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WWII fireboat livery colours?

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My next task with Clypeus is to get the cabin and front repainted, before it goes rusty. I'm thinking about getting it painted as it would have looked as a fireboat during the war, but am struggling to find pictures. Looks grey from what I can see online. The obvious alternative is the blue and blue GUCCC livery.

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Oooh, that's a lovely idea!

 

Did they have a specific livery?

Edited by Chertsey

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I have seen different versions of L.F.S. livery, but alas all black and white images which was the most common format of photography back then.

 

My understanding is that the cabins were predominantly mid grey (sometimes with the cabin top and the bottom 4 inches or so of the cabin in a darker colour), with the grey extending down as far as the first guard that runs about 15 inches below the gunwale. I have seen this colour continue around the top section of the counter, but I have also seen the top section of the counter and the fore end in white - including the cants at each end. All of the photographs show no decoration on the cabin doors (or elsewhere), and one has its L.F.S. number in letters about 12 inches high on the engine room bulkhead - although I think this was unusual as most had either extended cabins or full length cabin tops extending down the hold to protect the pumps.

 

TYCHO has recently been painted plain mid grey with minimal lettering, and I have made an 'assumption' that this is inspired by its conversion by the Ministry of War Transport to an ice breaking tug (at the same time as the boats requisitioned as Fire Boats), but whether they were plain mid grey when converted I do not know captain.gif

 

edit = it may be worth tracking down the full length small Woolwich motor WORKS TUG No. 2 (CERES) which was painted in plain mid grey, although as a Manchester Ship Canal Company (Bridgewater Department) works tug rather than an L.F.S. / M.o.W.T. boat. The last time I saw this boat was at Dadfords Shed, Stourbridge about 10 years ago. I am sure somebody will be along shortly to tell us its current name, livery and location captain.gif

Edited by pete harrison

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edit = it may be worth tracking down the full length small Woolwich motor WORKS TUG No. 2 (CERES) which was painted in plain mid grey, although as a Manchester Ship Canal Company (Bridgewater Department) works tug rather than an L.F.S. / M.o.W.T. boat. The last time I saw this boat was at Dadfords Shed, Stourbridge about 10 years ago. I am sure somebody will be along shortly to tell us its current name, livery and location captain.gif

 

http://hnbc.org.uk/boats/msc-co-tug-no-2

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When I blasted the hull of "Tucana" in 2012 we discovered some of the MOWT livery still intact, The hull was battleship grey and what signwriting was left was red. This tallies with other MOWT vehicles etc.

 

Here are some examples, two from London and one from the BCN of canal boats with pumps.

 

gallery_5000_522_43642.jpg

 

gallery_5000_522_6788.jpg

 

gallery_5000_522_43742.jpg

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TYCHO has recently been painted plain mid grey with minimal lettering, and I have made an 'assumption' that this is inspired by its conversion by the Ministry of War Transport to an ice breaking tug (at the same time as the boats requisitioned as Fire Boats), but whether they were plain mid grey when converted I do not know captain.gif

 

I have yet to see any photographic evidence of how any of the five GUCCCo boats (Renton, Sextans, Sickle, THeophilus & Tycho) converted to ice boats by the MoWT in 1942 ended up painted, though that is not to say it does not exist.

 

People always suggest a plain grey livery, but I have yet to hear or see the evidence that supports this.

 

It is not a livery I would consider for Sickle, as it is only, I believe, something that the boat would have carried whilst sporting the huge ice breaking ram, which of course has long ceased to exist. MoWT livery would in my view be more appropriate for Tycho, though I very much doubt the boat was lettered anything like it now is (!) And of course all these boats would have had very different engines then as well.

 

EDIT:

 

Actually thinking about it, this is probably the oldest photo I have seen of one of the ice boat conversions. I'm struggling to remember the detail of attempts to date it, but I know Pete Harrison was able to say quite a bit based on the detail of the two Barlows boats in the foreground. I must have that recorded somewhere, just struggling to find it.

 

Whilst it is entirely plausible that this is an image of a grey boat with little or minimal lettering, I'm far from convinced this picture is proof! The boat is I believe either Sextans or Tycho.

Edited by alan_fincher

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I am not suggesting that the five ice breaking tug conversions were painted grey, but there is some evidence that some of the L.F.S. boats may have been. It appears to me that there is an assumption that the five ice breaking tug conversions may have been painted in a similar way to the L.F.S. boats, but like Mr Fincher I have seen no evidence of this captain.gif

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I am not suggesting that the five ice breaking tug conversions were painted grey.......

 

For clarity, I was not suggesting that you were. Others have though, in the past.

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Can't say much about this, other than it's at Bulls Bridge and could be one of three Middle Northwich's (i.e. not SICKLE)

 

attachicon.gif003 Mark P.jpg

 

Nor I think "Theophilus", as like "Sickle" that had the rocking bar set higher than the engine room roof, needing a raised plate attached to the engine room front to support the rear end of it.

 

I'm fairly confident it is either "Sextans" or "Tycho".

Edited by alan_fincher

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Can't say much about this, other than it's at Bulls Bridge and could be one of three Middle Northwich's (i.e. not SICKLE)

 

attachicon.gif003 Mark P.jpg

I know I need new spectacles but is the lower edge of the 'ram' on this boat flat and above the water level, or is it just an illusion ?

 

If it is then it is unlikely to be TYCHO as its 'ram' is angled and disappears underwater a couple of feet ahead of the stempost captain.gif

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It's hard to see isn't it. Looks odd, my guess would be THEOPHILUS or SEXTANS. Knowledge of where they worked from '42 might narrow it down.

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It's hard to see isn't it. Looks odd, my guess would be THEOPHILUS or SEXTANS. Knowledge of where they worked from '42 might narrow it down.

 

 

I have no idea why the link to the photo in the CRT digital archive that I posted has gone missing, but my initial comments didn't make a lot of sense without it. Here it is, hopefully.

 

v0_web.jpg

 

Is Pete able to date it, based on the Barlows pair?

 

I still think the ice boat is only Thepohilus if the rocker bar got raised at some date after this photo, and another in the mid 50s that shows it by then must have had a much higher one. This seems unlikely, so I don't think it is Theophilus. I have not seen evidence that shows what kind of rocker bar Sextans had, but in other aspects of their conversion, such as the position of the ice ram bracing, Sextans is like Tycho, whereas Sickle is like Theophilus

 

None of which helps the OP with fire boat liveries, so my apologies for the side-track!

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I have not seen evidence that shows what kind of rocker bar Sextans had, but in other aspects of their conversion, such as the position of the ice ram bracing, Sextans is like Tycho, whereas Sickle is like Theophilus

The photograph below shows SEXTANT (sic) at either Atherstone on 21 May 1961 or Bulls Bridge in January 1964 - but I think the former. This photograph clearly shows the 'rocker bar' set below the top edge of the engine room bulkhead as per TYCHO, and the supports for the 'rocker bar' are also as per TYCHO with the exception of the front section which was removed by the time this photograph was taken.

 

post-7931-0-59916300-1476956890_thumb.jpg

photograph courtesy of Alan Elyard Brown collection and his Copyright

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Is Pete able to date it, based on the Barlows pair?

The Barlow pair are WASP 28 and IONA 109, with WASP being completed on 28 February 1937 and IONA completed on 31 March 1944. I would hazard a guess that this photograph can be dated to 1944 as IONA looks brand new captain.gif

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Were all the WWll London fire boats re-painted? As far as I am aware they were leased by the GUCC to the London Fire service (Pete Harrison will correct me if I am wrong), and would presumably still have been in their original livery, at least for some time.

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I know I need new spectacles but is the lower edge of the 'ram' on this boat flat and above the water level, or is it just an illusion ?

 

If it is then it is unlikely to be TYCHO as its 'ram' is angled and disappears underwater a couple of feet ahead of the stempost captain.gif

I think this is an illusion, partly due to the poor quality of the image, and it is caused by a reflection. I am more inclined to think this is TYCHO than SEXTANS captain.gif

Were all the WWll London fire boats re-painted? As far as I am aware they were leased by the GUCC to the London Fire service (Pete Harrison will correct me if I am wrong), and would presumably still have been in their original livery, at least for some time.

Evidence suggests that the G.U.C.C.Co. Ltd. boats used by the L.F.S. were repainted, although I have not seen a photograph of every individual boat. What is more of a problem when recreating this livery is that of the five boats I have seen photographs of every one is painted in a different way captain.gif

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I think this is an illusion, partly due to the poor quality of the image, and it is caused by a reflection. I am more inclined to think this is TYCHO than SEXTANS captain.gif

Evidence suggests that the G.U.C.C.Co. Ltd. boats used by the L.F.S. were repainted, although I have not seen a photograph of every individual boat. What is more of a problem when recreating this livery is that of the five boats I have seen photographs of every one is painted in a different way captain.gif

 

I don't suppose you have any of Pisces that I could download, (for my own private collection only), or indeed, any other photos of Pisces in GUCC livery.

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I don't suppose you have any of Pisces that I could download, (for my own private collection only), or indeed, any other photos of Pisces in GUCC livery.

Not that I could positively identify as PISCES captain.gif

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Were all the WWll London fire boats re-painted? As far as I am aware they were leased by the GUCC to the London Fire service (Pete Harrison will correct me if I am wrong), and would presumably still have been in their original livery, at least for some time.

 

They look like they were probably grey from the few photos I can find online (the only one I can id from a photo looks like it's Callisto). I have a waterways journal issue that covers fireboats, but it's still packed somewhere and I've forgotten whether it mentions livery. I just thought I'd ask in case anyone knew (and Alan, your side-track was also interesting, no worries!).

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The photograph below shows SEXTANT (sic) at either Atherstone on 21 May 1961 or Bulls Bridge in January 1964 - but I think the former. This photograph clearly shows the 'rocker bar' set below the top edge of the engine room bulkhead as per TYCHO, and the supports for the 'rocker bar' are also as per TYCHO with the exception of the front section which was removed by the time this photograph was taken.

 

attachicon.gifAEB Atherstone 21 May 1961 or Bulls Bridge January 1964 (SEXTANT).JPG

photograph courtesy of Alan Elyard Brown collection and his Copyright

This is Polesworth, by the Bulls Head bridge!

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Something that needs to be borne in mind when considering old photos is that the use of panchromatic black and white film did not become universal until the mid-1950's. In Victorian times, film was only sensitive to blue, so people's lips were black, and the leaves and trumpet of a daffodil in a dark blue bowl would look black and the blue bowl would be white.  By around 1900, orthochromatic films sensitive to blue and green, and panchromatic films sensitive to all colours had became available, but the high cost of the pan films meant that ortho was the usual choice in the first half of the 20th century. An ortho film will render the daffodil and vase in approximately  correct tones, but will still give people black lips.  Kodak's popular "Verichrome" roll film was ortho until the mid-1950's, when it was replaced by "Verichrome Pan". 

 

In the late 1980's I was experimenting taking photos of model trains to make them look like the real thing. I have an old camera that takes sheet film, and was able to buy a box of Ilford Ortho sheet film to experiment with. These days I would shoot in colour in digital, and then use an image editing program to remove the red content for pre-war ortho, and remove red and green for Victorian, simulations before converting to monochrome. 

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That's interesting, as I have some film footage in B & W of London Buses taken around the 1950's that show what appears to be very dark RT's, almost making one think they were the green country versions. Other B & W (presumably later) show a distinct shade difference, the difference between the red bodies and the black mudguards is pronounced. (Country buses were all green - mudguards too).

 

We have some family photos taken in the early part of the last Century on glass plates, and a few deguerreotype images. A few that have had some 'touching-up' done for clarity in small albums, as well as one large photographic portrait. Sadly nothing to do with boats or boating families!

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