Spring 2017 - Issue 45

The Spring 2017 issue of NarrowBoat includes the following features.  You can purchase back issues online - click here for our shop.

Current NarrowBoat subscribers will be able to read the digital edition online. Read Issue 45 Spring 2017 online. You will need to log in and, if you have not already done so, enter your 6-digit subscriber number.


Front cover: The Salt Union Ltd was a cartel of salt manufacturers formed in 1888. The company soon had a sizeable fleet of narrowboats operating on the canals, as well as barges and steam packets that were primarily used on the River  Weaver. Depicted moored up on the Trent & Mersey Canal on a bright sunny day is houseboat Dane, fleet number 117. One of the company’s many craft named after rivers, Dane was registered at Stoke-on-Trent on 29th September 1905. The boat’s livery is based on historic photographs.

Famous Fleets: Salt Union Ltd

The Salt Union Limited was a consortium of salt manufacturers established in 1888. Alan Faulkner and Chris M. Jones look at the canal-carrying fleet of the company, which comprised both narrowboats and barges working out of its Cheshire and Worcestershire bases

Picturing the Past: Red and Green

Another delve into Patrick Rawlinson’s photo archive highlights the once-ubiquitous colour scheme of commercial craft 

Last Traffic: Claytons on the Wolverhampton 21

Harry Arnold recalls encountering Claytons’ skipper Jimmy Moores on motor-boat Umea on the BCN during the company’s final months of carrying in the mid-1960s

Working on the Waterways: Grain on the Water

Chris M. Jones provides a comprehensive history of grain carriage by boat, which formed a substantial traffic on the south Midlands waterways for many decades 

Time and Place: Easter Gathering

Chris M. Jones looks at two photographs showing an Easter Sunday service at Little Venice in 1932 for the benefit of its boating community 

Canal Finder: Nutbrook Canal

Andy Tidy goes in search of a short and little-known East Midlands waterway once used to transport minerals 

Working on the Waterways: Behind the Scenes at British Waterways

James Hewitt recalls some of the disagreements, deceptions and debacles of his years spent working for the British Waterways Board from 1967 to 1974. 

From the Archives: Nineteenth Century British Newspapers

Joseph Boughey uses an online archive to augment printed information on two canals that were superseded by railways in the late 1800s 

Canals That Never Were: Pontcysyllte to Chester

Richard Dean details the Ellesmere Canal’s missing northerly link to the city of Chester. But why was it never built?  

Picturing the Past: Wallingford Wharf

Chris M. Jones explores the details in pre-WWI photographs of a wharf on the River Thames near Oxford/p>