GIFFORD is the only existing butty of her type - an unpowered narrow boat used to carry liquid cargos on the English canals. She was part of the fleet owned by Thomas Clayton (Oldbury) Ltd., whose vessels were bulk liquid carriers of tar, creosote and crude oil. The holds were covered to form a tank and were isolated from the cabins at each end by twin bulkheads with air gaps between them. Access was by trap doors which were covered by slides to keep water out as the decks were often awash. She was restored in 1970 and is currently exhibited afloat at Ellesmere Port.
Restoration work was undertaken in 2018/19 by Adrian Polglase and his team in Staffordshire. Whilst GIFFORD is moored at the National Waterways Museum, the vessel does attend events in the Midlands and North-West England.
Brouwer, Norman J, International Register of Historic Ships, Anthony Nelson, pp151, Edition 2, 1993
Sullivan, Dick, Old Ships, Boats and Maritime Museums, Coracle Books, 1978
The Boat Museum, The Boat Museum
Vessel built as a horse boat for Thomas Clayton (Oldbury) Ltd at Braunston, Northamptonshire
Carried tar at various times from the Oxford and Leamington gas works to the tar distillery at Banbury, Oxfordshire
Stopped being horse drawn and was later towed behind a motor boat
Vessel finished its carrying life on the gas works traffic, again horse drawn
One of the first boats in the collection at the Boat Museum, Ellesmere Port
Restored by Malcolm Webster at Malkins Bank on the Trent and Mersey Canal
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