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Grand Union Canal Traffic Records


pete harrison
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22 hours ago, pete harrison said:

TOW is one of the 'River Class' buttys built for the south eastern division to replace the ageing large Ricky's. These boats are often referred to as 'blue tops' as their holds were covered by a series of blue fibreglass covers, each about 4 feet in length and speeded up the clothing up procedure considerably - although they were not without their shortcomings.

TOW went on to serve in the fleet of Birmingham and Midland Canal Carrying Company Ltd. before returning to British Waterways Board who converted it to a tanked mud hopper, and it remains as such today :captain: 

Is TOW the same type as 'KEW' that I spotted recently?

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3 hours ago, mark99 said:

Unsheeted are going North. They are just about to enter Common Moor Lock and go up.

Yes, you are quite right of course - apologies - the perils of not looking at a small image closely enough.  It's easy to forget how overgrown towpaths were back then - I mistook it for the non towpath side.

The boats look remarkably lightly loaded if it is lime juice pulp, but I think it was cleared in batches, and I guess this could be a short load on the tail end of pairs carrying full loads.

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2 hours ago, magnetman said:

Of course considerations like this would have been less important when canals were populated by boatmen and lock keepers who knew what they were doing and got on with their job which included making sure there was always enough water about to ensure the smooth flow of traffic along the waterways.
Times change.

Indeed,  here's the sidepond paddle at Atherstone. ...

Only to be used for water control by people with a key now....

20171015_092458.jpg

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11 minutes ago, Derek R. said:

With regard to 'Hairy' Neil, he was involved in ERF lorry restoration, so perhaps a club with such connections might be a lead?

He is on Facebook, but I'm not convinced Pete will be.

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On 01/11/2017 at 21:51, alan_fincher said:

He is on Facebook, but I'm not convinced Pete will be.

Update - I am on Facebook and used this to track down Neil. Following a few exchanges of information and a little digging I have located the original records that Neil had photocopies of. I will arrange to view these records shortly. I have not yet made contact with Nick Hill :captain:

  • Greenie 1
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2 hours ago, pete harrison said:

Update - I am on Facebook and used this to track down Neil. Following a few exchanges of information and a little digging I have located the original records that Neil had photocopies of. I will arrange to view these records shortly. I have not yet made contact with Nick Hill :captain:

I would be very interested in anything those records contain about "Flamingo's" movements........

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57 minutes ago, Rose Narrowboats said:

I honestly don't think I've ever seen a big Northwich counter that far in the water before.

Edit to add: Very non-standard ram's head decoration too!

I was thinking due to the lack of water disturbance at the back, perhaps he'd just chucked it into reverse and the flow was butting up against the wake following him in.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 31/10/2017 at 17:20, pete harrison said:

Does anybody on this Forum have access to Grand Union Canal traffic records covering the period 1962 to 1971, or know where I can access them ?

I am aware that there are some in private collections but I can not recall who has them :captain:

 

On 07/11/2017 at 16:28, pete harrison said:

Update - I am on Facebook and used this to track down Neil. Following a few exchanges of information and a little digging I have located the original records that Neil had photocopies of. I will arrange to view these records shortly. I have not yet made contact with Nick Hill :captain:

Update - having just got home after spending several days away inspecting original Grand Union Canal traffic records, and following some communications with Nick Hill all of my questions are answered to my full satisfaction.

Thanks to all those that pointed me in the right directions :captain:

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On ‎01‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 22:08, TheDuker said:

Can't help with the southbound motor, but the northbound pair of barrel boats looks to me like Tom Humphries with 'Stamford' and 'Bude'.

I was almost   sure this is Not Tom Humphries the person is too tall & build is to big to be Tommy as I remember him . so I enlarged the picture & showed it to my uncle  Alf Humphries ( son of Tommy from his first wife Harriett my Grandads sister) who said that is was not his Dad

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On ‎31‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 17:38, alan_fincher said:

Probably not included in what you are after, but I recall Neil Evans, (once "Hairy Neil" of this forum), had records for boats passing through Braunston for some of the latter years of carrying.

Somebody must also hold records from Cowley for some years, because I have a couple of photocopies that came with Flamingo.....  No scrub that, thinkin about it, if you want post 1962, I'm sure these are pre 1960, when it was still Letchworth.

Not GU, but ultimately heading there, Nick Hill holds records for boats loaded on the Ashby in (I think!) 1970, at least.

To my knowledge there are there are a lot of records still at cowley lock house which is now the café, I have seen them

under the old counter if anyone is interested.

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17 hours ago, jeannette smith harrison said:

I was almost   sure this is Not Tom Humphries the person is too tall & build is to big to be Tommy as I remember him . so I enlarged the picture & showed it to my uncle  Alf Humphries ( son of Tommy from his first wife Harriett my Grandads sister) who said that is was not his Dad

Tom Humphries AKA "Oxford Tommy."

Tom & Ellen Humphris.jpg

Tom Humphries Aston & Drake.jpg

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18 hours ago, jeannette smith harrison said:

I was almost   sure this is Not Tom Humphries the person is too tall & build is to big to be Tommy as I remember him

Look more like Fred Dell to me. His last pair on the barrels was Tadworth and Bakewell. The attached photo shows him after the BWB pairs finished, loading me together with Harry 'the Horse' Cresswell.

I've not seen the photo of Croxley with us passing before, and can't imagine why Towcester looks more or less empty and the butty loaded. The photo looks to be taken from Towcester's fore-end, but I don't know who took it.

Fred Dell.jpg

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51 minutes ago, pudding said:

To my knowledge there are there are a lot of records still at cowley lock house which is now the café, I have seen them

under the old counter if anyone is interested.

If I remember correctly the records at Cowley Lock cafe are Grand Union Canal Company gauge registers, most of which I have transcripts of. However the Grand Union gauge register covering 12601 to 12700 was missing from those I transcribed at Gloucester in 2002 / 2003 and I would be very interested to know if this one is available at Cowley (I do have a transcript that was gifted to me but it does not include the table section - so the possibility of taking digital photographs would be well worth the 500 mile round trip) :captain:

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12 hours ago, pete harrison said:

If I remember correctly the records at Cowley Lock cafe are Grand Union Canal Company gauge registers, most of which I have transcripts of. However the Grand Union gauge register covering 12601 to 12700 was missing from those I transcribed at Gloucester in 2002 / 2003 and I would be very interested to know if this one is available at Cowley (I do have a transcript that was gifted to me but it does not include the table section - so the possibility of taking digital photographs would be well worth the 500 mile round trip) :captain:

 

2 hours ago, jeannette smith harrison said:

Back last year there was inside the café a glass top case with a record book on display. Will look when I am there again in the next week or so

will also ask if he still has the others .

 

The few records I have seen pertaining to Cowley were records of actual traffics, showing date, company, boat name(s), cargo, from location, to location, tonnage, and presumably toll paid.

e.g.

30 Jul 1945 GUCCCgCo Letchworth & Langho Waste Rubber Willesden to Long Eaton 24 1/4 £9-5-11

(It seems waste rubber was a light load, just below it Bournemouth & Bedworth show 56 3/4 tons, (Groceries, New Ground to Brentford) a more typical load for a pair.

I was only gifted a very few poorly copied pages that happen to show traffics with our boat "Letchworth", (now "Flamingo").  These are from just May & August 1945, Feb and Nov 1946 and Jan 1950, (though if the latter date is correct it seems odd the company is still recorded as the GUCCCgCo).

Clearly Letchworth will have passed Cowley on many occasions between 1945 and 1950, so these must be a very small subset of all entries that might have related to just one boat.

I'm now very interested if some of this material may still be there.  Will they show it to anybody that just tuns up, please Jeanette.

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Alan

I am going to Cowley next week on a separate matter & will call in if  the café  is open & ask .

Have you seen the new book out this week =The Twilight years of Narrow Boat Carrying sponsored by Braunston Marina = several unseen 

Photographs from the Mike Webb collection. one you may have seen before  Flamingo  & Beverley in July 1970

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54 minutes ago, pudding said:

I can ask the owner at cowley lock if you like, I live just around the corner from there and know him quite well.

Thank you.

I'm certainly interested what they have, and what access they are prepared to let some researching boat histories to have to it.  Obviously I'm keen to know if it is a register of actual traffics and tolls, or the gauging sheets that Pete refers to. (Or both, or maybe even something else).

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