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Never heard of 'em.

There are several Hotel Boats though.

They are what you would expect - floating hotels that you can hire for a week or so.

Same as hiring your own boat, but driving and meals included.

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Hostel Boats were glorified camping boats, i.e. the internal basic facilities of a camping boat but housed within a cabin structure. Hostel boats appeared on the canals during the 1950's, with the best known being ASTON (from 1962), MARGARET (from c1955) and PAMELA (from c1955) - all of which were horse drawn. The development of these boats was probably a reflection of the infant hotel boat business, and both had their successes.

 

Hostel boats gained in popularity during the 1970's and 1980's, with several local authorities operating their own boats for the benefit of their residents - along with several operated by charities of one sort or another (I operated a motor / butty pair out of Birmingham for a charity). Hostel boats were a broad combination of working boat conversions and new builds, and introduced thousands of youngsters to the world of canals in much the same way that camping boats did :captain:

 

edit - as with camping boats, there are very few hostel boats left - if any - and any that are extent will be at a much improved standard as demanded by modern life.

Edited by pete harrison
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There was another hostel boat (sort of) in use until recently, maybe it will be saved.  SOBRIETY, operated from the recently closed Waterways museum at Goole.

When crewed by young ladies from the bad girls home, it was rumoured that no bloke was safe wherever she moored up.

 

Search "sobriety project " or "waterways museum ".

 

 

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19 minutes ago, NB Esk said:

There was another hostel boat (sort of) in use until recently, maybe it will be saved.  SOBRIETY, operated from the recently closed Waterways museum at Goole.

When crewed by young ladies from the bad girls home, it was rumoured that no bloke was safe wherever she moored up.

 

Search "sobriety project " or "waterways museum ".

 

 

I saw her on the Duck the other day. 

 

https://narrowboats.apolloduck.co.uk/boat/narrow-boats-widebeam/607690

 

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2 minutes ago, Tumshie said:

I saw her on the Duck the other day. 

 

https://narrowboats.apolloduck.co.uk/boat/narrow-boats-widebeam/607690

 

Ah no, not the one I was thinking of.  SOBRIETY is a Humber barge/Sheffield boat? Can't remember exactly what.  No doubt the "project" had more than one boat.

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, NB Esk said:

Ah no, not the one I was thinking of.  SOBRIETY is a Humber barge/Sheffield boat? Can't remember exactly what.  No doubt the "project" had more than one boat.

Oh right I see, I missed that the boat was called SOBRIETY, I should have got that. 

 

The one I linked was WATERSTART and part of the project but wasn't the one you meant. 

 

 

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Going back to the original question, the term 'hostel boat' was originally used because the boats operated in a similar way to youth hostels, i.e. individuals or groups could use the accommodation, booked their stay per night and often helped with or shared the cooking and cleaning.

Hotel boats are (or were)normally booked per cabin (each cabin having one double or one single berth) and all the steering and cooking etc is provided by a crew.

 

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14 hours ago, pete harrison said:

edit - as with camping boats, there are very few hostel boats left - if any - and any that are extent will be at a much improved standard as demanded by modern life.

In the last ten years there was a modern boat operating on the Peak Forest and Macc that seemed to be a 21st century attempt to bridge the hostel/hotel boat experience - venture was called Wandering Duck. I think they stopped a couple of years ago. Prices worked out per berth per trip for a few nights and helped as much as you wanted. Smart boat and looked a lot of fun but definitely modern facilities. Land based hostels went from bunk beds in barns to hotel style rooms, hostel boats evolved too.

 

If glamping is glorified camping then maybe a new iteration of hostel boats could be called gloating - an old working boat, tarped over, shower room, 8 bunks, some Indian rugs and throws, a wood burner and loads of USB points!

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49 minutes ago, BilgePump said:

 

If glamping is glorified camping then maybe a new iteration of hostel boats could be called gloating.

A greeno for that, Mr. Pump!

 

I suppose that consuming fancy foreign bottled beers such as Peroni instead of a pint of bitter would be "glinking".

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15 hours ago, pete harrison said:

Throughout the inland waterways system :captain:

 

MARGARET (slide recently for sale via Ebay)

284641584_MARGARETc1965(_57-Ebayadvert).JPG.4ba795f4d3a53b6accc4cfb8110937b5.JPG

The horse looks quite small.

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1 minute ago, BWM said:

The horse looks quite small.

Maybe it's just far away

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8 minutes ago, BWM said:

The horse looks quite small.

They often were, just look at the space above the towpath on some original bridges and imagine the height of a horse which could pass easily without going close to the edge.

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Thanks for all these replies .. all very interesting.. I am looking at all the ways people have entered and explored the Dee Valley over the last two centuries and am gathering memories/anecdotes for a project. The Youth Hostel in Llangollen is closed now but I'd love to hear from anyone who came here on a hostel boat when they were young..

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8 hours ago, BWM said:

The horse looks quite small.

Jim, in my photo, was a big horse and did have trouble at low bridge 'oles.  Many old boaters used mules.

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Jack Roberts, a fly-boat captain on the Shropshire Union system until fly-boating ended in 1921, describes his boating in his book Shropshire Union Fly-Boats, written in the late 1960s, but published by us only four years ago.

Jack came out of retirement in about 1960 to steer Hostelcraft’s boat, Margaret, with Clydesdale horse Mary.  Trips started at Stretford.  The first week (with passengers paying about £8) was to Llangollen, then the boat visited Tettenhall, then on to destinations such as Coventry, Stratford (obviously from 1964 onwards, when the canal reopened), Leamington, Stourport etc.  The boat initially carried 20, in two dormitories, but this was later reduced to 12, to provide better facilities.  The steerer, mate and cook slept in the boatman’s cabin and fore-cabin.

Jack talks of another boat, Firebrand, running from Guildford to near Hatton – it couldn’t get further up the Grand Union, being 10’ beam (who says wide boats going up the GU is recent?  There was also cargo carrying Progress in the 60s).  Jack once took Firebrand up the Thames to Abingdon – difficult, as the towing path was no longer suitable for horses, with field fences going right to the river’s edge, so he had to move and replace them where he could, or take the horse on an inland route via paths and roads.  Near Lechlade, they had to lead George the horse across the lock-gates!

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18 hours ago, Chris Williams said:

Jim, in my photo, was a big horse and did have trouble at low bridge 'oles.  Many old boaters used mules.

There is quite a difference between the two horses in size, the smaller one looks closer to a pit pony in stature. 

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One of the reasons to carry 12 passengers was to avoid having to comply with passenger ship rules of the then board of trade. These were far more onerous including frequent out of water surveys and lots of life saving equipment.

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14 minutes ago, Dav and Pen said:

One of the reasons to carry 12 passengers was to avoid having to comply with passenger ship rules of the then board of trade. These were far more onerous including frequent out of water surveys and lots of life saving equipment.

There is some interesting discussion about carrying passengers on canal boats in the Ministry of Transport papers in The National Archive at Kew, MT9/4184. Objections re boats on the L&LC went back as far as the 1920s, but came to a head with the 'Holidays at Home' scheme in 1943, resulting in un-registered boats being prohibited from 1947.

1924-7-5 Glovers.JPG

Wigan HaH ticket.jpg

1947-7-4 passengers by boat.JPG

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1 hour ago, Dav and Pen said:

One of the reasons to carry 12 passengers was to avoid having to comply with passenger ship rules of the then board of trade.

Why 12 ?  Anyone know ?   When we were camping with two boats, there was supposed to be 12 on each boat.  I sometimes seemed to have more than the legal number.  and they weren't all boys.

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I seem to think that it had something to do with mini bus rules at the time, they were not subject to the same rules as public service vehicles and somehow the ruling w ent across to passenger carrying in general. 

When camping with a pair there did always seem to be a lot more than 24 as they often favored one boat .

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