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Tim Lewis

Hugh McKnight On Magpie 1975

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Fascinating. I've long been a fan of Hugh McKnight's writing, but had never heard him speak before.

I'm not sure that the presenter was correct when he said that the G.U. from Brentford to Brum was 255 miles long.

I was interested to hear the former boatman referring to a windlass as a "lock handle".

And finally....I believe Hugh McKnicht moved to S.W. France some years ago. Does 'Parry 2' still exist?

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1 minute ago, Loddon said:

Ooooo

 Jenny Hanley♥️

I never watched 'Magpie' so I don't remember her. Did she go on to do anything else?

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8 minutes ago, Athy said:

Fascinating. I've long been a fan of Hugh McKnight's writing, but had never heard him speak before.

I'm not sure that the presenter was correct when he said that the G.U. from Brentford to Brum was 255 miles long.

I was interested to hear the former boatman referring to a windlass as a "lock handle".

And finally....I believe Hugh McKnicht moved to S.W. France some years ago. Does 'Parry 2' still exist?

Parry ll went to Ellesmere Port, it was offered for disposal as part of a clear out of unrestorable boats in 2009. 
 

 

Edited by Tim Lewis

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I remember a much younger Hugh McKnight in the mid 1960's. He was photographing boats in those days and on occasions sat on the bank below Uxbridge lock opposite our mooring, I was there when he took this one of Roger and Raymond. The tall gate to the right of the bridge was the entrance to our mooring which was on the outside of the old FMC yard.

 

 

image.jpeg.c14b2971fd30c6314214d9350ff6694b.jpeg

 

 

Edited by David Schweizer
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43 minutes ago, Tim Lewis said:

Parry ll went to Ellesmere Port, it was offered for disposal as part of a clear out of unrestorable boats in 2009. 
 

 

So it looks as if Parry didn't survive. Looking at the apple-pie order she was in in the 1975 programme, and bearing in mind what a distinctive boat she was, that is sad indeed.

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1 hour ago, Tim Lewis said:

Parry ll went to Ellesmere Port, it was offered for disposal as part of a clear out of unrestorable boats in 2009. 
 

 

Parry II was restored by Andy Millward when he lived at Gas Street in the early 1970s, and he subsequently sold the boat to Hugh McKnight circa 1973/4 IIRC.

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15 minutes ago, Nightwatch said:

My thoughts entirely.

What about Susan Stranks?

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Hugh's ability or inclination to maintain his boat was a weakness. Good at giving instructions though. His published works were OK, Shepperton Swan I believe was his company, or it may have been the company he used.

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2 hours ago, Athy said:

Fascinating. I've long been a fan of Hugh McKnight's writing, but had never heard him speak before.

I've not seen him for about 15 years but back then he hadn't changed much since that 1975 programme!

 

He lives in Clairac on the Lot, IIRC. One of the few waterway writers with a real flair for words that I was lucky enough to encounter in my years as a hack (John Liley was one, too, and Mike Lucas from Mikron another).

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Jenny Hanley used to run The Swan Pub in Thames Ditton right on the riverside. Have seen her in there many times but that was probably in the 1980's

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I'm sure he said miles, but I think the canal distance London-Birmingham in kilometers is something just over 200. They certainly gave Cale Laine some amusement in the thick at Hanwell, but I was inwardly shuddering to see the presenter guy prodding things with Hugh's shaft. It was a better attempt than most though.

 

Tam

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Was that Tom the BWB tug(Ruislip)  driver who was interviewed at the end. He lived at the top of Hanwell? I have forgotten how nice it was boating around London in the Seventies none of this liveaboard city.

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25 minutes ago, Mike Adams said:

Was that Tom the BWB tug(Ruislip)  driver who was interviewed at the end. He lived at the top of Hanwell? I have forgotten how nice it was boating around London in the Seventies none of this liveaboard city.

Yes he was the lock keeper in 1975 and then went onto being the tug driver. Met him many times 

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You'll recognise the tug in the foreground of course Mike. 😃 and I'm pretty sure it was Tommy Osborne behind, with John Dakin as mate on the hopper

 

Tam

 

262219120_16c86226copy.jpg.6ae8fe0787fd5ea2150e97e89288791c.jpg

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2 hours ago, Tam & Di said:

You'll recognise the tug in the foreground of course Mike. 😃 and I'm pretty sure it was Tommy Osborne behind, with John Dakin as mate on the hopper

 

Tam

 

262219120_16c86226copy.jpg.6ae8fe0787fd5ea2150e97e89288791c.jpg

 

I knew John in the 1960's when he was a lad on the piling boats Aynho and Ayr with his mom Dolly,  Billy Brown, and about 12 siblings. I met him again in the 1990's at Cowley when he was working on a BW maintenance gang. Apparemntly he was known on the GU as "Knuckles" Based upon his enthusiasm for impromptu boxing.

 

Ruislip is a lovely tug, I used to pass it regularly when I was moored a Birdingbury, does Rex Wain still own it?

 

 

Edited by David Schweizer

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2 hours ago, Mike Adams said:

Was that Tom the BWB tug(Ruislip)  driver who was interviewed at the end. He lived at the top of Hanwell? I have forgotten how nice it was boating around London in the Seventies none of this liveaboard city.

I certainly remember it as being quieter in the sixties but "nice" isn't a description that immediatly sprung to mind about the surroundings. Paddington Arm in 1968 :-

 

image.png.21839e03fcfb94003747b926cae769e3.png

 

 

Edited by David Schweizer

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Of course then it was a closed world and almost impossible to get to outside from the towpath except by climbing over a gate or something.

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48 minutes ago, Mike Adams said:

Of course then it was a closed world and almost impossible to get to outside from the towpath except by climbing over a gate or something.

The BCN was certainly like that, where you had to get a key from the lock keeper to open the bridge doors to get off the towpath, but I don't remember London being quite so inaccessible.

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