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JamesWoolcock last won the day on April 19

JamesWoolcock had the most liked content!

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    English Midlands

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  • Boat Name
  • Boat Location
    Stone occasionally

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  1. JamesWoolcock

    Narrowboat colours

    Yes. The same boat. Molly was built by Tony Francis for the late Kevin Scragg. He did a some sort of exchange (£+/-)with Roger Murrey for FMC MONARCH when she was still in steam. I am told Roger Murrey had Roger Fuller extend her tug deck by building a complete new fore end thus replacing the original and Roger Murrey renamed her Zulu. The internal painting is Kevin Scragg's and I suspect Kevin (Hazardous) Worthington who in his later narrow boat days worked as painter for Steve Hudson. I remember Molly in BWB colours before being repainted in Hingley's livery which was originally, I think, on their tug CROWN. There is even more to the tale of CROWN but for another day perhaps ....
  2. JamesWoolcock

    Odd enquiry

    Swarfega. Rub it in then wash the item. 100% I think on fresh oil and grease. James
  3. JamesWoolcock

    too p or not too p

    I gave up on all such relief in locks after I heard the commanding voice of a school teacher call out "Now children, gather round"! Yes indeed. The size of the bottle neck is what is important to most of us.
  4. JamesWoolcock

    too p or not too p

    Over the years I've learned so much from so many former working boatmen that has made so much difference, but the relevant tip given to me for single handed male boaters is to carry a fabric softener bottle. I'm never without one! Cheers Ed 😊 James
  5. JamesWoolcock

    What will happen to the Flapper in 2019

    Any news on The Prince of Wales?
  6. JamesWoolcock

    Bloody Day Boats

    I met a quite a few on the Bridgewater on the way to Lymm today and very entertaining. Lovely weather. Lots of pirates. Lots of booze. Lots of people on board too. But it's wide and deep so they had more room in which to screw up and they were having a lovely day on the waterways. James
  7. JamesWoolcock

    Deep locks

    That's because they haven't fixed the leak in the bottom gates.
  8. JamesWoolcock

    Minworth embankment repair

    So it wasn't just me! I suggest to help to improve things you should tell of this to jane.marriot@canalrivertrust.org.ok She is the engineer trying to solve this situation and I know she would really welcome your input. She's very approachable and really would welcome your comments. James
  9. JamesWoolcock

    Minworth embankment repair

    Oooooops Typo: " ...in the mid 1970s" !
  10. JamesWoolcock

    Minworth embankment repair

    MARQUIS is indeed a former FMC steamer of 1898, shortened to 54ft during her later working life on the BCN. The 'skirt' is in fact a 'false counter' or sub counter, added by Eddie Hambridge and a rather young Andrew Rothen when they worked for Pinders at Horninglow in Burton on Trent in the mid 1960s. They put the steel bottom on then too. Like all early steamers she has both a very long swim and entry so when shortened there is only about 16ft where the baseplate sides are parallel. The purpose of the false counter is twofold: to give greater stability to a now rather wobbly boat and to raise the counter. The first it must do to some extent, although she can still wobble! At the last out of water survey in 2017 it was observed that the false counter had become perforated and was full of mud and water. After an excellent repair at Canal Cruising Co's dock in Stone, there is no difference in draught. In the latter respect I don't think it does much. Nevertheless Malcolm Braine advised me not to have it removed because of the stability issue. She draws 3ft at the back of the skeg and around 2ft 3in at the stem post, representing a load of some 12 tons. This was scientifically measured by popping her alongside EMU with 11 tons of coal on! MARQUIS was lower at the deck beam. All this is when the two water tanks at the forend are full. When I crossed the lower pound at Minworth they were partly down so she might have been drawing half to one inch more. She does draw down more than this when under way, where here she barely was. I hope this adds something to the discussion. James
  11. JamesWoolcock

    Credit for canal engineers

    I've always had an interest in the men who actually did the work. Lord So and So didn't build his great house, it was the builder. Much is recorded in the railway age of men like Peto and Brassey, but there seems little about many of the canal contractors. These were the men that made it really happen. Architect Thomas Harrison designed the Grosvenor Bridge over the River Dee in Chester, at the time the world's largest single span stone arch, but it took the skills and resources of James Trubshaw of Little Haywood in Staffordshire to actually build it and make it stay up. James
  12. JamesWoolcock


  13. JamesWoolcock

    Minworth embankment repair

    Ha ha. Well spotted. It had been a long day.
  14. JamesWoolcock

    Minworth embankment repair

    As promised: I arrived at Minworth Bottom Lock around 10am (10 April) to find the water level on weir. We were two boats so this would have had some effect on levels thereafter, although this is a quarter mile pound, albeit shallow and therefore not holding that much water for it's length.. After Forge Lane Bridge I started to scrape on what felt like fairly small hard items the boat rode over. At the site of the recent embankment repairs progress was very slow with much graunching from under the boat. I came to a complete standstill twice. I had a much shallower draft modern boat behind me crewed by close friends so I knew I wouldn't have to call CRT and that they would rescue me and snatch me of if all else failed. But after much effort I was free and made very slow progress was made to the middle lock. I telephoned and reported the issue to Sue Cawson. I soon received an email copy from Sue of one she sent to Jane Marriot, the engineer who oversaw the remedial works. And one from Ian Lane copied to Sue and Jane, to tell me that they are organising a full survey, and asking Jane to liaise with me. I will email Jane over the weekend and appraise her of my experience here, copying to both Sue and Ian, but tomorrow it's the Daw End Canal and the Wyrley and Essington so I expect to be rather busy with the shunters' pole! James
  15. JamesWoolcock

    Minworth embankment repair

    The postings on here have indeed been so useful. But we all need to report problems to CRT. And talk to then nicely! That's where the power to get things done lies. This and with the help of Sue Cawson (CRT Navigations Advisory Group & HNBC Navigations Officer) did a lot to get Minworth sorted and open (?) to boats like this. Tomorrow I'm going up Minworth and will report. As well as posting on here, for best results Email problems to Customer Services and copy to Waterways Manager. Yesterday I sent an email to CRT Customer Services about CRT work boats on Visitor Moorings (and over the Bank Holiday!) and copied it to the Waterways Manager. Within 3 minutes Ian Lane replied that CRT shouldn't be doing this and he would deal with it. Excellent. Thank you Ian. James

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