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    Wigrams Turn - GU/Oxford Canal

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  1. 1990 is a while ago in the realm of steel hulls immersed long-term in water, especially in marinas with lots of other boats plugged into the mains. Even well-built hulls made from quality steel can be pretty rusty after 30 years. Brummagem used hulls/shells built by Colecraft (usually good quality steel), Malcolm Pearson (again good quality), and other builders. They also fabricated some hulls and shells themselves. Brummagem employed a substantial team of engineers, fitters, carpenters, painters, etc., for boat fitting out. Many were excellent. Many of their boats served in the Brummagem and Alvechurch hire fleets, marketed through Hoseasons through the 1980's and early 1990's. Hire boats are usually solid but relatively simple builds, lacking in luxury and refinement. In the early 1990's Brummagem were bought out by Alvechurch Boat Centre and all Brummagem activities ceased. I would suggest that the original build quality of a 1990's boat is less relevant 30 years on. It's now all about how the boat has been maintained and modified in those 30 years. Just get a full professional survey (not just hull) and make an offer accordingly.
  2. Thanks to you both for posting. It looks however like Pat Barton's boat was not a BrumTug. It's missing the distinctive bow/prow "snout" that most (but not all) BrumTugs had (see my photo of Brumtug CITY OF BIRMINGHAM below). However also the curvy cut-out sides to the cabin front end are unlike any of the other BrumTugs and totally different to the design visible in the photo posted by RS2012 taken from the 1988 Hoseason's brochure of BrumTug QUERCUS / QUERQUS (name changed over the years!).
  3. I know it's not a BrumTug post but as this is the most current Brummagem thread here, I'll post my full stock of 1976 Brummagem trip boat pics (4). The EUPHRATES PACKET is the one with the angled roof and skylights - steerer is Malcolm Wigley, now (I believe) living in New Zealand. BRUMMAGEM FLY is ex GUCCC COROLLA. Apols for the poor quality - they are scanned from slides that are becoming very pink with age!
  4. Thanks John - I stand corrected! Feels like I'm going round in circles - a bit like going round and round the Oozell's Street Loop to catch as many glimpses of Sherborne Street Wharf as possible....
  5. Quite possibly the same mould? All I know about the 3 boats in my Brummagem photos is that the hulls were Rugby Boatbuilders - quite distinctive at both bow and stern. Did you see my photo of LORNA II, a sponsored boat in the mid-1970's Brummagem fleet, and most definitely a Teddesley build:
  6. Actually these personal memories are really helpful, and thank you for backing up Dave Moore's recollection. I think it all makes a great story - I can imagine it working out something like this: In-house boat decorator Dave Moore is about to do the signwriting on yet another recently painted BrumTug for the hire fleet. He's seen the documents around the Wharf referring to BrumTug QUERQUS (with 2 Q's). Along comes Alan Green, designer and academic (I knew Alan) and says: "Ooo no, this is the Latin name for oak trees and it's spelt with a "C"!". Our Dave is a good lad and just does what he's told, so he changes the second "Q" to a "C". The boat's in the water, the happy hirers are rolling in thick and fast, and then one of them says: "Hang on, in our Hoseason's brochure it says "QUERQUS" with 2 Q's but this boat's got one Q and a C. The company directors all rush off to check their brochures and lo and behold the hirer is right - Hoseason's reckon it's QUERQUS but the boat is QUERCUS. So next time the boat comes up for a re-paint, QUERQUS it is! I agree, the photo of No.1 son with his sausage sandwich might not help us a lot with documenting the changes in QUERCUS's name. But if I ever get round to writing a BrumTug book I might ask if I can use the photo anyway. Was it a QUERCUS Sandwich or a QUERCUS Sandwich then?? :)
  7. April Fool's Day.....?? Maybe that's the explanation for the mis-spelling of QUERCUS?? Joking aside though, the "C" spelling is grammatically correct but I assume you saw the 2 images posted earlier by RS2021 of the boat in an Alvechurch hire brochure and the 1992 Hoseason's, clearly with the "Q" spelling? I think that "drop down bunk" may just be a Hoseason's euphemism for a traditional fold out "bed 'ole" - they wouldn't have been too familiar with them at Hoseason's I imagine! Realistically the sleeping arrangements can only have been the cross-bed double (there would not have been a bunk above that), the side bed in the back cabin which would only really suit a child if the cross-bed was also in use, and the double / 2 singles in the front cabin. The layout plans in Hoseason's brochures were notoriously incorrect!
  8. Yes, by all means. However it's an MS Excel spreadsheet and fairly extensive(!!), and also being updated every couple of days as new info comes in. Sadly I can't post Excel files to this Forum but can e-mail it to you if you give me your address?
  9. This, of course, is the boat we are referring to as BEAVER (2), first licensed in 1989 (47299). She was part of the Alvechurch hire fleet when you hired her, and was then sold to R. Lawley in 1996. In 1999 she was lengthened by 9ft to 41ft and repainted red and blue. In 2003 she was renamed NUTHATCH and received a new licence number (45879). The re-naming came about after an embarrassing moment when bystanders watching a Rugby match shouted numerous comments about 'good Beaver', and similar!! Alan Waters bought the boat in 2010 and sold her a while later. She is thought now to be on the River Wey, still carrying the name NUTHATCH and now painted turquoise blue (photo). This boat is NOT to be confused with BEAVER (1) which was first licensed in 1984 (71376) and the name "BRUM TUG BEAVER". This is the boat seen in photos of the Brummagem Boats hire fleet in the mid-1980's and the Hoseasons brochures posted here by RS2021 last week. In 1989(??) BEAVER (1) was sold to the Saisons hire fleet based at Whilton Locks and was renamed ASTI. In 2012 she was sold again, renamed TROS YR AFON, and is understood now also to be on the River Wey somewhere not too far from BEAVER (2) / NUTHATCH. My feeling is (corroboration needed!) that the Brummagem Boats team liked the name BEAVER for a BrumTug, so that when BEAVER (1) was sold to Saisons in 1989 and renamed ASTI, they decided to re-allocate the name "BEAVER" to one of the last of the BrumTugs to be built - namely BEAVER (2) licensed in 1989. It is rather confusing though.......
  10. Have just finished scanning some slides from my brief time working at Sherborne Street Wharf in the summer of 1976, for both the small hire fleet and the trip boats. These photos show that at that time there was no footbridge across to the far side of the Oozell's Street Loop and (as far as I recall) no canal access at all on that side. The hire fleet at that time consisted of 5 boats: BRUMMAGEM LASS, BRUMMAGEM LAD, and BRUMMAGEM LADY were (I think) 42ft long on Rugby Boatbuilders hulls with GRP tops and roofs, louvred windows and Lister SR2's or SR3's. They were more or less identical with just detail differences as can be seen. They were hired as 4-berth (or 4/5?) and were the mainstay of the fleet at that time. KALLIOPE was, I believe, slightly longer at 45ft and hired as a 5 or 6 berth IIRC. Again she had a Rugby Boatbuilders hull with a timber cabin and bus-type windows. I think she was privately owned by Julian (and/or Barrie) Stanton, the BB directors, and as such was hired out only for the larger groups or when LAD, LASS and LADY were already booked out. LORNA II was another privately boat, owned by a friend of the Stanton brothers and leased to the fleet. She had a GRP top on a Teddesley hull, with a square stern, extremely short rear deck and Lister SR2. She was hired out as a 2 or 2/3 berth. The occasion of the photos must have been right at the start of the hire season in early 1976 as the 4 longer boats were being craned back into the water after winter maintenance. I seem to recall being invited down to the wharf to watch the proceedings, and then being shouted at repeatedly to keep out of the way!! In a couple of the photos the 70ft trip boat EUPHRATES PACKET, with its angled cabin top and skylight windows, can be seen moored in the arm at back, left. This was a purpose-built trip boat on which I was the occasional barman during the summer season of 1976, and even more occasional steerer. The name came from the original EUPHRATES PACKET which was a fly boat operated by Thomas Monk in the 1820's that operated a passenger and mail service between Tipton and Central Birmingham (see: http://blackcountryhistory.org/collections/getrecord/GB145_p_2211). The boat visible in my photos is not the same as the present EUPHRATES PACKET trip boat, which has a cabin somewhat resembling the 1970's boat but a totally different hull. The other trip boat in the Brummagem fleet was the BRUMMAGEM FLY, ex-GUCCC COROLLA. Both were moored during the winter at Sherborne Street Wharf, but operated out of Gas Street Basin. Not at all Sir, your contribution of the old brochures has been immensely helpful!! I hope you don't mind but I will be sharing them on the Facebook BrumTug group that I set up recently, and which is the repository for the research I am undertaking into the BrumTug fleet?
  11. Had to read that twice Dave, as I thought initially it was your body wrapped around the blades. Fortunately not, but not fortunate for the unfortunate soul whose body it was, and mightily unpleasant for you as well I'm sure. Believe me, I'm not trying to contradict you with the Querq/cus issue, just trying to get my head round it for the historical record! Thanks for all your info on this.
  12. I love the layout plan for QUERQUS in both the 1992 brochure and the 1988 one you posted previously - the "cocks" must have been very small to fit in the front "cockpit"!! Was this the only BrumTug to have no front well deck at all??
  13. These are brilliant RS2021 - thanks so much!! Abundantly clear that the spelling was with a "Q". I think though the "problem" is what happened BEFORE that and not after! Was the boat written with a "C" as I understood Dave Moore to say in a previous post, and then re-painted to QUERQUS with a "Q" to match the text that had already gone to print for the 1987 or '88 Hoseason's brochure?? The mystery deepens - if anyone has more information I'd love to hear from you. As they say - please form a Q !! Now where did I leave my coat............ ;)
  14. Quercus with a "C" does seem to be the correct spelling, but even the University of Leicester seems unsure (see screenshot of tree)!! I assume Dave you saw the post by RS2021 the other day showing the 1988 Hoseason's Brum Boats hire fleet listing with Querqus spelt with a "Q"?? I'm just wondering how that fits with your great story of when you were writing this boat - you said that Alan Green had corrected the spelling from "Q" to "C" thus saving you from the embarrassment of a mis-spelling. I'm assuming that the details had gone to print before you did the painting? So then I wonder how exactly the name is painted on the boat in the photo..... Perhaps fortunately for all concerned the photo resolution is too low to be seen here! EDIT: The above I wrote before RS2021 found his later photos showing QUERQUS spelt with a "Q", so now I'm really confused!! However the boat appears in both the "original" Brum Boats red livery, then (perhaps later?) with the main colour as green. Perhaps Dave, after your excellent initial work, the boat was re-painted for the name to match the Hoseason's brochure spelling?? 🙄
  15. After 2 days of solid work I have succeeded in producing Version 1 of my BrumTug Register and Fleet List. It is available for consultation in the Files Section of our Facebook "BrumTug" Group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2333300103642367 You do have to join the group to access the file. I work in Open Office but have also saved the file in MS Excel. I don't see a way to attach it in this Forum, but would be happy to e-mail it to anyone who is interested and who cannot (or does not wish to) access our Facebook page! I would like to thank everyone who has posted information and commented on this subject over the last few days. The list I have produced is for discussion and correction, for the benefit of BrumTug owners and anyone interested in them. Please get in touch here or on the FB group. [Photo of ESOX in case anyone has forgotten what a BrumTug looks like!]
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