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Explanation & Abbreviations

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ROCKET

Craft

Fleet No

Built at

Hull

Cost

Type

ROCKET

 

SURCCCo 1877

 

£839.1.9

STEAM TUG

Owners

Address

Source for

First Date

Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Co (cost £839.1.9)                

Chester & Liverpool Lighterage & Warehousing Co Ltd

 

 

Application

 

Inspection

 

27.12.1878

 

27.11.1922

Steamer Registrations

Owner

Place

PH No

As

Date Inspected

Date Registered

SURCCo

SURCCo (rereg)

Chester & Liverpool

Chester

Chester

Chester

1

1

1

For towing other boats

 

Steamer Narrowboat

2.1.1879

 

27.11.1922

15.3.1879

10.6.1898

28.11.1922

Steamer Gaugings

Owner

Place

Gauging Number

Notes

Date

 

 

 

 

 

Boiler

 

 

Engine

 

 

Steamer History

Minute 11904: employed between Wolverhampton and Market Drayton

Minute 25873 sold for £110 to Chester and Liverpool Lighterage Co

 

26.9.1877

20.12.1922

Fate

 

Date

 

Documents on file

Letter from T Kavanagh (filed under Dagmar)                                                                ts             14.11.2001

Article by H A Illingworth (see under)

 

CANAL STEAMERS AT CHESTER  IN EARLY 20th CENTURY

 

The "ROCKET" and "LEADER" were tugs belonging to the S.U. Ry & Co and were employed for towing strings of barges and narrow boats on the level between the foot of Northgate Locks Chester and Ellesmere Port.  They were I think a little shorter than the steam barges and only 6’ 6’’ beam.  They were very heavily built, probably by the Canal Company at Whipcord Lane yard, of 2’’oak planking on closely spaced sawn oak frames about 4’’ square at the head, the bow and stren being heavily armoured with cope irons about 4’’ wide.  They had powerful cast iron propellers and were ballasted with about 4 tons of pig iron laid in the bilges between the frames (I know because I lifted it out pf the "LEADER";) ;

The machinery had obviously been built, by the London and North West Railway Company at Crewe they being owners of S.U. Ry & C. Co guaranteeing a modest dividend. The boilers were probably a small standard Crewe pattern, the dome and safety valve covers being pure Crewe.  The boilers were double high pressure and laid horizontally athwartships.  They carried a cast iron box pinion on the end of the crankshaft gearing into a spur-wheel on the propeller shaft having wooden cogs.  

The usual tow was anything up to a dozen barges and narrowboats and perhaps more. As canal traffic fell away,the tugs were laid up, LEADER eventually becoming derelict in Chester Canal Basin.  ln the early 1920's the Chester & Liverpool Lighterage Company in an attempt to revive the canal trade, restored "ROCKET”  to service and she worked again for a short time.