Piper Boat Owners' Club

A club open to anyone who owns a Piper-built boat

Boats built by David Piper for Twinram Canal Hireboat Co Ltd Updated Dec 2012

Twinram was the name chosen for their hire company by Bill Andrews and Mike Adkins.  The name referred to their zodiac signs . Bill, a marine biologist and Mike, an accountant, started with two Springer built boats  (Weasel and Wedger) in 1975. 

They approached David Piper, who agreed that they might operate from his Red Bull moorings under licence from British Waterways, on condition that they would buy new boats/shells from Pipers. 

This was agreed, and a reception hut was erected near to David Piper’s workshop.  Guests’ cars were to be parked beside the hedge, adjacent to the railway.


The names chosen for the boats which they offered for hire were christened very much with a tongue in the cheek, but these remain a private joke!


Pipers yard in the 1970's. The building on the left is Twinram's


In 1978, the following boats were available for hire:


      4-6 Berth Red Boar 39' £90 - £180 per week
      4-6 Berth New for July £90 - £180 per week
      6-8 Berth The Colonel 45' £110 - £235 per week
      6-8 Berth Angry bull 45' £110 - £235 per week
      8-12 Berth Brass Straw 59' £150 - £295 per week

Twinram claimed We offer a personal service, taking all our own bookings, and boats of an exceptional standard.  The high proportion of repeat bookings we receive, indicate that we have many satisfied customers.  The boats feature full central heating, showers and abundant hot water, headroom of 6’4” throughout, pump-out flushing toilets and quiet four cylinder engines.

The boats were fitted out with careful thought to their flexibility.  Each cabin could provide a double or a single berth and also had direct access to toilet facilities.  Instead of the almost universal Ascot type gas water heater of the time, hot water was provided by means of the engine, backed up by a gas central heating unit.  The larger boats had an engine room where wellington boots and wet rainwear could be stored - an unusual feature in hire-boats of the time.







 The Colonel at Middlewich

The livery chosen was green, with brown side-panels, lined with yellow.  This gave the boats a smart appearance, looking more like a privately-owned boat than a hirecraft.

In 1980 the company moved to Longport Wharf, where the hirefleet continued to operate alongside a new boatbuilding venture, which was to become the well-known Stoke on Trent Boatbuilding Co.

59 feet layout


39 feet layout


What has happened to the boats from the Twinram fleet?


Angry Bull, Now renamed The Angry Bull, was stretched and has been owned by the Daystar theatre, based at Audlem

Dragonfly is known to have been a Twinram boat, formerly 37' in length. She was found rusting away in a farmyard adjacent to the Macclesfield Canal. She has been stretched twice and is now owned by the signwriter Nick Hardey


Chums Waltz at Dallow Lane Lock in 1980

1980. Red Boar in the Stoke flight. She was towing The Colonel, which had been accidentally ' cilled' at cemetry lock

These 3 photos show Nb Tytherley,

currently standing on the land at

Willowbridge Marina, Milton Keynes.


It is thought that she is the former

Twinram boat, The Colonel.  Her internal

fit-out is unaltered from the original

Do you have any further information?

If so, please contact Dot Piper


Dot is happy to answer any questions about Piper boat verifications;  Dot Piper  

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Page created 3rd February 2005, last updated 20 June 2013