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Fellows, Morton & Clayton Part 1

Famous Fleets: NarrowBoat, Spring 2007

Alan Faulkner

Alan Faulkner begins the story of the most famous fleet of all on the UK’s inland waterways, including their innovative steam narrowboats

For many years Fellows, Morton & Clayton Ltd was arguably the best-known canal carrying company in this country. It operated a large fleet of boats that traded over much of the inland waterways system, carrying a wide range of cargoes.The Fellows Family The business can trace its roots back to 1837 when James Fellows, an agent for a canal carrier, decided to set up his own carrying business based at West Bromwich. James had been born on 6th March 1805 at Sedgley, northwest of Dudley, in Staffordshire, the son of Joshua and Nancy Fellows. He married Eliza Hyde on 2nd June 1828 and they had ten children. At the end of January 1839 James’s boat Providence was gauged at Braunston for the Grand Junction Canal, indicating that he traded down to London. He moved to Tipton in 1841 and soon after bought Horseley House at Toll End, Tipton, describing himself in 1845 as a “Canal and Railway Carrier”. It would appear that his railway involvement was on a small scale and pos…

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