Previous names

  • 1938 - 1955 Ross
Certificate no 2730
Status Registered


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Narrow Boat
Location Cromford Wharf
Current use Community Vessel
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions Yes
Info required No


Builder Yarwood, W J & Sons Ltd, Northwich
Built in 1938
Hull material Iron
Rig None
Number of decks 0
Number of masts 0
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Electric
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Length: Overall
70.17 feet (21.39 m)
Breadth: Beam
7.08 feet (2.16 m)
3.75 feet (1.14 m)
Air Draft
5.58 feet (1.70 m)
Tonnage: Gross


BIRDSWOOD was built by W J Yarwood of Northwich in 1938 as an open day boat  for LMS Railway and used on railway interchange traffic on the Birmingham Canal Navigations. In 1955, she was one of 12 of this type to be fitted with a wooden living cabin and used on long distance carrying traffic by British Waterways in the North West. She was renamed BIRDSWOOD at this time.

She continued carrying until 1970 and was then used for maintenance duties by British Waterways. Sold into private ownership in 1972, she was converted to horsedrawn passenger boat in 1974.  She was operated as such at Froghall on the Caldon Canal until she was refurbished and motorised in 1995, but preserved the traditional horseboat stern. She then continued as a powered passenger boat at Froghall until 2010.

She was purchased by the Friends of the Cromford Canal. (Registered Charity No. 1100700) in 2013 when diesel engine was removed and an electric motor fitted. She will be used as a passenger boat at Cromford Wharf from September 2013.

Key dates

  • 1938

    Built by Yarwoods of Northwich

  • 1955

    Fitted with boatman's cabin and renamed Birdswood (original name Ross)

  • 1972

    Sold into private ownership

  • 1974

    Converted to horse drawn passenger boat

  • 1995

    New steel bottom to hull and steel boatman's cabin and galley fitted. Diesel engine fitted

  • 2013

    Bought by present owners and converted to electric propulsion

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