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Trevor is,I think, in the white overalls just to the left. He left a lasting impression on me, as someone who would produce a top class job regardless of time constraints. His working hours were somewhat irregular.....often turning up in mid afternoon, then working on till the early hours. I composed a limerick for him in the 90s,,,,l

A grizzled old veteran named Trevor

was at woodwork remarkably clever....

But the speed of his work

Made poor Graham look a burk

And the simplest jobs lasted for ever.

 

 

 

He died a few years ago. Graham, Tony, Glynn and myself attended the funeral. Waiting outside, we were advised by an official that the cortège was delayed by an accident. “ Late for his own funeral “ I commented, bringing mirth from those who knew and worked with him. So appropriate...

 

 

 

  • Greenie 2

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I see.  Thanks Dave.  For a moment I thought I was the burk in your rhyme, as my name is also Graham, thus the lettering on the boat.  My nickname 'Grawar' dates back to my motor racing days and the sign on my pit board.  But that's another story!

Another question for you Dave, am I right in recalling that the final exterior painting and lettering would be done in a different dock at the yard after the boat was returned to the water?

1EMN Willaston jpg v2.jpg

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Hi Graham. 

No offence offered, it wasn’t you. I can’t tell you where the painting and subsequent lettering were done, I’m not sure when the paint dock, adjacent to the main shed, was put up. It was a pair of pontoons, a boat’s width apart, with a corrugated roof and poly sides. In Malcolm’s time, I think...Back then, the lettering would have been by Ted Chetwynd, my inspiration, or Bruce Patterson, one of Malcolm’s staff, who also rated Ted. I’m happy to supply phone numbers if you ‘d prefer to speak.. I’m of that age....you know....

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I seem to recall these pictures were taken in the paint dock shortly after Aries was put back into the water.  I do not seem to have any photos of that event.  I may have some old vhs tape, but I am not sure it survived.

1979 painting shed 1.jpg

1979 paint shed 2.jpg

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In the autumn of 1979, Aries was decorated by Bruce Patterson at Malcolm Braine's yard.  The local newspaper celebrated the moment by publishing a piece titled 'Canal Tradition lives on' showing roses and castles in being skillfully applied to the cratch and cabin entrance..  I felt we were finally about to take our maiden voyage, but I was wrong.

1979 Bruce Patterson 1.jpg

1979 Bruce Patterson 2.jpg

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On 02/08/2018 at 20:55, dave moore said:

Trevor is,I think, in the white overalls just to the left. He left a lasting impression on me, as someone who would produce a top class job regardless of time constraints. His working hours were somewhat irregular.....often turning up in mid afternoon, then working on till the early hours. I composed a limerick for him in the 90s,,,,l

A grizzled old veteran named Trevor

was at woodwork remarkably clever....

But the speed of his work

Made poor Graham look a burk

And the simplest jobs lasted for ever.

 

 

 

He died a few years ago. Graham, Tony, Glynn and myself attended the funeral. Waiting outside, we were advised by an official that the cortège was delayed by an accident. “ Late for his own funeral “ I commented, bringing mirth from those who knew and worked with him. So appropriate...

 

 

 

Yes, that is certainly Trevor in post 56 and Dad is pictured in post 51, in the last picture winching the boat out of the water.

 

When I was at school I did a project which involved designing and making a lamp, Trevor helped me with my project and I got in trouble for it being too good!

 

I’m now very pleased to own a boat built by Dad and fitted out (over about 4 years...) by Trevor.

  • Greenie 1

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Continuing the Aries story… through late 1979 and into 1980 work continued.

 

The restoration had by then taken far longer than either I or Malcolm Braine had anticipated.  I have not so far mentioned that I owned a smaller narrow boat aboard which I learned to become a canal enthusiast.  This was an old cut down ‘Joey’ boat named Jeeves, 36’ in length with a riveted iron hull.  I spent long hours renovating the interior myself.  Perhaps I will post some pictures another time.

In view of the escalating cost of the Aries saga, I decided to sell Jeeves to help with funding.  She was taken to Braine’s and fully checked and any faults rectified.  I sold her in July 1979 and said goodbye to a much loved friend.

Aries was now fitted with a complete set of false floors inside the hold, detailed signwriting was completed, stem and back fenders ordered and a cabin stove complete with middle and top pipes was installed.  A full set of top cloths and tippet cloths with traditional stringing completed the external works.

The electrical installations with an alternator and new electric starter motor were completed. The starter motor was to prove a wonderful luxury after the effort of cranking up the old unrestored engine by hand on cold winter mornings.

The major missing item, however, was the engine itself.  A whole new saga began.

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The crankshaft was by now re-engineered and re-built together with the flywheel.  Unfortunately, Malcolm reported, the fitter was unwell and away from the yard for a while, so work could not continue.  By August the man was seriously ill and retired.

The New Year came and by January 1980, the engine re-build had almost been completed at an outside engineering workshop, with the exception of its long awaited oil pump.  This was being built from scratch to the original design and specification by Russell Newbery, causing them endless problems. 

Braine’s boatyard now had a new manager who decided that Aries must be the last of her kind which they would restore as the project had been hugely costly in terms of both funding and manpower.

 

This photo shows the engine from Aries as it sits today at the Boat Museum.  I do not have any contemporary pictures of it in the boat.

 

CIMG1970.JPG.2eb7739561b33854e7c9013ef3171b20.JPG

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At the end of August 1980, four years after four long years and a large account, Aries was finally back in the water and ready to return to the canals.  Some happy cruises followed with my young family and friends.

 

356421338_Bridge60.jpg.12580ded8f8defc6e03f9a41dc446c0e.jpg459403658_1980lateBraunston.jpg.8f5c4adcd7abb1574e3a28067bff2f2a.jpg342759134_1980late.jpg.8ba42086ce4f5d09eef03735af22c3ea.jpg2042568701_1980TheCrew.jpg.c15d6f01a62f26d2fe37f4dd3d8f3b4f.jpg482046153_1980lateyear.jpg.f9efe9d66d21b713882c8b3424fb99d1.jpg

  • Greenie 2

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The Shropshire Union with its splendid scenery was one of our favourite canals.  Some scenes from Autumn 1980 at the turn to Great Heywood:

 

218381059_1980AutumnShroptoGtHeywood.jpg.cd3a1aaa3d8ae907f3a6f431a2954b0e.jpg1360365603_1980ShropUnion.jpg.dc0e72d1bee22d914ca663578f1a8e3c.jpg1862775893_1980ShroptoGtHey.jpg.024bb295638eaf6fb049f16cd167cf27.jpg

 

 

  • Greenie 1

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Some great images there Grawar, are the first set other than the lock taken around Brownhills on the W&E?

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Thanks for your kind words, Andy.  Unfortunately I was not in the habit of noting where photos were taken and at this length of time afterwards, I do not remember the location.  However, it would not be far from Norton Canes, so you are very probably correct in your guess.

 

I will be posting more before long.

  • Greenie 1

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Do you mind if I share in a local group? Might get an exact location although I think its at Catshill jnctn which is in the background of one of the pics.

  • Greenie 1

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