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Dav and Pen

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Everything posted by Dav and Pen

  1. The commentary was real rubbish. “The captain gunned the throttle “ as if he’s driving a car. The fact that the pilots were handing over just before the event was brushed over in the desire to blame the captain. The increase in speed would have been at the request of the pilot and it’s very unusual for his instructions to be refused. You do not have a choice in taking a pilot for a passage through the suez and frankly you have no idea of their competence and as it proved there’s very little room for error especially with a high ship like the Ever Given. I have been through the canal a few times admittedly on smaller ships although the canal was narrower then and the only thing the pilots were concerned about was the whisky and Marlboro cigarettes they expected. I did a couple of tricks on the wheel and a 500ft tanker was hard to keep on track and can’t imagine how difficult it is on a 200000 tonner
  2. The arm was reopened in I think 1969 after the restoration work carried out by the Old Union Canal society and I did some shoveling there. The understanding was that the Society would manage the arm and its boat owning members would have priority. In fact I left a little cruiser for a winter . the society had an annual rally and dinner dance at The Wharf pub and one of the most memorable things was seeing Joe and Rose Skinner waltzing . BWB renaged on the deal and leased it to the boat company.
  3. We are on the Sandy Heath transmitter and probably on its fringe. However it is normally ok but in periods of High pressure we lose channels some completely and some come and go.
  4. There’s been another big human error causing a ship disaster. A bulk carrier ran on the rocks off Mauritius broke up and spilt tons of oil on a protected area. The reason was because they wanted to get a mobile phone signal! The main stress in ships is the hogging and sagging in the swell and they are designed to withstand it but still things happen. Ships still break the most resent being a Japanese container ship which sort of bent up and down in the swell before breaking in half. Narrow boats are unlikely to come across these forces.
  5. We used to try and load slightly by the head. Some of the bridgeholes through Nuneaton were notorious and once Jaguar got fast on what turned out to be a safe. Wind up a bit. before the bridge then slack right off to let the following wave lift you through (hopefully) . Afraid over the years upsetting other boaters and fishermen was unavoidable given the state of the cut.
  6. The history of the retail coal trade by narrow boat is pretty well known but when we started coal sales were tightly controlled by the NCB and the coal traders federation. You had to be an approved coal merchant and we had a real battle with the Feds (as they became known) before we were allowed to to buy the stuff. One of the rules was that all the boats must carry an approved set of scales but they allowed us to use 56lb weights instead of the normal cwt as it would have been far to difficult to chuck 112 lbs out of the boats bottom. ACT was the approved merchant and the other boats acted as agents. The trade then was mainly to canal side farms, pubs, lock keepers etc and some boats but there were nowhere near as many liveaboards then and those there were usually didn’t have any money. We used fertilizer sacks and had a number of farms who saved them for us the drawback was that they had residue in them and it could burn your skin. It’s great to see the trade still going and for me especially to see Tadworth working.
  7. David was very good at getting other people to do the work. Through ACT we supplied him with coal in the early days of the enterprise. One time I had left Tadworth at Stoke for him or more likely Tony Warwick to unload it and put the surplus to their sales in the old Elton or Elsan as we called it. After 2 weeks went back to fetch her and found her still nearly half full. Nick Hill and myself shoveled the balance in the Elton and made sure the bilge pump was going left. Got back to Stowe Hill and stopped under the bridge with the intention of having a swift pint only to find it had been done up and had a name change to Narrow Boat from the Globe. There was plastic sheeting over the carpet in the bar and when the land lady appeared she refused to serve us as we were a bit dirty! Nick stuttered at her we come by narrow boat to the narrow boat and you won’t serve us change the name back to the globe. Sorry about quality of the photo.
  8. That’s truly pathetic and complete waste of time.
  9. Up here in the Northamptonshire uplands the village brook and the Nene are not all that full. We’ve had plenty of rain but not really heavy stuff. It’s all the concrete and houses in the flood plain that’s the bigger problem and even more being built upstream of Northampton.
  10. They call it a small ship at 62m and compared to a 1000 toner it is but it’s still a big beast to most of us. When you see the 38m working into a lock in central France you can see the skill needed to avoid expensive repairs.
  11. Solid bulkhead on our boats. When the first safety certificates were required for hire boats and houseboats I was a bit concerned about this because the camping boat steerer slept in the back cabin. Strangely enough the surveyor was not bothered about the lack of another access as the person sleeping in the cabin was crew not passengers. If the was a door or hatch the gear rod and the engine beds would have made it difficult to use.
  12. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  13. We went on Vic 32 with a group from the Ashby Canal Society some years ago. Stayed one night before joining the ship in theCrinan hotel and it turned out to be the Queen mothers birthday so the owner cafe us all pink champagne. It’s a great canal as is the trip on Vic especially if you can charter it as a group.
  14. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  15. It was never the practice to black the underside of the working boats and we never even thought about it. We did try and keep the inside of the bottom red oxided as thought the rainwater would cause corrosion from the inside. The original bottom plates of the Town class were of 3/8th inch shipbuilding steel and in the case of Tadworth lasted nearly 40 years since then she has had 3 new bottoms so something has changed. Our Dutch barge was built in 1917 and it was claimed that steel produced before 1920 was of higher quality before all the scrap steel from the First World War was available. The hull was 5.5mm steel and a lot of it was still above 4mm in 2001 but it had some overplating on the bilges and pitting on the waterline having been unused for some years in the brackish waters of Amsterdam harbour. It is certainly the general practice to black the bottom of all the barges on the continent and they were always high enough when in dock for someone to get underneath. This was one job I was pleased to pay somebody to do.
  16. The way the plaster has been renewed makes me wonder if there’s been a flood in the house.
  17. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  18. I knew an old boatman who had an AS2. Whenever he went in the engine hole to use the bucket he’d say just going to see Sidney. Never measured our Town class Grand Unions but only lock ever was at Barrow on the Soar and this was a few inches short and you needed to single out and get the bow across before you could open the bottom gate. The main thing to check is how straight it is and many narrow locks have slight bulges.
  19. Real mixture then. I knew I had seen the one of the Tunnel entrance but memory is shot. Went there with the late Graham Palmer of WRG about 45 years ago and we looked at the Thames and Severn as WRG had been offered a hull which was laying on the bank somewhere around Stroud. Afraid the boat was beyond economic repair.
  20. It’s a Facebook group called Peniche.
  21. Can’t sort out a link think it’s a problem with the iPad not having a clipboard. Some more photos
  22. That’s clever I didn’t know about that possibility. It certainly looks like the old Erie Canal. Will try but I haven’t had much luck before.
  23. There are 32 photos posted with these and they are all titled as being in Angleterre. It doesn’t really matter but I would have liked to have been able to post a response. I did think that they were mixed up as some are narrow and others wide. Thanks for your comments.
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