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The Staintondale

The Staintondale was a Mersey Flat that had been the club house since the foundation of the club. 

There's a lot of history regarding the barge, not just from the many years it served us as a clubhouse, but also from its life carrying grain up and down the River Mersey.


Built by W J Yarwood & Sons, Northwich for a company called Vernon & Co who named the barge after one of his sons. It had a steel framed, oak planked hull and weighed in at 92 tons. Later it is shown in the Health extracts of November 18th 1949 as owned by Spillers Ltd Liverpool.


Ownership was then transferred to Richard Abel & Sons, Liverpool on October 10th 1960. Shortly after that the 'Nigel Vernon' was renamed the Staintondale after a small village just north of Scarborough. A few years ago 4 club members cycled through the village and kindly supplied the picture above of the now disused railway station.

Several years ago a long standing club member, the late Brian Taylor, researched into its previous history and passed it on for us to include on the Club website.

Most of the information below has come from The Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port, so many thanks for their help.


Staintondale was built May 1926 and was originally called 'Nigel Vernon', registered in Liverpool No. 1623.


The boat was probably disposed of sometime between 1964 and 1967 after Abels were taken over by Hoveringham Gravels in 1964.


The Barge is frequently mentioned in the Liverpool Shipping Registers under both its names, and is thought to have been regularly carrying grain from Liverpool and Birkenhead to the flour mills at Ellesmere Port.


From the registers it is possible to identify several of the Ships previous Masters names.


1949 C Good, Wallasey

1960 S Jones, Liverpool

1961 D Douris, Liverpool

1961 T Douris, Liverpool

1965 D Douris, Liverpool

After its working life the barge was retired and brought up the Weaver and 'Placed' in its position at the club. Founder member Arthur Lightfoot helped and recalls fellow member John Cheshire, of which there is a trophy in his name, also being involved. The former Club house was then built on top of the barge and that is where it saw out the rest of its days.

The late Brian Taylor, standing on the “

The late Brian Taylor, standing on the “Dolphin” at Marsh Lock, who compiled this information and was the driving force behind the building of the new club house.

The 1960’s and 70’s saw the demise of barges on Britain’s canals.

Many of these barges were sunk and allowed to decay, many in the disused Sutton Lock upstream from the club, where they still remain.

The picture on the left shows the Duker fleet of Bridgewater canal flats awaiting disposal at Frodsham Mill on the River Weaver in 1977.

This picture is reproduced by kind permission of Tony Lewery and


In the 1970's power boat racing was brought to Frodsham and the weaver sailing club by a Mike Pilkington as described in this nice article:

Messing about in Power Boats with Mike Pilkington

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