This report on nb Python comes from the British Waterways Archive in Gloucester.
Python was built by WJ Yarwoods at their Northwich Yard in 1929. It was built as a coppered steel motorboat hull, yard no. 388, along with the motorboat Panther, each hull costing £366. It was supplied to Fellows Morton & Clayton having been launched on 31st October 1929.
Python entered the FMC fleet no. 249 in February 1930 having been fitted out by FMC at their Uxbridge dock. It was originally fitted with a 15HP Bolinder engine.
It was first registered at Uxbridge no. 572 probably sometime in 1930; it was not gauged on the BCN.
The boat was docked by FMC at Saltley in May 1936, February 1939, November 1942 and February 1946.
Python was still in the FMC fleet when it was sold to the British Transport Commission on 1st January 1949. It passed into the South Eastern Division carrying fleet, new fleet no. 236.
On 25th October 1949 it is listed as being paired with the butty Romford, steered by T Boswell.
It is listed in the South Eastern Division carrying fleet on 28th May 1958, paired with the butty Coniston and steered by E Barrett Snr.
It is listed as a single motor in the same fleet on 15th February 1960, but no master is mentioned.
A set of inventory cards ref. BW 129/1252 has a card for Python showing it based at Bulls Bridge, full length with a Petter PD2, 20HP engine. The card lists annual work hours for the boat (849 in 1965, 1146 in 1966, 671 in 1967, 1195 in 1968, 993 in 1969) and the cost of major works (£39 in 1968 and £16 in 1969, having had a major overhaul in 1967).
A BWB document listing all craft owned by the board and dated 15th August 1972 lists the boat as Bulls Bridge based for the London area.
A Canal Transport Marketing Board list dated 1st December 1974 lists it as a “former carrying craft on B.W.B. maintenance” based in London.
The boat was shortened by BW in the 1980s.