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Tim Lewis

BFI Film Archive

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A couple of stills from two of the films:

 

Ray White on Col ?????

 

 

 

Does anyone know who this is please?

 

 

Edited by Ray T

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Another;

 

 

 

The horse boat Iona, captained by Jack Roberts and pulled by Sally.

 

 

 

Of interest the top cloths are tied to the top planks.

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Iona would have been used as a trip boat by then and the cloths could be deployed in poor weather. Note the seat backs down the centre of the boat.

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Another film from 1936 shows horse drawn boats possibly on the Oxford Canal (one is lettered 'Alfred Hone, Banbury')

Both WHITE CITY and ROSE AND BETTY were owned by Alfred Hone, Banbury, although I have the latter recoreded as Alfred Hone Jnr. captain.gif

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Ray White on COLESHILL captain.gif

 

This one is well worth a watch from about 19.05, but I would say that owning a Willow Wren boat of the era.

 

It shows activity of two Willow Wren pairs passing through Northchurch lock.

 

Initially Dipper and Baildon are seen travelling Northwards. Can anybody confirm that the steerer is, as I believe it to be, John Henry Meese.

 

As Dipper and Baildon clear the lock going North, Ray White with Coleshill and Cygnus enter it to go South.

 

Things to note include....

 

1) Coleshill uses a gate line to open the bottom gates

2) The flow of water through the proper sized top gate paddles, which must be four or five times what you now get through the small ones that have replaced them, with shutters that heavily restrict the flow.

3) The boats in Willow Wren livery operating with boats on lease from British Waterways, still in BW colours.

4) The relatively decrepit state of the boats by this stage, but with brass still polished to within an inch of its life. (Coleshill and Cygnus were at one stage very much show piece boats, and Ray White was one of the most senior Willow Wren captains).

5) (It has to be said) The steerer of Dipper, (I still think it is John Henry Meese), stood on the gunwale as it leaves the lock, rather than in the hatches - so much for "no experienced boatman would ever be seen doing that".

 

Apart from that the whole film is full of childhood memories for me. Things like the 301 "RT" bus, or Northchurch Baptist Church, where my parents were members. And Bell Lane, where a school friend lived, and from whom I bought much of his Triang model railway. I'm staggered at the number of people walking the pavements - there are not one tenth of that number now.

 

EDIT: To correct start point of canal footage.

Edited by alan_fincher

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Alan, I showed the pictures to Mike yesterday and he has confirmed today, just spoken to him on the 'phone, it is John Henry Meese.

 

 

 

Also boats hard up against bottom gates whilst the top gates are opened.

 

 

Edited by Ray T

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5) (It has to be said) The steerer of Dipper, (I still think it is John Henry Meese), stood on the gunwale as it leaves the lock, rather than in the hatches - so much for "no experienced boatman would ever be seen doing that".

 

Isn't he just about to pick up the snatcher from the Baildon's foreend?

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Alan, I showed the pictures to Mike yesterday and he has confirmed today,just spoken to him on the 'phone, it is John Henry Meese.

 

Thanks Ray.

 

A great shame then that the photographer didn't stay around longer, as it is my understanding that John Henry Meese's boat regularly worked in tandem with those of his daughter Liz and her husband Ron Green. Had they filmed those boats, the motor would likely have been our Flamingo.

 

Isn't he just about to pick up the snatcher from the Baildon's foreend?

 

Yes, of course. I wasn't thinking it through!

 

Having had another watch through, I noted that Coleshill carries a brass plate on its cabin side relating to its attendance at one of the IWA rallies. I also noted the child is wearing reins to allow it to be secured to the cabin top, as they often were.

 

Cygnus carries the full decorative rope-work to the elum, despite the boats by this stage being in need of a lot of TLC.

 

Dipper has a fine looking brass gear wheel, but it is not a recasting of the GUCCCo item, having 5 spokes.

 

I wonder what the traffics were - all the boats are sheeted, though none really deeply loaded - possibly grain to Wellingborough on the Northbound boats?

Edited by alan_fincher

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The brass rally plaque was for attending the opening of the Southern Stratford in 1964, Queen Mother opened it, I was there with Jupiter and Saturn.

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I recognise a Northchurch I knew from 1969 on including the Bell Stores. Much has changed since then, though some practices didn't:

 

1048%20AZU0009%20Medium_zpsee6sjbte.jpg

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I recognise a Northchurch I knew from 1969 on including the Bell Stores. Much has changed since then, though some practices didn't:

I guess 1966 is too early for you to have been driving either the RF or the RT that feature briefly in the footage?

 

What years were you "on the buses", Derek?

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Didn't John Henry Meese have the Lancing and Bude in the early '60's? Well in "61 anyway.

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I guess 1966 is too early for you to have been driving either the RF or the RT that feature briefly in the footage?

 

What years were you "on the buses", Derek?

 

Early 1970 through to late '75. 301/301B/302/312/316A/387 (station bus) and four years 706.

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Early 1970 through to late '75. 301/301B/302/312/316A/387 (station bus) and four years 706.

 

I remember many of those, including back to when a 312 was a 301C.

 

But what was a 302?

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Didn't John Henry Meese have the Lancing and Bude in the early '60's? Well in "61 anyway.

Indeed he did - until he finished with British Waterways!

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I remember many of those, including back to when a 312 was a 301C.

 

But what was a 302?

 

Sorry folks - this is Busmens talk.

 

It ran between Watford Heath and Bennets Gate in Hemel. Tring crew would usually take one over in Two Waters Rd. (the old one) opposite Hemel garage and take it up to the Heath. If I remember right, sometimes it would return as a 301 for Aylesbury. There was a difference going along Hempstead Rd. into Watford too: the 301 bound for Little Bushey (Oundle Ave.) would turn right into Langley Rd, then left into Cassiobury Drive to the junction with Uxbridge Rd. then left up to the roundabout which was then outside the town hall, and right, past The Pond into the High St. up Chalk Hill from the Arches, sling a left into Aldenham Rd. turning right - past the Masonic School and fiddle around the housing estate to Oundle Ave. Same going back. The 302 would go straight on along the Hempstead Rd. to the Town Hall roundabout and into the High St. down to Bushey Arches, where we would take the Pinner Rd. up to the Heath to terminate.

 

http://www.eplates.info/300s.html

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Indeed he did - until he finished with British Waterways!

When did he leave BW? Was it after Lancing sank at Limehouse?

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When did he leave BW? Was it after Lancing sank at Limehouse?

Most 'British Waterways' narrow boat steerers left as a result of British Waterways Board terminating the vast majority of their carrying activities in 1963 (south) and 1964 (north). Many of these steerers moved to the newly formed Willow Wren Canal Transport Services Ltd., and many others to canal maintenance work. The remainder moved off the canal altogether, although a few are known to have acquired pleasure boats.

 

I do not have a specific date when he moved but John Henry Meese clearly worked for the newly formed Willow Wren Canal Transport Services Ltd., and continued with them until pretty much the end captain.gif

Edited by pete harrison

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