Certificate no 3612
Status Registered


Function Cargo Vessel
Subfunction Narrow Boat
Location Ashton-under-Lyne
Vessel type Joey
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Bantock, Thomas & Co, Wolverhampton
Built in 1900
Hull material Iron
Rig None
Number of decks
Number of masts
Primary engine type None
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Air Draft
3.00 feet (0.91 m)
Length: Overall
70.00 feet (21.34 m)



Canal carrying around Birmingham was generally very different to the rest of the country, using tugs pulling trains of day boats or joeys instead of a motor and butty or single horse boat. Hulls like ironsides were built in the hundreds and rarely had cabins or living accommodation, being used only for day work. They were made more quickly and crudely than many long distance boats but some, like Thomas Bantock boats, still retained fine lines.

IRONSIDES, built in 1900, is an increasingly rare craft in that it is completely unaltered from its original build, still un-cabined and unconverted.  The vessel was a British Waterways asset at some point, being latterly used as a mud hopper in the North of England before being bought and used by the Huddersfield canal restoration group.  Subsequently she was used as a horse boat and a mud hopper by the Ashton canal society.

It is believed she may have been a Great Western Railway station boat and may have had a small day cabin fitted when built.

Currently under private ownership, the plan for IRONSIDES is to keep her unconverted, initially to use as an exhibition boat showing how limestone was brought to Marple by house boat.


Key dates

  • 1900

    Vessel built by Thomas Bantock & Co., Wolverhampton

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