Sheena Bourn










Angel is a working butty boat that was built in 1936 by Harland and Wolff at Woolwich. She traded from London to Birmingham and beyond for decades. As a Townclass boat, she is named after The Angel Islington.

She is still in her original carrying condition, recently restored with the aid of an Historic Ships Register Grant . Angel is 71 feet long, the cabin is only about 10 feet long so that the maximum capacity is left for the hold area. She has no engine. The boats were built as pairs, ‘butty' means ‘buddy' to the motor boat that had the engine. The pairs were made to fit the locks on the Grand Union canal efficiently.

Several people in Braunston village have worked Angel in her carrying days. During the war the Hambridge family carried food from the river Thames to the Tring area.

In 1966 Ron Withy with Alton, Bilster and Angel, carried aluminum ingots up the Shropshire Union canal to Birmingham. In the hard winter of 1962/63 Angel spent months frozen in at Warwick.

Later in the 70's Mike Fincher transshipped coal from the Ashby canal to Leighton Buzzard.

Motors that have towed Angel are:- Alton, Barnum, Bilster, Nutfield Darley, Fulbourne and Aldgate.

It is very interesting to view the cabin, to gain an insight into how the families lived in the carrying days. Sheena Bourn the current owner will be happy to show you round.


Boat information