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Leicestershire Country Council closed down Discovery Park in Coalville and the Wooden Butty Belmont is there in very poor condition. Land been sold with planning for houses and site needs to be clear for the New Year!

What going to Happen to Belmont ?

 

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11 minutes ago, nomad - tuttle hill said:

Leicestershire Country Council closed down Discovery Park in Coalville and the Wooden Butty Belmont is there in very poor condition. Land been sold with planning for houses and site needs to be clear for the New Year!

What going to Happen to Belmont ?

 

Belmont is not a wooden butty.  It is a Harland and Wolff boat built butty with an all steel hull.  Only the cabin would have been wooden.

 

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5 minutes ago, nomad - tuttle hill said:

it was remove from the Coventry Canal near Nuneaton to the Discovery Park and left to rotten away by the Country Council .

Yes it has not fared well.  Other buttys in far better condition struggle to find somebody to take them on, so I'm not at all sure of Belmont's chances.

Even if it survives, I can't see it being restored in the foreseeable future.

To be fair, it was in such poor condition when trading in 1970 that it didn't go on the final Jam 'Ole traffic, and the Collins operated just Stanton as a single motor.

Doris Collins I believe was on record as saying you could lie in bed and see the spire of Braunston Church through the holes!  A further 47 years on, I'm not surprised it's in the state it is!

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This is a sad story all round. I used to go past Snibston Pit on the 'bus on the way to school - it was unusual in being a large coal mine almost in the centre of a town (appropriately called Coalville), and historic in that it had once been owned by George and Robert Stephenson. It was the most important pit in this extensive-mined area for many years, and from memory it acted as a clearing house for the coal mined at other local pits such as Whitwick, which was transported there on underground conveyors, in the 1970s. It closed down in 1983, but sprang back to life as the "Discovery Park", bringing a major tourist attraction to a town which, frankly, didn't have much going for it to attract people to come and visit. Mrs. Athy and I went round the Discovery Park sometime in the 1990s and spent a fascinating half-day there.

It looks as if, following the Discovery Park's closure in 2015, Coalville will have reverted to its previous status as a town which people go through (or, nowadays, round) with no reason to stop. As for the boat, none of us likes to see old craft broken up, but is its condition so parlous that it is beyond reasonable restoration? If not, I suppose that Ellesmere Port would be a logical destination for it.

Does anyone know what has happened to the N.C.B. 0-6-0 saddle tank locomotive which was also at the park?

Edited by Athy

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9 hours ago, Heritage172 said:

Do we have any photos?

These were supplied by PeterO in 2009.

I can only assume the situation to have got worse in the 8 years since.....

 

 

 

 

Edited by alan_fincher
Don't seem to be able to post multiple pics - no idea why!
  • Greenie 1

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No idea why Forum softwaree will not just let me paste each of these in the same way, but it won't.  Follow the link, id no image dispalyed.

 

https://canalworld.net/forums/index.php?/gallery/image/3961-belmont

https://canalworld.net/forums/index.php?/gallery/image/4991-stern-of-belmont-july-2009

 

 

Edited by alan_fincher
What I wouldn't give to be able to have the manual control of how things were pasted that was in the old forum software. Trying to do anything more than trivial in this version always seems to result in the unexpected!

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1 hour ago, Athy said:

If not, I suppose that Ellesmere Port would be a logical destination for it.

 

I can't imagine Ellesmere Port being the slightest bit interested sadly. They have recently cleared all the boats they had (with the exception of a few) into 'dry' storage and, IIRC, have an example of a Harland and Wolff butty - it's a shame but a a sign of the times we enjoy at the moment unless, of course, there is something unique about Belmont which justifies saving it.  It needs a 'statement of significance' I think. (A statement of significance summarises how and why the object is important. A statement of significance can be prepared for a single object, a particular class or category of objects either within the museum or across museums, or for the whole of the museum's collection).

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54 minutes ago, roland elsdon said:

There weren't that many town class butty built. Surely someone turning it into a motor is better than it being cut up for scrap. 

Roger Farrington?

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2 hours ago, roland elsdon said:

There weren't that many town class butty built. Surely someone turning it into a motor is better than it being cut up for scrap. 

Do we actually know that the "metal moth" hasn't got to it so badly that there would be very little Belmont left?

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2 hours ago, monkeyhanger said:

Roger Farrington?

As far as I am aware, Roger has more or less retired following a recent period of ill health.

Edited by David Schweizer

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2 minutes ago, David Schweizer said:

As far as I am aware, Roger has more or less retired following a recent period of ill health.

For some value of 'retired'.  You will still find him in the yard most days.  He did say he does not want to build any more new boats though.

N

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Just now, BEngo said:

For some value of 'retired'.  You will still find him in the yard most days.  He did say he does not want to build any more new boats though.

N

It is a couple of months since I last heard of his ill health, I also heard that he had been arriving much later in the day, and leaving earlier. I am not suprised that he does not plan to build any new boats. There does come a time when we all have to submit to our age,

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This is truly awful news.

From a personal point of view, Belmont played a side line in my life on and off.

In the early 60s my Father would take us to Lady Line/Blue Line to view unsuitable boats for sale and I'd always stand and gaze at Raymond one side of the entrance and Stanton and Belmont the other. Squares of wood on the ropes to stop the rats. Then we'd walk up to the bottom lock to gawp in amazement at the fleet of tilting narrow boats abandoned in the reservoir and Smee (?) on a different side of the cut each weekend.

Years later with my own Small Woolwich boats I was astonished to see her sitting on top of a high bank, just short of Atherstone.

Again years later I went to run a pub in Thringstone near Coalville and heard people talking of a barge (sic) at the new tourist park in town, I went to look and "Yup there she was".  And what a state she was in.

And now this.  I truly believe it won't take many years before enthusiasts will comment how in living memory an unmolested yet totally abandoned example of 1930s engineering was treated so badly by those entrusted with it to the point of scrapping.

I'm now too old and too poor to be able to step in.  Nor do I understand crowd funding and the like.

Yet I see and hear of success stories with it.

Could someone approach Leicestershire County Council and seek permission for someone like Paul Barber of Sheet Stores to go and visit the old girl and advise if .....

1 ) It can be moved without falling apart.

2) Can be saved, either: -

                                   As a whole boat

                                   In useful bits like front end/back end/hull sections

                                   Only two cast posts Stem and Stern

We could then guesstimate costs to get it out of there and start some crowd funding????? 

I know that would only be the start of the problems, and many will suggest there are more worthy examples laying around the system in better condition and more accessible. However I for one should be very sad to learn in a short while that she's been gas axed and disappeared.

She was gifted to a non for profit organisation and should be available under a similar agreement.

I know I'm not talking with my head, and am resorting (unusually for me) to emotion, so I have no answer to those who will reply "It's not worth it".

  • Greenie 2

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I remember Belmont coming to Bedford Basin at Leigh in the very early eighties. Towed up from Gayton (I think) by Euan Corrie with the Gainsborough. Externally she looked alright but closer inspection revealed a much sadder state of affairs. The hold had been roughly lined out with plywood and when this was removed it revealed holes in the platework. When you walked on the boats bottom you could feel the metal flex under foot. In short, she was in a bit of a state even then. The back cabin was reasonably good (I think Mr and Mrs Collins had lived in it recently). I salvaged a few small cabin fittings, turnbuttons and the like, for use in Albion's cabin. I don't know where she went after leaving Leigh. Paul Lorenz or Tim Young might remember.

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14 hours ago, nomad - tuttle hill said:

Leicestershire Country Council closed down Discovery Park in Coalville and the Wooden Butty Belmont is there in very poor condition. Land been sold with planning for houses and site needs to be clear for the New Year!

What going to Happen to Belmont ?

 

Hi Ian,

How about putting it on the bank at the Ashby Canal Association site at Snarestone Wharf? Assuming LCC are amenable and the developers will scrap it as soon as they're on site, doing that would at least give some breathing space.

Has anyone knowledgeable had a look over the hull to see if it could even be lifted without falling apart?

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31 minutes ago, colinwilks said:

 

How about putting it on the bank at the Ashby Canal Association site at Snarestone Wharf? 

A very constructive suggestion, Colin. It's only a few miles from Coalville after all. If an appeal were mounted to pay for any transport costs, I for one would be happy to pitch in  a few quid.

Do we have any Ashby Canal Association members here on CWDF?

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I was asked if the guy trying to buy "Belmont"  did so if I would tow it up Whaley Bridge for him around 70/71 that would have been with fingers crossed ,I agreed as the new owner & a couple of his mates would have been aboard for the trip & been responsible for keeping it floating as it was in VERY sad order I received a phone call that the job was a no go  & was pretty relieved as I think it possibly would have been a sinker Back then it was in a bad way

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1 minute ago, Athy said:

A very constructive suggestion, Colin. It's only a few miles from Coalville after all. If an appeal were mounted to pay for any transport costs, I for one would be happy to pitch in  a few quid.

Do we have any Ashby Canal Association members here on CWDF?

I happen to know Ian is on the committee - hence my suggestion!

Not sure how much we'd be in for to get it lifted and delivered, but I too would put my hand in my pocket to contribute. As others have said, it just seems wrong for the boat to be dragged off in bits for scrap. Hearts beat heads every time for me!

 

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6 hours ago, Leo No2 said:

I can't imagine Ellesmere Port being the slightest bit interested sadly. They have recently cleared all the boats they had (with the exception of a few) into 'dry' storage and, IIRC, have an example of a Harland and Wolff butty - it's a shame but a a sign of the times we enjoy at the moment unless, of course, there is something unique about Belmont which justifies saving it.  It needs a 'statement of significance' I think. (A statement of significance summarises how and why the object is important. A statement of significance can be prepared for a single object, a particular class or category of objects either within the museum or across museums, or for the whole of the museum's collection).

 

Many people argue that the Blue Line traffic to the Kearly and Tongue "Jam 'Ole" was the very last regular long distance carrying by narrow boat. (It's what the books tend to say, anyway).

This definition depends on what you call "long distance", as the carriage of lime juice pulp between Brentford and Boxmoor to "Roses" continued several more years after the Jam 'Ole, but people seem to treat the fact that it was not that big a distance, (though a lot of locks), as still making the Jam 'Ole the last.

If the 'Jam Ole is significant as the last long distance traffic, then Belmont was the very last steel built butty involved in it.  That makes it a pretty significant boat in my view.

(As an aside, I realise I don't actually know what the very last pair was that would have unloaded at Roses wharf in Boxmoor - I guess Tam Murrell could probably tell us!)

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Following my tear jerking personal account at post 16, I have contacted a vague outpost of the local council as nowhere does an email address appear for anything that appears to be remotely related to Snibstone Adventure Park and it's collapse.

They have come back to me and promised they have forwarded my enquiry to the relevant office whom will contact me directly ....... we'll see, and I'll report back.

I too would do my upmost to help Ashby Canal Society if they were able to get involved.

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unfortunately it's a matter of resources some boats have been rebuilt from stempost upwards or had bits incorporated into new builds.

I know for a fact that a certain boat re launched only last week incorporated modified knees from an old boat to maintain its historic integrity.

however the numbers of builders with the resources and skills to do that are finite and by default expensive due to the labour costs.

Please keep informed of you progress in tracking down the ownership and intentions for this boat, as surely there are enough people around who would assist in preventing destruction. Enough history has already gone and it is only now we are realising this

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I am afraid that I can’t say too much at the moment but I can put your minds at rest.

Talks have taken place, Belmont will not be scrapped and will probably have left Snibston by Christmas. 

 

Steve

  • Greenie 4

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