Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Monday 27 June 2011

More inspiration - lovely tugs

 Sue Cawston's Nb Thea, a 'middle' Northwich and the inspiration for Yarwood.
I passed Nb.Thea yesterday when I was aboard Nb Ling at the Braunston Historic Boat Rally.

 The two in the middle are ice-breakers
 Ahhh, Nb. Sickle, another middle Northwich

Rivet detail on Nb. Thea

Friday 24 June 2011

Engine paid for..

We visited Stuart at Barnowl Narrowboats this afternoon to pay for the engine and the generator that are going to be fitted to Yarwood - the first of the monies going out...
Things look as if the base plate will be laid the week after next so I will take the opportunity to visit family in Essex next week and leave Joe to convert the lamps we have acquired for the back cabin to LED's.

Thursday 23 June 2011

Livery sorted!

Yesterday morning Joe and I headed to Brierley Hill to meet with the signwriter, Dave Moore.  We had with us a number of livery ideas that we had 'sketched' out on my laptop.  The previous evening we had been flicking from one to t'other  to see which of our options grabbed our attention  and surprisingly it was a green and red livery that we kept being drawn to.  When we went through those same options with Dave he agreed, only changing the shade of green slightly. 
Next thing were off to his workshop to have a look at the actual paint colours, and here they are.

After a cup of tea Dave invited us to go and have a look at Nb. Resolute, his boat which is moored at Norton Canes yard, and like a shot we accepted. 

 Nb, Resolute, Dave's 60' Norton Canes tug
Nb. Resolute 
 Here is how we found Nb. Resolute, moored up so the two photo's above are from the NC website.

 Dave demonstrating the start-up procedure of Resolute's Kelvin engine for Joe
 Here, the side steps/stair on Resolute, similar to those that will be built for Yarwood.  Easy access for dogs, most important, and a storage solution because the step is also a draw.
 The table cupboard, decorated by Dave of course

I am not sure that Dave (R) likes Joe's (L) dance moves that much..

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Expert Advice sought

We are off this morning to see Dave Moore, Master Signpainter and one of the founding members of the Waterways Craft Guild, to discuss potential livery options for Yarwood.  We have mocked up some themes on the laptop and will take those with us as 'a starter for ten'.  Hopefully we will come away having finalised the colour scheme....one can only hope...

Sunday 19 June 2011

Any, any old BRASS

Any, any old iron brass!  Today we going to pick up our latest acquisition, a genuine brass Francis lamp that will have pride of place as a tunnel lamp on Yarwood's bow. 

A bit of elbow grease and Brasso from me and a techie-wireee overhaul from Joe and this will look just the ticket adorning a tuggy deck!

Thursday 16 June 2011

The Real Thing inspires...

Nb. Sickle 
Inspired by the real thing, our new boat, the 66' Nb. Yarwood, will be based on the lines of a 'middle Northwich'.   The 42'  40' Nb Sickle, (above) an example of the real thing is our muse.  The lines of this 'middle Northwich' boat, a series of boats by WJ Yarwood of Northwich in the mid 1930's expansion of canal transport for the GUCCC
The busines like bow of the  'middle Northwich' built in the mid 1930's by WJ Yarwood at Northwich on the R.Weaver for the newly formed Grand Union Canal Carrying Company, the G.U.C.C.C.  
Again this is Nb Sickle.   This is the bow that our new boat Nb. Yarwood will attempt to emulate. 
 We just love the lines and proportions of this boat.  Thank you Sickle...  Of course the tug deck will not be quite as extensive, we have to live on board after all, but we hope that Nb. Yarwood will prove to be an fitting homage to this renown boatbuilder!

(Last two Photo's from Sickle and Chalice blog. Fincher Family)

Wednesday 15 June 2011

In praise of a Boatman's cabin

Your wages are shrinking, yet another cut in pay this week. 

The profits of the canal companies are under threat from the new railway companies so wages, which have been good, are about to take a tumble.  How are you going to make ends meet? 
Move the family out of your rented cottage in Manchester or Birmingham or London and move them on the boat with you? 
Could that work?

Indeed it did and from the pressing needs of ordinary working boatman and their families came the development and refinement of the 'boatman's cabin'.   Eight foot six inches of boat length that became, bedroom, kitchen, parlour, and bathroom for entire families.
My interest in boatman's cabins started when I read the book Idle Women. by Susan Woolfit.  This book was the story of a middle class woman who joins the ranks of women recruited in WW2 to crew working narrowboats.  Similar to the 'land girls' that joined the 'land army' to work the land in place of the men that were called-up for wartime service, the women of the Inland Waterways, IA ( hence the sobriquet of  Idle Women) replaced the male boat crews helping keep the wheels of commerce turning by delivering the coal etc. that the Country needed. 

In this strange and new environment the mother of two, in her thirties, marvels at how well designed/developed the living accommodation of the working boat is.   It was her explanations of what each stylised bit did, its purpose or purposes, because much of the cabin kit has dual roles, that I started to realise the a traditional Boatman's Cabin was more than a pretentious adornment! 

In the photograph below we are looking at the rear of the Boatman's Cabin.  From right to left  - firstly is the table cupboard.  The painted panel in the cupboard, when opened, becomes the cabins' table.  The drawer immediately beneath is the crumb drawer. In this cupboard the crockery, cutlery  and food supplies would have been stored. The black stove alongside the table cupboard, the range cooker of its day, was where all the cooking for the family was done, water was heated and the source of warmth for the family's home came from: a source of heat, both winter and summer.
An oil lamp mounted on the side of the table cupboard by the stove,  lights the cabin interior and the brass 'bed knobs' affixed by the back door help to reflect that light .  The step leading up to the rear doors doubles as a coal scuttle. The side bench to the left becomes a bed at night for children.

In the image above we are looking back into the cabin.  On the left, the range with its oil lamp mounted to the side and ribbon plates affixed to the wall.   The table cupboard and just behind the lace curtail yet another cupboard.  This cupboard  is the bed'ole.  The cupboard door  opens across the walkway  and forms a cross-bed.  The cushions and bedding are stored in the cupboard.  This would have been the double bed of the boatman and his wife with their children sleeping on the side bed and the floor.

The bed'ole cupboard can be seen on the right here, on the left the side bed running the length of the cabin.

These days we haven't got to cram a family into 8'6" of boat length but the traditional boatman's cabin still has something offer.  When cruising in winter the helm has a source of heat, standing on that top step with the hatch open and the doors closed behind you is going to help combat the cold. 
When moored up you have a perfectly comfortable and warm space to enjoy including a settee/day bed to sprawl on.  When the cross bed is down you have a cabin/bedroom and when it is closed your 'bedroom' becomes a space that can used during the day.  A versatile and useful space that is definitely going to find its
place in Yarwood.

The photographs are of a boatman's cabin fitted out by Barry Hawkins Boatbuilder.

Saturday 4 June 2011

Changes afoot

Our current boat, Caxton, is a 68' semi-trad based on a Graham Reeves hull and fitted out by Barnowl Narrowboats.  Caxton is contemporary boat, chrome fittings, no brass, reverse layout, 5' cross-bed in our cabin, ash fitout, portholed and well equipped with white goods, including a dishwasher!    We had originally opted for a semi-trad because we have two labradors and we imagined that all four of us would be happily encounced on the semi-trad deck while we cruised the canals each day. 

Our new boat, Nb Yarwood, is going to be very different and much more 'traditional'.  Yarwood will be a 66' tug; a 'TUG' because we find the lines of a tug so attractive and we want one!   We have worked out that every critical item we carry on Caxton can be accommodated in the layout of a tug style boat, walking from stem to stern and checking off every bit of kit and identifying where it will 'live' on a new boat.  That done any reservations that Joe had about a tug simply faded away.....

The new boat will have:
  • a traditional, Trad, stern rather than a semi-trad.
  • a boatman's cabin
  • an engine room
  • cross shower room, cassette toilet
  • smaller galley
  • larger saloon
  • large hold under the tug deck
  • diesel generator in hold.
In the next post I will explain what the rationale is for the changes we are planning.

Friday 3 June 2011

Decision made then...

We are about to start the build of our new narrowboat and this blog will record the progress of that build.   We have been full time 'liveaboards' for the last two and a half years so we are pouring that valuable experience with an equal measure of simple desire into the design of our new boat/home.  

The build will start in July 2011. We have 'signed up' the hull builder and the boat fitter, drawings are done, layout planned and engine choice made.

The hull will be based on that of a small Northwich trader, built at Northwich on the R.Weaver By WJ Yarwood, hence the name of our new boat.