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L & L Shortboat " Farnworth".


Tony Dunkley
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Does anyone know if this boat is still around. It was one of the newer ones, built for British Waterways and the last time I saw it when I left it at Wigan Yard for repairs in about 1964-5. It was leaking badly after being hit side-on by a loaded Duker while backing out of Kellogs at Stretford causing a longish split to open up along the kelson. I was told after it was pulled out that the thinnest parts of the bottom were found to be down to 80 thou. of an inch.

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Last I heard it was at Rickmansworth. Everton and Farnworth were the last two L&LC short boats to be built and were made from High tensile steel, which was thinner. Whoever ordered them didn't realise that loaded boats often ran along the bottom, causing wear. They ended up with the Bootle Barge Co on Stanley Locks, the firm being run by the Caddick's, who had worked for several generations on the canal, originally carrying manure out of Liverpool for West Lancashire farms.

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Last I heard it was at Rickmansworth. Everton and Farnworth were the last two L&LC short boats to be built and were made from High tensile steel, which was thinner. Whoever ordered them didn't realise that loaded boats often ran along the bottom, causing wear. They ended up with the Bootle Barge Co on Stanley Locks, the firm being run by the Caddick's, who had worked for several generations on the canal, originally carrying manure out of Liverpool for West Lancashire farms.

The thinner plate fits in with what I'd been told about them. presumably the intention was that they would carry a bit more . . . for a little while, anyway. Do you know what the plate thickness was when new ?

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It was converted to residential about ten or so years ago with a nice steel cabin the same shape as the old sheets were. I believe it is still at Rickmansworth on Hall Farm under the ownership of Ben Jacobs.

 

Nice boat, was previously used as a passenger boat around Denham i think

 

ISTR its a welded one not a riveted one but not sure I remember right on that


I moored almost opposite at Bitchworth moorings in Ricky for a few years and I must say I quite like the conversion although as mentioned its a bit unconventional. I bet its nice and light in there although I haven't been on board

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I have somewhere a murky B&W picture of it passing through Sale in about 1965/6, I believe at that time it belonged to Seymour-Roseblade (of Leicester).

It was empty, & heading South/West, no idea why.

Am I right in thinking that it had a 3-cylinder Armstrong engine?

 

Tim

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I have somewhere a murky B&W picture of it passing through Sale in about 1965/6, I believe at that time it belonged to Seymour-Roseblade (of Leicester).

It was empty, & heading South/West, no idea why.

Am I right in thinking that it had a 3-cylinder Armstrong engine?

 

Tim

It may well be me on it in the picture, and it would have likely been on the way to Timperley. Roseblades had an arrangement with a yard there for leaving their boats ('Everton as well) if there was a week or two without any work from the MSCC's Bridgewater Dept. 'Farnworth' had an HA3 Lister, 'Everton' had the Armstrong 3-cylinder.

 

PS. It belonged then to BW, Roseblades had both boats on hire.

Edited by Tony Dunkley
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Does anyone know if this boat is still around.

 

Hi Tony,

 

I'm in France and don't have our records with us to check dates etc., but we bought Farnworth in the mid-70s from a couple after it had been rebottomed somewhere in the vicinity of Bingley. It was called Beryl as I recall, but we put it back to Farnworth. I think it was 3/16" HT steel originally to give it a bit more carrying capacity. We fitted it as a passenger vessel and ran it from Uxbridge for several years, having originally used Stamford for one year to see if there might be enough trade. We'd only fitted Stamford with an easily removable top and put her back into freight carriage.

 

Passenger carrying had the advantage that the cargo loads and unloads itself, but running booze trips was not really our scene and although it was very profitable we eventually sold the tripboat part of our business. The guy that bought it had no canal background and the business folded after a few years. I know Farnworth was then converted as a houseboat as said by others, but I've not seen it since.

 

Tam

 

 

Edit: yes, it had an HA3

Edited by Tam & Di
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It was converted to residential about ten or so years ago with a nice steel cabin the same shape as the old sheets were. I believe it is still at Rickmansworth on Hall Farm under the ownership of Ben Jacobs.

 

Nice boat, was previously used as a passenger boat around Denham i think

 

ISTR its a welded one not a riveted one but not sure I remember right on that

I moored almost opposite at Bitchworth moorings in Ricky for a few years and I must say I quite like the conversion although as mentioned its a bit unconventional. I bet its nice and light in there although I haven't been on board

It was all welded as you say, same as it's sister boat 'Everton' . . . I thought there was another . . 'Darwen' maybe, but Pluto said there were two built to the same design and spec. with HT steel.

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It may well be me on it in the picture, and it would have likely been on the way to Timperley. Roseblades had an arrangement with a yard there for leaving their boats ('Everton as well) if there was a week or two without any work from the MSCC's Bridgewater Dept. 'Farnworth' had an HA3 Lister, 'Everton' had the Armstrong 3-cylinder.

 

PS. It belonged then to BW, Roseblades had both boats on hire.

 

I'll see if I can dig out the picture.

Presume that was Bev Portman's yard?

 

Tim

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I'll see if I can dig out the picture.

Presume that was Bev Portman's yard?

 

Tim

Yes it was Bev Portmans' yard. Do you know what the normal hull plate thickness was for L&L boats? T & D has just said 'Farnworth' was 3/16" and I was going to work out what the weight saving is.

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Yes it was Bev Portmans' yard. Do you know what the normal hull plate thickness was for L&L boats? T & D has just said 'Farnworth' was 3/16" and I was going to work out what the weight saving is.

 

No, I don't know, Pluto may well know. My guess would be a mix of 1/4" & 5/16".

Our short boat's hull was 2" thick ;)

 

Tim

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I think she looks good in that picture. a bit 'different' but my cup of tea tbh

nice view out and all that but I am guessing those were probably not glass windows

 

Looking at that picture has reminded me of that slight difference in the deckline of 'Everton' and 'Farnworth' from other L&L boats. The sheer reversed right up forard with the deck 'drooping' slightly as it neared the stem. It wasn't a problem with the weight that these boats were designed for on the L&L, but when running to Kelloggs with imported maize from Ellesmere Port or Manchester Docks we always put 60 tons on and that put them deep enough for water to start coming over the deck at the stem when pushing on hard in the Ship Canal and the Irwell. The Ship Canal Company weren't very happy about it because we were quite definitely overloaded, but we were paid by the ton and it did make a big difference to your wages.

 

PS. We might have thought twice about it, if we'd known how thin the bottom was at the time.

Edited by Tony Dunkley
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No, I don't know, Pluto may well know. My guess would be a mix of 1/4" & 5/16".

Our short boat's hull was 2" thick ;)

 

Tim

Hi Tim, didn't you make a small mistake there ? 2" is really much to thick in my opinion.

 

Peter.

Edited by bargemast
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was it a wood boat?


I think the L&L Shortboat "Everton" is in the Wood Hall Heward fleet of workboats and is as far as I know based at Springwell, just down from Rickmansworth. its still an unconverted open hold working boat or at least it was last time I saw it a couple of years ago.

Edited by magnetman
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I don't have the exact figures for plate thickness to hand, but I suspect, like Tim, it was quarter inch. The Darwen, Everton and Farnworth were built using Corton high-tensile steel and would carry 3 to 4 tons more than conventional steel boats. Farnworth was delivered by road to Northwich on 28 April 1953, the three boats being delivered at around six month intervals, Farnworth being the last. Maximum tonnage on the canal was around 50 to 52.

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Cor-ten - thats the stuff you let rust and it protects itself isn't it?

 

they do sculptures with it. Was it an experimental use at the time? I thought it was usually used for yachts which needed to have fine lines so you could use a thinner plate with the same durability.

I suppose the other side of the coin is that you can use it to gain carrying capacity. I'd have thought it would be a bit risky

 

:unsure:

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I don't have the exact figures for plate thickness to hand, but I suspect, like Tim, it was quarter inch. The Darwen, Everton and Farnworth were built using Corton high-tensile steel and would carry 3 to 4 tons more than conventional steel boats. Farnworth was delivered by road to Northwich on 28 April 1953, the three boats being delivered at around six month intervals, Farnworth being the last. Maximum tonnage on the canal was around 50 to 52.

From memory, I think there was a builders plate on the hold / cabin bulkhead with the name 'Fairmile' on it. Would that be the same company that built ML's and the like for the Navy on the South coast ?

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The Darwen, Everton and Farnworth were built using Corton high-tensile steel and would carry 3 to 4 tons more than conventional steel boats. Farnworth was delivered by road to Northwich on 28 April 1953, the three boats being delivered at around six month intervals, Farnworth being the last. Maximum tonnage on the canal was around 50 to 52.

 

The Yarwood boats Atherton, Bacup and Clitheroe were all rivetted steel weren't they?

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