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Bantam Tug Listing


These tugs are listed in number order taken from a document originating from E C Jones & Son (Brentford) Ltd, the builders of the series of Bantam tugs. Bantams that are known but can't be identified by number are at the end of this list.

See also the Bantam Tug Pages.


Bantam 1 -

Length 25 feet 0 inches (7.62 metres) Width 12 feet 0 inches (3.66 metres) Draught 7 feet 0 inches (2.13 metres)

Construction Date 1955

Bought by Swan Hunter.and later owned by Tyne Towage. In February 2012 David Brown of Svitzer gave the following information :- Tyne Tugs was taken over by Svitzer and a lot of the older tugs and craft were laid up and eventually sold for scrap. The Bantam 1 was sadly included in this and was deleted from the company register two to three years ago.
Bantam 1 at work with Tyne Tugs - photo G Robinson

Bantam 2 -

Construction Date September 1955

Bought by Farrans, Belfast. Alan Geddes writes ""Photo taken at a small harbour near Derryclone, Lough Neagh, 12 March 1999. Employed by Mulholland in sand trade with grab dredger Enterprize. Bantam 2 built circa 1955 and purchased by Mulholland from English owners about 1969."

She was still a working boat in 1999 and towed/pushed the dredger Enterprize and a barge to retrieve sand from the Lough. This was done by means of a grab on the deck of the dredger. Most, if not all, of the other firms engaged in the Lough sand trade use suction retrieval.

It's a multi-million pound business and Peter McCann's yard is now owned by one of the national construction companies.

Since posting the above I've learned that the Bantam 2 sank - in the harbour or Lough was not stated - later raised. I can't say for certain, but I would think that Mulholland is still her owner."

In July 2006 Aubrey Dale wrote "The Bantam 2 was raised and is serviceable although she is used as a tug only infrequently." and has kindly supplied the following photo.

Photo by Alan Geddes
Photo by Aubrey Dale

Bantam 3 -

Construction Date January 1950

Bought by Wraysbury Sand & Gravel


Bantam 4 -

Length 21 feet 0 inches (6.4 metres) Width 9 feet 9 inches (2.67 metres) Draught 3 feet 4 inches (1.02 metres)

Construction Date March 1950

Bantam Pusher Tug red/green. BUILT 1949/50 E C Jones & Son, Brentford, Middx. Lister JP2 2l bhp (original, with hand starting). Base as operational exhibit at London Canal Museum, Battlebridge Basin, Regent's canal. Fourth of 89 Bantam tugs.
Grand Union Regents Canal: York Road Bridge London Canal Museum - 2 November 2000

Bantam 5 -

Construction Date June 1950

Bought by Hall & Co., Rye Harbour


Bantam 6 - Jupiter

Length 20 feet 0 inches (6.1 metres)

Construction Date July 1950

Bought by Darenth River Aggregates. Chichester Canal Society bought it around 1987 from Portsmouth Harbour and gave it its present name. It is thought that it was originally named after a submarine. Fitted with a JP Lister engine.


Bantam 7 - Silkie

Length 20 feet 0 inches (6.1 metres)

Construction Date September 1950

Bought by Thames Sand & Gravel, Ashford. In October 2002 John Gibson, National Trust Navigations Manager for the River Wey & Godlaming Navigations reported we "are lucky enough to own and operate a Bantam tug. I ... believe our tug to be No. 7 built circa 1950. It has changed ownership several times since Thames Sand and Gravel owned her."

In October 2002 Kevin Redway wrote "Other Bantam Tugs operated in this area include, Illeta Col Marine (River Wey) possibly No.14 now named Silkie, No 7 was sold some time ago."

On the river Wey: Sept 2002 -Photo Kevin Redway

Bantam 8 -

Construction Date October 1950

Bought by Thomas Roberts, Wraysbury


Bantam 9 -

Construction Date November 1950

Original engine 21 hp. Bought by Hilton Gravel, Derby


Bantam 10 -

Construction Date March 1951

Original engine 21 hp. Bought by Branston Gravels, Birmingham


Bantam 11 -

Construction Date June 1951

Original engine 21 hp. Bought by Walter Smith, Brasted


Bantam 12 -

Construction Date January 1951

Original engine 30 hp. Bought by Thomas Roberts, Thrapston


Bantam 14 -

Construction Date March 1951

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Thomas Roberts, Bletchley.


Bantam 16 - MSC Bantam 1

Length 26 feet 0 inches (7.92 metres) Width 9 feet 6 inches (2.59 metres) Draught 3 feet 5 inches (1.04 metres)

Construction Date August 1951

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner of Bantam 16 was Manchester Ship Canal Co.

Photos kindly supplied by Adrian Mott.

Bantam 16 when she was first launched.
Bantam 16 restored in 2009.

Bantam 17 - City

Length 23 feet 0 inches (7.01 metres) Width 9 feet 6 inches (2.59 metres) Draught 4 feet 0 inches (1.22 metres)

Construction Date July 1951

Original engine 30 hp. Original owner of Bantam 17 was D&IWE, Watford. Ex BWB stationed until 1963 at Brentford Docks, when purchased for the Lower Avon Trust. See WW December 1989. Bought by the Lower Avon Trust Apr 63 for 600. Lister JP3. Base Mill Wharf, Wyre Piddle, Lower Avon. In August 2002 Dudley Matthews, Director & Tugmaster, LANT, reported "To comply as far as possible with BSS standards, in view of the age of the vessel, LANT has carried out some minor changes to her, the most obvious being in the extension of her exhaust to a stack, level with the top of the wheelbox.".


Bantam 18 - Will Scarlet

Length 23 feet 0 inches (7.01 metres) Width 9 feet 6 inches (2.59 metres) Draught 3 feet 3 inches (0.99 metres)

Construction Date October 1951

Bantam Tug number 18 originally bought by D&IWE Nottingham to work with the dredging fleet. The original engine was 30 hp (probably a Lister 3JP water cooled diesel) but this was later replaced with a Lister HR3 air cooled engine. Still in service with BW on the Grand Union Canal (North) last seen at Trent Lock on the Erewash Canal - see photo.
Bantam 18: Photo by Chris N Deuchar 2004

Bantam 19 -

Construction Date December 1951

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was E. Hill & Sons, South Cerney


Bantam 20 - MSC Bantam II

Length 24 feet 6 inches (7.16 metres) Width 9 feet 0 inches (2.74 metres) Draught 3 feet 5 inches (1.04 metres)

Construction Date February 1952

Original engine 30 hp Bantam 20, Manchester Ship Canal Co. Boat Museum. Registered as built in 1955. Length 23ft 6 inches, Lister JP.
Bantam 20 - MSC Bantam II

Bantam 21 -

Construction Date May 1952

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was E. Hill & Sons, Newbury


Bantam 22 - Little John

Length 27 feet 0 inches (8.23 metres) Width 9 feet 0 inches (2.74 metres)

Construction Date July 1952

Bantam tug number 22. Originally bought by D&IWE, Nottingham for work in the Nottingham area with the dredging fleet, then transfered to the Castleford Area on similar work.About 1967 the original 40 hp engine was replaced with a Lister HA6 air cooled diesel engine. In 1986 this tug was sold to General Marine of London. BW on the GU (north) still have a relatively modern (and very Bantam-like) tug of this name on the section which presumably replaced the original tug.


Bantam 23 - Frisky

Length 23 feet 0 inches (7.01 metres) Width 9 feet 6 inches (2.59 metres)

Construction Date August 1952

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Ham River Grit, Waltham Abbey. The Chichester Canal Society bought it around 1990 from ARC and gave it its present name. It is thought that it was originally named after a submarine. It has a 3 cylinder engine.


Bantam 24 -

Construction Date September 1952

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was D&IWE, Liverpool


Bantam 25 -

Construction Date April 1953

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was D&IWE, Liverpool. Now a static canalside feature in the Wigan Pier Area.
At Wigan in its working days

Bantam 26 - Endeavour I

Construction Date February 1953

Original engine 60 hp.Original owner of Bantam 26 was Reading Dredging Co., Marlow


Bantam 27 -

Construction Date May 1953

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Ham River Grit, Thorpe


Bantam 28 -

Construction Date July 1953

Original engine 21 hp.Original owner was Hall & Co., Bedfont. In September 2002 John B Toy reported "The gravel contract at Thurmaston/Soar found 2 Bantams at work, late '94 and again Feb '95. These were BANTAM 28- regn 53771, and BANTAM 83 - neither seen since". In February 2004 Chris N Deuchar reported it and Bantam 83 "were run on the gravel traffic by Richard Barnett who also owns a number of barges.I suspect he still owns the tugs".


Bantam 29 -

Construction Date September 1953

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Ham River Grit, Chertsey


Bantam 30 - Sparkle

Construction Date October 1953

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Ham River Grit, Fisher's Green. Sparkle (and Pledge -No 45) were sponsored by Johnsons Wax in the late 70s, being purchased from Ham River Grit at Fishers Green. Kevin Redway of the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society writes "When I personally became involved with the tugs and barges they were in poor condition, having been worked hard for many years, as working party leader my brief was to renovate equipment which had capacity for further work, use reclaimable spares where possible and scrap the remainder." in 1966 "SPARKLE was in sinking condition, bent prop shaft, gearbox removed and stripped, stearngear worn and leaking, the Hull was rusted through on bottom and side plates, the decision was to break for spares and donate the hull to the Canal Centre Play Area."
In the play area at Mytchett Canal Centre
Sparkle's last ride as scrap - photo by canalman

Bantam 31 -

Construction Date January 1954

Original engine 21 hp.Original owner was Wraysbury Sand & Gravel


Bantam 32 -

Construction Date February 1954

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was W.J. Lavender, Littleton


Bantam 33 -

Construction Date April 1954

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Darenth River Aggregates


Bantam 34 - Margaret

Length 56 feet 9 inches (16.99 metres) Width 12 feet 2 inches (3.71 metres) Draught 5 feet 1 inches (1.55 metres)

Construction Date July 1954

Original engine 90 hp.Original owner of Bantam 34 was Thomas Watson, Rochester


Bantam 35 -

Construction Date September 1954

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was D&IWE, Liverpool. In September 2002 Tim Lewis reported "I have come across bantam No. 35 at Sowerby Bridge, I enclose a picture".
Bantam 35 at Sowerby Bridge - Photo Tim Lewis

Bantam 36 -

Construction Date October 1954

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was T.W. Howard, Langley


Bantam 37 -

Construction Date November 1954

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Thomas Roberts, Wraysbury


Bantam 38 -

Construction Date December 1954

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Derbyshire Aggregates, Derby


Bantam 39 -

Construction Date January 1955

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was H. Haines, Witney


Bantam 40 -

Construction Date March 1955

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Murray-Taylor, Colnbrook


Bantam 41 -

Construction Date April 1955

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Ham River Grit, Chertsey


Bantam 42 -

Construction Date May 1955

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Hall & Co., Bedfont


Bantam 43 -

Construction Date June 1955

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Thrapston Sand & Ballast


Bantam 44 - Sapper

Construction Date January 1956

Above St John's Lock - Photo by canalman
Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Marley Tile, Riverhead. Sapper was purchased in 1980s from Marley Tile at Riverhead, was moved to the Basingstoke by the Royal Engineers free of charge, hence the name. Kevin Redway of the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society writes "SAPPER had the JP3 engine problems of a cracked cylinder head, a replacement cylinder head, new gaskets, injector overhaul and cleaned fuel filters had the engine running again. A general overhaul and repaint followed before being put back into service transporting roadstone for towpath laying in rural Hampshire where road access for materials was not possible. Towpath work, carried out at weekends by volunteers lasted over three years, since then Sapper and barges have been used for off bank undergrowth clearing and removal of fallen trees. An unusual task was the recovery of a stolen safe from the canal, found by hitting it, the Police then required it for evidence, we were involved in transporting it by trailer to the Police Station. A more traditional role for Sapper and barges is transportation of Pipes equipment and materials for Woodham and St Johns Backpumping projects, work at St Johns is in progress. Sapper has also been in attendance at our canal events, even pushing a workboat with a live band playing through Woking Town Centre in an Illuminated Boats parade."
Spring 2002 the Basingstoke Canal - Kevin Redway

Bantam 45 - Pledge

Construction Date March 1956

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Ham River Grit, Fisher's Green. Pledge and Sparkle (Bantam 30) were sponsored by Johnsons Wax in the late 70s, being purchased from Ham River Grit at Fishers Green. Kevin Redway of the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society writes "Our second Tug Pledge (No.45 ) is on bearers at Ash Lock Depot in the process of being overhauled, the engine cylinders heads have been dc-glazed, heads overhauled and reassembled. A new propeller shaft has been fitted, rudder and steering gear overhauled, it is hoped to complete work on Pledge during 2003 and operate both Tugs." (the other bing Sapper - Bantam 44) "Due to very low bridges (at Fleet and Farnborough) on the Basingstoke Canal, the top half of the Wheelhouses on the tugs have been removed, lightweight removable roofs have been added recently, providing some protection for the crews. The original Wheelhouses have been kept and could be refitted if the need arose".
Working on the propshaft at Ash Depot - K Redway

Bantam 46 -

Construction Date May 1956

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was BTW, Liverpool


Bantam 47 -

Construction Date July 1956

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was John Hawtrey, Harefield


Bantam 48 - Tom the Tug

Construction Date August 1956

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Bletchley Concrete Aggregates. May have been owned by the London Brick Company. It was brought in a derelict state by Kevin Mason in 1991/2 from Braunston Lock and he has rebuilt it and installed the engine. The tug is berthed in Newark and is fully operational. There is no hatch in the front deck, the winches have been moved and the fuel tank has been moved to the engine room. The tug has steel window frames and a Lister HRW4 bhp40 engine. You approach the engine room from the wheelhouse. Tim Lewis took a photo at Bow Lock of a Bantam being used by Land & Water on dredging works on the Bow Back Rivers. The name on the side is "Tom The Tug".

The craft is fitted with a DEUTZ Air Cooled Engine.

Tom the Tug at Bow Lock - Photo Tim Lewis

Bantam 49 -

Length 14 feet 0 inches (4.27 metres) Width 7 feet 6 inches (1.98 metres) Draught 3 feet 9 inches (0.84 metres)

Construction Date February 1957

Original owner was Forgings & Presswork. In September 2002 Stephen Pike of The Troy Wharf Trust Ltd reported ". I am the proud owner of Bantam 49, purchased at auction on 18/04/02 from Midland Earth Moving Company Ltd. We have carried out some restoration on the tug and are currently working on the original Lister FR3 engine".


Bantam 50 -

Length 30 feet 0 inches (9.14 metres) Width 11 feet 0 inches (3.35 metres) Draught 5 feet 9 inches (1.45 metres)

Construction Date April 1957

Original owner was Shree Digvijay Cement. Colin Ward wrote in August 2002 that Bantams 50 and 58 were "30ft x 11ft x 4ft 9ins and powered by 90hp Ruston & Hornsby engines, were an export order for Shree Digvijay Cement, whose works were, I was told, some 300 miles north of Bombay. Photographs showed pre-delivery trials on the Thames, the vessels looking totally incongruous in the Middlesex surrounding with their wheelhouses of beautiful slatted hardwood!"


Bantam 51 - Alan-a-Dale

Length 30 feet 0 inches (9.14 metres) Width 11 feet 0 inches (3.35 metres)

Construction Date July 1957

Original owner was BTW, Nottingham - BW-NE. Chris Johnson, the skipper of the boat between 1975 and 1980, says the boat had a 75 BHP Ruston engine.The Bantam was transferred to the South Yorkshire Navigation in 1996, the original engine was replaced with a 95 BHP Lister HRW6 date unknown, this engine was replaced in 2000 with a 130 BHP Sabre Perkins. Vessel still working on the South Yorkshire Navigation.

Photo by Alan Chapman at the Medway River Festival

Bantam 52 - Eric of Lincoln

Length 30 feet 0 inches (9.14 metres) Width 11 feet 0 inches (3.35 metres) Draught 5 feet 0 inches (1.52 metres)

Construction Date September 1957

Original owner was BTW, Nottingham - BW-NE. Chris Johnson, the skipper of the boat between 1975 and 1980, says the boat had a 75 BHP Ruston engine.The Bantam, purchased for the Nottingham Area, was transferred to the South Yorkshire Navigation in 1996, the original engine was replaced last in 1998 with a Sabre Perkins engine.


Bantam 53 -

Construction Date November 1957

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was T.W. Howard, Iver. The a photo belownwas taken shortly before it was purchased by General Marine at London, It is believed she was eventually broken up in London.

Bantam 53

Bantam 54 -

Construction Date January 1958

Original owner was Joseph Sankey, Wolverhampton


Bantam 55 -

Construction Date November 1957

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Ham River Grit, Thorpe


Bantam 56 -

Construction Date December 1957

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was Kent Sand & Ballast, Sevenoaks


Bantam 57 -

Construction Date May 1958

Original engine 30 hp.Original owner was BTW, Liverpool. Worked in the Castleford area before being sold to Forster marine of Kegworth, Derbyshire in 1993.


Bantam 58 -

Length 30 feet 0 inches (9.14 metres) Width 11 feet 0 inches (3.35 metres) Draught 5 feet 9 inches (1.45 metres)

Construction Date September 1958

Original owner was Shree Digvijay Cement. Colin Ward wrote in August 2002 that Bantams 50 and 58 were "30ft x 11ft x 4ft 9ins and powered by 90hp Ruston & Hornsby engines, were an export order for Shree Digvijay Cement, whose works were, I was told, some 300 miles north of Bombay. Photographs showed pre-delivery trials on the Thames, the vessels looking totally incongruous in the Middlesex surrounding with their wheelhouses of beautiful slatted hardwood!"


Bantam 59 - Nudgette

Length 30 feet 0 inches (9.14 metres) Width 7 feet 4 inches (2.24 metres) Draught 5 feet 7 inches (1.4 metres)

Construction Date April 1958

Original owner was London & Rochester Trading Shovette. The following information came from Ben@riverthames.co.nr on 23 April 2007. 1 scr, diesel Kelvin type KR3, 66bhp @375rpm, Lucy Ex YARDETTE (Blue outside tug), 19xx owned by Ward Tugs, 19xx: To General Marine at Wapping (GBR), 2003: To Campion Launches (GBR), renamed LUCY.

Bantam 59 at Westminster Peir 2007

Bantam 60 -

Length 30 feet 0 inches (9.14 metres) Width 7 feet 4 inches (2.24 metres) Draught 5 feet 7 inches (1.4 metres)

Construction Date July 1958

Original owner was London & Rochester Trading.

The following information was supplied by Ben M:-
Length 30ft. Beam 7ft.4ins.
Draught 4ft.7ins
1 scr, diesel Kelvin type KR3, 66bhp @375rpm
1958: Built by "E.C. Jones" at Brentford (GBR) as Bantam 60
July 1958: delivered to "London and Rochester Trading" as "Shovette"
19xx: Sold to ??
19xx: Re engined with Ford 120 bhp
2005?: To Turks Boatyard, Chatham Dockyard

Bantam 60 - Photo by Ray

Bantam 61 -

Length 23 feet 0 inches (7.01 metres) Width 9 feet 6 inches (2.59 metres)

Construction Date August 1958

Original engine 33 hp.Original owner was BTW, Liverpool


Bantam 62 -

Length 23 feet 0 inches (7.01 metres)

Construction Date August 1958

Original engine 33 hp.Original owner was Marco Aggregates, Chertsey


Bantam 63 - Tenguin

Construction Date December 1958

Original engine 114 hp.Original owner of Bantam 63 was MB Dredging


Bantam 64 - Wheldale

Length 48 feet 0 inches (14.63 metres) Width 15 feet 6 inches (4.42 metres) Draught 2 feet 8 inches (0.51 metres)

Construction Date October 1959

Original owner was BWB, Leeds Worked in the Castleford Area with the Compartment Fleet towing the well known Tom Puddings. Moored at Goole Waterway Museum.


Bantam 65 - Allerton Bywater

Length 48 feet 0 inches (14.63 metres) Width 15 feet 6 inches (4.42 metres) Draught 2 feet 8 inches (0.51 metres)

Construction Date December 1959

Original owner was BWB, Leeds Worked in the Castleford Area with the Compartment Fleet towing the well known Tom Puddings.


Bantam 66 - Water Haigh

Length 48 feet 0 inches (14.63 metres) Width 15 feet 6 inches (4.42 metres) Draught 2 feet 8 inches (0.51 metres)

Construction Date March 1960

Original owner was BWB, Leeds. Worked in the Castleford Area with the Compartment Fleet towing the well known Tom Puddings.


Bantam 67 -

Length 18 feet 0 inches (5.49 metres) Width 7 feet 10 inches (2.08 metres) Draught 4 feet 0 inches (1.22 metres)

Construction Date April 1959

Entering the Shropshire Union Canal - P R Harrison
4.9m BW. This tug was photographed by Mr. Paul R. Harrison entering the Shropshire Union Canal, from the Staffshire & Worcshire Canal at Autherley Junc.

Bantam 68 - Scowser

Length 23 feet 0 inches (7.01 metres) Width 9 feet 6 inches (2.59 metres)

Construction Date March 1959

Original owner was H. Lavender & Son. In September 2002 John B Toy reported "In Jan 2001 BANTAM 68 was noted at Boxmoor /GU South. The owner hoped to use it on contract work". In 2004 it was owned by Wood, Hall & Hereward who named it "Scowser" and had purchased it from Roger Lorenz. Mike Carter, who surveyed the tug at the time of purchase, said the tug had been owned by BW at Wigan.
At work in Hackney - Photo by Roger Squires

Bantam 69 -

Construction Date May 1959

Original owner was BWB, Liverpool. Now in a childrens' play area beside the canal at Wigan.
Leeds and Liverpool Canal: Wigan Pier Bantam 69 - 5 August 2002

Bantam 70 -

Construction Date August 1959

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was Thames River Grit


Bantam 71 - Melita

Construction Date December 1960

Original owner was E.C. Jones & Son.


Bantam 72 -

Construction Date May 1960

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was Kent Sand & Ballast, Sevenoaks


Bantam 73 -

Construction Date June 1960

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was Cape Asbestos


Bantam 74 -

Construction Date July 1960

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was W.W. Drinkwater


Bantam 75 -

Construction Date January 1961

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was Marley Tile, Poole


Bantam 76 - Will Stutely

Length 23 feet 0 inches (7.01 metres) Width 9 feet 6 inches (2.59 metres) Draught 3 feet 3 inches (0.99 metres)

Construction Date February 1961

Bantam tug number 76 purchased for the Nottingham Area, original engine not known, present engine Lister HR3 air cooled. Vessel still working on the Grand Union Canal (North).


Bantam 77 - Walsall

Length 24 feet 6 inches (7.16 metres) Width 9 feet 6 inches (2.59 metres) Draught 3 feet 3 inches (0.99 metres)

Construction Date June 1961

Possibly the tug "Walsall" now in the National Waterways Museum at Gloucester. Original owner was BWB, Liverpool.

David Hilton reported that "my records show that Bantam 77 was seen fairly regularly between 1970 and 1974 in the vicinity of Nantwich.I cannot say whether the craft was later transferred to Birmingham Division".

Max Sinclair writes "I recorded 'Walsall' in 1963 after the great frost, when the ice was up to two feet thick, pushing an old horse drawn ice breaker at Darlaston on the Walsall Canal, They had just reached the James Bridge Copper Works were the polluting copper salts stopped the water from freezing."

" 'Walsall' was kept at the Bradeley maintenance yard and used on general maintenance work where its ability to turn in the narrowest canals made it popular to the work force as they did not have to travel to a winding hole which could often be a long distance".

Ice breaking in 1963 - photo Max Sinclair
Gloucester & Sharpness Ship Canal: Gloucester Docks Bantam Tug "Walsall" in the Waterways Museum - 19 June 2001

Bantam 78 - Arthur-a-Bland

Length 35 feet 0 inches (10.67 metres) Width 11 feet 0 inches (3.35 metres) Draught 5 feet 0 inches (1.52 metres)

Construction Date July 1961

Original engine 60 hp.Original owner of Bantam 78 was BWB, Nottingham. Purchased for the dredging fleet in the Nottingham Area to work on the tidal Trent, present engine Lister JW6 approx 140 BHP, still at work on the Trent.


Bantam 79 -

Length 24 feet 0 inches (7.32 metres)

Construction Date July 1961

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was Thames Ballast, Shepperton


Bantam 80 -

Construction Date September 1961

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was ARC, Lydd


Bantam 81 -

Construction Date November 1961

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was Hall & Ham, Wraysbury


Bantam 82 -

Construction Date January 1962

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was Greenham Sand & Ballast, Staines


Bantam 83 -

Construction Date April 1962

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was Robert Brett, Sturry. In September 2002 John B Toy reported "The gravel contract at Thurmaston/Soar found 2 Bantams at work, late '94 and again Feb '95. These were BANTAM 28, and BANTAM 83 - neither seen since". In February 2004 Chris N Deuchar reported it and Bantam 28 "were run on the gravel traffic by Richard Barnett who also owns a number of barges.I suspect he still owns the tugs".


Bantam 84 -

Construction Date July 1963

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was T.W. Howard, Iver


Bantam 85 -

Length 24 feet 0 inches (7.32 metres) Width 8 feet 6 inches (2.29 metres) Draught 4 feet 6 inches (1.07 metres)

Construction Date July 1963

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was Greenharn Sand & Ballast, Feltharn. In September 2002 Ron Ross reported "I am Marine Manager for May Gurney Dredging at Thorpe St. Andrew Norwich Norfolk. We own 2 Bantum tugs nos. 85 & 86. One is still working the other is waiting for repair. I have only been in this dept of our company for 2 years but we do have personnel here that have worked with them for some time.


Bantam 86 -

Length 24 feet 0 inches (7.32 metres) Width 8 feet 6 inches (2.29 metres) Draught 4 feet 6 inches (1.07 metres)

Construction Date February 1964

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was W.J. Lavender, Shepperton. In September 2002 Ron Ross reported "I am Marine Manager for May Gurney Dredging at Thorpe St. Andrew Norwich Norfolk. We own 2 Bantum tugs nos. 85 & 86. One is still working the other is waiting for repair. I have only been in this dept of our company for 2 years but we do have personnel here that have worked with them for some time.

In June 2009 Martin Ellis reported "Bantam 86 is now owned by Mr Maurice Jackson of Stanground boatyard Peterborough, he bought it 0n the 16 june 2009, there was no engine fitted, the ruston 35hp that had been in it has disapeared, so far without out trace, albeit there is the odd bit still aboard the boat ie the rocker box cover, this would sugest that the engine is no more, Mr Jackson intends to rescue the boat and rebuild it into a working tug, but this time it will be fitted with a 5 cylinder 100hp Gardener engine, of a similar vintage to the tug,"


Bantam 87 -

Draught 3 feet 2 inches (0.97 metres)

Construction Date February 1965

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was Hall & Ham, Chertsey. Ben Hobbs of Hobb Marine wrote on 26 May 06 "My other company in which I am a partner is Waterboune which has just purchased two Bantams from Cemex the old Hall's pit at Thorpe park. We know one is 87".


Bantam 88 -

Construction Date July 1965

Original engine 35 hp.Original owner was W.W. Drinkwater


Bantam 89 -

Length 23 feet 9 inches (6.93 metres) Width 8 feet 3 inches (2.51 metres)

Construction Date July 1968

Original owner was Butterley Quarries, N. Hykeham


Bantam 90 -

Length 23 feet 0 inches (7.01 metres) Width 9 feet 6 inches (2.59 metres)

Construction Date November 1968

Original owner was W.J. Lavender, Hersham. Ben Hobbs of Hobb Marine wrote on 26 May 06 "I have No 90 which was the last one made in the traditional shape she has been working in London on BW contracts for Edmund Nuttal for a couple of years and has just finished a contract dredging on the K&A at Bradford on Avon ".


Bantam 91 - Robin Hood

Length 38 feet 0 inches (11.58 metres) Width 14 feet 6 inches (4.11 metres) Draught 7 feet 0 inches (2.13 metres)

Construction Date April 1969

Bantam tug number 91.Original owner was BWB, Nottingham - BWB-NE. Thought to have been purchased for the commercial fleet and then transferred to the Nottingham Area for work on the tidal Trent where it is still in service, the engine is a 6 cylinder Kelvin of approx, 150 BHP.


The following Bantam tugs are known but can't be identified by number. If you have any information that would help in identifying the tugs, or have any additional information on Bantams please let me know.


K B Mason Marine Bantam -

Owned by K.B.Mason marine of Newark and bought it as an empty shell about ten years ago when it was nearly scrapped. It was decided instead to rebuild it as a spare time project and over a period of about five years made and fitted a new stern tube and shaft with pitched up 30 Lister prop and re-engined with a 50 hp 4cyl Lister .It is thought that it was once owned by London Brick Co but it's number is not known. It proved to be a very handy unit on various construction works on the Trent and has handled some very heavy loads.In November 2002 it was down the tidal river on route for the Witham with a hopper barge but got stuck at Lincoln due to adverse river levels.The attached photo shows it locking down into the Fossdyke at Torksey lock having split from the pan, it being too long to pen together. Thanks to Les Reid for this information.
Locking throughTorksey lock - photo by Les Reid

Nick -

In September 2002 John B Toy reported "Land & Water have used 2 tugs in recent years, and as I write they are on a dredging contract in Milton Keynes (Bridge 97-90). These are unidentified as regards their Bantam numbers, but are named TOM THE TUG and NICK and are painted blue and white".

Taken by Tim Lewis at Bulls Bridge 2003.

Swale -

Length 24 feet 6 inches (7.16 metres) Width 8 feet 2 inches (2.49 metres)

BW-NE acquired 1959, Original Name and Area not known, this was transferred in 1967 to Castleford Area for Dredging fleet work, the original engine was replaced with a Lister HA3 air cooled diesel in 1967, this was sold in 1986 to a Mr Mills of Goole. Bantam number unknown.


See also the Bantam Tug Pages.

 

Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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