Motor Boat, Scotia

An interesting boat that could once be seen on the Ashton, Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canals was the motor boat, Scotia.

Motor Boat Working Instructions, Saturday, 8 March 1941:

  1. April 1st to Oct 31st men working on the Macclesfield Canal must return on the 4.30pm from Macclesfield (this may be adjusted for anyone accordingly).
  2. From Oct 31st to March 31st men may return on the 3.48pm from Macclesfield, providing they have only 30 mts meal time.
  3. Men working on the Peak Forest Canal must journey on the 7.10am from Marple and return on the 4.26 at Marple and book 7.0am to 4.40pm.
  4. The driver on arrival at the boat must immediately start up the engine and commence the journey.
  5. When unloading and there is time either to continue or return the journey, the driver must 15 mts before the completion (where there is above one man left to finish unloading) start up the engine and do any adjusting necessary.
  6. Loading materials, the same applys (applies) as in No. 5.
  7. Where a breakdown occurs of major nature and there are boats in tow. If the journey can be reached before the repairs can be completed the driver must instruct the men and also send the mate to haul the boat in tow to its destination and afterwards report to me on same. The driver must then where time allows proceed to Gorton Office and report the breakdown.
  8. The mate must give all the assistance necessary and keep the cabin and tools clean.
  9. Fastening the boat overnight or weekend. The boat must always be moored in a safe place, where this cannot be done with-out wasting time (say as to tie up at 2.30pm or 3.0pm) the driver must proceed to the next or furthest safe point causing the least amount of overtime (within reason) and report as soon as possible to me.
  10. Where it is not possible for men on tow boats to haul boats in case of breakdown, the driver must instruct the men to proceed to Marple by the next train.

Although these instructions were not signed, they were almost certainly issued by Mr L Machin who worked at the Marple Section Office. The earliest record of him is in 1916/17.

The Motor Boat, Scotia, moored by Lock 18 (Fairfield Top Lock), Droylsden, late 1930s.

Marked LNERLY (London and North Eastern Railway), Scotia was based in the Engineers Department at Gorton Depot. Scotia was the sister boat to Joel and both boats were built as maintenance boats at the depot under the supervision of Mr J T Challinor, the boat builder. She was named after the famous steam locomotive, Flying Scotsman.

The fate of Scotia is unclear. It is understood that the most likely explanation is that parts of the boat were discovered in a Cheshire flash caused by land subsidence following brine extraction. Other accounts are that she was sent to Chester and was seriously damaged on the river Dee or that traces were discovered on the banks of the river Mersey near Runcorn.