The barge was built in 1949 for Richard Hodgson Tanners in Beverley and became part of a fleet of 16 barges based on Beverley Beck.
The fleet was used to carry coal and hides into the Tannery and transhipped vegetable raw materials used for tanning materials from India, South Africa and Paraguay. She also carried general cargoes such as grain, flour, paper and nuts to South and West Yorkshire.
Syntan is 'Sheffield' size - 61'6" x 15'6", and she could carry a cargo up to 110 tons.
In the 1970s the Hodgson fleet was sold and Syntan was bought by Victor Waddington of Swinton to carry steel. This was a short lived experience and she was eventually laid up for almost 20 years at Doncaster Power Station. During this period she was extensively vandalised and cannibalised for parts.
It was here that in 2001 the Society discovered her, was able to purchase the remains and bring them back to Beverley for restoration. This process was documented in the film Syntan comes home - available on video from the Society.
On purchase the paintwork was faded and peeling. There was no wheelhouse and all the external fittings had gone apart from the winch. The main hold was full of rainwater.
After 3 years of hard work Syntan became what you see today; a steel top has been installed over the hold, the livery has been restored to its original Hodgson colours; mast lights, engine room vents and the wheelhouse top have all been found or manufactured to their original pattern.