History of the tug Renton
The tug Renton started its life as a 70ft long motorboat built by WJ Yarwood of Northwich for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company. It was known as a Large Northwich, Town Class and was built in 1936 as a single steel motor, fitted with a Russel Newbury engine. It was registered at Rickmansworth and was initially paired with the wooden, Large Ricky butty Roade built by Walkers of Rickmansworth.
Renton would have worked on the Grand Union Canal carrying goods from London to the Midlands and Midlands coal back to London but was sold to the Ministry of War Transport in 1942.
The Ministry of War Transport had no use for a full length motor boat, what they wanted was icebreaking tugs, so in 1943 they shortened Renton to 48ft, strengthened its bows and added a substantial icebreaking blade. After the war The Ministry of War Transport was disbanded and the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive of the British Transport Commission bought Renton for use in its maintenance fleet.
The tug worked as it was intended breaking ice in the winter and as a tug in the warmer weather based at Bulls Bridge on the Grand Union Canal.
Restoration of Tug Renton