Fleet lists

Potter & Son

Famous Fleets feature article Issue 25 - Spring 2012

This fleet list is based on the canal boat records for Runcorn and Stoke-on-Trent. Whilst the former is complete from No 1 (Lizzie) on 6th December 1878 to the end, the Stoke register is far from complete, with the first 250 entries up to 1879 missing and many gaps thereafter, some of which have been filled from inspection records, surviving records of Potter & Son dating back to 1924, and other records.

At Runcorn the first registration for Potter & Son is 469 Swiftsure on 25th February 1879 and the last, 1007 Snowdrop, on 10th May 1899, indicating that the practice of naming boats with names beginning with ‘S’ had been clearly established. Thereafter all registrations seem to have been confined to Stoke.

Four boats – Bertha, Frances, Hungerford and Marjorie – are included under the Potter & Son entry in the Weaver Navigation records of December 1925, but may have been belonged to other carriers.

The 1875–81 Transhipment Journal for Anderton Boat Lift contains the names of 185 narrowboats used by Potter & Son over the lift during that period, and includes the names of the following Potter boats that appear in subsequent registrations: 12th August 1875, Swiftsure; 18th October 1876, Swan; 14th June 1877, Speedwell; 25th August 1877, Shannon; 17th September 1877, Success; 30th May 1881, Spring. 

The Journal also contains the names of boats used by William Ellison, and includes names of the following Ellison boats that appear in registrations under a combination of names of Garnett, Jonathan Potter and Francis Amelia Ellison during the period September to December 1875: Shot, Speck, George, Mary. 

The registration of canal boats did not start until right at the end of 1878 or early 1879.

(m) motor boat