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Derek R.

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Everything posted by Derek R.

  1. Well, you can't catch them all, but here's one you missed :- http://s80.photobucket.com/albums/j161/Deg...MayPICT0118.flv
  2. I think the cork in the water outlet in frosty weather has more credibility. I always do that with my PD.
  3. Condolences to the family if any happen this way. Never believe the press. To be first off the blocks with breaking news any picture/caption/line as long as it is vaguely relevant - will do. The BBC's track record is reliably poor in this respect. There's a picture of a Tower crane (Mail online), which it was not at Willowbridge, and later the accident described as being on a building site (BBC). We came past the week after Braunston, and were told one of the two cranes was to be dismantled for removal due to track failure amongst possibly other things. Willowbridge I'm sure will continue to lift out boats reliably in due course, and there are other yards that will provide a similar service. Winkwell and Cassio are two, though Winkwell's slipped into the cut a while back. No-one hurt, and there's a huge reinforced pad for craneage now, so unlikely to happen there again.
  4. I would suggest the 'marinised equipment' is flywheel weight. In 1987 I bought a PD2M that had allegedly been fitted in a ships lifeboat and had few running hours. This we fitted into Yarmouth to replace a BMC London Taxi engine (which is still doing sterling service in Kalamaki), the Braithwaite boat with an 18' swim (re-built second time round in '86) would go well. But it spat oil all over the roof from the exhaust, and taking the heads and barrels off found stuck rings, so endorsing a long layover or little use. After that, it stonked us all over the system and with a straight through pipe made some lovely noise. Going through tunnels was particularly entertaining, as the beats used to create an almost syncopated rhythm at a certain throttle setting as sound ricocheted of the walls. It took us through the Midlands to Burscough, over the Pennines, from Keadby to Lincoln, through Nottingham, the Soar and back on the Southern GU. A year later another trip to Chester and back. It never missed a beat, and started first time every time. Most of the oil feed pipes are external to the block - along with an oil cooler behind the fan in an attempt to use the cooled oil as an aid to the cooling air. Any crack in a pipe, or leak in the cooler will reduce pressure to critical and seizures will occur. One good reason for a roof mounted gauge. One of their biggest pains is all that cowling. Any serious maintenance will require a lot of patience as half a day can be spent getting tinware off and turning air blue. I had heard that BW took advantage of a surplus order from some Ministry of PD2M's destined for Landing craft which were never built, and so began replacing RN's and the like. They got the nick name 'Chip-Fryers' for their curved air ducting. Some boatmen detested them for the noise - the injector pump drive has a flexible (in theory) drive whose plates can chatter quite loudly - and there was a rumour of crankshaft breakages, though I never did meet anyone who could determine why that was. Then again, we met a few ex-boatmen who said they were good engines, and liked them. One mechanically adept fellow put forth a theory that they broke on start up, but no evidence. With no more room under Yarmouth's counter for anything bigger than 24" diameter, and with 3:1 reduction at the box, we swung a 24" x 27" equipoise blade, and wound up she would shift! On the Trent 40hp four-pot Bolinder 1053's couldn't catch us! Here we are on the New Junction, pushing on. After we sold her in '92, the new owner had her little more than six months, when we heard through the grapevine the crank had broke! And now we have Three! Fitted to Tycho in '58 by BW at Saltley. Just like the twin, there's no way you'd start it on the handle, but decompress, hit the button, drop the lever and she'll fire straight up on all cylinders - direct injection. Had a Gardiner 6LW that did that - six months idle, hit the button and running - sweet. Must get a vid with sound on a start up. The major problem with big diesels on the cut is getting them work to do. Glazed bores will be a result of pottering around at little more than tickover, they need to work. This ones a lot quieter than the twin, but mainly because that silencer has been de-baffled, and with glass fibre as an absorption material, is straight through - purrs more than barks. One problem - I've no oil pump for changing oil. Any ideas as to where one would best be fitted? Or - with the partial vacuum created in the crankcase by the drilling from the inlet manifold to combat oil leaks (negative pressure being the idea), might such a drain pump counter the negative pressure. A ball valve in the bottom should stop that though. Just looking for ideas.
  5. LOL! We had Yarmouth re-bottomed in '86 - 10mm plate, (though my verniers read 9!) anodes fitted and unpainted bottom - "It'll get rubbed off anyway" said Zebedee. One theory, seemingly supported by practical evidence of different treated steel in water, showed deep pitting through electrolysis where painted steel had been scratched off, and an all over even rusting on another piece left unpainted. So we left the plate unpainted. Six years later there's several pits rather like the 'orange' rust in the photo. Dug out they were around 3mm deep. Three from nine in six years, that leaves us . . . At the very least - paint the cleaned out pits. Ideally one would want anodes every seven feet or so. If you want to see polished steel - go ice breaking. Unless you are constantly dragging over gravel, the bottom will not be cleaned of rust. Army motto: If it moves - grease it! If it don't - paint it!
  6. An example of using a REVERSE pitch prop can be viewed here: http://tinyurl.com/3cflqa Harbour manoeuvring with a Norwqegian ex-fishing boat powered by a Wichman, 40hp semi-diesel single. Skipper uses the railway styled handbrake to vary the prop pitch, a small lever for throttle, a third lever for clutch (not used until under way at the end). The helm (a wheel) is hardly touched. There's another vid of him priming and starting the Wichman if you hunt around for vids by the same author.
  7. Thanks for the list Steve. It will be difficult to say exactly that the various blues are after Matty, or before. Whilst I got down to metal in a few places, the presence of Matty yellow was there in places but not all over. It's possible if it was applied quickly, it may also have been removed easily! Most pictures I've seen of Matty's boats, an absence of large areas of paint seems to have been a main feature. Only contact with the various individuals who owned her over the years will reveal all. I do have some painting to do on the roof, so an investigative scrape will be in order.
  8. Steve's words of caution should be heeded. Sorry to disappoint Phil, but the lettering previously shown 'could' be largely later than 1980, and shows 'Britain's instead of British. Thanks for reminding me of Mr Qureshi Steve, I have a copy of a marine survey done on his behalf dated 1989, though no comment is made on the style or colour of paintwork other than in 'good condition'. There is also an insurance form carrying the name of Nicholls C. J. transferring policy to M. Cottis dated May '88. But I digress - Here is a shot of Tycho during ownership by the Parrotts (Dave's photo). Note the rather fat style of lettering and deep shading. Note also the difference in curve of one side to the other in the next shot - one with an apostrophe, and one without. Different signwriter? Different time? - Calling Mr Parrott! Here is the lettering as uncovered in 1999 shortly after I purchased her. The other side of course, but surely a different hand. The curve is more consistent, though rather long and perhaps the letters are still a little on the fat side. (Or is it me?) Where did that pigeon box go?? The black and white of an 'Ice breaker at Hawkesbury 1947' copyright to the Coventry Evening Telegraph (which is reliably thought to be 1961/2), shows 'British Waterways', and space for the lifebelt roundel between the 's' and the engine'ole port. I have neither uncovered what I believe may be the original transfers (still several coats of paint on there, which I'm loathe to disturb - let history sleep!), nor the black background to the white registration script in Dave's shot. But as can be clearly seen in the close up shot, 'Regd. Birmingham 1601' along with the BW No. was painted in block, black onto blue cabin side - perfectly in order for a maintenance boat methinks. Kept simple and economic. The curiosity is the yellow secondary lettering behind the 'A' in the close up. Earlier 'A', or Matty's yellow? I think it's a letter. It could be as Paul suggests, a little of the original. Interesting notion that the red showing through could be GU 'Coronation' colours. Paul Money's dark green paintwork was bordered in black, and lined in cream. An L.N.E.R. man perhaps. One side came off in sheets, the other side wouldn't budge! Another layer of 'history' remains! Like Vintage wine - best left in the bottle.
  9. Needless to say these have little to do with Coronation colours, but I'll throw them in. Couple of pics when cutting through Tycho's paint. All manner of colours, but an interesting selection of Blues.
  10. Speaking of shades of blue, and I know Paul H. was musing on the possibilities of there once being a darker blue than Azure in use, might there be some mileage in the thought that the wartime utility colours of G.U.C.C.C. being maroon and dark blue could have been utilised by BW, by simply using stocks of the dark blue and covering the maroon? A recent B & W of Sculptor: And just added after Paul's following post - same film, same camera, same weekend. Compare the blue border of Sculptor to Azure panels:
  11. Absolutely Neil, a very brave and worthwhile effort by Dave, Matt and all. Much preferable to the plant pot, and a good reason why I'm glad not too many think like me! Delirium - you're in the right direction with the IMG bit, but to make it work you need to open an account (easy and free) with one of the photo hosting websites. I use photobucket (only because it was the first one I tried and it works for me). With them, you start an album by 'uploading' from a selection of places - your computer will be one - and browse your photo files for the frame(s) required. Once uploaded, you will have a choice of four 'codes' with which you can copy and paste to a forum. IMG is the most common used, and clicking on the IMG code will automatically copy all of it to your clipboard. Then simply go back to the forum page and message window you are writing in, and paste your code in the required spot. It will not appear as a picture until you 'preview' your post, and regardless (more or less I guess) of the size of your picture, the forum software will resize it for best fit. Quite simple once you've got the hang of it, and lots of help and advise on the photo websites. PS Just clicked on the link - that works. They look like an amateur hand, but with character. My daughter might recognise some Roly Poly Olie castles there . . . OK - I'm going . .
  12. If you post a good picture someone may recognise the hand, or simply apply to the boat builder and ask who did the decoration, or who in the locality 'might' have done the decoration. Another route might be to seek out canal artists and ask again. If the base surface is in fairly good order, then a rub down with some very fine paper and three or four coats of varnish will help maintain and stabilise the work. If wood is friable or soft through decay, these areas really need digging out and the underlying wood seized with some wood hardener or PVA. How deep you need to go may come as a shock, and filling may be required. It all depends on the level of deterioration and what you want it to look like as a finished item. Anything old that has been restored to 'as new' condition has the unfortunate effect of erasing stories, and in some cases identities that dents, gouges and sometimes previous paint jobs mark out as a particular moment in time. The job needs to be 'Ship Shape', but an immaculate re-birth doesn't do it for me. Perhaps happily, not everyone would agree!
  13. Moved from U.C.C. fleet - where are they now Well, we met the artist at Braunston - Roger Hatchard. He grained and painted the roses and castles in Tycho, however, the castles on the cabin door panels are not his, someone else did them at a later date. After considerable deterioration, and after those doors had been replaced, I rubbed them down and sealed them with three coats of diluted PVA (1:1 water PVA), sanding with a fine grade between each coat and after the third. Then several coats of good furniture polish, and they are with all the imperfections of wear and tear, but bright and hard. Very pleasing finish.
  14. As it's a bit off topic, I've posted a follow up on the Roses and Castles thread.
  15. Ah yes, should have read Rose's post better. And speaking of Foxton - the last time we were through there was in '83 when we purchased this postcard:-
  16. The Google Earth aerial shot in Alan's post if closed in on shows a pair of boats side by side with cabins at the bottom of the picture, a clean road way to their right, and mature shrubs on the left, and what looks like the motor nearest the roadway. Whereas Virginis is not close to another boat (not that close), no roadway to the right but rising ground and scrub. So what are those two boats in Google Earth? And whereabouts on site is Virginis? The same location on Live Local is much fuzzier with long shadows, and more luxurious in arboreal growth. It is older, no access road, and no boats visible.
  17. Ah! Nice little story that. There was no costume. Wartime working clothes; pinafore dresses often small flower print, a cardigan, headscarf or maybe a beret, or a felt hat, stockings unlikely, and reasonable leather shoes. The men in whatever working men wore in many walks of life. Army great-coats were prized, as were the khaki blouses amongst younger men. Some wore bib and brace overalls. Caps and Trilbys, perhaps a black beret. Seek a copy of 'Too Many Boats' by Robert Wilson for clothing worn, it may be from the fifties decade on, but little difference to that of the forties. The space available for clothing in a back cabin is severely restricted - something to work in, and something for best - little more (though miracles may well have been performed with what was available!). Just looking through my bookshelf, and I can highly recommend 'A Canal People, the photographs of Robert Longden' by Sonia Rolt. ISBN 0-7509-1776-8 by Sutton publishing. The photo's were taken towards the end of the Forties, are stunningly sharp (black and white of course), and depict a great variety of people - men women and children - in a typical variety of clothing worn by working boat people, and very much the same as working people in factory or field. Do get a copy, you won't regret it. Good luck. There's one photo on Matt's site: http://tinyurl.com/66eowg
  18. Something attractive in haunting semi-dereliction. Gas Street, and the area surrounding the NIA has been sanitised by development. Couple of shots from the excellent Birmingham Canal Navigations Society book 'The BCN in Pictures' published by and copyrighted to the BCNS 1982, first published 1973, and from a copy purchased at Cambrian Stores in 1983. A lost canal. The Newhall branch in Birmingham City centre C 1920. And three ladies together at Cambrian Wharf about the same year.
  19. Compare that with this shot from the Robert Wilson book 'Epilogue'. It's picture 22, and the similarity is convincing. Barber pole Rams Head; chimney chain and brass; the metal rope guards at the bottom edge of the cabin corners; the hasp on the cabin door; the marks on the counter, the middle section lighter than the bottom; fenders match too. These are Sidney Macdonald's boats in lock 15 Stoke flight. I'm convinced.
  20. Ha Ha! I do rise easy - but did take it in jest. Think I wasn't alone. Did use a trilby once, but some sweet soul washed it. Big straw hat in the Sun, and currently a wet neck in the rain. Great-coats were good in the rain, they'd soak up the water rather than shed it all over the range as PVC's do. Big umbrella's are tops too. My current waxed cotton Marks & Spencer bum length I picked up in the street - all torn and sleeves hanging off - sewed it up, three doses of wax, and it's a gem - right 'gitorfmoiland' vagabond. Won't have none of them green wellies though, big black ones only - but prefer leather. (Now don't go taking that the wrong way!)
  21. http://tinyurl.com/5aullb Nice picture credits Sarah. One of the most important legacies that can be carried on without the need for costly paint, steel and wood, is that of working practice. The little things that were done for the very qualitative reason that it was 'best practice'. Cheque books don't buy skill and knowledge handed down through generations, just a little reading, watching and talking - education. Baseball caps? I wonder if an Army blouse was once frowned on, or a trilby in place of a cap? If I'd worn my old crumbling leather backed Donkey jacket and cap found floating in the Aylesbury arm twenty five years ago, would I have looked more 'the part'. or a p**t? As on the traditional clothes thread, the key is on what was/is practical. No hair - wear something to stop sunstroke. As I like to be myself rather than play a part - the cheap baseball cap does the job. But here's a question - Did Joshers really sport a pair of buffalo horns and skulls traditionally? Do they serve a purpose? Surely not! Pride in appearance - or proud to be different? Enjoyed the weekend - especially Tony Ward's sketches in the Friday Church concert - brilliantly executed! Next year is 27 and 28 June if any one asks.
  22. Cowboy hats with the compulsory "Kiss me quick" band, and added Brylcreme. Come back Chrissie - we'd like to help, but need more detail. What period - for what purpose? As has been alluded to, the late 19C ankle length skirts, billowing sleeves and bonnets were throw backs to former fashions, and for practical reasons would be a liability boating today. From the twenties on it was what could be got for a reasonable price - jumble sales, Army surplus. Simple, ordinary, hard wearing clothes.
  23. Yes! 'Canal Recollections' (A pictorial record) by Julian Holland ISBN 1-85585-396-5 Parkgate books, 1998. Black and white, superb quality, vast range. The sticker on the back of mine says £2.99. 96 pages, not quite A4 size. Boats, people, loading, maintenance, Foxton and Anderton lifts. A gem - as is 'A Canal People'. Half way through 'Anderton For Orders' - thanks Neil.
  24. Sorry, this has drifted away from Braunston! Costins - that was the name. There's a timber baulk almost ninety feet long and about twelve by four that is purported to have been a rafter from the barge shed still there. It's at ground level and separates the mooring staging from the gravel in front of the flats. In the 'beard' shot, the then joinery business is behind the corrugated, and a 'no mooring' sign is just visible, this was adjacent to the bits of railway line that comprised a vehicle barrier on the towpath. Alsfords sheds across on the left. Crystal Palace in white. About 1990: The Braithwaite 'Yarmouth'. (Well, a bit of it).
  25. O.K. Not a lot to go on - Berko twenty years ago. Behind us the leaning house with the alley between it and what was formerly a coal yard but in this shot the premises of a joinery (now houses), and opposite the site of a barge building yard whose name is on the tip of my tongue but escapes me, and used at the time by Bridgewater Boats since closed. Flats now occupy the barge site, and also Alsfords timber yard which faced the 'Crystal Palace' - which is still there. Just seen Alan's pictures of the horse drawn barge outfit with the Barge yard in the background - and the name still won't come!!!
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