Category Archives: River boats

Pathé film of the Thames postman, 1933

In 1933, Mr Evans the River Thames postman delivers letters to the boats and ships moored on the Thames near Tower Bridge, London.

My thanks to Griselda Mussett for alerting me to this gem.

Chris Perkins’ photos from the Beale Park Boat and Outdoor Show

I’m most grateful to Chris Perkins for giving me permission to raid his impressive collection of photos from this year’s Beale Park Boat and Outdoor Show.

Chris is a lovely, meticulous photographer, and seems to have the knack of being unobtrusive when he’s shooting – no-one in his shots seems to pose for the camera! See his full collection at Flickr but please don’t use them without his permission!

From the top left they show three Watercraft magazine Amateur Boat Building Awards entries:

  • Agape a Nottage 12 designed by Fabian Bush and beautifully traditionally built by Richard Harvey (three photos)
  • Curlew, a Nick Smith-designed traditional launch built in the traditional way by Richard Pease (two photos)
  • Strummer, an Iain Oughtred-designed Ness Yawl built in clinker ply by Ian Prior
  • Polly, an Iain Oughtred designed Swampscott dory built in the traditional way by John Kingston (three pics – and isn’t she gorgeous!)

There’s also a general shot of the competition entries.

Also we have a currach (two pics); a Thames skiff set up for camping (two photos), the Old Gaffers Association menagerie of small boats on show, an oldish ply-looking river launch; Moiety, built by Nick Smith, a bit of repair work going on outside the International Boatbuilding Training College stand (principal Nat is wearing the black hat); Kipperman Mike Smylie playing the kipper xylophone (black hats are in fashion, gentlemen); and some typical scenes on the water at Beale Park (six photos).

Nutty Slack, the Broads policeman’s water bike

nutty slack boat bike

Nutty Slack is a boat bike that has been given to the wonderful Museum of the Broads at Stalham – the folks there are debating how to restore the bike to its former glory. Apparently, there are reasons for thinking it should be painted in spots!

She was owned by a local policeman who mainly used to use her for collecting his newspapers, but she also used for retrieving dead animals from the river, and occasionally, it’s said, dead human bodies…

My thanks to MOTB’s Caroline Male for sending over the fabulous photo!

National Historic Ships annual photographic competition 2014

Once again, National Historic Ships UK is running its annual photography competition for this year, and offering a range of equipment and cash prizes to be won.

There are categories for all ages, including one for young photographers under 18.

Entries must be in by the 31 August – the collection above represent some of the judges’ favourites submitted so far this month.

To enter in any of the competition categories, fill in an online entry form and upload your images to the National Historic Ships UK competition webpage at www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk.

There are rules and so on to check on the site also, as well as a handy web gizmo to enable photographers to identify historic ships that local to them and which might provide suitable subjects. (I think non-photographers will find that interesting too!)

Still more, the site has a set of tips for photographers working with marine topics – and one of them says that you deon’t have to have a special camera and that you’re more likely to have a small camera with you when the moment arises. So I guess my little Panasonic will do.

By the way, I’m not a judge but I’m going off the very processed multi-exposure shots we’ve seen so often in recent years, and – bravo! – I’m delighted to see that the judges’ favourites submitted so far during April don’t fall into that category.

PS – The Marsh Awards for volunteers - National Historic Ships is also calling for nominations of volunteers for the Marsh awards, which recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the conservation or operation of historic vessels in the UK.

There is an overall prize of £1,000 to be won for the Marsh Volunteer Award, and £500 for the young volunteer of the year, which is available to nominees aged 25 or under. Both prizes are donated by the Marsh Christian Trust.

Both awards will be presented at our National Historic Ships UK Awards Ceremony, being held in October on HQS Wellington.

Last year’s winners included James Dulson and George Collinson, who have volunteered for a number of years at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool, helping to conserve historic vessels including Edmund Gardner, and Isabelle Law who has volunteered as crew on the ferry Glenachulish for the past five years despite having only recently turned 16 years old.

The closing date for nomination is 31 August. Read what to do and about the Marsh awards here.

 

Marcus Lewis makes the Fowey River dinghy and Troy class keelboat racers ready for the season

Fowey boatbuilder Marcus Lewis has been in touch to tell us about the work he’s been doing – and here’s been a lot of maintenance, repair and painting work to do on the local Fowey River dinghy and Troy class keelboat racers, as you might expect during the run-up to the new sailing season.

Here’s what he says:

‘It’s fairly busy in my boat shed! We have finished all the woodwork on a new Fowey River sailing dinghy, and the owner has taken it away to do his own varnishing and painting.

‘We’ve also been getting on with the sanding and painting of several of the Troy Class keelboats – we currently look after or maintain about ten of these, and they all need to be back afloat ready to race by the first Saturday in May.

The photos (above) show Ruby (no. 6) and Aquamarine (no. 16) in my workshop, and then there is the yard at the Fowey Gallants Sailing Club, where we have the masts out for varnishing, and Troys nos 1,3,7,18,19 and 23 almost done.

Ruby is now afloat, (pictured on the water above) and we have 10 days of launching and rigging of these boats ahead right now, as well as some varnishing and antifouling on a few Fowey River dinghies.

‘Also, a couple weekends ago, I organised a lifejacket clinic at the sailing club, with service engineers from Ocean Safety in Plymouth. Folks could bring their lifejackets along for a once over, and hopefully learn a bit about them. The checks were free, but any spare parts fitted had to be paid for.

‘We had a huge attendance , with 248 lifejackets looked at over six hours.

‘Attached is a pic of a typical poorly treated jacket, left in the locker all winter to decay. the rusty cylinder can chafe through the bladder, and is not recommended. The RNLI sea safety team were also there to answer questions on EPIRBs, kill switches, mob devices, and any other safety queries.’

I must say running a lifejacket check sounds like a great way to get folks minds focused on safety at a time when they’re getting their boats ready, and setting out on their annual shakedown trips.

Thanks Marcus!

Late 1930s Norfolk punt for sale

Norfolk punt for sale

Brian Pearson spotted this beautiful 1939 Herbert Woods-built Norfolk punt for sale on eBay.

At 22ft length over all, she is carvel-built and bears the number 43, and is named Curlew.

Curlew was owned and raced by Herbert Woods in 1943 and then sucessfully raced by many notable local sailors, so she has an interesting history – and in fact even has a tropy named after her. Read her history here.

The seller says he saved the boat along with another when they had to come out of barn storage at short notice, and there was a high chance that they would have been broken up and burnt, and intends to sell Curlew to someone who will get her back on the water where she belongs. I hope he’s successful!

Thanks Brian!