The Archives

MB Fountain is a signatory to the register to support the Universal Declaration on Archives We hold comprehensive information relating to Historic Ships, maritime heritage and inland waterways with specialist archives focusing on WJ Yarwood and Sons Ltd, C Crawley Ltd (including fleet lists), as well as an extensive History of the Working Thames River along with information regarding Fountain herself. We are always interested to receive information and photographs relating to life on the Thames along with information relating to Fountain, W.J. Yarwoods and Sons Ltd and C. Crawley Ltd If you are interested in any of these areas we are happy to provide links and information to support your research


Built in 1952 by W.J. Yarwood & Sons Ltd of Northwich, Cheshire, FOUNTAIN is a 75ft (80 L.O.) riveted steel hull bunkering vessel fitted with a 121hp Lister Blackstone diesel for C. Crawley Ltd of Gravesend. Built as a more modern version of the Thames sail barges, her 3cyl Lister diesel was reliable and gave her a speed of around 7 knots Working out of C.Crawley's West Pier at Gravesend, Fountain supplied Fresh Water services to vessels on both the River Thames and Medway. The majority of C. Crawley's fleet were converted tanker ships but Fountain was purpose built as the fleet's flagship Providing bunkering services to ships on the River Thames brought her into contact with a huge variety of vessels including the HMY Britannia for which she provided fresh water services during Britannia's visits to the Pool of London Fountain stayed in service until the late 1990's and, upon the dissolution of C. Crawley, was sold to private owners who lovingly maintained her and kept her wheelhouse and engine room in original condition Currently being restored as a museum ship, Fountain is included in the register of National Historic Ships. To find out how you can become involved please visit the Friends of Fountain page