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Tracing "Snail" formerly "The Duke of York"


Nicci
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My grandfather, Arnold Lehmann, bought the Duke of York in the early 1950's (1951 I think) and converted her into a pleasure craft. The vessel was found with the help of T.S. Element. After her purchase she was re-named "Snail".

 

I have a large amount of information about the restoration/conversion including plans, photographs, slides and newspaper/magazine articles. I also have a large number of personal letters and log books about “snailing” in The Cut. With Snail, the Mate and Cabin Boy (grandmother and mother) my grandfather won a number of annual "challenge" cups, so I presume both were fairly well known within the narrow boat "fraternity. What is missing is information about what happened to Snail after my grandfather sold her.

 

Any information, or advice on where/how to research, would be greatly appreciated. Finding out this information holds particular significance at the moment as Snail joined a flotilla of barges which convened in Little Venice/Paddington Basin so celebrate the Queen's coronation. 60 years on I love to know Snail's fate.

 

Many thanks in advance for any help/advice.

 

Nicci

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Just checked Jim Shead's listing for you and there is nothing listed under either name that would fit that era.

That doesn't mean that it isn't somewhere but it does mean that it is going to be slightly more difficult to track down.

Roger

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Hi Roger Thanks for checking for me and for your very quick reply - every little helps! I'm sure if I check through some more of my grandfather's records that I will be able to find out information about type/class of boat which might help with my search. Nicci

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Hi Roger Thanks for checking for me and for your very quick reply - every little helps! I'm sure if I check through some more of my grandfather's records that I will be able to find out information about type/class of boat which might help with my search. Nicci

 

The boat may obviously have a new name by now if it still exists. Pete Harrison is a mine of useful information on historical boats amongst many on here. photo's would be a massive help if any are available.

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Snail, iirc, was a GUCCCo Ricky motor that Elements renamed Duke of York, when they bought it.

 

After Elements sold it on it was renamed Snail.

 

I'm afraid I don't know what it was called, before Elements bought it, perhaps Pete Harrison knows.

 

It isn't on any of my lists of surviving boats, either, but they do keep popping back up, so you never know.

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According to the Fuller's website, T & S Elements DUKE OF YORK was formerly UMBRIEL. Sold to T & S January 1942.

 

UMBRIEL's fate is recorded elsewhere on this forum:

http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=41199

 

I'm sure Pete will correct or expand upon same.

 

PS

 

Some images from your collection would be most welcomed by all.

Edited by Derek R.
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According to the Fuller's website, T & S Elements DUKE OF YORK was formerly UMBRIEL. Sold to T & S January 1942.

 

I'm sure Pete will correct or expand upon same.

 

PS

 

Some images from your collection would be most welcomed by all.

 

The history of T. & S. Element was published in Waterways World September 1996 (pages 48 - 53) where Alan H. Faulkner claimed that the motor DUKE OF YORK was formally the G.U.C.C.Co. Ltd. wooden motor UMBRIEL. I have had prolonged discussions with Mr Faulkner regarding his claim as I believe he was incorrect. With further information now being available there is no doubt that UMBRIEL became KING GEORGE V. I currently do not know from whom T. & S. Element acquired the wooden motor DUKE OF YORK. Mr Faulkner suggests in his article that the wooden motors KING GEORGE V (substitute with DUKE OF YORK) and PRINCESS ELIZABETH were probably new but I do not think this is correct either (some websites claim PRINCESS ELIZABETH was built by F.M.C. Ltd. in March 1942). Unfortunately the B.C.N. gauge tables for DUKE OF YORK (B.C.N. 2224) and PRINCESS ELIZABETH (B.C.N. 2121) do not offer any information regarding previous owners, although I do have my suspicions regarding DUKE OF YORK.

 

T. & S. Element sold DUKE OF YORK to Arnold Lehmann, Wolverhampton in 1950, where upon it was converted to a pleasure boat and renamed SNAIL. After a few changes of ownership (names withheld) SNAIL had its last sale in about 1979. As was quite common back then SNAIL was docked in a short pound (Knowle Locks) but unfortunately rested on large boulders leading to the boats destruction.

 

I am sure that much of Mr Fuller's website was not based on first hand research, with most information coming from publications (although he did at one time have access to a 'complete' set of B.C.N. gauge tables). This is very common amongst 'historic' narrow boat websites and is a strong reason for so much unsound history being published, especially as the numerous 'historic' narrow boat websites pinch each others information giving the unsound history some credibility as it becomes published several times over.

 

Ahah! Back to Mr. H!

 

MAIA? MIRA? PLEIONE? or none of the above.

 

All of these boats have known history, well known to me anyway :captain:

 

I would also like to stress that DUKE OF YORK / SNAIL was definately not a former G.U.C.C.Co. Ltd. motor, nor do I think it was built by W. H. Walker & Bros. Ltd., Rickmansworth.

Edited by pete harrison
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I would also like to stress that DUKE OF YORK / SNAIL was definately not a former G.U.C.C.Co. Ltd. motor, nor do I think it was built by W. H. Walker & Bros. Ltd., Rickmansworth.

Ah!

 

Not much point pursuing what was going to be my next suggestion and contacting Mr Element himself, then, as it was him that told me that D of Y was a Ricky, like Umbriel.

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Ah!

 

Not much point pursuing what was going to be my next suggestion and contacting Mr Element himself, then, as it was him that told me that D of Y was a Ricky, like Umbriel.

 

It does not look like a 'Ricky' built boat to me, unless it had been subjected to a serious rebuild.

 

The other thing to bare in mind is that I have researched the entire G.U.C.C.Co. Ltd. narrow boat fleet and I can account for all of the motors during the period that T. & S. Element acquired and operated DUKE OF YORK. My research is first hand and not based on a flick through Mr Faulkner's booklet The George and The Mary, Waterways World articles or internet websites :captain:

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...My research is first hand and not based on a flick through Mr Faulkner's booklet The George and The Mary, Waterways World articles or internet websites :captain:

 

....Mr Element himself, then, as it was him that told me that D of Y was a Ricky, like Umbriel.

Horse's mouth carries no weight then? :rolleyes:

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That is entirely up to you to decide :captain:

I think you misunderstand.

 

I am perfectly happy to acknowledge that Snail wasn't a Ricky, now that someone I respect as an authority has told me so...

 

However, until corrected by you, it was also reasonable to accept the word of Mr Element, especially as I'm not aware of any mention of it, in "George and Mary".

 

Now, had I ever actually seen Snail, either in the flesh or a photograph, I feel confident of my own ability to, if not identify the actual builder, dismiss any notion that it was built by Walker Bros.

Edited by carlt
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I think you misunderstand.

 

I am perfectly happy to acknowledge that Snail wasn't a Ricky, now that someone I respect as an authority has told me so...

 

However, until corrected by you, it was also reasonable to accept the word of Mr Element, especially as I'm not aware of any mention of it, in "George and Mary".

 

Now, had I ever actually seen Snail, either in the flesh or a photograph, I feel confident of my own ability to, if not identify the actual builder, dismiss any notion that it was built by Walker Bros.

 

SNAIL has appeared in Waterways World on at least two occasions, whilst it is also featured quite frequently in a period film of boats heading to London in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth's Coronation, along with pleasure boat conversions BEATRICE, NORMAN CHAMBERLAIN, STORK, STENTOR, STIRLING CASTLE, WANDERER and WAYFARER.

Edited by pete harrison
  • Greenie 1
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Thank you, everyone, so much for all the information and suggestions to my request. I’ve been quite overwhelmed by it all – in a very happy way!

 

Of particular interest is the period film about the Queen’s Coronation. I hadn’t thought that SNAIL might have been filmed in anything other than my grandfather’s own personal footage. If anyone has more details of this I would be really grateful.

 

I’m glad that other people, with far more knowledge and experience than I, got confused about the UMBRIEL. I did a little tentative research a few years ago and found I kept on going round and round in circles.

 

I can see how some plans/photos would help the search for information to progress (and also be of interest to other members). I’m currently travelling away from home for several weeks, so I will ask my husband if he can choose some items to scan and post in the interim. Unfortunately it may take a little time as yesterday our main topic of conversation was that the computer at home was about to make a sharp exit out of the attic window!

 

Many thanks again for all of your help. Nicci

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According to the Fuller's website, T & S Elements DUKE OF YORK was formerly UMBRIEL. Sold to T & S January 1942.

 

UMBRIEL's fate is recorded elsewhere on this forum:

http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=41199

 

I'm sure Pete will correct or expand upon same.

 

PS

 

Some images from your collection would be most welcomed by all.

I can confirm "Umbriel" was "KIng George" as I owned it for a while.

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I can confirm "Umbriel" was "KIng George" as I owned it for a while.

 

and I own the BCN plate. (Bought off Ebay not nicked off Umbriel!) Of course if the plates had all stayed with the boats then there wouldn't be the confusion over the history of re-named boats.

 

I don't think the histories of some of the boats which workerd on the BCN will ever be fully known. The boats were tools rather than homes and the owners had little sentimental attachment to them. I strongly suspect that names were changed, names re-used and identities swapped around on occasions- certainly Ernie Thomas was rumoured to have done so.

 

Paul H

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