Previous names

  • James Taylor Peddie
  • Cawstone
Certificate no 2500
Status Registered


Function Fighting Vessel
Subfunction Landing Craft
Location Stoke, River Medway
Vessel type X Lighter
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Sunderland Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Sunderland
Built in 1915
Hull material Iron
Rig None
Number of decks 2
Number of masts 1
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 2
Primary engine type Twin diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
21.00 feet (6.41 m)
7.60 feet (2.32 m)
Length: Overall
105.00 feet (32.03 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



1.      What is the vessel’s ability to demonstrate history in her physical fabric?

Evidence for designs, functions, techniques, processes, styles, customs and habits or uses and associations in relation to events and people.  How early, intact or rare these features are may impact on significance.

BRANDRAM was built to order by the Admiralty in February 1915 as a motor barge with iron plate construction.  She was one of 200 X-Lighters designed for use in the Gallipoli campaign with the plans completed in only four days. Variations in the function and design of the lighters changed from yard to yard, depending on the materials available and local methods of shipbuilding.  She is powered by two Gardner diesel engines, model 6LW port engine and model 6L3 starboard engine.

2.      What are the vessel’s associational links for which there is no physical evidence?

Associations with people or places.  Off-ship research.

BRANDRAM was built by the Sunderland Shipbuilding Co. as one of the X-lighters known as ‘Black Beetles’ and was assigned the service number X-67.  She is a rare example of a surviving ‘beetle barge’ and her design also links her to the First World War Gallipoli Campaign, the boat designer James Pollock, and the First Sea Lord, Lord Fisher.  The idea for the X-lighter came from Walter Pollock of James Pollock & Son. It was brought to the attention of Lord Fisher through Walter Pollock’s 1903 book ‘Vessels of Various types’.  However, although built in 1915, it is believed that BRANDRAM saw little action in the First World War.  She was used as a landing craft, but made it no further than France. In her working life, BRANDRAM has been employed variously as an oil barge, a sand barge and a general cargo barge. She is also significant for playing a role in the Second World War when, as C7, she was again requisitioned by the government between 1940 and 1945. She has been recorded on the National Register of Historic Vessels since 2011.

3.      How does the vessel’s shape or form combine and contribute to her function?

Overall aesthetic impact of the vessel, her lines, material she was built from and her setting.  Does she remain in her working environment?

BRANDRAM’s original function was as a war-time landing craft.  As such, she was designed with an angular bilge section amidships tapering to a ship shape form aft and fore, with a spoon-shaped bow for ease of a beach landing. She retains this shape today. She was used for other purposes between the wars, but returned to her primary function in the Second World War. As a motor barge she was designed to be functional rather than aesthetically appealing. BRANDRAM is currently located at Stoke on the River Medway, where she continues in static preservation afloat.

Source: NHS-UK team, 23 March 2016. 

This statement was developed as part of the Heritage Lottery funded First World War project.


BRANDRAM was built as a motor barge in 1915 by the Sunderland Shipbuilding Co. and is a vessel of iron plate construction powered by two Gardner diesel engines, model 6LW port engine and model 6L3 starboard engine. As X67, the vessel was used as a landing craft during World War I and as C7 was requisitioned by the government during World War II. In the intervening years between the wars the vessel was used variously as an oil barge, a sand barge and a general cargo barge. She has been owned by her current owner since 1968 and worked as a general cargo carrier until 1981. In 2011, BRANDRAM was undergoing restoration at Stoke on the River Medway.

This vessel is a survivor from the First World War. You can read more about her wartime history by visiting our First World War: Britain's Surviving Vessels website

Key dates

  • 1915 Built by Sunderland Shipbuilding Co and used as a landing craft during World War I
  • 1920/1940 Used as oil and sand barge named James Taylor Peddie and Cawstone
  • 1940/1945 Requisitioned by government during World War II and named C7

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