Autumn 2016 - Issue 43

The Autumn 2016 issue of NarrowBoat includes the following features.  You can purchase back issues online - click here for our shop.

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Front cover: On a pleasant autumn day in 1935, iron composite motor boat Elm and butty Ash are underway with full loads on the East Midlands waterways. The boats have spotless paintwork, having recently been delivered new from prolific boatbuilders W.J. Yarwood & Sons Ltd of Northwich.

Famous Fleets: Erewash Canal Carrying Co

Alan Faulkner records the history of this small Leicester-based canal-carrier that was active during the mid-20th century.

Waterways Art: Painted Pride

Chris M. Jones studies the unique folk art of ‘Roses and Castles’ – the traditional painted decoration of commercial narrowboats. The style originated in the decades after the Napoleonic Wars and today can be found adorning contemporary craft, the interiors of canalside pubs, on chandlery items, and within publications. 

Canals that Never Were: Sheffield & Manchester Junction Canal

Richard Dean looks at an 1824 proposal for a trans-Pennine waterway connecting Manchester and Sheffield. It was intended to be a 39-mile waterway with 80 locks rising 800ft to a summit tunnel at Woodhead, and would have been very expensive to build. By the time finances were in place for the project, canals had been superseded by the railways.

Working on the Waterways: Coal for Condensed Milk

Chris M. Jones examines photographs that record coal-carrying to the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company in Aylesbury by the Buckler family of Nuneaton. The milk company was based alongside the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Junction Canal, below Park Street Lock No 16, and the Buckler family were its main coal supplier (by boat), carrying roughly 2,000 tons per year.

Unearthing History: Napoleonic-era Narrowboats

Mike Clarke presents a rare view of early narrowboats and their construction through the eyes of Austrian engineer, Sebastian von Maillard, who visited England in 1795. The engineer records such details as: boat traffic, planking, legging boats and bulk-carrying cargoes.

Time and Place: Roadstone to Welshpool

Chris M. Jones examines an early 20th-century photo of Welshpool that shows the transportation of road-making minerals on the Montgomeryshire Canal.

Historical Profile: Power Shift

Mike Clarke looks at the early internal combustion engines used on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. In the 1880s, steam-power was well-established on canals, however, in the early 1900s, this was challenged by the internal combustion engine. The article discusses the introduction and progression of gas and diesel engines on the North-West waterway.

From the Archives: Sou’Wester

Joseph Boughey uncovers some interesting findings in 1966 copies of Sou’Wester – a regional IWA newsletter – including plans for a ‘National Maritime Exhibition’ in Exeter and a charter service by Weaver Boats Ltd on the River Shannon.

Picturing the Past: Ovaltine Epilogue

Another selection from Patrick Rawlinson’s superb photo collection shows the last working pair of Ovaltine boats. From the 1920s onwards the beverage manufacturer built up its own fleet, but by April 1959, the company’s boats, William and Enid, had carried their last load.

Traditional Techniques: Canal Carpentry

James Hewitt recalls the process of repairing lock gates on the Macclesfield Canal, with details on: making new paddles, draining canals and lock stoppages.

Time and Place: Sailing to Brigg

Chris M. Jones looks at a pre-WWI photo showing a sailing keel on the Old River Ancholme in Lincolnshire. The postcard photograph shows a typical early 20th-century scene of one of many small riverside towns in Lincolnshire and neighbouring Yorkshire.