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Avon Boating
G.H.Rose and Son - Stratford-upon-Avon

The Rose family introduced trip boats to the River Avon at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1898 with the Swan of Avon. She must have been quite a pioneer, being powered by an Austro-Daimler petrol engine. She was joined in 1900 by the Rose of Avon. In 1905 the family ordered the Britannia from the famous Oxford boat builders Salter Brothers. She was delivered to Stratford via the canal system, and remains in the current fleet, now powered by a British Leyland engine.

The fleet was expanded in the early 1990s with four wooden launches all built by Borwick of Bowness on Lake Windermere, although they came from various owners. These are all in current service and are named
Mayflower, Spray, Lotus and Lady. The first three of these boats (the larger ones) have all been converted to battery/electric propulsion. They are moored overnight downstream of the tramway bridge and run from the quay at the Bancroft gardens. Britannia and Lady are moored upstream of the bridge and operate from a pontoon by the Avon Boating boat house, where small rowing and motor boats are available for hourly hire. The fleet is divided like this because the larger launches cannot fit under the tramway bridge after heavy rains, as happened on my second visit.

I first visited the Avon Boating fleet on 4th August 2009. I had excellent trips on both
Britannia and Spray, but the weather was dull and photography not easy. I returned in better weather on 6th August when most of the images below were taken. On this visit I arrived early before services had started, and witnessed the efforts made by the crews to prepare the boats for daily service, with all windows carefully cleaned and all brightwork polished. This is a beautifully maintained fleet of classic launches, run by enthusiastic and helpful crews.

To travel on these boats contact:-
www.avon-boating.co.uk
     

 

Sections on this Page
Vessels on this Page

  Britannia - built 1905
  Lady - built 1933
  Lotus - built 1929
  Mayflower - built 1912
  Rose of Avon - built 1902
  Spray - built 1925
  Swan of Avon - built 1898

  Titania - built ????

Related River Passenger Boat Pages
 

Associated Pages

References
  Trip Out Guides - Various Editions 1985-2009 by Geoffrey Hamer
       Trip Out Guides are available from Geoffrey Hamer, PO Box 485, Southall, UB1 9BH

Contacts
  Avon Boating website:- www.avon-boating.co.uk
  Avon Boating email:-    boat-hire@avon-boating.co.uk





Avon Boating Postcards


Postcard of Mayflower, Spay and Lotus at their overnight mooring by Bancroft Gardens at Stratford-upon-Avon
MAYFLOWER - SPRAY - LOTUS


Postcard of Mayflower, Spay and Lotus by Bancroft Gardens at Stratford-upon-Avon
MAYFLOWER - SPRAY - LOTUS





Avon Boating Fleet List


Swan of Avon (1898)

Swan of Avon was the first trip boat on the River Avon at Stratford-upon-Avon when delivered in 1898. She was a very early passenger motor vessel, being powered by a single cylinder Austro-Daimler engine. Her builders are unknown. She is 31ft 6in long, and has a licence for 22 passengers. Swan of Avon was fully restored in 1997/98 and given a steam engine at this time. This was a two cylinder compound engine built by Simpson Strickland at Dartmouth, one of eight built between 1896 and 1912. The engine had been restored in 1975 for use on the 30ft launch Selina. The Swan has a vertical fire-tube boiler built by Austin & Pickersgill at South shields in 1987 for a similar launch, but not used.


Swan of Avon moored at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2009
SWAN OF AVON


The boiler of Swan of Avon at Stratford-upon-Avon being worked on by Ed Rose
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 6th August 2009
SWAN OF AVON boiler - Ed Rose





Rose of Avon (1900)

Rose of Avon joined the fleet in 1900. She still exists, but requires restoration.

No images currently available






Britannia (1905)

Britannia joined the fleet c.1905 (sources give dates 1904,1905 and 1906). She was built by the famous Oxford boat builders Salter Brothers, and sailed to Stratford-upon-Avon via the canal system. She is currently powered by a British Leyland 1800cc engine. She is licensed for 36 passengers (43 until 2007).


Britannia leaving Bancroft Gardens at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 6th August 2009
BRITANNIA


Britannia approaching the old tramway bridge at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 6th August 2009
BRITANNIA


Britannia approaching the old tramway bridge at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 6th August 2009
BRITANNIA


Britannia upstream of Stratford in the rain
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2009
BRITANNIA


Britannia passing the Bancroft gardens
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2009
BRITANNIA


On board Britannia in the rain
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2009
BRITANNIA


On board Britannia in the rain
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2009
BRITANNIA


Slater's builders plate on board Britannia
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2009
BRITANNIA





Mayflower (1912)

Mayflower was built by Borwick of Bowness on Lake Windermere. She was acquired by Avon Boating around 1991 and has been converted to battery/electric propulsion. She is licensed for 59 passengers.


Mayflower at her overnight mooring by Bancroft Gardens at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 6th August 2009
MAYFLOWER


Mayflower at her overnight mooring by Bancroft Gardens, with Lotus
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 6th August 2009
MAYFLOWER


Mayflower leaving Bancroft Gardens at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 6th August 2009
MAYFLOWER


Mayflower leaving Bancroft Gardens at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 6th August 2009
MAYFLOWER


Mayflower passing Bancroft Gardens at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 6th August 2009
MAYFLOWER





Spray (1925)

Spray was built by Borwick of Bowness on Lake Windermere. She was acquired by Avon Boating around 1991 and has been converted to battery/electric propulsion. She is licensed for 58 passengers.


Spray alongside the Bancroft quay before the day's services at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2009
SPRAY


Spray preparing for the day's service at Bancroft gardens, Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2009
SPRAY


Spray approaching Bancroft gardens at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2009
SPRAY


Spray approaching Bancroft gardens at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2009
SPRAY





Lotus (1929)

Lotus was built by Borwick of Bowness on Lake Windermere. She was acquired by Avon Boating around 1991 and has been converted to battery/electric propulsion. She is licensed for 58 passengers.


Lotus approaching Bancroft gardens at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2009
LOTUS


Lotus at Bancroft gardens at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2009
LOTUS


Lotus passing the ferry at Stratford-upon-Avon in the rain
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 4th August 2009
LOTUS





Lady (1933)

Lady was built by Borwick of Bowness on Lake Windermere. She was acquired by Avon Boating around 1991 and remains motor propelled, with a British Leyland engine. She is licensed for 59 passengers.


Lady moored by the old tramway bridge at Stratford-upon-Avon, with Britannia
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 6th August 2009
LADY


Lady moored by the old tramway bridge at Stratford-upon-Avon, with Britannia
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 6th August 2009
LADY


Lady moored by the Avon Boating boat house pontoon
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 6th August 2009
LADY


Lady moored by the Avon Boating boat house pontoon, with the tramway bridge in the background
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 6th August 2009
LADY







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