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Monday, August 12, 2013

Search for builders of historic narrowboat

* The narrowboat Cressy which was built at Pontcysyllte Boatyard in about 1915.  

Hanes-Llangollen-History has been contacted by Professor Timothy Peters of the Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, Birmingham University, who is researching canal history.

At the moment he is anxious to find more information on the men who originally built the narrow boat Cressy, which was rebuilt in the 1930s by Tom Rolt, who was instrumental in re-opening the canal system, much of which had fallen into disrepair. 

Cressy was built at the Pontcysyllte Boatyard (now Anglo-Welsh) in Trevor in about 1915 and Professor Peters would like to hear from anyone who remembers the men who worked there at the time or who has a family member associated with the boatyard.

He has discovered a list of men who worked at the boatyard during the period 1890-1920.

Their names are: Stephen Robert, Alfred Moses Jenks, Edward Gillens, Theophilus Mellor, Richard Evans, Jas Stacey, Evan Davies, John Peter Dainty, Jonah Evans, Henry Price and E. Fisher.

Tom Rolt bought Cressy in 1939 and adapted and fitted her out to make a permanent home for himself and his first wife, Angela.

He had had his first trip on Cressy with his uncle and cousin 10 years earlier.

After he bought Cressy, Tom and Angela Rolt made a journey of some 400 miles along the canals of central England.  He got to know the network of canals and the life and culture of the people who used them.  You can read about Cressy's journey in Rolt's classic book on canals, Narrow Boat. See also the map of 'Cressy's' journey, which was retraced by narrow boat 'Heron' in 2010, as part of the Rolt Centenary celebrations.

Professor Peters is working with the Llangollen Museum on this project and any information should be sent to Peter Jones, Llangollen Museum, Parade Street LL20 8 PW Tel: 01978 862862, email:

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