The Trow — What & Why

The Severn Trow and its relevance to the Cotswold Canals Trust

The vessel portrayed in the Cotswold Canals Trust logo is known as a Trow – pronounced to rhyme with crow.

Trust members have developed a strong emotional attachment to this image.

Notwithstanding the value that members place on this boat, persons outside the Trust might be forgiven for asking the question, ‘Why do you have a pirate ship as your logo?

Hugh Conway- Jones, historian, author and Trust member supplied this explanation of the Trow and its relevance to our waterway.

A Trow was a shallow draft sailing vessel with an open hold and originally had a square rig.TS-Canal-Token-300x298

The vessels traded on the River Severn between the Ironbridge Gorge and Bristol.

The locks on the Stroudwater Navigation were built to suit the common size of Trows of the late eighteenth century.

The vessels carried coal to the mills of Stroud.

The Trust logo is based on an image that appears on a token featuring the Thames & Severn Canal. Such tokens were issued locally in the 1790’s when there was a national shortage of small change.

During the nineteenth century, Trow design evolved to feature fore-and-aft rig.

Some Trows were of larger size and had side decks and hatches to withstand open water.

A symbol, badge, icon or logo

1973 saw the publication of the first edition of a quarterly magazine… ‘For members and friends of the Stroudwater Canal Society’

A Trow was to be seen sailing proudly across the front cover. And it has remained there, in full sail, for every one of the one hundred and forty odd ‘Trows‘ published since then.