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Sara Strawson

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    Retired Teacher
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    Kennet and Avon

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  1. Thanks Dan I will look out for those. Sorry - very late reply but I lost this thread. Thank you for that information. I have made a note and will definitely look this up! Looks like a cruise up that way is in order when we are closer to having a habitable boat. ?
  2. Amazing. She has changed! Very smart. It is also interesting to see the layout of the cabin. We know there were probably swan doors but they have been removed and covered up. Hopefully our half will look as good in the nearish future. Might take a wee while though. Thank you for the photos!
  3. Yes some dreadful things have been done to some boats. I am not totally sure of the reasoning behind cutting them in half and making two boats but since it was done in the late 60's and seemed a popular way to go then, not much we can do about it now. She is still a great boat though, or hopefully will be!
  4. Agreed. I am glad they are not just a pastiche of the past. We would never consider going down the full castles and roses route. I think we are just considering colour and how to go about painting the outside. As said - very long way to go yet as she has to be completely stripped out front to rear and with exterior and interior refitted. There really was nothing left inside and the outside has just been waterproofed (sort of) and painted matt black. Not terribly attractive. Vela will never be 'as was' as she was a butty and has gone through many variations since then. Converted to a leisure boat in the late 60's (would love to know what she looked like!) and now we will be fitting her out to suit us pretty much. Although I am. not sure we will be going down the completely modernised look. Not sure yet. It is great looking at all the boats for sale and getting ideas though.
  5. Thank you everyone for the information and the pointer to my original posts and responses. Now the weather is back we are going to continue with trying to get Vela back to some sort of order. The cabin will be replaced, wood for now as we have to spend money elsewhere and maybe save up for a steel one later. So much needs doing in the meantime to enable us to move aboard. We are also learning about the correct terms for parts of the boat (should be more aware of these with seafaring ancestors!) and looking forward to cruising and meeting new friends! ?
  6. That would be good! Love to throw the odd spanner in a wheel!
  7. A late response as completely lost this thread. We have been working and trying to refit the boat at the same time - weather permitting! I am sure you are quite correct about the stern. My knowledge is growing and we are trying to make sure we use the correct terms. It has been really interesting learning about Vela and am gradually saving the information separately. Love having a boat with history! Thank you!
  8. Amazing. We did wonder what had happened to the other half. Poured over the photos last night trying to see if it was ours but decided it wasn't. Too many differences. We are planning to live aboard so maybe one day the two halves can meet up! As we are new to this and haven't travelled far yet that might be a little while away. Down on the K&A near Bathampton currently. Thank you so much for your help!
  9. That is amazing! Yes, I think it would be too hard to get an exact replication. At the moment she is black - not my favourite narrowboat colour - and we are just starting to look at where to go with paintwork. Not the most urgent problem as the cabin has to be replaced. The next tough job! I don't think we will ever be totally 'correct' and maybe not go down that route at all but it is one of the options at the moment. Thanks for your help!
  10. This is Vela as she was before we bought her. Nothing much has changed on the outside yet as we are working on the bilge and cabin. The cabin itself has to be replaced as soon as we have a longer spell of dry weather. We are not sure if it is the same boat though unless she has had alterations done. Could this be the other half but also called Vela? I can't find any evidence of another boat of the same name but that doesn't mean there isn't one. The Registration numbers are the same but the BW number is different. Also she looks in pretty good condition - such a shame she wasn't kept like that!
  11. Looking at the photo we are pretty sure that stern is the bow of our Vela. We will have to subscribe to the magazine and see if we can get hold of the whole article.
  12. Hi, Thank you. I have done a google search but nothing much came up. Certainly this hadn't. It may very well be her. I think she has gone through several transformations in her time and she wasn't 'cut and shut' until the end of the 1960's. Thanks Dan. Will do. I found a site not long after we bought her which illustrated liveries - can't find it again! Also did see the thread you mention and didn't save that either. It doesn't seem to come up in the search above.
  13. Hello, Last year we became the owners of 'Vela', described in the Historic Narrowboat Club as a butty Star class built by Harland and Wolff in 1935. She was cut in two in the '60's, we now have the then stern as our bow, and made into a 62' motor. I have found the Bfi film of workers not the canal in 1945 showing her with the motor 'Deimos' although I gather her original partner was due to be 'Virgo'. I was wondering if anyone had any further information/photos of her and if her other half is still around. She is currently pretty much stripped out and undergoing a refit having been quite neglected for some time. I am interested in knowing what her livery would have been like as well - currently all black! Thank you
  14. That is amazing, thank you. Although there is a huge amount of work to do, we are really excited to find so much information about her on this site. Photos and film, as well as information about the Idle Women. I will thoroughly enjoy researching and finding out more about her. I don\t, know a huge amount about the working boats but have been fascinated by them since a boating holiday in the 70's. I have been watching some of the videos on here and know she was a butty. Not sure, as yet, what a Woolwich butty is but would be interested to know more. I am an avid history fan so finding Vela has a past I can look into is fantastic. It will make the hard work making her good so much more worthwhile. At the moment she has a wooden cabin and we want to keep that, at least repair it, trying to keep her as 'original' as possible at least on the outside but also aware she has gone through more than one transformation. I look forward to learning more and thank you for your help so far. Hi Dan, Thanks for that. I will probably spend more time than I should do looking these up. Best wishes, Sara
  15. Hi, We have recently bought Vela, last week in fact, and I have found some of the posts on this forum fascinating. You say that Vela was the stern end, does that mean the stern we have was the original? Having looked at several of the photos here she looks quite different. We now seem to have a flat traditional stern rather than the one in some of the photos. Do you know what happened to the other half? She is in a bit of a state, needing a lot of work before we can live aboard with comfort. In the meantime I will enjoy seeing the film and photos as we have yet to decide on livery. Thank you
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