IT’S an unusual sight – especially alongside a busy main road in Huddersfield.

But there’s a reason for the rusting old narrowboat which has puzzled motorists.

A Lockwood supply company has just made their most unusual sale to date.

Surplus Building Supplies has found a buyer for the old 36ft-long canal boat which has taken over the pavement outside their premises on the corner of Lockwood Road and Fair Street.

The company is more used to trading in building materials.

However, the six-ton pile of rust caught joint owner Alan Pogson’s eye a couple of months ago when he went to collect surplus stone from a farm in Honley.

The owner had been restoring the boat – origins unknown – for five or six years, but had decided he was never going to finish the project.

Alan, from Meltham, said: “He had done about a third of the welding but got fed up of the project and wanted rid of the boat. I thought I might do it up myself.”

With the help of a low loader wagon and two forklift trucks, he removed the narrowboat from the Honley farm.

Having bought the vessel, he then realised that the restoration was going to cost more than he had envisaged and so decided to sell it on.

After a couple of unsuccessful weeks on ebay, Alan put the boat outside the shop with ‘FOR SALE’ painted on the side in two-foot high letters.

According to Alan, the boat has a steel hull, a good Lister marine engine and a decent gearbox. His asking price was £3,600.

Within half a day, the boat had been sold to a businessman who owns a fabrication company.

Alan said: “We have been very surprised at the interest it created. Apparently these boats are quite popular if you are a welder.

“We could have sold it six or seven times over – and for more than we asked.”

He added that Surplus Building Supplies had no immediate plans to buy any other unusual items, but were always on the look out for a good business opportunity.

He said: “We are a bit like a modern Steptoe and Son. If we think we can sell it, we will buy it. We’ll buy anything from 50p to fifty grand.”

The company recently sold an unusual machine for making concrete flagstones. Items currently for sale include wood, coal, building supplies ... and a range cooker.