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kienik

Old Hire Companies

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when i was a kid i always remember my parents taking us on the canals on a Chas hardern hire boat from beeston on the shroppie, my parents had used chas for many many years, probably right back to when he first started in the seventies, this is where i got the bug for boating.

 

myself and my partner now boat regularly with chas and the gang, we find their boats extremely good value for money and very comfy if not a little basic and dated, but hay isnt that what its all about......

 

well done chas lyndsay and chris!!!!!!!

 

 

anyway................

 

whilst i was on hols with my parents i remeber three companies that now no longer exist, English county cruisers on the llangollen canal, dartline and simolda both on the shroppie.

 

english county cruisers where THE hire boat of the time, they were elegant and very good looking on harborough marine shells, very very fascinating for a ten year old. darltine were some what down market, there boats were still good looking but not quite as good as ECC, and simolda, well... we had one holiday on "queen Delilah" and half way through the holiday we had a terible smell coming from the rear cabin of the boat.

 

my dad started investigating to find a bag of horse "poo" under the rear bed, very very amusing.

 

the reason i am writing this post is to see if any members have any pictures of any boats belonging to the above companies, i am very intersted in building a collecton of pics/brchures for each of the companies and trying to find all of the boats that they owned, also to see what they look like now!!

 

hope anyone can help

 

i will supply email address or postal address upon request.

 

(ps i am now 26, and loving boating more than ever, as far as im concerned you can stick your aeroplanes and cruises right up your..........................)

 

Nik

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Hi Nik

 

I have a fairly good number of pictures of the companies you mention, if you pm me or send me an email I will scan and send them over to you, though there may be too many to do them all in one go.

 

I remember looking inside English County's "Golden Merlin" in 1990, when I was 11, and this too me was luxury defined!

 

All the best

 

Dan

 

P.S I'm interested in Black Prince's 'blue & yellow' years if anyone has any pictures I'd be very interested

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cheers Dan

 

i am very interested in your pics. dont matter how long it takes from my end just keep em comin..............................

 

alvechurch do still have one boat remaining from the orginal ecc hire fleet, its goldcrest (i think) it absolutely massive and if you get up close you can see the old blue livery underneith the current ABC livery.

 

i did have a article in waterways world appealing for pics and brochures not sure of the date though, it was in the readers forum i will look it up,

 

 

Nik

 

im sure i have some pics of the black prince yellow and blues i will dig em out. ( why are you not into the old grey ones with the huge "conservatory" windows)

 

need i really ask!!!

Edited by kienik

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There is a book in this - hireboats of the 70s and early 80s.

 

I would love to see any piccies of Orchard Cruisers (I think they were called), based at the foot of the South Oxford. All their boats were named after Lord of the Rings Characters!

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There is a book in this - hireboats of the 70s and early 80s.

 

I would love to see any piccies of Orchard Cruisers (I think they were called), based at the foot of the South Oxford. All their boats were named after Lord of the Rings Characters!

 

Hi Webchem

 

I can send you one of "Laxton" & "Discovery" if you wish - send me a pm with your email if you would like.

 

I'm intrigued by this book you mention - it sounds right up my street - do you have a link for it by chance?

 

Cheers

 

Dan

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Hi Webchem

 

I can send you one of "Laxton" & "Discovery" if you wish - send me a pm with your email if you would like.

 

I'm intrigued by this book you mention - it sounds right up my street - do you have a link for it by chance?

 

Cheers

 

Dan

 

I hope that this is a leg pull!

 

Nick

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I hope that this is a leg pull!

 

Nick

 

:wacko: Yeah OK!

 

I'd definately buy it though... got a feeling I might be the only one though!! ^_^

 

Dan

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Hi Webchem

 

I'm intrigued by this book you mention - it sounds right up my street - do you have a link for it by chance?

 

Cheers

 

Dan

 

I think he means there is probably enough interest and available material to make it worthwhile producing such a book!

 

John

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Yep thats what I mean...

 

All those lovely colour washed 70s piccies and the flares!

 

Seriously though, isn't it a potential article for the Canal Press? Or should we get there first?

 

Still looking for piccies of the LOTR boats though...

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I have often thought that it is a pity that few of those early vintage hire boats have not been preserved in some way in their original condition, without exception when the boats go into the private market they are by intent or otherwise transformed into something entirely different from their original form.

 

One such boat was moored close to me for a year or two Kettlewell, one of a Yorkshire hire fleet originally I believe, I suggested to the owner at the time that it might be nice to put it back to it's original condition including paint scheme and sign-writing but he didn't see it my way, but then that was easy for me to say.

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Just in-case anyone else wants a trip down memory lane, here's one of English County Cruises, from 1992 .....

 

click here

 

I have often thought that it is a pity that few of those early vintage hire boats have not been preserved in some way in their original condition, without exception when the boats go into the private market they are by intent or otherwise transformed into something entirely different from their original form.

 

One such boat was moored close to me for a year or two Kettlewell, one of a Yorkshire hire fleet originally I believe, I suggested to the owner at the time that it might be nice to put it back to it's original condition including paint scheme and sign-writing but he didn't see it my way, but then that was easy for me to say.

 

Hi John

 

It's an interesting thought. When I bought my ex Black Prince Boat in 2000 this had been kept in very much this type of condition. Even the bright yellow worktops (that once went with Black Prince's blue & yellow colours) were still present. Only the curtains and lino had changed.

 

The boat was built in 1981 and it was like stepping into a time warp.

 

I kept as much original as possible, but altered the layout slightly, changed curtains, added wall carpet, new worktops etc. It made a huge difference whilst still keeping its original interior present.

 

click here for pic if interested

 

All the best

 

Dan

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Just in-case anyone else wants a trip down memory lane, here's one of English County Cruises, from 1992 .....

 

click here

Hi John

 

It's an interesting thought. When I bought my ex Black Prince Boat in 2000 this had been kept in very much this type of condition. Even the bright yellow worktops (that once went with Black Prince's blue & yellow colours) were still present. Only the curtains and lino had changed.

 

The boat was built in 1981 and it was like stepping into a time warp.

 

I kept as much original as possible, but altered the layout slightly, changed curtains, added wall carpet, new worktops etc. It made a huge difference whilst still keeping its original interior present.

 

click here for pic if interested

 

All the best

 

Dan

 

I mentioned this on here ages ago but I'd like to trace two old hire boats, the first was my first ever boat holiday in1980 I think from Guildford, it was on a wide beam called Guildford Duchess. It was steered from the front and was so awful it very nearly put my Dad off boating. The second was our second boat holiday and was from base on the Thames very close to the end of the Oxford Canal, I'm sure the base was called "Somerton Marine" (or something similar) and the boat was called Cloquin II. It was a green nb. After that it was Anglo Welsh all the way for a few years, we never liked the look of the Yellow and blue BP boats, they always looked like old Anglo Welsh boats to us!!

We did like ECC though, their base at Wrenbury by the lift bridge always looked nice and the boats looked very smart, never hired one though, out of interest, who if anyone is at Wrenbury now?

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We did like ECC though, their base at Wrenbury by the lift bridge always looked nice and the boats looked very smart, never hired one though, out of interest, who if anyone is at Wrenbury now?

 

Alvechurch have a hire base at Wrenbury now.

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Our first hire was 'Hogarth' from what is now the Alvechurch base at Anderton in 1979. The next year we had 'John Piper'. All their boats were named after painters. I think they were called Canal Craft. The pump out boat was called Toulouse Lautrec and was still in use the last time we passed a couple of years ago.

 

From there we hired from Coles Morton Marine at Wigan and went over to Bingley and back.

 

1982 we hired from Alvechurch and started a love affair with the BCN which has yet ended.

Edited by pearley

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Our first boat holiday was on a Dartline boat called Gloucester from Tardebigge in 1992. Dartline were eventually taken over by AngloWelsh some time arounbd 1996 or 97. We had the exact same boat again in 1997 - this time booked from Anglowelsh but she was still in Dartline livery. Have a look at the website below... Bona Boaters...

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My first hire boat was called Water Cherry hired from British Waterways hire boat base in Nantwich. I don't know how long BW stayed stayed in tbe hire business.

Hired Water Cherry in 1987.

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Pete of Ebor. Hi I think we may live on Gloucester. The boat you have previously hired. Would you have any photos I could look at if possible. Thank you in advance x

On 09/07/2015 at 20:34, Pete of Ebor said:

Our first boat holiday was on a Dartline boat called Gloucester from Tardebigge in 1992. Dartline were eventually taken over by AngloWelsh some time arounbd 1996 or 97. We had the exact same boat again in 1997 - this time booked from Anglowelsh but she was still in Dartline livery. Have a look at the website below... Bona Boaters...

 

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Along with some friends, we hired from English County Cruisers at Wrenbury in the late 70's. 

It was provided with an anchor on the foredeck as cruising the River Weaver was an option. 

I recall my first taste of Marston's Pedigree in the pub across the canal at the bridge. I can still conjure up the flavour in my mind. 

  • Greenie 1

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It must have made a good impression! I can conjure it up, too, having drunk a couple of bottles of it yesterday evening.

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Inland Marine Leisure is a now deduct company that operated out of Anderton.

 

Hired from them for Mrs Hound's introduction to boating back in the 80's.

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2 hours ago, Athy said:

It must have made a good impression! I can conjure it up, too, having drunk a couple of bottles of it yesterday evening.

Errrr …… Marston's Pedigree in those days was made by …… Marston's ……. now it's Banks'.

So Athy, unless you have a supply of NOS to hand ……...

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Well we hired from Penkridge now gone and then Weedon Concacraft I think it was called also gone.

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12 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Well we hired from Penkridge now gone and then Weedon Concacraft I think it was called also gone.

We hired Hawkweed from Concoform some 30 odd years ago. Interestingly, the boatyard in Weedon is now operating a hire fleet again with a number of the old "Weed" boats in the original Concoform paint scheme. Hawkweed being one of them.

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We had our honeymoon on Hawkweed in 1976 together with 6 other men including my new wife's ex-boyfriend (they'd still been together when we'd booked the boat a few months before, we just had to re-arrange the sleeping arrangements slightly). There are a few other memories of that trip, and a couple of photos, on my website here

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