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Yarwoods Basin is part of the original line of the River Weaver as it entered Northwich. In the early 1800’s the river course was altered as part of the first canalisation of the river in this area. The Basin was part of a backwater which became the boatbuilding yard of John Thompson who built timber barges and sailing flats to satisfy the needs of the emerging trade in carrying locally mined salt by water.

In 1896 the boat building yard was purchased by ‘William James Yarwood’ and the yard engaged with the newer building materials and methods using riveted Iron for construction and steam engines for propulsion.

During the next 70 years the company built over 1000 vessels, in many cases building everything from the crafts hull and structure to the steam winches and propulsion engines, with a factory site which extended over several acres.

During the early and mid 1900’s ‘W J Yarwoods’ was commissioned to build a large number of narrowboats for various fleets, from ‘Station boats’ and ‘Joshers’ to those in the expanding GUCC fleet immediately pre war and part of the ‘Admiral’ fleet in the late 1950’s.

The yard went on to build tugs, barges and small ships into the 1960’s with the ‘St Elmo’ being the last craft built at the yard in 1965.

Whilst many of the craft remain, much of the yard has been consumed by the expansion of Northwich, however the original river course which latterly formed the side slip dock remains to this day and is now in use as a safe haven for visiting and permanently moored craft many of which were built at the yard over the last hundred years.