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alan_fincher

More Old 1970s Photographs

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I never cease to be amazed at photos that I turn up in my mother's disorganised collection, that I have no memory of ever seeing before.

 

In the 1970s a converted barge was operated in the Berkhamsted area as a horse drawn trip boat, and I've published pictures of this before.

 

Prior to this, however, the same operators attempted to operate their "Horse Barge Hotel" boats between Berkhamsted and Stoke Bruerne.

 

Progress was sedate, with a single trip in one direction only supposed to take a week, although even then, I think, they often failed to complete in the time.

 

The two pictures that have turned up relate to the hotel barges, rather than the trip boat, and neither I nor my mum have any idea why she has them. Certainly they were not taken by a member of the family.

 

These were wooden barges - I can't remember the details, other than that one was called "Fleet", and I think both may have originated from the River Wey.

 

I have no idea who the girl is leading the horse.

 

They are interested because they show a full wide beam barge being horse drawn over the trunk aqueduct at Wolverton - something I will confidently say has not been repeated since. Those who complain about the GU towpath now might like to note the quality of the stretch in the second photo - one of the reasons these trips proved so hard to operate.

 

EDITED: To add....

 

Link to previous related thread and pictures

 

Horse_Barge_001.jpg

 

Horse_Barge_002.jpg

Edited by alan_fincher

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How do you get your photos posted? I've tried using photobucket but apparently that's not allowed.

However I see yours are on photobucket Alan. Where have I gone wrong?

Edited by sparky2

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Let's try again!Iona2.jpg

 

and thisIona1.jpg

 

Aah the wonders of modern technology! Light years away from 1966 when these photos were taken, top of Grindley Brook I think.

Edited by sparky2

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How do you get your photos posted? I've tried using photobucket but apparently that's not allowed.

However I see yours are on photobucket Alan. Where have I gone wrong?

You are probably clicking "rte-image-button.png" and pasting in your photobucket address but photobucket already puts the IMG code in, so you just paste it directly into the text.

 

Does that make sense?

Edited by carlt

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Thanks.Sort of! I usually press a few buttons until something happens!

Resolution always been a bit of a mystery even though I did a digital imaging course a few years back.

Knew a tutor @ the local college who was the bees knees with photoshop unfortunately with job cuts he's now moved away.

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I never cease to be amazed at photos that I turn up in my mother's disorganised collection, that I have no memory of ever seeing before.

 

In the 1970s a converted barge was operated in the Berkhamsted area as a horse drawn trip boat, and I've published pictures of this before.

 

Prior to this, however, the same operators attempted to operate their "Horse Barge Hotel" boats between Berkhamsted and Stoke Bruerne.

 

Progress was sedate, with a single trip in one direction only supposed to take a week, although even then, I think, they often failed to complete in the time.

 

The two pictures that have turned up relate to the hotel barges, rather than the trip boat, and neither I nor my mum have any idea why she has them. Certainly they were not taken by a member of the family.

 

These were wooden barges - I can't remember the details, other than that one was called "Fleet", and I think both may have originated from the River Wey.

 

I have no idea who the girl is leading the horse.

 

They are interested because they show a full wide beam barge being horse drawn over the trunk aqueduct at Wolverton - something I will confidently say has not been repeated since. Those who complain about the GU towpath now might like to note the quality of the stretch in the second photo - one of the reasons these trips proved so hard to operate.

 

EDITED: To add....

 

Link to previous related thread and pictures

 

I do not have much on wide beam boats but were these 1970's trip boats:-

 

FLEET - wooden double ended barge

TUBA - wooden transom sterned barge

BEN KILBRECH - steel transom sterned barge

 

and possibly:-

 

BEN HOPE - steel barge

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I do not have much on wide beam boats but were these 1970's trip boats:-

 

FLEET - wooden double ended barge

TUBA - wooden transom sterned barge

BEN KILBRECH - steel transom sterned barge

 

and possibly:-

 

BEN HOPE - steel barge

(Almost) spot on on at least the first three Pete.

 

I was trying to remember the name of the third, and TUBA is odd enough, I don't think I was going to get there very easily.

 

FLEET & TUBA were fully converted wooden barges, and used as houseboats in Berkhamsted until they tried using them as hotel boats. One was subsequently used as a day trip boat, but that I think only involved having people sat on the roof, outside. God knows how they were not swept off in the bridge holes.

 

I think the metal one was actually spelt "BEN KLIBRECH", and was crudely converted as a trip boat, resulting in a potentially lethal operation, where I was always half afraid I'd see some reveller decapitated as they stuck their head through one of the unguarded holes that passed as windows, as the boat was entering a lock. :lol:

 

I have no memory of BEN HOPE, and think it was unlikely that boat was used this way in the Berkhamsted Area.

 

Thanks for the forgotten name.....

 

Alan

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(Almost) spot on on at least the first three Pete.

 

I was trying to remember the name of the third, and TUBA is odd enough, I don't think I was going to get there very easily.

 

FLEET & TUBA were fully converted wooden barges, and used as houseboats in Berkhamsted until they tried using them as hotel boats. One was subsequently used as a day trip boat, but that I think only involved having people sat on the roof, outside. God knows how they were not swept off in the bridge holes.

 

I think the metal one was actually spelt "BEN KLIBRECH", and was crudely converted as a trip boat, resulting in a potentially lethal operation, where I was always half afraid I'd see some reveller decapitated as they stuck their head through one of the unguarded holes that passed as windows, as the boat was entering a lock. :lol:

 

I have no memory of BEN HOPE, and think it was unlikely that boat was used this way in the Berkhamsted Area.

 

Thanks for the forgotten name.....

 

Alan

 

I have an entry dated 30 September 1973 listing 'interesting' boats at Berkhamsted as:-

 

SWEET WILLIAM (possibly fore end half of a Small Woolwich ?)

KERBAU (fore end of an iron B.C.N. - I'm sure you know this boat !)

BEN HOPE (house boat - still lettered Vokins & Co. Ltd., Blackwall)

FLEET (as previously mentioned)

TUBA (as previously mentioned)

BEN KLIBRECH (as previously mentioned - I spelt the name wrong !)

1511 (double ended wooden B.C.N. - Birmingham Salvage Dept. No. 26 - lettered 'MOTTEK')

AYR (Large Woolwich butty as B.W.B. maintenance boat at Castle Mill)

 

FLEET and TUBA were operated by Horsebarge Hotels Ltd. (proprietors M.C. Baldey and E.J. Bristow, Towpath, Berkhamsted, Herts.). FLEET was acquired in July 1969 and converted later that year having originally been built by A.J. Harmsworth & Sons boatyard at Ash Vale on the Basingstoke Canal in 1935 as ARIEL I. TUBA was also built by A.J. Harmsworth & Sons, Ash Vale as GWENDOLINE in 1921 and was already established as a house boat at Berkhamsted by mid 1965.

 

I hope this brings back a few memories. I obviously have more on wide boats than I thought !

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I have an entry dated 30 September 1973 listing 'interesting' boats at Berkhamsted as:-

Is there anything you don't have some info on, please, Pete ?!?

 

That all sounds very plausible.

 

I don't actually recall BEN HOPE, and can only remember two full size barges as houseboats there.

 

I can't recall SWEET WILLIAM either, but the rest I all recognise.

 

If AYR was on it's own at Berko on that date, it would appear to be after it last worked with AYNHO from Marsworth Piling Depot. If you had asked me, I would have guessed that traffic was still just hanging on in late 1973, but it seems not.

 

I'm guessing this picture was taken very close to the date you are referring to - it shows Union Canal Carriers BEXHILL & BRIGHTON negotiating the 28 foot width of one of Baldey's wooden barges and the trip barge BEN KLIBRECH.

 

Bexhill_and_Brighton_2.jpg

 

1511, which you mention, is in the foreground. That used to be lettered "Birmingham Salvage Department", but I don't know if that was it's genuine origins.

 

KERBAU was seldom in Berko other than passing through, so I'm amazed it got recorded there at all. She was a wide-beam too, in her own unique way, (at least 7 ft 2 ins beam. :lol: )

 

Thanks for your info about Berkhamsted boats.

Edited by alan_fincher

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Didn't the Fosters live aboard 1511 for a time?

 

I do not have an owners name for 1511 but I do know that in 1969 they also owned two former William Stevens & Sons River Wey barges, PERSEVERANCE and SPEEDWELL. It appears that 1511 was converted to a house boat in the summer of 1965.

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Didn't the Fosters live aboard 1511 for a time?

Yes, it was indeed at one stage owned by Mike and Lindy Foster.

 

I don't know from when, or to when, or how much they used it as a home, but I somehow can't imagine Lindy F roughing it like that now!

 

There was a member on here, John the Bridge I think, who I have not seen contribute for a while, who also claimed it as one of those he had owned.

 

Most of the "lived on" boats in Berkhamsted at that time were wooden - I'm guessing most have not survived - possibly none of them.

 

:lol:

 

If anybody has any pictures of the former Red Rose hire fleet from Berko, either the original wooden cabin cruisers, or the later Springers, (outboard powered :lol: ), then I would really love to see them. (Our first hands on experience of canal boating - and with those ruddy boats, you ended up being very hands on....)

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I have an entry dated 30 September 1973 listing 'interesting' boats at Berkhamsted as:-

 

SWEET WILLIAM (possibly fore end half of a Small Woolwich ?)

KERBAU (fore end of an iron B.C.N. - I'm sure you know this boat !)

BEN HOPE (house boat - still lettered Vokins & Co. Ltd., Blackwall)

FLEET (as previously mentioned)

TUBA (as previously mentioned)

BEN KLIBRECH (as previously mentioned - I spelt the name wrong !)

1511 (double ended wooden B.C.N. - Birmingham Salvage Dept. No. 26 - lettered 'MOTTEK')

AYR (Large Woolwich butty as B.W.B. maintenance boat at Castle Mill)

 

FLEET and TUBA were operated by Horsebarge Hotels Ltd. (proprietors M.C. Baldey and E.J. Bristow, Towpath, Berkhamsted, Herts.). FLEET was acquired in July 1969 and converted later that year having originally been built by A.J. Harmsworth & Sons boatyard at Ash Vale on the Basingstoke Canal in 1935 as ARIEL I. TUBA was also built by A.J. Harmsworth & Sons, Ash Vale as GWENDOLINE in 1921 and was already established as a house boat at Berkhamsted by mid 1965.

 

I hope this brings back a few memories. I obviously have more on wide boats than I thought !

Just trying to get to grips with this forum as new: Ben Hope is mentioned several times here - I have lived on her since 1998 - she is a comfy houseboat with most mod cons now and is moored at Hoo in Kent.

 

sue

 

 

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Is there anything you don't have some info on, please, Pete ?!?

 

That all sounds very plausible.

 

I don't actually recall BEN HOPE, and can only remember two full size barges as houseboats there.

 

I can't recall SWEET WILLIAM either, but the rest I all recognise.

 

If AYR was on it's own at Berko on that date, it would appear to be after it last worked with AYNHO from Marsworth Piling Depot. If you had asked me, I would have guessed that traffic was still just hanging on in late 1973, but it seems not.

 

I'm guessing this picture was taken very close to the date you are referring to - it shows Union Canal Carriers BEXHILL & BRIGHTON negotiating the 28 foot width of one of Baldey's wooden barges and the trip barge BEN KLIBRECH.

 

Bexhill_and_Brighton_2.jpg

 

1511, which you mention, is in the foreground. That used to be lettered "Birmingham Salvage Department", but I don't know if that was it's genuine origins.

 

KERBAU was seldom in Berko other than passing through, so I'm amazed it got recorded there at all. She was a wide-beam too, in her own unique way, (at least 7 ft 2 ins beam. ohmy.gif )

 

Thanks for your info about Berkhamsted boats.

1511 was owned originally after coming off the Salvage fleet by Ken Keay, Keays maintained the salvage fleet. It came back to the dock in the late 70's, it then went to the late Tony Miles after extensive rebuilding at Keays dock. After Tony sold it it went through a number of owners, still staying as a full length joey but converted and unpowered eventually ending up as a pub garden play area on the hard at Alrewas. It was then cut up and removed and still remains as two halves at Streethay wharf used for storage again on the hard.

It was incidentally the last Joey boat docked at Keays.

Edited by Laurence Hogg

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Yes, we did own 1511.

 

We bought it from the Birmingham Salvage Department in July 1965. I still have the receipt. We had £100 wedding present from one set of parents and £20 from the other, we had £5 of our own. We tendered £121 but for number 1511 only. We had been and looked at the whole fleet, which was being sold by Birmingham Council, and 1511 was the only one without sore knees. When we picked it up, it still had quite a lot of Birmingham Salvage in the hold, so that was the first job to clean it!!!

 

We brought it down south with a 2hp seagull on the rudder, and nothing but a bicycle lamp to get us through both tunnels. I remember it took a whole day to get through Framers Bridge by the time we got all the detritus out of the locks so that we could get through.

 

The intention had been to take it down to Kensal Green, but when we moored overnight in Berkhamsted, Charlie and Madge who were the land lords of the Crystal Palace, were so warm and lovely to us we never moved on. Locals kept us going, dropping food into the bow cockpit from the local allotments, our neighbours helped with the conversion.

 

We started by living in the day cabin on the boat, which was tiny, but it had a dead mans stove to keep us warm. Rosie Bray even made us bacon rolly polies (one of her specialties – she even invited me into her cabin to show me how she did it!). Bill Whitlock painted roses for us in the cabin; we still have the cabin stool and buckby can he did for us. Some day I will write up the six years living on 1511, and the passion that led us to starting Bridgewater Boats in 1971. Building and running the fleet, which started with just one boat, was very hard work, often 17 hours a day, always 7 days a week, but never regretted and still a great memory.

 

 

Lindy

 

  • Greenie 3

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Is there anything you don't have some info on, please, Pete ?!?

 

That all sounds very plausible.

 

I don't actually recall BEN HOPE, and can only remember two full size barges as houseboats there.

 

I can't recall SWEET WILLIAM either, but the rest I all recognise.

 

If AYR was on it's own at Berko on that date, it would appear to be after it last worked with AYNHO from Marsworth Piling Depot. If you had asked me, I would have guessed that traffic was still just hanging on in late 1973, but it seems not.

 

I'm guessing this picture was taken very close to the date you are referring to - it shows Union Canal Carriers BEXHILL & BRIGHTON negotiating the 28 foot width of one of Baldey's wooden barges and the trip barge BEN KLIBRECH.

 

Bexhill_and_Brighton_2.jpg

 

1511, which you mention, is in the foreground. That used to be lettered "Birmingham Salvage Department", but I don't know if that was it's genuine origins.

 

KERBAU was seldom in Berko other than passing through, so I'm amazed it got recorded there at all. She was a wide-beam too, in her own unique way, (at least 7 ft 2 ins beam. ohmy.gif )

 

Thanks for your info about Berkhamsted boats.

1511 was indeed a "Salvage" boat, she returned to Keays to be worked on and had the last BCN cabin fitted by a proper yard. A conversion cabin was also rebuilt and she became the managers home (Tony Miles). She spent some time at Keays, then Kingston row in Brum and in the basin at Worcester. Her final resting place was a pub at Alrewas as a adventure playground artefact.

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I never knew the guys name that worked the horse drawn wide hotel boat, but know that ourselves & the Fox's on their hotel pair seemed to fall foul of him on passing or meeting him/boat on the lower GU. He seemed to think he ( owned the cut ) I fell foul of him on the first meeting by passing him on the to him wrong side which meant he didn't have to pass his towline over us, every time I saw him he was a Very unhappy chappie who only seemed prepared to take & not give,when it was him/ his boat that was causing the problems His attitude was I'm boating with a horse boat I have precedence over everything.

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Yes, we did own 1511.

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

Lindy

 

Welcome to the forum, Lindy. It is especially pleasing when people connected with the waterways come on here to share their knowledge and their personal boating stories.

 

For some years I had one of your brochures, acquired during our hire-boating days, and I clearly remember that on one page there was a photo of you with a kingfisher alighting on your hand, captioned something like "Miracles do happen". I have sometimes wondered whether this photo was created by trick photography and, if not, how you lured one of these notoriously shy birds to come so close.

Just trying to get to grips with this forum as new: Ben Hope is mentioned several times here - I have lived on her since 1998 - she is a comfy houseboat with most mod cons now and is moored at Hoo in Kent.

 

sue

 

 

Welcome, Sue, and thank you for this information. Do you have a photo of Ben Hope as she now looks, please? I'm sure that there are people on here who would be very interested to see it.

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I was in the kitchen one day when I saw a flash of red (our ginger cat) and a flash of blue, I immediately rushed outside and rescued the kingfisher from the cat's mouth, held it in my hand just for a few minutes to check it was alright and then opened my hand for it to fly away, fortunately Mike had a camera at hand - so yes it is a really picture. If someone will tell me how to put a picture up on this site I will add a photo!

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If someone will tell me how to put a picture up on this site I will add a photo!

You can either put it in your gallery on here (look in your profile).

 

Or host it on Photobucket or w.h.y. and then make a link to it in your post.

 

ETA to say how wonderful that two new peeps pop up in this post with these good old memories.

Edited by jake_crew

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You can either put it in your gallery on here (look in your profile).

 

Or host it on Photobucket or w.h.y. and then make a link to it in your post.

Or compose the text of your message, then click on "More Reply Options", and you get the opportunity to add a picture directly from your own computer - click on "Browse" to find the file, than "Attach This File" and when you are happy click on "Add Reply".

  • Greenie 1

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Really? I have just spent several minutes faffing about trying to do that, and have come to the conclusion that technically it is beyond me. I browsed through my pictures, chose one to add as a test piece, pressed what I thought was the correct button, and bingo! "No file was selected" message appeared. Seven times in a row. In vain did I wail, gnash my teeth and cry out "Oh yes it bloody well was!", the computer remained recalcitrant.

Edited by Athy

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