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Unidentified RCHS Weaver Collection Images

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24 minutes ago, Paul H said:

Not much to go on here but how about junction bridge on the Newport Arm at Norbury?

 

Paul

No I dont think so, towpath through bridge on wrong side and arm doesn't curve like the one in the photo.

(But I am looking on a small screen)

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16 minutes ago, matty40s said:

No I dont think so, towpath through bridge on wrong side and arm doesn't curve like the one in the photo.

(But I am looking on a small screen)

Agreed. Bridge at Norbury has a more pronounced arch to the parapet and the land is flatter to the sides.

 

JP

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If I recall this image was one of the Weaver glass slides, so on reversing it we get:

 

48853.jpg

 

If this is Norbury, then this group of boats would include craft that may have worked on the branch. Are there any suggestions for identifying any of the vessels?

 

The towpath would be on the correct side as can be seen from the 3rd Ordnance Survey 25 inch scale

 

Norbury.png

Edited by Heartland

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I’m still convinced it’s Norbury.  There are glimpses of the Shropshire Union telegraph wires and the maintenance depot on the mainline.  No idea about the boats, although there are clearly two iceboats amongst them, but I doubt they were associated with trade to Newport (the arm was closed in 1944) - it was simply somewhere for BWB to shove redundant boats so they didn’t clutter up the wharf at the yard.

 

Paul

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1 hour ago, Heartland said:

The telegraph poles are shown in another image in the RCHS Weaver collection for Norbury Junction, this has been identfied

 

 

 

Even the one to the very far right of this photo, just seen in the distance in the next photo up.

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It is obviously Norbury junction but the bridge does look completely different viewed from the Eastern side.  

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1 hour ago, Neil2 said:

It is obviously Norbury junction but the bridge does look completely different viewed from the Eastern side.  

Hmm. I’m wondering if I was studying the wrong bridge on the wrong canal!

 

Is the Newport branch through the bridge opposite and left of centre in the shot above that’s taken from across the yard? I think I was looking at the view through the bridge on the extreme left of that shot. Is that the main line?

 

JP

Edited by Captain Pegg

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32 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

Hmm. I’m wondering if I was studying the wrong bridge on the wrong canal!

 

Is the Newport branch through the bridge opposite and left of centre in the shot above that’s taken from across the yard? I think I was looking at the view through the bridge on the extreme left of that shot. Is that the main line?

 

JP

No, the new photograph is shot from south of Norbury Junction looking North along the main line, the boatyard is to the right, and the bridge to extreme left is the Newport arm.

Now the 1st photo has been reversed, it could well be the arm looking towards the main line.

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1 hour ago, matty40s said:

No, the new photograph is shot from south of Norbury Junction looking North along the main line, the boatyard is to the right, and the bridge to extreme left is the Newport arm.

Now the 1st photo has been reversed, it could well be the arm looking towards the main line.

That’s what I thought and I’ve just realised how that view orientates with the boatyard today. If you look at the bridge on the left it appears to have a pronounced arch which the one that triggered the question doesn’t have and that’s what initially convinced me it wasn’t Norbury. However studying other photos it’s clear it’s a bit of an illusion created by the angle and foreshortening of the shot. The extent of the bridge over the channel actually isn’t particularly curved and that’s all that’s visible on the western face. The chimney stack visible behind and to the left of the bridge correlates with the chimney on the building next to the white single storey block on the eastern side of the wharf. So yes, I concur it is the Newport Branch at Norbury.

 

And I thought Archie57 was just joking when he went for Norbury in reverse!

 

JP

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As said before, scanning some of the Weaver images has been a challenge, as it is not always evident which way the image was as the slides were self mounted and some times the mount was poorly secured and the image separated from the mount.

 

I think it is well demonstrated that these quoted are:

 

1 Cosgrove- junction with Buckingham Arm

2 Bottom lock Hawkesbury 

3 KENELM at Great Haywood

4 Norbury Junction

 

Another query- these craft are painted in one of the BW Liveries, which I gather were superceded>

 

 

44519.jpg

Edited by Heartland

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2 hours ago, Heartland said:

As said before, scanning some of the Weaver images has been a challenge, as it is not always evident which way the image was as the slides were self mounted and some times the mount was poorly secured and the image separated from the mount.

 

Another query- these craft are painted in one of the BW Liveries, which I gather were superceded>

44519.jpg

I agree with 'archie57' that this is the towpath side below Hillmorton bottom lock.

 

The two wooden boats in the foreground are maintenance boats, and I think they are exF.M.C. Ltd. motor BEECH and exG.U.C.C.Co. Ltd. butty CHESHAM (not quite readable). This photograph can be dated some time between 20 May 1961 (enthusiast observation = BEECH in working order) and 07 April 1962 (enthusiast observation = BEECH below lock - engine removed) / BEECH tender closing date ?? June 1962 (without engine).

 

Once transferred to maintenance these boats often carried remnants of the carrying livery dating to when they were last in the operational carrying fleet, or alternatively would be painted in a multitude of different ways dependant on where it was painted and by whom - but usually predominantly blue :captain:

 

edit = the Bolinder BM 15hp removed from BEECH (not its original Bolinder) ended up in the museum at Stoke Bruerne, and was still there last time I visited.

Edited by pete harrison

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So what was the fate of the "Chesham" - was it one of those boats, as "Happy"  Smith ( blacksmith at Hillmorton yard) once told me with relish, that was taken in to the outside dry dock there and burned?!

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3 minutes ago, archie57 said:

So what was the fate of the "Chesham" - was it one of those boats, as "Happy"  Smith ( blacksmith at Hillmorton yard) once told me with relish, that was taken in to the outside dry dock there and burned?!

I have no tender form that captures CHESHAM, the last reference I have being an enthusiast observation dated 07 April 1962 when it was recorded as being at Hillmorton 'Depot - end dock' - whatever that means.

 

I suspect CHESHAM was disposed of as 'Happy' Smith described :captain:

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20 minutes ago, pete harrison said:

I have no tender form that captures CHESHAM, the last reference I have being an enthusiast observation dated 07 April 1962 when it was recorded as being at Hillmorton 'Depot - end dock' - whatever that means.

 

I suspect CHESHAM was disposed of as 'Happy' Smith described :captain:

Rumour at Hillmorton always was that it was a steamer that was buried in the old open dry dock.

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38 minutes ago, canalboat said:

Rumour at Hillmorton always was that it was a steamer that was buried in the old open dry dock.

 

So to make any sense of this rumour it must be established when the old open dry dock was built. I thought the dry dock was old enough to pre-dated steam driven narrow boats.

 

There is no doubt that several boats were broken up on Hillmorton dry dock, but there is quite a difference to being broken up / burnt on the dock being buried in the dock :captain:

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On 18/05/2019 at 14:56, canalboat said:

Difficult to date the picture but the basin was open until circa 1970 when a bund cut it off from the main canal. The photo may just show some water at the Basin entrance but no attempt has been made to park the empty boat in it.  Tree growth at the entrance is fairly advanced but it doesn't take many years for crack willow to grow and fall over in water.  

I was involved as a volunteer in the project to open up the basin again as a mooring for heritage boats on public display, and with the help of IWA Waterways Recovery Group, great progress was made.  When CRT West Midlands took over management of Hillmorton from South East, they pleaded lack of funds as the reason they would not add it to their list of restoration projects so could not oversee the volunteers.  CRT said they could only continue as an independent commercial operation under the rules for building a marina, and insisted that the volunteers lease the basin at full market rent.  So after two years of inactivity the volunteers could not accept that they must pay CRT for restoring their canal as a public heritage asset so the plan to re-water was reluctantly abandoned.   However, having already adopted the Basin under the CRT Volunteer scheme (which is different CRT management) the group of volunteers are now clearing it again to create a sunken garden in time for the 250th anniversary of the death of James Brindley whose last ever canal had reached this very spot on the day he died. So stand by for a party in September 2022 and join in the fun now to make the site ready.  And who knows - the plan for a heritage mooring may rise again.

The "old canal" as the local always knew it (it was never referred to as a basin because it wasn't - it was just a length of canal retained because it had a flood paddle at the end of it) was stanked off long before 1970 - my mother used to graze her horses in there in the early 60s!

5 hours ago, pete harrison said:

I have no tender form that captures CHESHAM, the last reference I have being an enthusiast observation dated 07 April 1962 when it was recorded as being at Hillmorton 'Depot - end dock' - whatever that means.

 

I suspect CHESHAM was disposed of as 'Happy' Smith described :captain:

"End dock" would most likely be the old gauging dock at the end of the engine arm.

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5 hours ago, canalboat said:

Rumour at Hillmorton always was that it was a steamer that was buried in the old open dry dock.

There are no boats buried in either gauging dock or the drydock. The outer dock was deepened post war, so anything there would have been uncovered but fact behind the rumour is there was another short, covered, arm leading off the engine arm between the drydock entrance and the gauging dock which was where the OCCs inspection launch "Lady Godiva" was kept. The entrance to that arm is still visible if you know where to look (it was used for storing spare paddle boards in) and it can be seen on the large scale pre-war OS maps.

 

The building (an open sided timber structure apparently) and the boat, were deliberately burnt in late 1947 and the dock filled in - so the bottom half of the hull will be still be there. It was petrol engined at the time of its demise, but I have never seen a photo of it, and don't know whether it was ever steam driven. My understanding was that it was old enough to have been horse drawn originally. A four bladed prop for it and one of the timber pigeon boxes survived in the stores until the late 1970s when the prop vanished (probably for scrap) but the pigeon box survives.....

 

If you want to know where the abandoned steamer is, that's extra!

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