Alone and forsaken but with an intriguing stern – or is it bows?

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Punt with striking stern - or bows

There’s something very affecting about this engraving, which Craig O’Donnell of the splendid The Cheap Pages emailed over a few days ago. I know several old songs that seem to apply, and I gather Craig spotted this engraving in an antique shop.

From a practical point of view, I wonder why that stern – or bows, if you prefer – is as it is? Why would anyone build the end of a punt this way? My suggestion is that it’s a chain or rope ferry boat, but if you agree or disagree, please feel free say so in the comment link below!

Back to the songs: I think the Waters of Tyne seems particularly appropriate:

I cannot get tae my love if I would dee
For the waters of Tyne run between him and me
And here I maun stand wi a tear in my ee
All sighin and sobbin, my true love to see

Oh where is the boatman, my bonny hinney
Oh where is the boatman, go bring him to me
For to ferry me over the Tyne to my honey
Or speed him across the rough waters to me

For a fuller, singable set of lyrics and a sample of the tune, go here.

Thanks Craig!

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Subscribe to comments – is now a little more social

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We’d love to have more comments and discussion here at – social networking is now such a big part of many people’s daily life, that we think regular intheboatshedders should also have better ways of communicating with each other.

A small step in that direction today is a gizmo that allows readers to subscribe to comments – when you make a comment now, you will be able to subscribe to particular comment streams, so that you know when comments are added to a post of particular interest. I’d guess this will be useful to anyone interested in knowing about responses to a comment they’ve made.

Another innovation that many will find easy to follow is the Recent comments box in the left-hand column. So get commenting, and come back to see what the others are saying!

And still another is the introduction of Gravatars – little 80 by 80 pixel images that you can use to represent yourself when you comment. It could be a photo or drawing of yourself, or your boat, or whatever – but please play nicely children! Go to to set yours up.

Why not tell us what you think of all this using the comments link below? Is it a step in the right direction – or is it pants?