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pete harrison

Brass Drawer Pulls on Cabin Doors

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I have spent much of today going through period photographs of narrow boats (which is nothing unusual) and I have spotted something that I wonder if anybody else has.

 

The vast majority of 'historic' narrow boats (and many non 'historics') now have a brass drawer pull mounted on the lower panel of each cabin door, but evidence is overwhelming that these were a very unusual fitment to these boats when in full time trade - in fact I have only found two boats, COMET (run by enthusiasts) and STANTON (run by boaters), both from mid 1970 and at the very end of full trade. Due to their design it is much harder to see butty cabin doors, but those that can be seen all have blank panels.

 

Is the fitting of brass drawer pulls another 'tradition' that has been developed by enthusiasts rather than boaters, just like the painting of feed scoops to become dippers ?

 

Rightly or wrongly I quite like brass drawer pulls on cabin doors, even though they are not very practical :captain:

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They get used more when you in the cabin to pull the doors closed. Especially the engine room doors 

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I agree drawer pulls on the back doors were far from standard fittings but I find them useful and decorative.  There is a story that Jim Collins found a wardrobe floating in the cut and took off the drawer pulls!

 

There were a lot of embellishments which were seen on the odd boat - these draw pulls, brass klaxons, lambs tail rope work on the chimneys, swingers on the pigeon box etc all individual “bling” applied by the boatman but they were never seen all together on the same boat. 

 

Nowadays many people want to have the lot.  I know Roger Hatchard was criticised by born and bred boaters when he over-blinged Hawkesbury!

 

Paul

Edited by Paul H

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I always found  drawer pulls a complete pain as they get caught in your clothes - accordingly I fitted cabinet pulls  (flush pulls) on m doors... 

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I reached the same conclusion after looking at photos when I last made new doors for the boat about 20 years ago.

 

Or it could be I'm lazy and couldn't be bothered to refit the drawer pulls from the previous doors.

 

I'll leave it to the reader to make their own decision....

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Blue Line had some. This is the only picture I have found from the "working era" with them on.

Weight_Nutfield.JPG

Edited by Ray T

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This painting depicts some. Know nothing about the age of the picture though.

1521319_591334404270025_954413090_n.jpg

Edited by Ray T

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28 minutes ago, Ray T said:

Blue Line had some. This is the only picture I have found from the "working era" with them on.

Weight_Nutfield.JPG

This photograph was published in Waterways World magazine, December 1997 page 57 - and was one of a series taken by Mike Bowley in October 1970 capturing NUTFIELD and STANTON returning from Marsworth having handed hired buttys back to British Waterways Board, On the left is NUTFIELD and on the right is STANTON complete with draw pulls on the doors.

 

Technically this was after Blue Line's 'working era' had ended as the Southall traffic had finished earlier in October :captain:

 

edit = I did mention STANTON in my first post of this thread.

Edited by pete harrison

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I'm too lazy to walk to the back of the boat, but didn't think we had them.

 

Looking at a picture taken on this trip, we don't!

 

IMG_0113.JPG

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10 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

I'm too lazy to walk to the back of the boat, but didn't think we had them.

 

Looking at a picture taken on this trip, we don't!

But your little blue boat does :captain:

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26 minutes ago, pete harrison said:

But your little blue boat does :captain:

It didn't in its working days......


Zen_009_05_A.jpg

 

The bizarre thing is I couldn't actually have told you for either without looking!

BW Maintenance boats didn't tend to have a fully fitted back cabin with full scumbling and roses and castles treatment, so a couple of bits of "unauthentic" brass bling are hardly making things much less accurate, I suppose!

They do seem a sensible "improvement" over tradition, but my son who uses the Flamingo back cabin has never complained about the lack of them.

 

Edited by alan_fincher

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3 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

The bizarre thing is I couldn't actually have told you for either without looking!

BW Maintenance boats didn't tend to have a fully fitted back cabin with full scumbling and roses and castles treatment, so a couple of bits of "unauthentic" brass bling are hardly making things much less accurate, I suppose!

They do seem a sensible "improvement" over tradition, but my son who uses the Flamingo back cabin has never complained about the lack of them.

 

Please do not think that I knew about your other boat - I looked on YouTube for Braunston 2018 !!!

 

My boat also has them, and they will be staying because I like them :captain:

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44 minutes ago, pete harrison said:

Please do not think that I knew about your other boat - I looked on YouTube for Braunston 2018 !!!

Sickle will be looking a bit different for Braunston 2019.

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Genuine old pressed brass Shell Pull Handles are becoming very scaece these days, although cast Chineese ones (which look horrible) are readily available. I have quite a few in a box at home - two pairs, plus one pair of similar handles, also a pair of Chromed ones which have never been fitted, two steel ones and one brown bakelite one. If anyone is interested in any of them, I can bring them to the Braunston Historic Boat Gathering.

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I had the pressed brass ones on my boat 'Earl', very useful for pulling the doors shut from inside.

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Another is the brass ring embellishment and chain where the tiller butts up to the ramshead , although there is historical precedent for this one.

 

673468803_MimasRay.jpg.591d97731eb5b59595e8d8216fa11e25.jpg

DSCF1683.jpg

Tiller pin chain.jpg

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22 minutes ago, Ray T said:

Another is the brass ring embellishment and chain where the tiller butts up to the ramshead , although there is historical precedent for this one.

My boat has one of these, although it is need of refurbishment. These were quite rare in working days, as were brass tillers which are also now an almost standard fitment.

 

As far as tillers are concerned I have always liked to have a painted one as well as a brass one, the former being useful when it is raining - and a spare tiller was on the original equipment list for a Grand Union boat :captain:

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In the bottom picture,  with the GU pair, the thing on the end of the chain is the actual tiller pin as new.

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1 hour ago, fittie said:

In the bottom picture,  with the GU pair, the thing on the end of the chain is the actual tiller pin as new.

Also appears to show the original lever speed control fitted to GU boats.

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Was the scruffy dog on the slide accurate as well?

The modern counterparts seem to sport necker'chiefs

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