Built in 1901, the wooden narrow boat Lilith started life as boat number 9 in the fleet of Coomeswood Ironworks.

She often teams up with the motor boat, Forget Me Not, but is also horsedrawn on occasion. On the first Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of each month, whatever the weather, WCBS volunteers take the pair out for a trip from their base at the Portland Basin Museum in Ashton-under-Lyne to collect unwanted clothes, bric a brac and other items.

Most of the collected material is sold at the WCBS shop. Some items are sold online. Items that can’t be sold at the shop etc are sold to a rag merchant. Scrap metals are stored and then transported to a recycling plant. We recycle as much as possible and use the boats to carry materials whenever possible.

On August 21st, 2000, Lilith delivered what was probably the first real load to be carried entirely on the Ashton canal for over 40 years. She left Portland Basin with four tons of scrap filling her hold. She was towed 2.5 miles to Fairfield Junction by Forget Me Not, then bow hauled down 17 locks to Vesta Street canal maintenance yard, in Ancoats.

The following day, with help from British Waterways staff, the boat was unloaded. The metal continued its journey by road to the recycling centre, in Trafford Park.

One thought on “Lilith

  1. Wonderful story! I didn’t know that any wooden narrowboats had survived. Four one week narrowboat hires and the only old narrowboats I’ve seen were riveted (probably) wrought iron. Would love to visit your boatyard.

    A thought, after reading this story: One would think that whoever charges for navigation through Manchester would have waived the charges so that Lilith and Forget Me Not could have delivered their cargo all the way to its final destination.

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