Alton was built in 1936 by Harland and Woolf at Woolwich, London for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company. Originally paired with the butty Angel, the first skipper was Alf Bavington with his wife and 8 children.
The first cargo was timber from Brentford to Northampton but during her life she carried grain, steel, aluminium and copper ingots, packaged goods and cocoa products for Cadburys. Like many of these boats, her later years saw her carrying coal from the Midlands to London. She also worked for British Waterways and Willow Wren before being sold to the Narrowboat Trust in 1971.
For 20 years she carried cargoes for the NbT but in 1994 she was sold to George Boyle in a run down condition. Several years of hard work then followed, including fitting of a new bottom, before she was fit to carry again. Her new owners Brian and Ann Marie McGuigan took over in November 2006.
Alton now earns her living carrying coal, diesel and other boaters supplies for retail sale to other boats and canalside properties.