NB "Empress (No.168)" BW 70411 - Historic Narrowboat
Narrowboat Empress (No.168) 70411
Empress (No.168) is registered with British Waterways with number 70411 as a powered craft with a steel hull by an unknown builder - date not known.
Built by F M C - Length 21.33 metres (70 feet ) - Beam 2.13 metres (7 feet ) - Draft 0.01 metres ( ) Metal hull, power of 18. Registered with British Waterways number 70411 as a Powered. Last registration recorded on 11-Apr-2010.
We saw Narrowboat Empress (No.168) at Norbury Junction on the Shropshire Union Canal in February 2011 moored on the old BW wharf and she appeared to be in very good order.
She was at Lime Kiln Basin, Stone, Trent and Mersey in December 2013.
It looks as though she has had another rest very recently as she is pristine.
'Empress 168' was built for the premier C19th canal transport company Fellows, Morton & Clayton at Saltley Dock and launched in May 1898. It was built as a composite hull (steel sides/elm bottom) powered by an FMC Haines steam engine and was originally named 'Emperor'. In April 1917 'Emperor' was converted to diesel power and fitted with a Bollinder 15hp single cylinder engine. Prior to sale to Thomas Clayton in April 1948 on the acquisition of FMC by the BTC the BM15 engine was replaced (type unknown).
On 16th July 1952 she was sold to E.Thomas of Walsall, regauged as BCN2353 and at the same time the engine was replaced again, this time with a Fordson E27N TVO tractor engine. 'Emperor' also underwent a sex change, being renamed 'Empress 2'
In April 1967 'Empress 2' was sold to David Thexton and was kept on the Trent and Mersey at Stone, Staffordshire. David Thexton replanked part of the bottom in 1968 at Norton Caines and at some time in the 1980's replaced the engine with a Thorneycroft marine diesel. In May 1995 he sold her as plain 'Empress' to Simon & Lisa Jenkins who in 1999 replaced the engine with an Armstrong Siddeley 2 cyl diesel and Parsons gearbox and replaced the wood bottom with steel plates. She was then sold in October 2004 to current owner Jim Taylor and registered with her the number BW70411.
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