The BCNS Workboats.

The BCNS owns two boats,the workboat Phoenix and an un-powered butty Crow
We also spent some time and effort trying to obtain a Day Boat the story of which can be read about in an attached page Day Boat. Plus an article in the Gallery Section

The construction of Phoenix was made possible by a generous 90% grant of £21,400 made by the Heritage Lottery Fund in May of 1997.

Phoenix is a 38 foot all steel maintenance craft built by Richard Hurley and Rob Starkey at Oldbury Boat Services from a British Waterway approved design.

In late 2008 along with the Coombeswood Canal Trust, the Society also undertook to look after and run a working pair of boats previously part of the BW Historical fleet. The two boats the motor ATLAS and the butty MALUS are leased from BW for the purposes of promoting both groups and the canals in general. Both boats are to be based at Hawne Basin on the BCN and are already booked in at a number of events for the 2009 season.
A Group has been set up to run the pair made up of members from both groups. More can be read about the boats/contacts etc in an article in the Gallery Section.


The workboat in action Phoenix began life with a thoroughly BCN pedigree. It has been signwritten by Brierley Hill based painter and Society member Dave Moore, in the colours of Leonard Leigh who previously traded on the Dudley No. 2 Canal at Netherton.
Phoenix carries the name of one of the Fellows, Morton and Clayton Fleet, formerly of Saltley, Birmingham. The name was chosen by Edward Paget-Tomlinson, from a suggestion made by Bob May, author of BCN in Pictures and previous owner of the ex Matty tug Govenor.

The story behind the project funding written by Mike Butler, one of the main players in the project, can be read in full here.

Summary and plans of the Specifacation for the workboat: Workboat Phoenix

Phoenix Under Construction

The BCNS Butty Crow.

Crow was orginally a butty built at the Britishways Workshops at Goole in 1970 too a design not unlike Phoenix. She was built to be powered by an outboard motor that was housed between two pontoon sections built into the stern of the boat. Our butty was fitted with a cabin although many were just open boats, the cabin had been removed by BW prior to us owning her, she being in her day, just one of a class of boat that were the work horses of British Waterways in the 1970/80/90/s. Her orginal lenght was 35ft-6ins, had a BW asset number 80369, with the number B61 painted on her bows. She cost when new 1800 to build and was given a 30 year life span.
Her new lenght is 31ft-9ins with a load area 19ft long by 6ft-3ins wide.
Two articles can be found in the Gallery Section:
1. The class of boat B Class Boats
Shows the type of boat she once was and other boats of her type.

2. To make Crow work with Phoenix we needed to shorten Crow so that the two boats when strapped together made a unit 70ft long.
Shows the work done to achieve this. The converting of Crow

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