The remains


Plaque at Lydney



LPB identification number 24








Gloucester 2/20

Wd. Bge
Open Double ended

1895 – 1954

Official number 140479


Builders: - Gloucester, Joseph Barnard (GT)


Length 97.4ft

Breadth 22ft

Depth 5.2ft

Tonnage – ( ) Gross 78.54 Net 75.54 B.D

Engines None

By N/A

H.P. N/A

Beached date


Beached by

Donald Fowler and Bill Savage with Tug Primrose


R.c. 20 June 1955 no longer require MNL Supp
Hulked At Lydney (LPB)

First Owners

George Thomas Beard (1929) Ltd., Gloucester



Louis Paul Barnett 2019

Built in the heart of Gloucester City by local man Joseph Barnard, the dependable little work horse, the Nibley, became a well-known vessel on the 16 mile long inland waterway of the Sharpness to Gloucester Canal. Despite this but typically of these everyday craft, so little information exists to document this wide beamed heart of oak. 

So little indeed, that it is thought the only time Nibley’s timbers took on salt water, was during the occasion of her final journey to join so many other Trojans of this long lost way of life.  Further visitors to the site will note the incorporation of a steel railway line which has been embedded both bow and stern with concrete, this to add strength to the old girl and prevent her from flexing or ‘Hogging’ in her senior years.


Nibley afloat


Nibley beached

Nibley ancillary information

Recorded in 1930 Mercantile List
Recorded in 1951 Mercantile List
Lydney (Aerial 1955) (Sea Breezes Aug 1956) (CG 1956 photo)
Located in Graham Farr photo of 1956
Aerial looking North 1957 
Aerial looking Pine End 1957 
Located in Graham Farr 1959
Located in Colin Green 1996 chart
Image in Neil Parkhouse publication ‘A Look Back at Lydney Dock’

Graham Farr via Robin Craig Archive

Extant in 1953
Lydney Hulks (sm) (Nibley LPB) 16.8.59

Gloucester Records Office

Nibley (27)
140479 Glos 1895 Joseph Barnadrd length 97.4 width 22 depth 5.2 RC closed 20.6.55, no longer required vessel used as a breakwater

Gloucester records office

GRO Flotsam Sept 2006
Stroudwater canal lock size 72 x 17.6 x 4.6 in feet
Thames & Severn Canal lock size 72 x 12.3 x 4

Vessel Name & No.

First registered


First mention

Last mention








Charlie Langford
Crew member of the Tugs Addie, Resolute and Primrose
Born 1925 Aged 78
Deep sea 1943 – 1962
Sharpness 1962 – 1990
Date of interview 19.06.03

CL also recalls that the former G.T Beard towed barge Nibley was beached on the foreshore at Lydney

Hugh Conway Jones

Here are my notes on Joseph Barnard: 
1890-92 Canal Bank (GJ below) 
1894-1914 Monk Meadow (Directories) 
Barnard Launches Lighter Pride (GJ 13 Dec 1890 p5c6) 
The successful launch of a lighter was witnessed from Mr J Barnard’s yard on the Canal Bank on Saturday. The lighter, an open one, was built to the order of the Gloucester and Sharpness lighterage Co, is named the Pride and will carry a burden of probably 160 tons. This is the fourth built by the above firm. 
Barnard Launches Lighter Northwich (GJ 23 Jan 1892 p5c4) 
The fine open lighter Northwich was launched from Mr J W Barnard’s yard on the Canal Bank on Wednesday afternoon. Length 100 ft, breadth 21 ft 6 in, depth of hold 6 ft 6 in. She will carry 260 tons, is built of the best English timber and specially designed for lightening vessels at Northwick 
Oaze or Kingroad. This is the fifth built to the order of Mr G T Beard, contractor, of Gloucester. 
Barnard Launches Lighter Penarth (GJ 16 Jul 1892 p5c6) 
On Saturday, the open lighter Penarth was launched from J Barnard’s yard, Canal Bank. She will carry about 170 tons. She will be used for lightening at Northwick Oaze and if necessary take cargoes up the river. This is the sixth built to the order of Mr G T Beard of Gloucester. 
Dock Co agreed to buy a mud flat from Mr Barnard 1907 (RAIL 864/7) 
Barnard had a yard at west end of Monk Meadow Dock in 1919 but little business was being done. (RAIL 864 Misc) 

Robert Langford

Recalls Society’ sister ship Berkeley, Nibley, and Abbey

MNL 1930

Name Nibley
Official No 140479
Reg Gloucester (B)
Rig None
Built Gloucester 1895
Reg Ton 76
Owners G. T. Beard (1929)LTD 32 Commercial Road, Gloucester
Arthur Read

MNL 1951

Name Nibley
Official No 140479
Reg Gloucester (B)
Rig None
Built Gloucester 1895
Reg Ton 76
Owners G. T. Beard(1929)LTD 32 Commercial Road, Gloucester
John Cooke St Aubins, Heathville Rd, Gloucester

MNL Loss




Gloucester 1895

June 1955

Registry no longer required (reg owner G T Beard)

The National Waterway Museum Photos

54.0057 Nibley

Neil Parkhouse

Lydney (Aerial 1955) (NP c. 1955)

Plates from Fred Rowbottom Archive


Photo No.




Nibley, Tirley, Llantony, Glenby, Priory, Society C. 1920s

991 – 1090


Lighter Llantony

Mr Saunders

Identified the vessels Nibley, Wasp. Hannah and Jonadab as being beached on the foreshore at Lydney.  S also recalls that a barge was placed on the foreshore in 1954.

Nibley Photo via paper report

???? 07717707193 (aged 55 ???) knew the site 1955/56 as a child and considers the photo taken 1960 -65
Further advised of Harbour Masters being Mr Turner & Mr Steary
Vessels identified are Johnadab ,George, and Sneed
Started work 1966 and thus visited site less frequently




Gloucester 1895

June 1955

Registry no longer required (reg owner G T Beard)

M Watson Harbour Master

Mr M Watson’s hand written entries in his Harbour Masters work books of 1952-1955
in which he details the following: 

1954 3 – 4 – 5 May Barges put into position on river front to prevent further erosion
1954 June Barges placed on river bank, work party Gardner, Watkins, Smith Vine & Prosser.
1954 Aug Barges placed on river bank work party Gardner, Watkins, Smith & Vine.
1954 Sept Two old mud barges placed on river bank work party Gardner, Watkins, Smith & Vine.