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


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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

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  • Society recognised with Award
    1st May 2015

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

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What's On

  • Northwich River Festival
    14th Jul 2018 - 15th Jul 2018

    Following the success of the inaugural event in 2017, the Northwich River Festival is returning in 2018 ....

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    17th Aug 2018 - 27th Aug 2018

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  • Winsford History Society
    Hazelmere, Winsford

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