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L & L Shortboat " Farnworth".


Tony Dunkley
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i had a chat with him years ago and I seem to remember Ben (owner of Farnworth & shortened town class motor Caldy) saying they were both built by the same yard. I think Caldy is a Woolwich boat :unsure:

So yes I believe Farnworth was built hy H&W :)

 

Edite typo

Edited by magnetman
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Atherton, Bacup and Clitheroe were built by Yarwoods, and I suspect they are like Kennet, with some welding of longitudinal plates, but mainly riveted. The design for Darwen, Everton and Farnworth was by Fairmile, though they were built by Harland and Wolff in London, tested on the Thames, and then brought up to Northwich for putting into northern inland waters.

 

In some ways the corten plating is not particularly thin, as many large continental barges are built with 6 or 8mm plate. Certainly the one I used to go on was that sort of thickness, and the oldest part of the boat was built c1900 as a dumb boats for the Dortmun-Ems Canal. When the hatches became too small for modern use, the fore end of the boat was replaced by a 1930s dumb boat, which had similar plate thickness. They carried 1200 tons. Continental barges are taken into locks extremely carefully, much more so than any of the small barges we have in Britain, and are consequently nowhere near as knocked about.

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Picture from October 2009.

 

We got delayed in the Common Moor area of the GU, because Farnworth was being pushed south by a Bantam tug, (I believe it was going to have a replacement engine commissioned).

 

DSCF0707.JPG

 

Clearly both short boat and Bantam will not fit a GU lock together, so each lock was being worked twice, and the boats had to be separated at each one, then "re-chained" together afterwards, before carrying on.

 

At least we and the boat we were travelling with were just able to fit in the same lock as the Bantam.

 

DSCF0715.JPG

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Our Pimblott's shortboat Severn has all vertical joints in the hullside welded, instead of having butt straps like a narrowboat. The frames are all rivetted to the plates and the horizontal joints between plates are rivetted. (Mostly!)

 

Tim

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Our Pimblott's shortboat Severn has all vertical joints in the hullside welded, instead of having butt straps like a narrowboat. The frames are all rivetted to the plates and the horizontal joints between plates are rivetted. (Mostly!)

 

Tim

I suspect this was standard on Northwich-built short boats. This is an inside view of the plating on Kennet, the original vertical welded joint can be seen bottom right.

gallery_6938_2_19320.jpg

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I suspect this was standard on Northwich-built short boats. This is an inside view of the plating on Kennet, the original vertical welded joint can be seen bottom right.

gallery_6938_2_19320.jpg

I looked at the estension lead and thought "that is a small extension lead holder," then it dawned on me.

Has it been welded in the spot to the right of the lead where three rivets appear to be missing?

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Thanks for that mike. As I understand it continental barges have thinner plate, but heavier framing.

Regards kris

No not normally Kris. Its not unusual for the framing to be lighter gauge than on a similar UK barge. SOME are more frequently framed but by no means all. Its generally fair to consider UK commercial barges to have been built heavier and treated more roughly.

 

Its pure speculation on my part why continental barges fair so much better, but most inland metal UK barges were part of a fleet owned by a company and crewed by employees .... usually male. Where most continental barges were either owner operated or the home of a husband and wife (and family) ….. or both.

Edited by Mike C
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Atherton, Bacup and Clitheroe were built by Yarwoods, and I suspect they are like Kennet, with some welding of longitudinal plates, but mainly riveted. The design for Darwen, Everton and Farnworth was by Fairmile, though they were built by Harland and Wolff in London, tested on the Thames, and then brought up to Northwich for putting into northern inland waters.

 

In some ways the corten plating is not particularly thin, as many large continental barges are built with 6 or 8mm plate. Certainly the one I used to go on was that sort of thickness, and the oldest part of the boat was built c1900 as a dumb boats for the Dortmun-Ems Canal. When the hatches became too small for modern use, the fore end of the boat was replaced by a 1930s dumb boat, which had similar plate thickness. They carried 1200 tons. Continental barges are taken into locks extremely carefully, much more so than any of the small barges we have in Britain, and are consequently nowhere near as knocked about.

At the time that UK barges such as the river class short boats, Dukers and some Yorkshire vessels were being built the use of welding was becoming more common in larger vessels, as such its very common to see longitudinal plate joints to be riveted lap joints, usually with a joggle, and transverse seems to be welded. I cannot recall seeing a barge that has any riveted seams where the frames are not riveted (at build). – In some instances barges built for the same fleet, at the same time, by different yards have differences in the number of welded seams and degree of reliance on welding.

 

It is also not unusual to see the more complex plate areas (bows and stern swims etc.) to be all riveted with transverse plate welds only in the slab side or hold area. – Common thinking is that the skill set needed to create these complex shapes rested in the experienced older generation of the workforce and it was the younger fabricators that were the welders…….or was it just that they didn’t trust the electric nail?

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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.

 

I assume The Bootle Barge Co purchased Everton and Farnworth when Seymour-Roseblade handed them back to BW - that would be about 1965/6 - perhaps Tony knows?. The bottoms were concreted over partly because they were so thin and also it made emptying the rubbish easier (they were used for collecting rubbish out of Liverpool docks). I recall them when running grain from Liverpool to Manchester in 1975, but seem to recall passing one of them ('Farnworth' perhaps) being used for retail coal in 1975 (operated by Jim Hewitt?) so maybe that was when they were sold. I seem to recall the late Geoff Wheat saying he was involved in the sale of the two boats. 'Everton' was purchased by the Richards Pearson & Barnett and brought to my yard in Shipley around 1975/76. She carried a load of gravel from Castleford up to Shipley in April 76 before being re-bottomed, I think at Syston, using the Pontylue slipway - with the possible intention of going on the Thurmaston-Syston traffic though she did not do so. . She was operated by my company (Apollo Canal Carriers Ltd) from June 1979 after conversion by us to a tanker, complete with wheel box, carrying effluent from Esholt (L&L Canal) to Knostrop or occasionally right down to Goole - taking over from 'Irwell' which had been fitted with a tank experimentally. She was an excellent carrier and we regularly loaded 56 or 57 tonnes on 4 foot draft or a fraction more, and was a nice boat to handle even if the engine was a bit ineffectual. (We tried 59 tonnes once but that was too much for the canal!). Derek Bent was the regular (and very skilled) skipper. The job finished at the end of December '79 due in part to stoppages but in fact the need to take Esholt sludge to sea had disappeared. We then fitted a Lister HRW3 and she was taken by Pearson & Barnett to France and Holland for a lucrative carrying contract which did not materialize. After some time over there she was subsequently brought back to the UK, languishing on the Trent for some time, and eventually, following Richard Barnett's passing, was added to the fleet of Wood, Hall and Heward. 'Darwen' (the other H&W boat) was taken into the BW maintenance fleet around 1964 after the NW Division northern fleet ceased carrying, and remained in that role until (I think) being scrapped - maybe Mike/Pluto can confirm.

David L

Edited by fanshaft
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No, I know both of them and other keels on the River :) Daybreak was behind the island at Staines and Reliance is on the Resi moorings by Windsor marina. It had no wheelhouse. I think it was a L&L boat but I didn't look that carefully.


Not the one in Reading but this one was in East London recently

 

http://www.cvmarine.co.uk/brokerage/more_details.php?rcd=149


may have been this one in Reading ?

 

http://grandunion.boatshed.com/barge_wide_beam-boat-172521.html

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I am surprised and delighted to learn that there was a boat called 'Atherton', as that is my surname. Was this a "short" boat or a narrowboat? Has she survived? Has anyone got a picture of her?

I will have a look around the internet and see if I can find anything about her.

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I am surprised and delighted to learn that there was a boat called 'Atherton', as that is my surname. Was this a "short" boat or a narrowboat? Has she survived? Has anyone got a picture of her?

I will have a look around the internet and see if I can find anything about her.

 

Yes, Atherton was the first of the final batch of 6 alphabetically named short boats.

Darwen is still around and now converted. Not sure exactly where she is at the moment; possibly abroad where several short boats have been taken, though some, like Farnworth, have returned.

 

We did see Darwen several years ago at St Simon in France, but it was Everton that was taken over for a job that fell through - Farnworth has always been in the UK as far as I know, and on the southern G.U. since we roaded her down in the 70s.

 

Tam

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gallery_6938_2_4133.jpg

Atherton at New Lane, Burscough, around 1972. Note the post fixing for the crane which a few L&L maintenance boats had in the 1960s. She was built in 1950, the first of the six steel boats built then and named after Lancashire towns. Four wooden boats were built at the same time and named after Yorkshire towns. She was broken up around 1980, IIRC.

 

On the Farnworth/Everton story, the names seemed to have become mixed up whilst working for Caddicks. Farnworth could be identified because the chimney was offset to suit a more modern range, rather than the simple open-fronted cast iron fire normally found on L&LC boats.

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gallery_6938_2_4133.jpg

Atherton at New Lane, Burscough, around 1972. Note the post fixing for the crane which a few L&L maintenance boats had in the 1960s. She was built in 1950, the first of the six steel boats built then and named after Lancashire towns. Four wooden boats were built at the same time and named after Yorkshire towns. She was broken up around 1980, IIRC.

 

On the Farnworth/Everton story, the names seemed to have become mixed up whilst working for Caddicks. Farnworth could be identified because the chimney was offset to suit a more modern range, rather than the simple open-fronted cast iron fire normally found on L&LC boats.

 

There was another very distinct feature to identify the two apart. 'Everton' had a very big crimp about half way down one sidedeck. It was put there when she came off second best in an argument with a ship between Trafford Wharf and No. 8 Dock.

 

Edited by Tony Dunkley
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gallery_6938_2_4133.jpg

Atherton at New Lane, Burscough, around 1972. Note the post fixing for the crane which a few L&L maintenance boats had in the 1960s. She was built in 1950, the first of the six steel boats built then and named after Lancashire towns. Four wooden boats were built at the same time and named after Yorkshire towns. She was broken up around 1980, IIRC.

 

On the Farnworth/Everton story, the names seemed to have become mixed up whilst working for Caddicks. Farnworth could be identified because the chimney was offset to suit a more modern range, rather than the simple open-fronted cast iron fire normally found on L&LC boats.

I remeber seeing Atherton around when I was a kid on the cut. Thanks for posting the pic :)

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