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Steve Priest

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Everything posted by Steve Priest

  1. Yes, with the increase in the depth and the guard lowered it has a look of one of the post war counters
  2. I’ve just been looking at this, and the back does actually appear to be original. Under the rear porthole you can see the ends of the original guards, the top guard and a short length of the counter bottom guard below it. The guard that now goes around the counter is a newer one, the top line of which follows the line of the bottom of the old one. If you zoom it you can see the pitting which would have been behind the old guard, and you can also see where the rivet holes have been welded up. You can also see the top of a plate welded on to increase the depth of the counter ( and thus decrease the draft ) which has changed the overall look of the counter.
  3. I would doubt quite that many, 2” pitch on the roof flanges, roof seam ( the roof is fitted in two pieces ), and the bulkhead, 2 3/8” pitch on the framing. My guess would be 300 - 350
  4. Well, it made me smile! - “ extensively restored by Brinklow Boats in 1990 with a full traditional back cabin by Simon and Rex Wain” Simon, Rex and I didn’t form Brinklow Boat Services until 1997, Kestrel was restored by the Warwickshire Flyboat Company, when the three of us still worked there. The steelwork was done by myself, and unless I am very much mistaken, the cabin was fitted out by Don Donnelly, subsequently grained and decorated by myself. The work was done for a chap called Mike Samson who actually bought the boat from Willow Wren, but did nothing with it for several years. Once we had done the work he bought the Hyperion and paired it with that. It was actually my first attempt at replacing a Northwich riveted cabin, the old one was way past restoring, but at least we had it for a pattern Here are a few pictures from the archive:-
  5. Not really, the set up on Owl is exactly as would be expected in a Josher of that age (1928), apart from the D shaped hole and the small balance plate. The skeg is a flat steel plate 1/2” or 5/8” thick, and approximately eight feet long, which would run ( in a composite boat) forwards under the bottom, and would be bolted up through the bottom boards and the keelson. There are two tabs of angle riveted to the skeg which are bolted through the end of the stern post, and a further two angle tabs which are bolted through the bottom of the vertical skeg bar, both pairs of angles are visible in the photo. A third pair riveted to the sole plate are bolted through the top of the skeg bar, hence the skeg bar is held on with four bolts and is removable. The skeg itself, being of a flat piece of plate, would not be strong enough without the skeg bar to reinforce it, and the bottom rudder cup is riveted to the skeg bar as well. This arrangement was the same on many wooden boats. Yarwoods continued to build Joshers with this arrangement until 1934, when they changed to a one piece forged sternpost skeg and cup to the same design as Grand Union boats. I understand that the last one in the old style was the Dory, the first of the new was the Bramble. In the old style the rudder post is vertical, in the new the rudder post is angled backwards (at the top) so that the rudder is self centring, which also made these boats lighter to steer, as it gave more leverage at the height of the tiller
  6. The sole plate is the bottom of the counter, the uxter plates are the triangular plates running forwards from it at the top of the swim
  7. It’s a little Woolwich so it can’t be Water Sprite, but for my money it is a normal water bus, the roof is too rounded and the front windows aren’t right for Rambler
  8. IMO that can was painted by Dennis Clarke’s brother Colin, but interestingly enough the example that David refers to as being by Frank Nurser is actually by Dennis himself
  9. And just to make it clear, this was not Nelson’s steamer Jason, which had been sold on prior to the Jason ll being built. Jason ll was a diesel boat
  10. As far as I know, the original Jason of Jason’s trip was built by Nurser’s in 1924 for Charles Nelson & co., the cement manufacturer from Stockton, as Jason ll. On disposal of the Nelson fleet in 1935, Jason ll went to Samuel Barlow in Braunston, and entered the Barlow fleet as Jason
  11. Yes, that’s right, there is still a picture of the completed hull of Gorse above Charles Watts trade counter
  12. Likewise I’ll reply to this on both threads, Well said Pete, I had intended to make the same points myself this evening - you beat me to it
  13. Well said Pete, I had intended to make the same point myself this evening, you beat me to it.
  14. Which , as far as I know, were a waterways addition. I think it is likely that this is in the GUCCC era, if it is waterways it must be fairly early, I wouldn’t doubt 1940’s myself. The motor still has a full size breastwood, the later Waterways replacement ones stopped further forwards, with the deck lid mounted on separate blocks of wood. The butty, seemingly still loaded, doesn’t have much weight in it, but it must have taken a long time to unload if they are doing it one stick at a time Kit Gayford did have a big Woolwich with a big Ricky butty - Battersea and Uttoxeter, but I am not suggesting that is what they are. Has anyone else noticed the poser in the motor’s back end?
  15. About five years ago we built a 70’ Northwich shaped working boat which ended up in Ian Rothen’s fleet as a crane boat under the name Hebe ( I think ). It was built for a private customer as a carrying boat, but never was used as such, and whilst still not a carrying boat in the conventional sense it is out doing a job of work. I haven’t and recent photos though Steve
  16. No problem, David, Newbury was built at Braunston for Roger and Jackie Barnes in about 1980. Simon and Rex both worked there, but Simon had not long started boatbuilding at the time. I didn’t work there, I started my boatbuilding career at the WFBCo in 1982. John and Madeleine Forth bought Newbury when they started coaling, first using the Newbury as a single boat but later with the butty Meteor. They decided that working with two motors would be better for them, hence they sold Meteor and ordered Newdigate from me. I am pretty sure that I built it in 1993, and whilst John did work on several jobs for or with me, he didn’t have any physical input into Newdigate as he was away coaling whilst it was being built. When they started to wind down the coaling they converted Newbury which was eventually sold on, and since John died Madeleine has converted Newdigate which she still owns Steve
  17. I didn’t realise that I had changed my name to Barry Morsde
  18. I’ll have to own up, Hasty was built at Brinklow Boat Services, it’s one of mine. I wouldn’t call it a replica myself though, there are significant differences between this and the old ( second ) Hasty ( length, sheer to hull and cabin etc) - built to resemble I think sums it up better. It does have and old stem iron and t stud though, if my memory serves me correctly ex Clevanda, which was formerly Alfred Matty’s tug Susan? Does that make it historic?
  19. I never knew what it was called, but it was a fibrous board material half an inch thick, it was fitted between, not over, the steel framing which was left exposed. It was fitted with brass machine screws which were drilled and tapped through the cabin sides and roof, and then ground flat on the outside. If anyone has stripped the paint off an original Northwich cabin and wondered what all the brass dots are - that’s it.. The furniture was then fitted using deal boarding. With all the exposed steel framing they must have run with condensation, hence the reason that BW cut most of the cabins off the big Northwiches and replaced them with wood. Many that did survive were re- lined with t&g in a more conventional manner, which seems to me a far better idea than cutting them off, but the t&g lining was a later modification and not as original. This was not only true of little Northwiches, but of all the Northwich Grand Union boats. When Ian Kemp restored Sculptor he lined the cabin in the original fashion, as we did at Brinklow when we did the Scorpio. I believe that the butties Leo and Malus were done in that as well.
  20. Yes, I think that is exactly so, the post war period is still about within living memory and was better recorded, certainly photographically, and I think in a lot of cases people look to this period for historical reference, and tend to overlook what went on before. I am pretty sure that this applies to graining. When the number ones were working some boats seem to have been extremely well decorated, far more so than the fleet boats. I recall hearing that Charles Lane would pay the boatyard more to make sure that his boats were the best painted, and I would imagine this included the graining as well. The Freindship’s cabin is grained in two colours, with more detailing and to a higher standard than what we would now consider normal, and I remember Ron Hough telling me that Frank Nurser used to grain the cabin beams in mahogany in earlier days. I would agree that he basic, repetitive comb graining that we are more used to was a later economy. Regarding early Grand Union cabins, there are enough photographs to suggest that grained cabins were not uncommon, if perhaps not the norm. There is a passage in Susan Woolfit’s Idle Women where she describes the cabin interior on the butty Dodona, the lower part,side bed and drawers were dark blue, and the rest was ‘white; not cream, as in the other boats, but plain white’ ( page 154 ). There are several pictures of cabin interiors of trainee’s boats, predominantly Woolwich boats, I think there was a link to a series of photos some time ago ( the Monnington collection? ) which I don’t have to hand, but I do remember thinking how rough the woodwork was. So on to rudder collars Little Woolwich, restored as built. The large washer under the collar is threaded onto the top of the rudder tube, and is tightened and screwed down onto the wooden pad beneath it. The top of the tube comes flush with the top of the washer, the spigot of the collar fits inside the tube, and the flange of the collar sits on top of the washer. The rams head, dolly, and hook are all original. Little Woolwiches differ from big ones in that the decks are completely wooden, whereas on big ones the cants and decking are mounted on a steel deck
  21. Going back to graining, back in the late 80’s I was considering having a change from steelwork and taking up painting instead, and as part of this idea I did evening classes in signwork at Leamington tech. I was chatting to the head tutor about boat decoration and graining one day and he suggested that I should go in on Thursday afternoons and he would teach me how to grain properly. Of course, I jumped at the chance, and went in every week for several months. Is this standard of graining really relevant to canal painting? Probably not, but the techniques involved certainly are. Instead of undercoat we would use an oil based eggshell paint as a buff, and the big benefit of which is that it is available from decorator centres in a full range of colours, there are probably a dozen or so that would be suitable for light oak. Most proprietary scumbles come in different shades for use over a common buff, technically it is important not to have too big a contrast between the buff and the scumble, and hence if you want to alter the shade of the finished graining it is better to alter the shade of the buff to achieve this rather than altering the shade of the scumble. Raw umber is really the only pigment required to grain any shade of oak. If you want to go to town try using a couple of different shades of buff, you can use the same scumble over the top and you can get an effective contrast between panels. I too now use polyvine, but like Dave I also prefer to use the clear glaze and either use artist’s oil colours as pigments or polyvine oak stainers. By doing this you are more in control of the depth of pigment, and will need to thin it less. Again, as Dave says, don’t use a ready mixed scumble straight from the tin, it will need thinning, but this is rather to thin the density of the pigment than the viscosity. Too much white spirit will mean that the scumble will not ‘hold up’ and will sag, it is better to thin with a mixture of white spirit and refined linseed oil, in which case also add a little terebine to reduce the drying time, but NEVER EVER leave rags with scumble or linseed oil on lying around as there is a real chance of spontaneous combustion. David, how long has it been since PNE have been able to challenge the mighty Baggies? Anyway, I could go on ( oh yes I could! ) but I need an early night as I am planning a full days work on the Star tomorrow
  22. I’ll own up - Dav & Pen’s can is my work. Max’s son’s can is, I believe, the same one as Innes Catto bought for the Gort. I think he was told that it was Dennis Clarke’s work, he certainly believed that it was, hence it being attributed to Dennis on the Nurser website. I think, however, that it is not Dennis’s but is by his brother Colin, and yes Alan, most of the older painting on Flamingo is Dennis’s. Here is another example of Dennis’s painting that came from Water Ouzel when we reclad the cabin some years ago Whilst talking of some of the lesser known Braunston painters, let’s see what you make of this :-
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