Summer 2017 - Issue 46

The Summer 2017 issue of NarrowBoat is on sale from 30 June at canalside shops, musuems and chandleries and from W.H. Smith newsagents. You can also subscribe post-free by clicking here

Current NarrowBoat subscribers will be able to read the digital edition online. Read Issue 46 Summer 2017 online. You will need to log in and, if you have not already done so, enter your 6-digit subscriber number.


Front cover: On a misty morning in the early years of the 20th century, George Garside’s pair of narrowboats,Rose & Nellie, are seen entering Paddington Basin with a delivery of sand from Leighton Buzzard. Nellie was built in the summer of 1899 and Rose the following winter. Sand was used by a number of contractors and builders’ merchants at Paddington, including H. Sabey & Co, which set up business there at about this time.

Famous Fleets: Sand Boats

Sand was an important traffic on the Grand Junction Canal, particularly from the quarries around Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire. Alan Faulkner and Chris M. Jones look at the carriers that once transported this cargo, often into central London where it was in great demand in the construction industry. 

Last Traffic: Twilight on the Trent & Mersey

Harry Arnold talks us through a collection of encounters with workings boats on the T&M, including the craft of Seddons Salt, British Waterways and the Anderton Canal Carrying Company 

Canal Finder: Dudley Canals

Andy Tidy goes in search of 13 miles of lost West Midlands waterways in the region to the west of the Dudley and Netherton Tunnels, once referred to as ‘the back of the map’ by working boaters  .

Time and Place: Fenland Carrying

Chris M. Jones looks at an early 20th-century image showing the carrying of agricultural produce in Lincolnshire 

Working on the Waterways: Abandoned Boats on the BCN

Denis Cooper and Tony Lewery provide a fascinating story centred on the sunken joey boats once built and operated by Yates Bros of Norton Canes on the Cannock Extension Canal 

Picturing the Past: Trading from Wendover

Chris M. Jones explores the background of an evocative late 19th-century photograph showing independent carrier Edward Marshallsay, who was based on the Wendover Arm of the Grand Junction Canal  

Historical Profile: Muck and Rubbish

Chris M. Jones looks at how canal boats were once used to carry sewage and refuse from major centres of population, like Birmingham and London, and the legislation that had to be adhered to 

From the Archives: Oral History Transcripts

Joseph Boughey examines the transcripts of two interviews with working boatmen describing carrying cargos on the Kennet & Avon Canal and River Weaver 

Working on the Waterways: Elijah Duckett

Chris M. Jones looks at the life and craft of a boatman who specialised in carrying roadstone and occasionally fell foul of the Canal Boat Acts 

Readers’ Letters

Your thoughts and comments on the articles in the last issue, plus some new topics

Heritage Update

Preserving our heritage, diary dates and the review of two new books: River Ouse Bargemen by David Lewis and Historic Working Narrow Boats Today 2 by David Williams and Peter Silvester