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alan_fincher

Historic Boats for sale online

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On 05/11/2019 at 23:44, magnetman said:

I bet it goes well. 

In traditional terms it is not the "correct" engine maybe a JP2 or a Bolinders would be better but in terms of useabllity in different situations it's not too awful. 

 

Could be worse. It might have an air cooler Lister in it !!

 

On 06/11/2019 at 08:37, Stilllearning said:

When I peruse these listings, looking at working boats and dreaming, if the Lister doesn’t have a W in the model number, I move on. Air cooled Listers really are noisy.

 

On 06/11/2019 at 09:04, noddyboater said:

I may be wrong, as I often am, but owners of air cooled Listers harp on about how simple and reliable they are, when in reality they’ve got as many inbuilt faults as anything else. Just without the water. 

But it does give the real concrete heads an excuse for being so ignorant. They actually can’t hear you making polite conversation. 

 

So given it is a historic boat,and in my view as much as possible of the history should be retained, what do the experts here consider I should replace the air cooled Lister HA2 with that is currently a few feet behind me in Flamingo?

Put in by Willow Wren in the late 1960s in the final days of regular long distance narrow boat carrying, it is surviving well despite being considerably over half a century old.

Yes they are loud, but in a great sounding kind of way, and surely far more reliable than the Nationals and RNs that they replaced.

 

I'm very happy to have an "historic" still retaining the engine it actually worked with - something I suggest is now a relative rarity.

Had I got any further than tentative enquiries about Acacia, and actually bought the thing, that Gardner would have had to go.  Fodder for a Hudson or an R W Davies no doubt, but having no place in the real thing, IMO.

 

 

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Petter PD2! Had 3 of these together with the parsons gearbox. They were not original equipment in the GU boats and were replacements. In the 70’s the spares got very tight and when the one in Tadworth broke its crank whilst ticking over in Atherstone top lock we decided that was enough. We sourced a PJ3 water cooled engine from a generator set and matched it to a prm gearbox. This was clearly not “historic” but it kept the boat working and is still in it after nearly 50 years so historic in its own way. 
where does the line between having a museum piece and a usable working boat come?

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29 minutes ago, Dav and Pen said:

where does the line between having a museum piece and a usable working boat come?

 

This is what troubles be with boats presented like IBEX. In better nick than new, and nothing like the photos one sees of working boats back in the day one sees actually working as opposed to being highly polished museum pieces. 

 

A boat needs to have some wear and tear on it to look the part, in my opinion. 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

 

A boat needs to have some wear and tear on it to look the part, in my opinion. 

 

 

 

Evidently a certain (now former) journalist agreed with you.

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15 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

This is what troubles be with boats presented like IBEX. In better nick than new, and nothing like the photos one sees of working boats back in the day one sees actually working as opposed to being highly polished museum pieces. 

 

A boat needs to have some wear and tear on it to look the part, in my opinion. 

 

 

 

I had that very discussion with an owner at Alvecote who commented on too much bling on some boats which isn't how they would have looked when working.

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1 minute ago, Rob-M said:

I had that very discussion with an owner at Alvecote who commented on too much bling on some boats which isn't how they would have looked when working.

When President and Kildare came down to the Middle Level a few years ago, one of their crew members told me that they tried to keep the boats in cared-for working condition as that was more authentic than a showroom shine.

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3 hours ago, Tim Lewis said:

Got gazumped on that one about 6 years ago, before we eventually bought Flamingo.

I wonder how much it has been changed since?

Rufford blog post.


 

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14 minutes ago, alan_fincher said:

Got gazumped on that one about 6 years ago, before we eventually bought Flamingo.

I wonder how much it has been changed since?

Rufford blog post.


 

I was just thinking that it wasn't very long since the last buyer of Rufford came on here to tell us about it. But I see it was over 6 years ago!

 

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On 08/11/2019 at 16:31, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

This is what troubles be with boats presented like IBEX. In better nick than new, and nothing like the photos one sees of working boats back in the day one sees actually working as opposed to being highly polished museum pieces. 

 

A boat needs to have some wear and tear on it to look the part, in my opinion. 

 

 

 

 

I guess it that opinion depends on whether the person expressing it can actually remember the boats when they were working. Some were always turned out looking smart. I remember a very young Hugh McKnight taking this one of Rose Bray and Ernie Kendal on Roger and Raymond just having passed our moorings below Uxbridge lock in the mid 1960's

 

1533535065_RogerRaymond.jpg.eb7d1cf293b15d46ca848e952e4e83ac.jpg

Edited by David Schweizer
  • Greenie 1

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Great photo of Ernie  and Rose their boats were always clean and tidy as where the Whitlock pair for Blue Line. When we first got the Tadworth I left it down on the towpath at Braunston near the Brays. When I went down to check on it a couple of days later Arthur leaned out of the cabin doors and said I sent Ernie along to sort you boat out. Severe wrap on the knuckles for me but the boat did look lot better somehow. Tried to keep up to their expectations after that .

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Another example of well turned out boats taken in 1964. although towards the end of their trading days not all Willow wren boats were kept as smart. Interestingly Alan Fincher's "Flamingo" was always well turned out right up to the end of it's working days

 

2008176358_WillowWren.jpg.647b6f347608d645267fb7d69a8c741c.jpg

 

And Another well turned out boat - Union Canal Carriers "Petrel" taken in 1971.  Note the shiny brass despite the inclement weather. I may be wrong, but I believe a forum member may recognise himself steering.

 

Petrel.jpg.ed7020271cf08a33edea1b3ced4e0f74.jpg

 

 

Edited by David Schweizer

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31 minutes ago, David Schweizer said:

Another example of well turned out boats taken in 1964. although towards the end of their trading days not all Willow wren boats were kept as smart. Interestingly Alan Fincher's "Flamingo" was always well turned out right up to the end of it's working days

 

333508747_WillowWren.jpg.9d9f1fdd1015d3bce7552b95aea23725.jpg


I suspect, but don't know for certain, that the pair there was under the captaincy of Ray White, who I think was more or less the most senior Willow Wren boatman, and did keep the boats very smart.

Whilst I'd agree that many of the boatmen kept some of the Willow Wren boats as smart as they could right to the end, with the brasses well polished, and everything in its place, the reality is that not many of them were that smart at the very end, at least in terms of paintwork and general condition.

I don't think this picture of Flamingo shows a boat presented to anything like the "shiny Josher" syndrome found at ex working boat gatherings today.

Note just how much less well presented Cygnus has become in the period since the photo David has posted, and also the general deteriorating condition of the back end of Flamingo's cabin and its doors.   However Ron and Janet Withey have still kept the brasses as they should be.

(Oh, and if anybody says the mop handle should always be left resting on the cans....)

 

Narrow_Boats_At_Work_001.jpg

Edited by alan_fincher

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1 hour ago, David Schweizer said:

 

Petrel.jpg.ed7020271cf08a33edea1b3ced4e0f74.jpg

 

 


I would have assumed it is George Smith steering.  Is it not, then?

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2 hours ago, David Schweizer said:

Another example of well turned out boats taken in 1964. although towards the end of their trading days not all Willow wren boats were kept as smart. Interestingly Alan Fincher's "Flamingo" was always well turned out right up to the end of it's working days

 

2008176358_WillowWren.jpg.647b6f347608d645267fb7d69a8c741c.jpg

 

Having seen pictures of Cygnus so well turned out at Stratford in 1964 I was shocked when I first encountered her in the flesh about 10 years later, moored on the offside below Camp Hill locks and part full of rubbish. The cabin, running gear and rudder had gone, but the Willow Wren paintwork on the stern and fore end was still recognisable.

I had a feeling at the time she had become one of Caggy Stevens' rubbish boats, left for weeks at a time at the back of a factory somewhere, but I can't recall now why I thought this. Can anyone confirm?

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1 hour ago, alan_fincher said:


I would have assumed it is George Smith steering.  Is it not, then?

I always thought it was George steering.

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1 hour ago, alan_fincher said:


I would have assumed it is George Smith steering.  Is it not, then?

36 minutes ago, fittie said:

I always thought it was George steering.

 Not the person I thought it was, I moved away from London in 1971 and do not actually recollect Petrel working, so my guess as to who is steering is clearly incorrect. Good job I didn't name him.

55 minutes ago, David Mack said:

 

Having seen pictures of Cygnus so well turned out at Stratford in 1964 I was shocked when I first encountered her in the flesh about 10 years later, moored on the offside below Camp Hill locks and part full of rubbish. The cabin, running gear and rudder had gone, but the Willow Wren paintwork on the stern and fore end was still recognisable.

I had a feeling at the time she had become one of Caggy Stevens' rubbish boats, left for weeks at a time at the back of a factory somewhere, but I can't recall now why I thought this. Can anyone confirm?

I believe that a number of former Willow Wren butties ended up in Birmingham as rubbish boats, whether Cygnus was one of them, I do not know.

 

 

Edited by David Schweizer

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Cygnus was indeed one of Caggy's rubbish boats, along with (I think) 3 of the 'B' butties. Their names escape me at the moment although I think Beverley was one of them. Cygnus was the first to leave that fleet.

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39 minutes ago, BuckbyLocks said:

Cygnus was indeed one of Caggy's rubbish boats, along with (I think) 3 of the 'B' butties. Their names escape me at the moment although I think Beverley was one of them. Cygnus was the first to leave that fleet.

Beverley, Bordesley and Bedworth, on hire from BW - at least to begin with

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3 hours ago, David Schweizer said:

 Not the person I thought it was, I moved away from London in 1971 and do not actually recollect Petrel working, so my guess as to who is steering is clearly incorrect. Good job I didn't name him.

Ah, but the person you thought it might be answered the question already back in 2010!
 

 

Edited by alan_fincher

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