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Roger barrington built hire boats from calcutt


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i was wondering about a series of boats built by roger barrington in calcutt in the late 70s, they were all 47 footers and were hire boats based at calcutt marina, roger barrington sold all of them in '81 they were called walnut, grey poplar, fir and juniper the one i am interested in is juniper, does anyone have any info???

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The Barrington Narrow Boat Co advertised that they would be hiring boats out of Stenson in the 1974. Is this the same company or just the same man? Their boats were to be based on Springers with a higher than average spec fit out but as they were advertising 8-10 berth boats I hope some of them were over 47ft! The adverts were very lavish and professional for the time but I wonder if this perhaps earlier business ever properly got off the ground.

 

Paul

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i think this may be the same company i must've incorrectly remembered the lengths of the boats, i think they were based on springers with vetus engine perhaps, there is a boat continuosly cruising the oxford at the moment with the name juniper, i think it may be from the fleet,...

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Calcutt Boats used to have semi-display adverts in the classified section of Waterways World with boats for sale.

 

I’m Not sure whether this is the boat you have in mind, I can’t find any other boats actually sold by Calcutt Boats between 1980 and 1982 with the names you mentioned, but I assume that they may not have been sold by Calcutt themselves.

 

In February 1980 they advertised “Juniper – 57 Ft Castle cruisers 1976 all steel with Lister SR3, h & c to stainless sink, w.b’s and shower, 2 pump-out toilets, generous storage space and wardrobes, Astral 3-b cooker, Good value at £8,600 inc VAT.”

 

The next month, March 1980 the specification had changed with only one toilet mentioned and price had gone up to £9,000

 

“Juniper – 57 Ft Castle cruisers 1976 all steel with Lister SR3, h & c to stainless sink, w.b’s and shower, pump-out toilet, generous storage, catalytic gas fires plus Eclipse No 9 solid fuel stove, Collette cooker, Electrolux fridge. Excellent value at £9000 inc VAT.”

 

Then two years later in August 1982 they advertised Juniper and it had shrunk by a foot.

“Juniper – 56-FT all steel Castle Cruisers narrowboat with Lister 3-cylinder engine. Has been a little neglected lately hence the bargain price of £8,500”

 

Finally, the following month the same advert appeared but it did not mention the neglect, it just said

“Juniper – 56-FT all steel Castle Cruisers narrowboat with Lister 3-cylinder engine. £ 8,500”

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  • 1 month later...

As far as I can remember, Castle Cruisers operated from the same boatyard at Warwick as Boats (Warwick) - what is now Kate Boats.

A quick google search shows that Castle Cruisers went bust in 1979, which would fit in with the details above of their boats being sold in 1980.

When they were in operation, they advertised through the Boat Enquiries booking agency.

Their boats had a distinctive angular, almost arrow like, front ends to their cabins.

 

The Castle Cruisers boats weren't the same boats as those operated by Barrington, who as far as I can remember, only operated from Stenson.

Most of the Barrington boats were 56 foot 8-10 berth Springers but I think they had a few smaller boats too.

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  • 2 months later...

i was wondering about a series of boats built by roger barrington in calcutt in the late 70s, they were all 47 footers and were hire boats based at calcutt marina, roger barrington sold all of them in '81 they were called walnut, grey poplar, fir and juniper the one i am interested in is juniper, does anyone have any info???

Roger Barrington Wright ran a hire boat company called Barrington Boats out of Stenson Marina. Built by Sam Springer at Market Harborough, to a higher than normal spec., the boats were mostly 56 feet long and fitted with Sabb marine engines (not to be confused with SAAB!). I believe fitted out by British Rail staff and painted in British Rail colours, and therein lies a court case! They were all named after trees, but I know not why, hope this is helpful. He sold the fleet off around 1981/2, I should know, I bought one and lived aboard for four years.

  • Happy 1
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  • 2 years later...

We also bought a 56ft Springer 10 berth(!) from Barrington Boats in 1981. This was Grey Poplar(built 74). We got 2 years free mooring in a freshly dug hole on the River Soar which became Redhill Marina...no pontoons or facilities, but there was lots of free parking and mud...as part of the deal. Great times for 4 years until the Sabb 18 hp engine blew up after too many fights against the wind and current on both the Soar and the Trent. Really these boats where made for the more tranquil waters of the T and M and were VERY thin steel and had very wet bilges. Others in the fleet included Hornbeam (a great real ale drinking crowd who also gave me a great unscheduled break on the Caldon),  as well as other above 

Lack of funds and partners forced a very sad sale to the Old Junction Boatyard on the Soar who were planning to use it for welding practice for their son. On the T and M, these were rather unfairly called the the Barrington bashers by owner boaters fearful of encounters with hirers. I have quite a lot of pictures and cuttings from the Hoseasons brochure of the time. I see Buckthorn which looks similar(size/fit out and centre metal strengthening bar) and has a tree name is now for sale on Apollo Duck.    

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  • 3 weeks later...

Purchased Juniper from the same fleet. Although the regs papers stated Beech. Again all fitted with SABB engines and originally ten berth.

Barrington bashers as they were known.

I heard that Juniper is still on the system somewhere. Does anyone know where?

Regards

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  • 1 year later...
On 15/10/2014 at 11:37, Paul H said:

The Barrington Narrow Boat Co advertised that they would be hiring boats out of Stenson in the 1974. Is this the same company or just the same man? Their boats were to be based on Springers with a higher than average spec fit out but as they were advertising 8-10 berth boats I hope some of them were over 47ft! The adverts were very lavish and professional for the time but I wonder if this perhaps earlier business ever properly got off the ground.

 

Paul

purchased Juniper when he sold off the fleet. 58 ft ten berth!! Sabb engine. At the time he took one down to Little Venice for those in the South who wished to view. When purchased the first cruise was from Stenson to Fradley moorings.

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  • 1 year later...
On 11/02/2018 at 17:47, canalbuff said:

We also bought a 56ft Springer 10 berth(!) from Barrington Boats in 1981. This was Grey Poplar(built 74). We got 2 years free mooring in a freshly dug hole on the River Soar which became Redhill Marina...no pontoons or facilities, but there was lots of free parking and mud...as part of the deal.

 

Hey, @canalbuff, this is exactly my story!!  Why do we not know each other?  I bought Silver Fir when Barrington Boats was selling up: 56ft, although I think mine was 12-berth.  I can't remember the exact year, but it must have been '81 as you say, because I think they sold the whole lot.  

 

What puzzles me is that I moored in that dug-out hole at Redhill "Marina", and I can't remember your boat.  Do you remember mine?  In a moment of utter madness I decided to repaint it yellow and black, so it probably stuck in your memory if you did see it!

 

Mine was moored on the side of the hole directly opposite the entrance (thus parallel with the route of the river), with the bow facing south.  Does that ring any bells?  I lived on it for three years.

 

There is so much to discuss - I hope you will respond.  :-)

On 04/03/2015 at 21:14, Sycamore said:

He sold the fleet off around 1981/2, I should know, I bought one and lived aboard for four years.

Me too, at Redhill Marina.  I'd love to discuss this further with you.  :-)

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Thank you. Great pictures and good memories Steve. Not all mine are accessible/ scanned at present but I will try to post one here and find some more presently. We didn't live on her but used her for weekend and longer trips sometimes with 10 people! Bit of a stretch with only a 60 gallon water tank... Can't actually remember exactly where we were in Redhill. Initially, we were alongside a jetty outside the hole and had another Barrington moored alongside and we used to keep an eye on each others ropes etc. during flooding. In the hole we were just surrounded by mud so when our 2 years free was up we headed away to Thurmaston. I don't remember your boat or colour scheme but you look vaguely familiar in your photos! 

 

Will try and find more and post

Chris S

Grey Poplar at Redhill 81.jpg

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We used, with good reason,  to know the hire fleet as Barrington bashers. At least one was sold to a school from, I think, Chesterfield.

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On 15/10/2014 at 13:18, arbutus said:

Calcutt Boats used to have semi-display adverts in the classified section of Waterways World with boats for sale.

 

I’m Not sure whether this is the boat you have in mind, I can’t find any other boats actually sold by Calcutt Boats between 1980 and 1982 with the names you mentioned, but I assume that they may not have been sold by Calcutt themselves.

 

In February 1980 they advertised “Juniper – 57 Ft Castle cruisers 1976 all steel with Lister SR3, h & c to stainless sink, w.b’s and shower, 2 pump-out toilets, generous storage space and wardrobes, Astral 3-b cooker, Good value at £8,600 inc VAT.”

 

The next month, March 1980 the specification had changed with only one toilet mentioned and price had gone up to £9,000

 

“Juniper – 57 Ft Castle cruisers 1976 all steel with Lister SR3, h & c to stainless sink, w.b’s and shower, pump-out toilet, generous storage, catalytic gas fires plus Eclipse No 9 solid fuel stove, Collette cooker, Electrolux fridge. Excellent value at £9000 inc VAT.”

 

Then two years later in August 1982 they advertised Juniper and it had shrunk by a foot.

“Juniper – 56-FT all steel Castle Cruisers narrowboat with Lister 3-cylinder engine. Has been a little neglected lately hence the bargain price of £8,500”

 

Finally, the following month the same advert appeared but it did not mention the neglect, it just said

“Juniper – 56-FT all steel Castle Cruisers narrowboat with Lister 3-cylinder engine. £ 8,500”

 

How interesting.  I didn't know Roger Barrington had anything to do with Calcutt Boats.  Could he have been an employee who then left to set up his own fleet?

 

The heating system and engine are different in the one you quote; the Barrington Bashers had Sabb engines and an ordinary gas boiler with radiators.

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@canalbuff: You are right about that hole where my boat was moored; the sides were too sloping and it was incredibly muddy.  

 

Do you remember that old guy who lived on his narrowboat at Redhill while we were there?  He had a proper working boat, but it was used for school trips, so he told me.  He told me he was married and had a wife in Loughborough, but he found living in a house unbearably hot after a lifetime on the canals.  He happily wandered around in sub-zero temperatures with just a scruffy, open-necked shirt with the sleeves rolled up.  Must have been in his late 70s by then.

 

What was the marina owner called?  Richard something?  I wonder if he's still alive.  I remember him getting married during my time there.  He also seemed to have remarkably little respect for the rulings of the local council, building that access road against their wishes, if I recall correctly, and various other activities.

 

And I also wonder if Roger Barrington is still alive.  It would be great to find him and get his story.

  • Greenie 1
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Don't know if he's still around , but his full name was Roger Barrington Wright.

Photo: 56ft Sycamore, SABB engine, originally 10 berth, frozen in 8" of ice, North Lock 42, River Soar - G.U. Leicester line.

Sycamore 1982.jpg

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8" of ice!  I recall those years - we had a mini-Ice Age.  It once went down to -13C on my boat, moored at Redhill.

 

Look at this:
image.png.4852f14f985d21573b221ae05d2ac0bb.png
 

 

Nothing on Google at all.  That seems pretty unusual, and makes me wonder if he is no longer around.

 

@canalbuff and @Sycamore: What was that story about some kind of criminality associated with those boats?  I've got vague memories of someone being jailed, but I really can't remember any details.  I think I probably never knew any.

 

@canalbuff: May I ask whereabouts you lived on your boat?  And how was it?  Mine was bloody cold!  ?

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Did one of these boats become the community boat Northeaster which was based at Thurmaston until a couple of years ago? 12berths in 42ft!! That was an ancient Springer. The community group lost their grant and stopped operating I don't know what became of the boat.

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Regarding criminality, yes Roger's partner Peter ???, worked for British Rail, all the paint came from there and BR carriage builders moonlighted fitting out Rogers tree named hire fleet based at Stenson. His partner was eventually jailed for theft etc.

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10 hours ago, Sycamore said:

Regarding criminality, yes Roger's partner Peter ???, worked for British Rail, all the paint came from there and BR carriage builders moonlighted fitting out Rogers tree named hire fleet based at Stenson. His partner was eventually jailed for theft etc.

 

Ah, that does explain things, yes.  Stolen paint!  Honestly, you'd hardly think it was worth it. 

 

There was a woman worked in their office - does anyone remember her?  I have this vague memory she might have been a relative - sister, or something.

 

@canalbuff: My apologies!  I meant to direct my "Where did you live on it?" question to @Sycamore.

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