are cut and etched glass, and the glass of the doors have the logo for the company etched on them. She was initially drawn by two horses, and was used for the twice-yearly inspections of the canal and occasional other trips for the Directors, until nationalisation of the canal system in 1948. By 1950 she had a Ford engine, and was under the control of various parts of British Transport Waterways until 1960, when Bob Smallman bought her and she passed into private ownership.
In 1960 Bob Smallman decided to sell her, and she was purchased by David Hutchings, who did so much to have the Stratford Canal restored. She attended the reopening by the Queen Mother in 1964. In 1965 she was purchased by Christopher Dobson and Christopher Hobson.
In 1966, replacement wooden hull made by Les Allen and Sons and fitted with a Lister three-cylinder engine. New hull and original superstructure joined at Lock 21 on the Stratford Canal.
In 1979 she was bought by her current owner who has done a number of restoration projects including her outer skin of superstructure renewed at Hoo Mill Lock under the direction of the late Peter Millward of Teddesley Boat Co., to exactly the same design in 1981.
2012-16. New steel hull built by Malcolm Webster at Malkins Bank, Sandbach, as well as further renewal of the outer skin of the superstructure and re-ordering of the galley. She now has a Kubota Beta engine; the interior remains much as it was.
Built in 1898
Ford engine was installed
New owner - David Hutchings
New owner - Christopher Dobson
Replacement wooden hull was fitted
Purchased by current owner
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