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magpie patrick

Gordon's Pleasure Cruisers - Lutine Bell

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Okay, a brief synopsis

 

I own (as most of you know) Lutine Bell: the information on her is very sketchy. She is a 45 foot steel hull grp cabin cruiser stern narrowboat. I'm told she was built by Rugby Boat Builders in 1972 for Gordon's Pleasure Cruisers of Napton, and served in their hire fleet.

 

All I know of her previous identity is that when BWB first issued registration numbers she was called "Chunky", when Paul Catchpole bought her, and when he sold her to me, she was "Lutine Belle" (I have chosen to drop the last "e") and during his ownership she was "Cream Cheese"

 

I recently heard of someone else who has a former Gordon's boat, and from them (or rather, from the person who knows then) gather that the cabins where white (as Fibreglass cruisers often are) and that their boat was named "Ledbury", suggesting that the fleet might be called after towns? I know Anglo-Welsh went through a town phase and Clifton Cruisers used to use places in Kent (my first boat "Ripple", an ex-Clifton, was named after a village near Deal)

 

Does this jog anyone's memory about Gordon's Pleasure Cruisers and what Lutine's original identity might have been?

 

(The white cabin sounds interesting, but I'm not sure I wish to recreate that bit!)

Edited by magpie patrick

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We lived at Mark Gordon's for a while (about 1980-ish) around the time my father worked on the hire fleet. I'll see what he can remember and I'm sure we have some old photos somewhere too.

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Okay, a brief synopsis

 

I own (as most of you know) Lutine Bell: the information on her is very sketchy. She is a 45 foot steel hull grp cabin cruiser stern narrowboat. I'm told she was built by Rugby Boat Builders in 1972 for Gordon's Pleasure Cruisers of Napton, and served in their hire fleet.

 

All I know of her previous identity is that when BWB first issued registration numbers she was called "Chunky", when Paul Catchpople bought her, and when he sold her to me, she was "Lutine Belle" (I have chosen to drop the last "e") and during his ownership she was "Cream Cheese"

 

I recently heard of someone else who has a former Gordon's boat, and from them (or rather, from the person who knows then) gather that the cabins where white (as Fibreglass cruisers often are) and that their boat was named "Ledbury", suggesting that the fleet might be called after towns? I know Anglo-Welsh went through a town phase and Clifton Cruisers used to use places in Kent (my first boat "Ripple", an ex-Clifton, was named after a village near Deal)

 

Does this jog anyone's memory about Gordon's Pleasure Cruisers and what Lutine's original identity might have been?

 

(The white cabin sounds interesting, but I'm not sure I wish to recreate that bit!)

Whatever happened to Mr and Catchpole? I used to enjoy his posts.

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Gordon's boats were generically named as '(Name of Place) Navigator' so my guess would be the boat of the person you spoke to was originally Ledbury Navigator. The places were canal towns and villages; the fleet was obviously large given the tenuous link of Ledbury to canals.

 

I had four family holidays on Thrupp Navigator - a 40' boat with five on board - and one on Measham Navigator which was 50' long when we took Granny along as well for a trip around the Warwickshire Ring. Thrupp Navigator was one of three boats of the same class and I believe the others were Claydon Navigator and Cropredy Navigator.

 

If I recall correctly the only boats without the Navigator names were ones of a different origin to their generic fibreglass cabin fleet.

 

JP

Edited by Captain Pegg

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We hired from Gordon Pleasure Cruisers in 1986. The top side was white grp from memory.

 

Interesting in that a number of the current directors of Gordons are also listed as current directors of Napton Marine , on the same location

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Thanks all - if I can't find the original name "Frome Navigator" would be in keeping (and no more tenuous than Ledbury!)

 

I had heard that Gordon's "became" Napton Narrowboats, at some point, possibly when a lot of capital works were being undertaken, it may have been prudent to create a second company

 

James (and others) if you have some photos I'd be fascinated :)

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Mark Gordon is still involved and owns a number of hire boats in the UK. He now lives in Portugal when possible but still has a UK residence. GPC was a fleet which at one point reached a maximum of around 30 boats, they were not the crème of the crème tho and many were acquired second hand, I was involved with moving some of Robinsons hire fleet to Napton many years ago, quite a run Dewsbury to Napton via the MSC!

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Thanks all - if I can't find the original name "Frome Navigator" would be in keeping (and no more tenuous than Ledbury!)

 

 

On current form I'd have though "Nomadic Navigator" would be quite apt!

 

ETA - or "Intermittent Navigator"!

Edited by 1st ade

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On current form I'd have though "Nomadic Navigator" would be quite apt!

 

 

 

Shades of the Flying Dutchman the haunted ship that never makes dock...

 

 

 

ETA - or "Intermittent Navigator"!

 

Oi! judge.gifbanned.gif

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We bought our first narrowboat from Mark Gordon in 1987, when he was about to hand the business on to Napton Narrowboats. It was indeed a Royal blue hull with a white fibreglass cabin. It was 55 foot long, called Worcester Navigator. We kept the top white, but did paint over it to smarten it up. The boat, having been through at least four more owners, is still afloat and back in the Napton area, now with the fibreglass painted a different colour. We loved the boat to bits, were very proud of it, and travelled extensively on the canal network, although we were not confident enough in the engine power to tackle the tidal Trent and Thames.

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Blue hull with white cabin. Remember them well

 

Just a thought - assuming Tonka is referring to the hull and not just the top band (I seem to recall some hire companies did have coloured hulls, most notably Jannel with orange ones!) how did they do it? Paint over the blacking? Paint instead of blacking?

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Just a thought - assuming Tonka is referring to the hull and not just the top band (I seem to recall some hire companies did have coloured hulls, most notably Jannel with orange ones!) how did they do it? Paint over the blacking? Paint instead of blacking?

 

It was just the top band on Gordon's boats.

 

http://www.asmith.org.uk/nb198208.html

 

ETA - marvelous that a thread on Gordon's has infiltrated the hallowed ground of the History & Heritage section.

Edited by Captain Pegg
  • Greenie 1

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Mark Gordon is still involved and owns a number of hire boats in the UK. He now lives in Portugal when possible but still has a UK residence. GPC was a fleet which at one point reached a maximum of around 30 boats, they were not the crème of the crème tho and many were acquired second hand, I was involved with moving some of Robinsons hire fleet to Napton many years ago, quite a run Dewsbury to Napton via the MSC!

 

I'd forgotten about Robinsons - we never used them (I was a kid in the 70's) but I remember them being in the Hoseason's brochure I think

 

Finding an early 70s Hoseason's brochure might be the best way to get more info on the fleets perhaps

 

It was just the top band on Gordon's boats.

 

http://www.asmith.org.uk/nb198208.html

 

 

Lutine needs a repaint, and that's become a candidate for the colour scheme, very retro! I'd also forgotten that white was once a popular colour for hire boats. Dart line's fleet were predominantly white I think.

 

 

ETA - marvelous that a thread on Gordon's has infiltrated the hallowed ground of the History & Heritage section.

 

We aim to please! Today is tomorrow's history....

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Whatever happened to Mr and Catchpole? I used to enjoy his posts.

I heard that they sailed away in their own separate boats.

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Whatever happened to Mr and Catchpole? I used to enjoy his posts.

 

I heard that they sailed away in their own separate boats.

 

Paul and Kath split some years ago, Paul is now married to Rebecca and they live on board nb Instigator at Lapworth.

 

Edited to add, Lutine was "Cream Cheese" when Paul was with Kath, and I think was actually Kath's boat.

Edited by magpie patrick

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I think that she used to write the "blog" of their boat restoration projects, under the name of 'Creamcheese'. Is she still on the waterways?

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I worked at Gordon's Pleasure Cruisers for a brief spell during 1981. I seem to remember that the Ledbury Navigator was one of three boats of similar class one of which was the Tewkesbury Navigator and I think the Worcester Navigator was the other (they tended to be grouped by geographical names). Others I remember; Measham, Cropredy, Kennet, Thrupp. My favourite name of all was Hetherington Daze, no idea what it means but such a cool name. The fleet was mostly fibre glass tops, I had to patch up many of them as they didn't fair very well with novices smashing them into low bridges! Some of the bigger boats had sliding roofs too.

The fleet at that time totaled 36 boats and was the largest independent. We also had a fleet of motorhomes that were rented out to visitors from down under. Even the house on site was rented out for a period of time to a band called City Boy. They had a Top Twenty hit in 1978 with '5705' though that was before my time. They did however leave a Marshall cab behind and a couple of mics .. so thanks for that boys!!

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Sorry I'm a little late with this thread! I had a holiday on Isis Navigator in 1978. Here's a picture. If you can't see it I have also posted it on my Instagram account, @narrowboatsmok

canal3.jpg

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10 hours ago, Smok said:

Sorry I'm a little late with this thread! I had a holiday on Isis Navigator in 1978. Here's a picture. If you can't see it I have also posted it on my Instagram account, @narrowboatsmok

canal3.jpg

That's lovely, and gives a good feel as to how I'd like Lutine to look once the ever lengthening list of tasks for the refurbishment is completed! I probably wouldn't put Gordon's Pleasure Cruisers on the side but the panel could say something else...

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2 hours ago, magpie patrick said:

... but the panel could say something else..

I feel another caption competition coming on!

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Brilliant, I'm glad my photo was helpful. This is the only other one I have. Probably not much use, but I'll include it just in case!

canal5.jpg

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22 minutes ago, Smok said:

Brilliant, I'm glad my photo was helpful. This is the only other one I have. Probably not much use, but I'll include it just in case!

canal5.jpg

Shows the cabin handrails - Lutine's need replacing (and don't look like that - much more rough and ready) so that's of interest 

Thank You!

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