About Us

History of Thorn Marine

The Bridgewater canal reach Stockton heath about 1772, the area around London Bridge and Thorn Marine developed over the next few years and became known as Stockton Quays, there was warehousing, an inn, toll house,Blacksmiths, stabling, barns,  and bank riders cottages. one of these bank riders cottages became Thorn Marine.

A very successful packet boat service started up running from the London Bridge Inn to Manchester allowing the gentry to travel in style and comfort on the last part of there journey to Manchester, good were also shipped from the warehouse over the road, The boats were in them days pulled by horses, and unusually the horse for the packet boat were trotted along the towpath and were ridden by "Bank riders" who lived in what is now Thorn Marine.

The quays at thorn marine were also used by Caldwells to ship there tools spades, picks, etc for the gold rush in america and the First World War. The good were shipped to Liverpool where they were loaded onto sea going ships

During the First and second world wars the canal was also used to move munitions and men to Liverpool to be shipped across for the war effort.

Since we took over

We passed Thorn Marine in the spring of 1991 on our 25' Dawncraft "Hammie" on a two week trip around the Cheshire ring, we noticed it was looking a bit unloved and there was a for sale sign out side.

A few phone calls on our return home we discovered it was still for sale, but not with the agents anymore.  After nearly 12 months of negotiations with the vendor and The Manchester ship Canal Company, we finally moved in on the 11th April 1992.

Over the next few years Margaret turned the business around from a fancy good shop back to a chandlery with help from Brian and Nigel when they were not working in their own careers. Brian decided in 1997 to stop paining and decorating and joined Margret working full time in the shop.

In 1997 we too delivery of Rambling Thorn our purpose built day boat, I am sure many of you will have been on or seen up and down the canal.  We also added Diesel and pumpout facilities that year.  2001 saw us add another dayboat Meandering Thorn (We have since sold Meandering thorn due to work and family commitments)

2001 saw Nigel join his mum and dad, to give them some much needed time off.

2003 Nigel Qualified as  Boat Safety Scheme Examiner

2013 Nigel Qualified as a Gas safe Engineer for boats

2018 Nigel Added Caravans, Motor homes and park home to his Gas safe qualification

2018 saw the Arrival of Dan Bullen to help run the shop

2019 Cheshire Cat arrived, a new to us, purpose built hire boat for four people, ideal for short breaks

2019 We became a Beta Marine Dealer, with our first engine being installed later that year