Heritage - W J Yarwood and Sons » River Weaver Navigation Society

Cambrais at W J Yarwood and Sons

Oarsman launched at Yarwoods in 1920

Vivonia is launched in 1927

James Jackson Grundy is launched in 1947

Weaverham is ready for launch in 1947

Wincham is ready for launch in 1948

Marston being prepared for launch

William James Yarwood standing on the bow of a Winsford Flat

The Weaver is only navigable from Winsford Bridge to its confluence with the Ship Canal

W J Yarwood and Sons - Shipbuilders

Through its salt trade and the River Weaver Navigation’s connection to Liverpool – Northwich, in Mid Cheshire, has long been associated with shipbuilding.

But it was W J Yarwood and Sons Shipbuilders in Navigation Road, Northwich that brought it to the forefront.

The company founder, William James Yarwood, was born in 1851 and after serving an apprenticeship at a Northwich ironfounders, he became a blacksmith with the River Weaver Navigation.

In 1896 he purchased the former John Thompson shipbuilding business – the forerunner of W J Yarwoods and Sons.

Customers included the Manchester Ship Canal Company and the Brunner Mond – which became a part of Imperial Chemical Industries.

In 1965 the last vessel built at Yarwood’s was a 168-ton diesel tug, the St Elmo.

When the yard closed the total output from Yarwood’s had been over 1,000 vessels.

Courtesy of the Rick Ferris/Keith Collection our images show some of the vessels built by Yarwoods.

Note our last image shows Mr William James Yarwood himself.

Hover the images to stop and view.


Local News


    Our Chairman's 2017 Report including his Report on the Barons Quay Development ....

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    24th Mar 2017

    The Society held its AGM which was well attended ....

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  • British Empire Medal
    11th Jun 2016

    The RWNS Treasurer has been recognised in the Queen's Birthdday Honours List ....

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  • Swing Bridge wins National Commendation
    8th Oct 2015

    The Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge has won a national commendation ....

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  • Society recognised with Award
    1st May 2015

    The River Weaver Navigation Society has won an Oscar .....

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  • Northwich Flood Defences
    30th Oct 2014

    The Society has objected to the proposed Flood Defence Scheme in Northwich ....

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What's On

  • 2019 Salt Towns’ Rally
    13th Sep 2019 - 20th Sep 2019

    A boat rally from Winsford, down the Weaver and on to to Middlewich via the Anderton Boat Lift ....

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  • Weaverham History Society
    University Primary Academy Weaverham

    You can learn more about the area with our society partner ....

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  • Discover the History of Mid Cheshire
    Weaver Hall Museum

    Explore the history of the local area at a Museum that is close to the River Weaver ....

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  • The Lion Salt Works
    A short walk from the River Weaver Navigation

    The Lion Salt Works, following a £10m restoration is now open to the public ....

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