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Hire boats - any research been done


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2 hours ago, magpie patrick said:

I'll bet those four created quite a stir on that holiday - typical boating garb of the time it is not! In fact you don't see it often even now.....

 

On a more serious note, unless the man with the horse is husband, boyfriend or brother to one of them, which seems unlikely, that's not self-drive....

It appears to be an LMS maintenance boat....

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On 19/05/2019 at 08:54, Graham_Robinson said:

They also hired boats from Wheaton Aston, I think that would be Anglo Welsh but I stand to be corrected.

Our hiring boat days finished off with a two week epic on an Ernie Thomas boat.

I still remember to this day conversations with himself the biggest majority unprintable in todays PC world.............or other stores for that matter.?

 

>They also hired boats from Wheaton Aston, I think that would be Anglo Welsh but I stand to be corrected.

 

That would likely have been Welsh Canal Holiday Craft, who had the warehouse on the wharf at Wheaton Aston as a remote base to allow one-way trips from/to Llangollen. Ted Smout was the owner over the period I worked there doing turnarounds (the best Saturdays ever!) from around 1965 to 1971 (not absolutely certain of those years). Anglo Welsh arrived during that period, and I remember stopping several times, before they arrived, at a deserted Trevor Basin to enjoy the aroma of the Acrefair chemical works.

 

Best of all was when a boat needed to be moved from one end to the other, and often I would get to do it between after school (later college) on Friday and mid-afternoon on Sunday. I suspect it would take longer now.

 

>I still remember to this day conversations with himself

 

I was lucky enough to meet ET. After moving one of his hire boats (Lark) from Gailey to Walsall for end-of-season maintenance we sat in his kitchen drinking tea and watching professional wrestling on TV (a TV in the kitchen!!!). It was the first time I saw a lava lamp.

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  • 1 month later...

Reviving this thread because I've been having a sort out of my books and came across "Holidays in Boats" by FH Snoxell from 1960 (mentioned earlier in the thread).

 

As is my way when sorting out my books I ended up reading it from cover to cover and came across the following list of hire companies....

 

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There is also a bit on how much the hire would cost...

 

EPSON011.JPG.10453414e7180471f254038178495a8c.JPGEPSON012.JPG.dc26f8d58bc102ba23d1bf6690aa3e72.JPG

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20 minutes ago, carlt said:

Reviving this thread because I've been having a sort out of my books and came across "Holidays in Boats" by FH Snoxell from 1960 (mentioned earlier in the thread).

 

As is my way when sorting out my books I ended up reading it from cover to cover and came across the following list of hire companies....

 

 

 

There is also a bit on how much the hire would cost...

 

 

Yeah, I end up sorting out books like that! :lol:

 

That's great thank you! interesting that "The Canals" has no subdivision! I recognise the first name on the list, mum and Dad rented from Alan Tingay from 1960 to 1970, when he gave up. There was one gap, 1966, when they went on the Mon and Brec in April, Mum was pregnant with me and I was due in July...

 

 

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2 minutes ago, magpie patrick said:

Yeah, I end up sorting out books like that! :lol:

 

 

 

 

My OH usually finds me surrounded by piles of books I have removed from the shelves to "sort".

 

"What are you doing?"

"I'm sorting my books out..."

"How many have you sorted?"

"I'm still sorting this one."

"Is that the same one you were sorting yesterday?"

"Leave me alone! I'm busy!"

 

I have this notion that if I rotate my collection periodically there will always be a forgotten gem appearing at eye level. 

  • Haha 2
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  • 2 years later...
On 19/05/2019 at 14:05, Chris Williams said:

"Gloster"

And also the TV series available on DVD! Well worth a watch...

 

On 08/05/2019 at 18:53, BruceinSanity said:

1976 we hired Weasel, a Barney Boat from Braunston bottom. Barney had I think three hire boats, all around 35’ and powered by a Sabb one pot fishing boat engine.

Constellation cruisers still technically exists, it’s the hire boat bit of Braidbar but not currently active.

Union Canal Carriers at Braunston still have three Barney Boats available for hire! They still all have the single cylinder SAAB engines, too.

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3 minutes ago, Helen 7 said:

And also the TV series available on DVD! Well worth a watch...

 

Union Canal Carriers at Braunston still have three Barney Boats available for hire! They still all have the single cylinder SAAB engines, too.

Should have said 'Flower of Gloster' TV series is available on DVD and well qworht watching.

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Re early (ish) narrowboat hire: my aunt and uncle hired a narrowboat from Orchard Cruisers on the Oxford Canal in Jericho (as far as I can find out) in about 1975 or '76. I had remembered it as having been hired from Rose Narrowboats at Stretton Wharf but when I found the photos, there is a very clear one of the sign on the side saying, Orchard Cruisers Oxford! The boat appears to called Isildur. I also remember it being a very long boat as there were us five teenagers plus my aunt and uncle on it. However, the photo of the boat in a lock shows a boat more like 45' - 50' long! There were a lot of bunks, I seem to remember...Does anyone else have memories of Orchard Cruisers? If so, I'd love to hear about them...

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I had wondered what became of Bushnells of Maidenhead. A group of us hired one of their boats in the early 1970's. I recently posted a photo of our boat (Gay Fantasy No. 4) elsewhere on this forum. We did the return trip to Oxford  on about 40 gallons of diesel. The boatyard asked if we had filled up en route, which we hadn't: we had simply kept to a steady speed all week as we hadn't been in a hurry. 

 

I remembered I had a 1963  Blakes catalogue (inherited fro a deceased relative), but on digging it out just now I find it only covers the Norfolk Broads.  

 

As a young child in the 1950's I well remember seeing a British Waterways stand at an exhibition in London  I went to with my parents. It had displays and  brochures showing various hire boats and their interior layouts . It could have been a Radio Show, a DIY exhibition, or an  Ideal Home exhibition.  I do remember thinking they were expensive, but then at the time  we used to spend our holidays  at a seaside boarding house at £2/10/-d a week, half board!

Edited by Ronaldo47
typos
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6 minutes ago, Ronaldo47 said:

 A group of us hired one if their boats in the early 1970's. I recently posted a photo of our boat (Gay Fantasy No. 4) elsewhere on this forum....

Perhaps they renamed the firm as well as the boats...

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4 hours ago, Helen 7 said:

 

 

Union Canal Carriers at Braunston still have three Barney Boats available for hire! They still all have the single cylinder SAAB engines, too.

Very good they sound too - but they ar Sabb (Norwegian) rather than Saab (Swedish) engines.

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14 hours ago, Ronaldo47 said:

I had wondered what became of Bushnells of Maidenhead.

We also hired from them in the 1970s. I think the land became worth more as redevelopment - nice riverside appartments - than running a boat yard. I think the boats ended up with Richardsons (Stalham, Norfolk) via the Rank organisation.

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37 minutes ago, Pluto said:

This could keep you quiet as the days draw in.

1967-71 BWB.pdf 1.91 MB · 1 download

The one boater on the Bridgwater and Taunton must have felt a bit lonely, but that canal wasn't actually open then! 

Anglers recorded in one category, walkers, cyclists and "others" on another table - One wanders what one might be observed doing other than walking, cycling and fishing? 

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Our youth club hired a boat from Deans at Christleton(Chester) in about 1957, plywood cruiser, Stuart Turner petrol engine and Elsan which used a Creosote deodorant which we were told to empty over the back ( but not in a lock) I never drank water in Nantwich or Crewe ever since.

Mr Dean owned the little wooden cabin on the side of one of the Meres at Ellesmere and if you were rushing, you got told off as he knew when you left the yard.

Happy days.

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On 22/07/2019 at 14:31, carlt said:

 

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We hired from Holidays Afloat at Market Drayton in late 60's when I was about 13-14. The boat was a cruiser style, but with a steel hull rather than the more usual wood or GRP. Powered by a diesel engine with hydraulic drive that seemed quite noisy and a bit rough. Two of the boats in the fleet I remember the names of were Drayton Dormouse and Drayton Dabchick, but can't remember the name of the boat we hired.

Must have got on alright with Harry Machin, the proprietor, as we were back a couple of years later to buy our first boat from the yard. Don't know if it was from them or if they were acting as brokers, or it was privately and the boat just happened to be there. Some history of the yard here: http://www.talbotwharf.co.uk/heritage.html 

 

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An old thread but since it has come back to life. The thing which originally got me into canals was my aunt, uncle and cousins hiring several times from Anglo Welsh in the late 1970s/early 1980s. My brother and I were fascinated by the exotic postcards of canal trips sent to my grandparents and eventually persuaded our parents to have a canal holiday in about 1985, with Viking Afloat. I have a complete trip diary for it somewhere in the loft.

 

What was perhaps the more interesting point was that in 2019 we hired 'Molly' which was then based at Otherton. I realised it was an original Anglo Welsh boat from the 1970s and on asking the owner when we returned, she dated from around 1975 and still had her original engine and cabin. She must have been one of the oldest purpose-built hire boats still in operation at the time I would think, but has now gone into retirement having been sold due to the losses of the 2020 season. She is one of the very few boats I would happily have bought.


Alec

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On 26/10/2021 at 19:49, Ronaldo47 said:

I had wondered what became of Bushnells of Maidenhead. A group of us hired one of their boats in the early 1970's. I recently posted a photo of our boat (Gay Fantasy No. 4) elsewhere on this forum. We did the return trip to Oxford  on about 40 gallons of diesel. The boatyard asked if we had filled up en route, which we hadn't: we had simply kept to a steady speed all week as we hadn't been in a hurry. 

 

snip

 

I can confirm RS2021 is correct. Sold to Rank Leisure who also had Richardsons of Stalham under their wing who became the operators. I may well have been the engineering foreman when you hired Fantasy 4.  I think Bert Bushnell bought them out of the Wildes Broads fleet after one season changed the Rolls Royce RB40 petrol engines for BMC 2.2 diesels. They had very small fuel tanks compared with our other cruisers. I liked those boats apart form the fact they were wooden so suffered caulking leaks and the hand sof hire boaters and leaks form the cabin side to deck joints after a spell of long hot weather.

 

When Richardsons took over they immediately tried to impose a pay cut on the staff (I was working for the MOD by then) who promptly walked out for other jobs. Richardsons then flew Broads staff down for each turn round. The fleet did not last long though.

 

I understand the deal was for money plus a property in Portugal on a golf course. Bert only had three daughters and none seemed to show an interest in taking the firm on. He got out at the right time, within a very few years cheap flights to the sun left boating holidays only for the enthusiast so booking plummeted.  Hence now there only being about three larger Thames hire fleets now.

 

 

Edited by Tony Brooks
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I well remember seeing dayight through some small holes in the side when we carried out the daily cooling water filter check, which only involved removing the occasional bit of water weed. The filter was secured by two small wing nuts and was below the river level, so you needed to be fairly quick to prevent too much water coming in. Of course on one occasion someone dropped one of the wing nuts, leading to an anxious few minutes until it was retrieved!  

 

.We went at Easter, and did have a couple of days with patches of very  heavy rain, but didn't experience any leaks. 

 

We were very satisfied with the boat, and gave the reception a list of our likes and dislikes. I think the only dislike we had was insufficient shelf space for wash bags etc. around the hand basin. A 240V invertor was provided for an electric razor, but none of the men used them.  There was also  a conventional  3 pin 5A socket for a 12VDC supply, but in those days we had  no need to use it for anything.

 

 

Edited by Ronaldo47
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