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Dav and Pen

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    Braunston and France

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  1. Dav and Pen

    Sign writing

    Traditional sign writing adds a bit of class. Our old friend Spike know affectionately as Rembrandt did good work but it was a mistake to have him work near a pub as he rather liked Barley wine and we often had half painted names and sometimes different writing each side but we got there in the end. He did the pub sign for the pub at Newbold for Davenports (remember them) and the boat looked like it was about to be fired into space!
  2. Dav and Pen

    Large Woolwich

    This technic is especially useful with a loaded boat on narrow waterways as the amount of water displaced as the bow goes into the bridge is compensated by the lift from backing off. Don’t remember going out of gear just wound off and as soon as got the lift from the following wave wound on again, by then you knew if there was anything in the bridge. However this trick didn’t stop a friend getting stuck under bedworth bridge hard and fast just behind the mast. Needed tirfors and eventually a JCB to pull him back off what turned out to be a safe taken from the local co-op and dumped off the bridge when they couldn’t open it. i still slow down at every bridge.
  3. Dav and Pen

    Dutch barges and overplating

    Our Dutch barge was built in 1917 and over the years has had a fair bit of overplating done over time and any needed since we have owned it have been done in a Belgium shipyard since I brought it in 2000. When I brought it the surveyor found some thin places on the starboard bilge which had had some doubling in places before. He expected this as this is the side that gets rubbed when passing on the narrower canals. When built the steel was 5.5mm and the insurers look for around 4mm as satisfactory. Coming from narrowboats I was surprised to see such light steel used on a commercial barge especially as ours had been built for a brickworks but the ribs are around 400mm apart so the strength is there. The main thing is how well the doubling has been done and by whom.
  4. Dav and Pen

    Deep locks

    Today just 5.2 m locks.
  5. Dav and Pen

    Deep locks

    This lock is where the canal meets the R. Soane at Chalon sur Soane, it’s 10.76m rise. The canal was modernised to try and speed up the coal traffic and this lock was built instead of the 5 which went down through the city. Many locks were taken out and 5m deep ones put in place, all with floating bollards. All locks apart from the big one are automatic. Unfortunately by the time the work was done the traffic had pretty well finished and the mines are closed. Now it’s part of a good route from the Siene to the Rhône but only a very rare 38m peniche uses it.
  6. Dav and Pen

    Deep locks

    My better half doesn’t like deep locks but fortunately she forgets where they are so today she had a surprise at the lock into the canal du centre France.
  7. Dav and Pen

    Roof paint recommendations?

    On our narrow boats we always used red oxide gloss on the roof. It wasn’t very shiny and not slippery. Found crown was the best brand. Now on my barge in France I use spirt based gloss paints as we don’t jump onto the roof any more and satin finish deck paint on the gunwales which are wide enough to walk round. Tried the so called non slip sand stuff but just couldn’t keep in clean. As paint in France is horrendously expensive we bring it with us and have been using “paint4trade.com for the last few years who besides their own brand have jotun, flag, teamac etc. i have no connection with this firm.
  8. Dav and Pen

    Fly control

    We have a fly problem in France probably because it’s so Rural with lots of cattle and effluent about. Best thing so far is the old fashioned sticky strips and they sell some window stickers that catch to small stuff. For Mosies it a plug in at night.
  9. Dav and Pen

    Large Woolwich

    Thought you might like to see this it’s the big load on Tadworth not long after we brought her. Steerer Hill and the late Trevor Maggs on gunwale.
  10. Dav and Pen

    Large Woolwich

    The photo is mine I’m sorry memory played up again and I got the wrong motor. I took this and some others when we hired in Jacks pair to help with a 6 boat camping trip. Somewhere I have a photo of all of us lined up at Shardlow wharf just after the pub was made from the old warehouse from where we started this trip. I have been slowly scanning 35mm slides onto my iPad but it’s a very slow and tedious job. Copyright would be mine David
  11. Dav and Pen

    Large Woolwich

    The great man himself with Bletchley and Argus. (Sorry about quality). Biggest load I ever had on a big Northwich was 26 tones and couldn’t get past Napton. Nick Hill often had Jaguar down to the gunwales.
  12. Dav and Pen

    Towpath Bomb

    Many years ago at the big Ashtac dig they volunteers found a suspected bomb in the canal and one of them took it to a policeman who was leaning on a garden wall and gave him it. The dig was being filmed and the look on the coppers face was a picture. A cartoon also appeared in a local paper of a small boy and his mum looking over the garden wall and saying “mum they’re taking out tip away”.
  13. Dav and Pen

    general questions

    Don’t nod, the boatmen I knew always said Ow Do or how far tonight.
  14. Dav and Pen

    Courers DPD are a joke

    Had 2 deliveries in last few days from these one hour slot by e.mail and even name of driver. I wonder if the parcel in question originated in the USA or somewhere else that puts the month before the date?
  15. Dav and Pen

    Dog Harness

    Getting a dog back on board was the problem for us. The barge has nearly a meter of freeboard and when our Airedale fell in whilst we were drifting below a lock on the r.meuse and swam to the stern. He weighs 28kgs, luckily there are some rungs welded on the side of the rudder so I climbed down and got hold of him, however couldn’t push him up with one hand whilst holding on to the barge. First mate passed a rope down which was tied around him and she pulled whilst I pushed and we got him on board. in a lock on the upper Thames our old dog scruff decided to go ashore despite all the notices saying keep off the grass. He made a leap from the cabin roof but didn’t make it sliding down the lock side like in a cartoon. The keeper fished him out with a keb and put him on top of the coal saying your dog looks like a laboratory brush on legs. Charged him bit more for his coal!

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