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Lorna

Small Northwich

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Need advice and information, when the small Northwich boats left Yarwoods yard what wood lined the cabin internally?

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I was told they were lined with poleite ( - think that's how you spell it!), an asbestos-containing board

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Not sure if this is going to be of any help?

 

From "Walker's of Ricky."

"The cabin was framed up in oak and boarded in tongue-and-groove deal in two layers, longways and crossways like the decks, the outer layer across the top and vertically down each side. In latter days hardboard was used for the outer layers at the sides. Between the two layers pitch was applied hot, covered with newspaper while still tacky and another coat of pitch then applied before the outer layer was fastened in place." 

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Little boats had riveted cabins with boarding rather than tongue and groove. I have heard the boarding described as hardboard.

i believe it was a composite as these were being developed in the 1930s, probably with asbestos, similar to what pre fabs and garages were built from

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Thank you for your answers I think you are right that it might be the board containing asbestos. Which seemed to be the in thing at that moment in time hopefully we know better now.

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Mostly tongue and groove Deal originally, Supalux board or similar asbestos based board was used beside the range, and maybe behind it for wooden cabins. Steel cabins behind the range were bare and scumbled. That's going by what TYCHO (Middle Northwich, steel cabin) was fitted with.

 

There is ply also, but how much of that is original is questionable, as TYCHO was on maintenance from 1942 and may well have had the table cupboard and cross bed ripped out. The images that follow show a green painted board with a curved top protecting the side of the table cupboard, this was some sort of asbestos material. Handling asbestos board is only dangerous when cutting or drilling are involved. Modern heatproof materials are less injurious to health.

 

There would be a tin plate screwed onto the tongue and groove range bed. The range would normally be on short legs - handy for slipping a fry pan under or just fire irons.

 

 

037c General 237 (Small).jpg

 

117 Cabin June 2010 001 (Small).JPG

 

106 lights (Small).JPG

 

118 Cabin June 2010 002 (Small).JPG

Edited by Derek R.

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13 hours ago, archie57 said:

I was told they were lined with poleite ( - think that's how you spell it!), an asbestos-containing board

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. 

Edited by Steve Priest
Spell checker
  • Greenie 1

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Having slept in Scorpio numerous times I can confirm it drips a lot. I can't find a picture inside the cabin at the moment but I'll try and remember to take some over the weekend.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Steve Priest said:

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. 

 

As ever, I'm sure this is a completely on the nail description from Steve.

 

I don't think any of us who now have GUCCCo Northwich back cabins, (either original or later copies), would conceivably want to live with a boat the way they first supplied them!

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20 hours ago, archie57 said:

I was told they were lined with poleite ( - think that's how you spell it!), an asbestos-containing board

File:Im1926EYB-Bells3.jpg

  • Greenie 2

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21 hours ago, Steve Priest said:

. . . If anyone has stripped the paint off an original Northwich cabin and wondered what all the brass dots are - that’s it..

(snipped)

 

 TYCHO's steel cabin sides have those. Right pain when rubbing down to find little pits of rust around the edges of each screw!

 

Nice find Archie.

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Can I be a hseq nazi for a min. Be careful asbestosis will kill 4500 to 5000 people per year in the uk. Not peaked death rate yet either.

Edited by mark99

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Most northwich steel cabins never mind the crappy interior went years ago, mainly because the boatmen hated them.

little risk of asbestos.

i suspect though there is still asbestos board in some older conversions and fit outs. There certainly was in two of our old boats a few years ago

  • Greenie 1

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Don't know your source of data Mark, but it differs somewhat to these;

https://www.statista.com/statistics/882566/asbestosis-deaths-in-uk/

http://www.hse.gov.uk/Statistics/causdis/asbestos-related-disease.pdf

 

It's a horrible disease, but as charts show, many worked with asbestos during their earlier lives and are over 70yrs of age and older when they die, indicating other factors may also be involved. Seems to be dropping off right now. Decades ago people worked with materials that they had no knowledge of how they would affect health in later life, and had no resource to quality masks and filters. Watch the car plant videos from the seventies, and you'll see paint shops with men spraying in clouds of paint wearing just a cottonwool mouth and nose mask. Grim stuff. Railway carriage builders were worst affected when insulating carriages with Blue asbestos back in the forties and fifties. No protective clothing was made available back then.

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10 minutes ago, Heartland said:

Knowing the concern for asbestos products, does any remain in heritage craft?

Never mind heritage craft, I would be most surprised if at least some older craft, of all types, do not have asbestos sheet behind the range or cooker as insulation.  If it is undamaged leave it be.  It is perfectly safe in that condition.

 

George

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On 26/05/2019 at 07:52, Derek R. said:

Don't know your source of data Mark, but it differs somewhat to these;

https://www.statista.com/statistics/882566/asbestosis-deaths-in-uk/

http://www.hse.gov.uk/Statistics/causdis/asbestos-related-disease.pdf

 

It's a horrible disease, but as charts show, many worked with asbestos during their earlier lives and are over 70yrs of age and older when they die, indicating other factors may also be involved. Seems to be dropping off right now. Decades ago people worked with materials that they had no knowledge of how they would affect health in later life, and had no resource to quality masks and filters. Watch the car plant videos from the seventies, and you'll see paint shops with men spraying in clouds of paint wearing just a cottonwool mouth and nose mask. Grim stuff. Railway carriage builders were worst affected when insulating carriages with Blue asbestos back in the forties and fifties. No protective clothing was made available back then.

Sorry you are right Derek. The HSE stats are 5,000 death pa from all asbestos related diseases not just asbestosis. 

Edited by mark99

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