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Derek R.

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Everything posted by Derek R.

  1. Excellent! Cheers. No stopping you now . . .
  2. I wonder if the name listed as Hull-Smith, is in fact Hall-Smith, and maybe Elspeth - all the same Emma Smith?
  3. Ah! No - haven't got Stella. And one of the un-named rapid departures may be a Vivienne. I didn't have Margery McPhee either, though I found a Margaret. From Kits Amateur Boatwomen, I also read that early on after Kit had got some experience with buttying with the Sibleys, the decision was made between the two trainers; Molly and Kit, to go it alone by splitting the trainees they had between two boats, which meant a pair crewed by just two. This seemed possible as both the trainees they had with them; Rosheen and Bridget, had picked it up well, and were all for it. Bridget stayed with Molly on Bainton & Saltly, Rosheen with Kit on Battersea and Uttoxeter - at least for a while. Edit: Reading on, this was short lived as they took on two new trainees each, making eight on two pairs, and a bit chaotic. Two others at the reunion I see were Virginia Strauss and Avril Scott-Moncrieff - that makes the six. More: Jean, Kay and Miranda worked Astrea & Corolla, and another name or nick-name Jean speaks of is 'Slatty'.
  4. They are here Which one is Emma? Ah-ha Touché! I'll guess third from right.
  5. In September 1944, a "Grand Union Manning List" gives the following boats manned by trainees: Antony & Alphons (Miss McPhee) Atlas & Capella (Miss Martin) Capricorn & Cleopatra (Miss French) Ceres & Cetus (Miss Boughton-Leigh) Deimos & Vela (Miss Strachan) Phobus & Moon (Miss Trevor) Sun & Dipper (Miss Harper) Ascot & Crater (Miss Hull-Smith) Battersea & Uttoxeter (Miss Gayford) Bognor & Dodona (Miss Ramsey) So 10 pairs out of a total of 98 pairs in commission at the time. . In addition Hydra & Crux were operated by a Mrs Cox who although undoubtedly a woman does not have the indicative letter W after her name as the others do. She could have been a trainee and the W is missed off the list but could equally be a widow from boating stock. Paul H. That's interesting, to link in with that I have - Daphne French, trainer using Capricorn and Cleopatra Miss Martin - Frankie Campbell-Martin Cicely, a NZ girl I have on Hercules & Cetus Sonia South (later Smith/Rolt) and her two friends Chattie Salaman, and Meriol Trevor, all three connected with the theatre - Phobos & Moon Audrey; Evelyn Hunt & Anne (well respected) may well have crewed Sun & Dipper Kit Gayford (trainer) used Battersea & Uttoxeter, but Pavo for a while too Molly Traill was the second original trainer with Kit, and left to train girls on the FMC fleet in Birmingham, being replaced at Hayes by Daphne French. Of the other names I have; Wendy 'The Basher' - both left after first trip The 'Dresden Chinas' - two girls who Sunbathed a lot, didn't last Rosalie & Josephine - left part way through first trip having been iced up somewhere One, who waited in the back cabin waiting to be shown the 'accommodation' and who I suspect left that night (or early next a.m.) Margaret Ridout (Cornish) Emma Smith (Miss Hull-Smith?) Susan Woolfitt Susan Blood Virginia Strauss Billie Olga Kevelos - who in 1948 went motorcycle racing and became works rider for several British and foreign factories, winning two International Six Day Gold medals Helen Skyrme (There was a Helen who insisted on wearing gloves - perhaps?) Eileen - a former hairdresser, tough little boater Avril Scott-Moncrieff - crewed on Alphons Jean Peters Kay Miranda Pemberton-Pigott Daphne March of Worcester, steerer of Heather Bell and who introduce Kit to canal boats Bridget Rosheen Jill Mary A pipe smoking trainee in photo but un-named (Amateur Boatwomen) Nancy Smith (Miss Hull Smith?) and her mate - Margaret on the Leeds & Liverpool - And others! Those names in Blue attended a reunion at Rickmansworth in 1992. There may have been others, but their names are not mentioned. Alan asks about a crew of two - it may have happened, and certainly did when one of the three took ill, but planned that way - unlikely I think.
  6. I'd mentioned on the other thread - on 'GU tying up places', that it was written - 30 pairs had been worked by women trainees during WWII. This seems a lot, Anthony Burton states: "There were, after all, never very many of them and at the best they represented only a tiny fraction of the boating population - no more than fifteen pairs were worked by women on the cut at any one time." That still sounds generous, as it would need 45 women as crew. However, so far I have names for 37, + 1 un-named = 38 and that includes three trainers; Eily (Kit) Gayford; Daphne French; and Molly Traill. Kit Gayford states in Amateur Boatwomen:- "At one time we had eleven pairs all worked by girls". 38 would cover that, though some girls de-bunked on the first trip (one on the first night). On the Leeds and Liverpool, Nancy Smith and her mate Margaret worked the short boat 'Mu' until '45, but make mention of a boat 'Venus', and a Widdop 24hp engine, being fitted out in the hold with ten bunks for trainees. No more is known in that direction - could have been a short boat - so not far off of fifteen pairs.
  7. Here's another - Below Coppermill Lock No. 84: from Margaret Cornish (Ridout) http://tinyurl.com/59rm7o Could have been just the trainees, though I suspect they followed regular crews places. Interesting/boring statistic for you - at their height, 30 pairs of boats were run by Wartime trainees (sounds too many, wonder if that's right), but only six trainees lasted the full three years to '45, and only one went on and stayed - Sonia, who became Smith, later Rolt.
  8. Yes, she kept a log book. Buzz bombs - V1's, pulse engine cuts out - tens seconds of silence before impact. There's masses of similar recollections at The Peoples War.
  9. Welcome to the banter box Blossom. I'd forgotten about the pads on the balance beams (don't get out much). Reminds me of the first time we went down the 21, got a reprimand from locky (Skinny Ol'boy in a flat 'at and bike clips) for not lifting a bottom paddle while strapping the top gate shut. He was a diamond after that - went ahead and set 'em up - lickety split to the bottom, that was before they put new gear in. Handy piece of kit a shunters pole, mine took a walk after I'd tidied it up. Never did find it.
  10. That's more like it, something like the length of a scaffold pole, around 21' mark.
  11. Ah - yes! That was something I was going to canvas you all for. Just how long was a long shaft? I have a 12'6" and a couple more feet would be better, but better still would be an 18'. What is the norm for a decent shaft nowadays, come to that - what was back then? Forty foot (if you could manage one) would probably shaft off the bottom in RCD! You'd be poking factory windows out with one of them . . . Another example of 'fourteen' being heard as 'forty'?
  12. It's a collection of articles available from the BBC WW2 Peoples War. They are most easily accessed through the website of the Narrow Boat Magazine Scroll down to 'Idle Women' (Wartime trainees by Jean Peters) in eight parts. It is a personal account, and at times there are clashes, but has a varied mixture of elation on a fine day and of future hope, and abject misery - both physical along the 'Bottom road' in filthy weather, and emotionally. To be frank, it's not an easy read, and I fancy this is less a reflection on Mrs Peters, but more likely by the manner in which her memories have been transcribed. If a person not familiar with canal terminology, or local place names, not to mention the vernacular, and who may either have set down from a hand written set of pages, or tape recording her account - the chances of getting things quite wrong are rife. Reading through the BBC series of eight articles I was struck with a succession of anomalies that simply cried out to be corrected - and that is what I have done. Through the offices of the Bournemouth Libraries who provided the link between Mrs Peters and the BBC, I have managed to contact Mrs Peters direct. I have sent her today a full manuscript of her BBC displayed record of her trips, fully edited to the best of my knowledge with regard to the cut, correcting place names and such data that would to us seem ridiculous, such as empty boats drawing 4' 9", place names such as Curditch for Curdworth, and Appleton for Alperton (though the vernacular may not be far off) - and even possibly the gates linked by wires. Other similar oddities occur, such as: "to put a pie the star in cupboard". This simple nonsense line can be explained if read - 'to put a pie in the stern'end cupboard' - especially if it's pronounced 'starn'. If you had heard an elderly lady speaking such a line, and have no knowledge of boats - it might just sound like nonsense, and with no knowledge of any different - nonsense may get written down. So, a large sheaf of documents are now winging their way to Bournemouth with the hope that Mrs Peters will read, or have read to her, and approve for possible inclusion in some place or another connected with canal history, an edited manuscript. Not all of what is written is peculiar - some of the descriptions of lock working a pair are spot on. And her descriptions of Regents Canal Dock, and Bulls Bridge yard are pure paintings with words. The trainees experiences were but short lived in comparison to the life long boaters, but valuable nonetheless for their view of a world very far from that which was their norm.
  13. Yes, some of that is true. I think Eily Gayford's book title might give some strength to the recollections of a few - 'Amateur Boatwoman'. This is not to deride their often valuable records, but fifty years can have effects on memory - and if someone had kidded them on at the time . . . I've mailed the 'Gods' at BW seeking guidance Bet that'll send them into a state of and
  14. Having read through the memoirs of a Wartime trainee, mention has been made of the gates on the Northern G.U. being connected by wires, so that pushing one opened both. I've not heard of this before. I wonder if such was installed originally, and was abandoned as problems with maintenance began to show. I've Googled for information but found nothing. It sounds like an idea that in practise would have suffered problems of maintenance due to complexities of underwater or conduit connections.
  15. These aren't teasers for the testing, as I genuinely don't know, or have forgotten the names. The following were taken in the late eighties during some distance cruising and they may well have changed since then. No1. Somewhere on the Shroppie IIRC No2. I'm sure this was tied at Middlewich. Very straight, makers nameplate on the engine room bulkhead, and recall the name 'Vesta', 'Vectis' or 'Venus', but can't remember. Distinctive rib over the cabin. No3. Another Josher, this time somewhere on the Leeds and Liverpool.
  16. Nice pics in the album. No expert, but the can has a Tooley style about it, but there's a simplicity that suggests owner boater rather than a regular painter. Could be totally wrong though.
  17. What a wonderful picture! We took Yarmouth over the Pennines in '83, and had the pleasure of meeting Joe Bridges at Skipton. He took quite a shine to us for some reason, and invited us back to his place for tea. Met his wife, and heard a whole list of tales, always coming back to his 52 hour run from Liverpool to Leeds - horse drawn. Smashing bloke. As we stayed in Skipton a couple of weeks, my nursing trained/Home Help wife was able to help his wife out in small ways. Made us a pocket sized Monkey's Fist, and a Turks Head fender for the stem post. and told us to paint the fenders with white paint - "always looked dapper, and made 'em last." Derek
  18. That seems the most logical way of using the locks, using the 'gap' that leads to a side pond as if it were a pound - no different from 'normal' lock working. No side paddles to operate as per S. GU. (do any still work?). Last time I was able to use Maffers was in the early eighties.
  19. I'm not sure I would put too much emphasis on any notches. I've one on the boat that I've notched in much the same way - and put the boat name on it. The little six inch I have has a series of punch marks on the shank; five on the web; and one either side of a similar notch on each square edge: (Must have been a domino player?) The one I have that is most like Dave's also has notches - easy to do with a rat tailed file though I haven't, and wouldn't touch these: Possibly a copy of a respected maker, I don't know, and both have flared handle tips too - as have the galvy and the bronze. Whilst not wishing to deface or personalise them further, I don't think I would be past sleeving them discreetly and carefully so that a favoured one could be used. What better pleasure to be had than use them for their proper purpose. Edit: Last one worth a look - Nothing special, save it's the one we had and used a lot with Yarmouth. Smooth handle with no flare to the end, 8 inch shank, 1.1/4" x 1.3/16" taper. Small enough to still use as is, at least on the S. GU.
  20. Er . . Ahem . . ahem - unless you discount the public toilet in the town car park, there's no 'p' in Berkhamsted! (Though historically it has been spelt that way on occasion). Edit: I see that may have been from Master Parrott's post - tch! Talking of Berko, and limits of wide boats - I know we aren't, but Alan mentioned it - Alan Faulkner's 'Grand Junction Canal' book states that the improvement program instigated by the GJCC in 1929, Act obtained in 1931, and work commenced in 1932, involved widening of the Northern GU to take 100 ton barges to Brum. However, finances were withheld for the completion of adequate dredging and widening throughout - Gov. wouldn't pay - so wide boats could not pass in many places. The Grand Junction section had cills lowered to a depth of five foot six to allow 14' beam boats to Berkhamsted, and 12'6" beam to Brum. Hence the belief of Berkhamsted being the Northern limit for wide beam.
  21. I think that's correct, it may simply be that the engineers had not thought of a better way, and installed a comparatively more complicated solution to water economy than that later developed at Foxton. A solution made in haste perhaps, and now a long time curio.
  22. There's a little picture of George towing on Roger Fuller's web site: http://www.spurstow.com/rogerfuller/historic/gucc.htm When we came back from Braunston, Mary was tied as shown in Alan's shot, with George a little way further on. Here's a collection of noses, Mary's included: In the basin at Leigh, 1988. (And in good company).
  23. To Martin and Dave, and anyone else come to that, there is a link to 'How to' within the forum: http://www.angelfire.com/rnb/malcsworld/ph...stpictures.html However, it's a few years old and some things change - page appearance mostly. I wrote to Dave in a PM but it seems to have evaporated, so I'll try again here. First 'Google' for 'photo hosts', you'll get a fistful. I use photobucket - registration and usage is free, just put up with a few adverts scattered around. Once an account is opened, click on 'my album', you can 'upload' pictures and videos into it by selecting one of four places to load from (default is 'my computer'), and clicking 'choose files'. This will open up a window from which you can browse for your desired picture file. Clicking on 'open' within that window will start the upload, this will take half a minute or more dependent on size and number of files uploaded. Once uploaded, click on 'save and continue'. The pictures will now appear in your photobucket 'album', each with an array of codes beneath to choose from. For including a picture in a post, left click on the IMG code. This will automatically copy the complete code to your clipboard. Now go to the point in the message reply window where you want your picture to be displayed and right click for the drop down menu - then left click - 'paste'. The line of code will appear complete - no picture - but if you 'preview' your post, you will see it. That's it - job done. Lets see some windlasses!
  24. Yes, the arrow seems cast in, a smaller version of yours, and probably contemporary. Bent too. Not a fan of non-ferrous winders.
  25. And if we're being correct, we ought to be pronouncing it as the indigenous locals did - "Starrupsend". (stretching' the topic a bit )
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