Jump to content

Hire boats - any research been done


Featured Posts

13 minutes ago, Derek R. said:

Bushnells - opposite where Skindles was? All changed:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.5239708,-0.701702,3a,15y,334.19h,86.92t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sDucSj5YUZdGDV9iyCFICDw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en

 

I'm amazed the tin roofed shed of MARLOW boat services beside the bridge still survives, or did in 2019.

 

I can't remember the name of the boat house showed as opposite Skindles. Bushnells yard was the other side of the little bridge over the back water with Andrews the other side closer to the existing boat house. The red car is more or less where the Bushnells car park started.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

I can't remember the name of the boat house showed as opposite Skindles. Bushnells yard was the other side of the little bridge over the back water with Andrews the other side closer to the existing boat house. The red car is more or less where the Bushnells car park started.

 

Andrews - that was the name I couldn't remember!

 

The two islands upstream of the road bridge were Bridge Ait and Grass Ait. We moored on Bridge Ait for a while in the backwater, our front path was by dinghy to a floating staging along which we walked to another small boatyard which used to take in mail for us and from whom we filled our water barrels. They were accessed from Mill Lane which led to the paper pulp mill still in operation in 1980. On the Skindles side, upstream, there was a Sea Cadets station where marching up and down on a Sunday was regular and rowing their six or eight oared boat. Feels like a million years ago now.

 

Drifting stern first away from the mooring. The white tower still exists, the flag mast denotes the Sea Cadets base and beyond a small boatyard. All gone.

Amicitia0019.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I love old hire boats. Fascinating stuff.  Our first family boating holiday was in 1980 (ish) on a broad beam from Guildford called Guildford Duchess.  It was terrible, somehow I persuaded my parents to give it another go and we hired a narrowboat from somewhere in Oxford called Cloquin 2 - I have never been able to find any trace of the boat or the yard, after that it was Anglo Welsh for years.....love the window smashers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
On 06/05/2019 at 16:15, Chris Williams said:

 

blue.jpg.ca87cb36073fcf981cc0e7d6f1ddff6d.jpg

 

1968, hired this wooden outboard 2 berth cruiser from Blue Line at Braunston.

 

We found some old slides relating to my Grandparents hire boat company "Kingfisher Line", but this picture got me curious and google led me to this thread. The Lady in the boat is my Grandmother, Audrey Rice. I have some other pictures which I'll work through and start another thread.

img428.jpg

img429.jpg

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We hired Blue Swift 1 in April 1970 and again in April 1971. I think there were a couple of Blue Swifts, Blue Sapphire, Blue Swallow and another Blue as well as a camping punt. Blue Line ran a hire fleet alongside their working boats and you had to run the gauntlet past all the moored pairs outside the yard entrance, as well as the camping boats beside the Bottom Lock when you were taken down to the lock for your instructions on locking. (There was a pair of these  campers actually watering in the lock when we arrived and we were delayed quite a time.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, BuckbyLocks said:

We hired Blue Swift 1 in April 1970 and again in April 1971. I think there were a couple of Blue Swifts, Blue Sapphire, Blue Swallow and another Blue as well as a camping punt. Blue Line ran a hire fleet alongside their working boats and you had to run the gauntlet past all the moored pairs outside the yard entrance, as well as the camping boats beside the Bottom Lock when you were taken down to the lock for your instructions on locking. (There was a pair of these  campers actually watering in the lock when we arrived and we were delayed quite a time.)

My parents hired Blue Peter in Whit week 1965 - my first canal trip. We travelled from Braunston to somewhere south of Banbury (Somerton perhaps?) and back.

Blue Peter was a 24ft centre cockpit wooden cruiser. If I remember correctly there was a V berth in the bow for my parents, with a triangular centre portion which could be raised to form a table for the four of us, behind that a basic galley on one side and bathroom with elsan bucket loo on the other (no shower), then the cockpit, then the rear cabin with two side bunks for my sister and me. I think the outboard well must have protruded into the rear cabin between the bunks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
On 06/05/2019 at 20:38, Tony Brooks said:

Having worked in a hire fleet on the Thames in the 70s.

 

Some Thames hire fleets: Timms of Stains (Water suffix to name), Maid line at Thames Ditton and Wallingford (Maid prefix to names), Bates of Chertsy (Star suffix to names), One I can't remember the name of from further down river, Bushnells (Gay prefix to names but dropped if later) & Andrews at Maidenhead, Andrews at Bourne End (different company), Bushnells of Wargrave (Grey prefix to names) (different company). A company called Red Line operated from Abingdon. I am trying to remember if Benson Cruiser Station operated hire boats then, I suspect they entered the market later.

 

All operating wooden cruisers, some built by themselves like Bastes and some bought in from the broads and South Coast builder and fitted out by the company. Maid Line had some Seacrete hulls.

 

Maid Line also operated out of what is now Rose narrowboats with wooden canal cruisers.

 

At the time GRP was coming in so things like Seamaster 25s, 27s, & 28s plus centre and aft cockpit Elysian 27s and I think a 40 foot one were being hired.

 

The Hoseasons started to cover the Thames so all sorts of small operators of hire fleets sprang up, many of doubtful quality. Some of the "better ones" were Salters (of steamer fame) at Oxford, Bridge Boats and Caribbean Cruisers at Reading. They were all operating production GRP cruises, many from the broads like the Caribbeans etc. Gradually all the fleets moved to GRP. There was one outfit operating from Kennet Mouth and another from what is now the Four Pillars Hotel site at Littlemore. Eynsham Cruiser station operated a fleet of Caribbeans.

 

The around the early/mid 80s charter flights brought cheap holidays in the sun so the Thames hire fleets took a hit. Many gave up the hire side of things, some were bought out by companies like Rank Leisure (I suspect for the future value of their sites) and foreign investors seemed to pour money into some hire fleets like Benson hence we now have Le Boat in at least two sites on the Thames. Caribbean Cruisers and Bridge boats merged and as far as I know are still a private company. Bushnells of Maidenhead merged with Andrews of Maidenhead and were then taken over by Rank Leisure and after a few years closed.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were a bit later than some of you.

 

Our first hire was from the basin at Anderson now occupied by ABC. In 1979 we had Hogarth and went to Chester and back. All their boats were named after artists, even the pumpout boat. The next year we hired the longer John Piper and went round the Cheshire Ring. Terrible diesel leak which was sorted by Coles Morton Marine at Whaley Bridge.

 

So 1981 we hired Pennine Wanderer from them from their Wigan base. So many breakdowns on that boat that we negotiated some money back on returning the boat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a list - we only started cruisng in the 1980s and that was on hire boats in the 'midlamds'  mostly from Tedesley where thw Milwards taulght me all I know about NBs and boating.

Even then there were few hire bases on the Thames. Salters have gone, another is now the OUBC boat house (very grand). There's only one base opposite Windsor showground, Benson and that's about it. I've ignored the smaller yards with dayboats who still hang on.

A shane 'cos the Thames is a great place to boat.... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

What a list - we only started cruisng in the 1980s and that was on hire boats in the 'midlamds'  mostly from Tedesley where thw Milwards taulght me all I know about NBs and boating.

Even then there were few hire bases on the Thames. Salters have gone, another is now the OUBC boat house (very grand). There's only one base opposite Windsor showground, Benson and that's about it. I've ignored the smaller yards with dayboats who still hang on.

A shane 'cos the Thames is a great place to boat.... 

 

You missed Anglo Welsh operating out of what was Pink Hill cruiser station, there is or was a small hire fleet operating from near St Johns lock, Caversham Boat Services,  Le Boat out of a marina down river, possibly Penton Hook, and another operator of both narrow and wide beams who paint big wavy thing on the side, also down river, but I don't know where they are based.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

11 hours ago, pearley said:

Our first hire was from the basin at Anderson now occupied by ABC. In 1979 we had Hogarth and went to Chester and back. All their boats were named after artists, even the pumpout boat.

It was called 'Two Loos Lautrec', I recall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.