9th October  2009

The Chesterfield Canal Trust has taken out a five year lease on a historic ex-British Waterways workboat called Python.

Python is a ex-working boat. She is a coppered steel construction craft built by Yarwoods in Northwich and fitted out at Uxbridge. She was commissioned in February 1930. Her fleet number was 249 and her registration number was UXB 572. She came into the hands of the British Transport Commission (which eventually became British Waterways) in 1949. They shortened her in the 1980’s to her current 53′. She had been out of service for a year before the handover. Her sister boat, Panther, is owned by the Coventry Canal Society.

In late May 2009, Arthur Naylor of the Chesterfield Canal Trust and Tony Mann of the Coventry Canal Society collected Python from Adelaide Dock in London. They took her up the Grand Union to attend the Stoke Bruerne Festival and the Braunston Historic Boat Rally in partnership with Panther as they were 80 years old that year. She was then be taken to Redhill Marina on the River Soar to be taken out of the water for a thorough check over and to have essential work done. She then attended the IWA National Rally before being taken down the River Trent to the Chesterfield Canal and her permanent mooring near Shireoaks.

The Chesterfield Canal Trust officially received Python from British Waterways on Friday 9th October.The brief ceremony took place at Shireoaks Bottom Lock. Seán McGinley, the Area Manager of British Waterways, officially handed over the boat to Robin Stonebridge, the Chair of the Chesterfield Canal Trust.

Robin Stonebridge (left), Chair of the Chesterfield Canal Trust, officially receives Python from Seán McGinley, Area Manager of British Waterways.