Saturn Fly-boat

Waterways Heritage Afloat

Saturn is the last surviving wooden Shropshire Union “Fly-boat”, built in Chester in 1906. Her job was to rush cheese and produce, fresh from the farms of Cheshire and Shropshire, to the markets of the industrial towns and cities, running 24 hours, day & night.

Saturn has been expertly restored to again grace the canals of North West England, a beautiful and unique craft, and still sometimes pulled along by a horse! 

Saturn is real canal heritage on the move,
on her way to a school or waterways event near to you!

Saturn NEWS

There are three opportunities over the next few weeks to see Saturn being horse drawn on the Shroppie. The horse will, of course, be Flower from Norbury Wharf - star of Rebekah Parrott's video from our previous horse-drawn trip in May. Watch here.
Thursday 18th July - an evening trip up Audlem Locks, starting at the Shroppie Fly at about 6.00pm.
Saturday 20th July - Saturn and Flower will be on display during the day at the Gnosall C-Fest. In the late afternoon Saturn will be pulled by Flower to High Onn and back - about 2 miles each way.
Saturday 27th July - a horse-drawn trip starting from the top of Adderley Locks at about 8.30am, down Adderley and Audlem flights, arriving at the Shroppie Fly at about 11.00am for the HNBC Audlem Gathering of Historic Boats.
If the weather is bad these horse boating trips may have to be cancelled, so please check beforehand if you are travelling especially to see this.
After Audlem Saturn will be returning to our mooring at Ellesmere.
A date for your diary: Saturn will be at the Whitchurch Canal Festival on 31st August and 1st September.

Saturn & Flyboats

The express delivery service of their day!


Fly-boats had fine lines to slide easily thorough water.
The fly-boat boatmen were a specially selected elite, working around the clock.
The horses were specially picked too, and changed for fresh ones every few hours.

More about Saturn

More about Fly-boats

More about Horse boating

How to see Saturn

Saturn has been restored to be seen and enjoyed.


Schools can arrange visits when children can explore Saturn and our friendly volunteers will explain about her history.

More about Schools visits

Canal events. Saturn visits canal rallies and events across North West canals from March to October each year.

More about Canal events

Come and help!

Become a volunteer, a member or a sponsor!


More Volunteers are always welcome at events and helping to move Saturn.

More about Volunteering

Become a Member of the Saturn Society.

More about Membership

Sponsors help us to keep Saturn afloat & maintained.

More about Sponsorship