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

Marked LNERLY, Scotia was based in the Engineers Department at their Gorton Depot on the Stockport Branch of the Ashton Canal. She was the sister boat of Joel who was built at the depot under Mr J T Challinor. However, it is understood that Scotia was built in 1901/05, with an 18hp engine, and first saw service with the Anderton Company of Stoke-on-Trent who were canal carriers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Nonetheless, by 1936 she was based at the Gorton Depot.

The fate of Scotia is obscure. The most likely explanation is that parts of the boat were discovered in a Cheshire flash. Other accounts are that she was discovered broken in two on the banks of the river Mersey near Runcorn or that she was sent to Chester and was seriously damaged on the river Dee.

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

Motor Boat Working Instructions, Saturday, 8 March 1941

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.