Hello Everybody. REDCAP is now back in the water, complete with its DIY stainless steel cabin (stainless steel purchased from local scrap yard for the princely sum of £20 a sheet!). The stainless steel is 2mm thick. This was a massive job but it's now done and I'm very pleased with the result. I am pleased to read Anthony's post. When Anthony bought the OXFORD 1/2 hull, I gave him all the information I had. I'm glad he's passed it on to Pete Downing, who has come to the same conclusion as me regarding our boats after reading documents at Warwick Public Records Office.
I first came across the records now residing at Warwick, courtesy of Charles Hadfield, in a box in a shed at Hillmorton. I had a quick dig in them and retrieved a few pieces relevant to REDCAP. The boys at Hillmorton had been told to chuck them and I told them not to, but I wasn't sure what to do with them. Fortunately, Charles came up soon after me knew where to send them. From memory, I think the contents of this box is the entire records that are now held at Warwick; a good job they were saved.
I think the identity swap occurred earlier than Anthony suggested, to save the Oxford Canal Company directors' faces, as REDCAP did not break ice as they had expected and they instructed the engineer to write to Harris Brothers requesting a much rounder bow design for their second boat. Unfortunately, according to Happy Smith, the blacksmith at Hillmorton, "The second boat wouldn't break eggshells!". I do have copies of correspondence between the Oxford Canal Company and Harris Brothers, and at a later date will post copies here to support both Pete's and my conclusion about our respective boats. I also have a photograph of Pete's boat at Warwickshire Fly Boats water and at the Braunston Turn, when in the ownership of Anthony, which I will try and find and post at the same time as the letters. Below is a recent photo of REDCAP in the water at Wayford Bridge. Redcap John.