About Me

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After thirty years of hiring, I finally bought my own 50ft boat in 2005, which was built in 2001 by Andicraft at Debdale Wharf. I mostly cruise single handed and have no problem with that, although it does take a little longer than with a crew. My mooring is on the Wey Navigation, so I have a choice of routes on the Wey or the Thames.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Braunston Coal Run. Day 10

It was a late breakfast before shopping in the village. Barry had a walk through nb Merchant and was suitably impressed by the internal fit out done by Streethay Wharf, bearing in mind that this is a modern 70ft working boat selling peat and diesel http://peatanddiesel.com/  We bade goodbye to Chris and Stanley (the dog) and finished tidying the boats and part clothed the butty, before moving off at 1pm.All went well until we came to an S bend, with shallow water on the outside, which the butty headed for like a magnet, despite movement of the rudder to the contrary. With the help from another boat, she was snatched off, but not before Barry ‘took a look’, which is boaters parlance for falling in the cut. Needless to say, he was standing behind the tiller at the time, which swept him overboard as the rudder bit into the bank. This is something that Barry is always preaching to trainees about being dangerous when reversing. Fortunately, he managed to hang on to the tiller and only got wet up to the waist. The butty rudder came off again as we were passing Napton Narrowboats, but this time it was more serious, as the top pintle, on which the rudder hangs, had actually broken off and the butty was totally unsteerable. With a a jury rig fitted, we managed to struggle to Napton Bottom Lock, whereupon the lady from The Folly shop told us where there was a welder – only 200yds up the lane, but being Sunday, we would have to wait until the morning – what hardship, with The Folly just around the corner! Glynis Henville joined us at Napton and Maggie got a lift back to Braunston. Glynis cooked a meal and we then reapaired to The Folly for beer and what a night that turned out to be. The landlord Mark welcomed us, having remembered us from the previous visit and then invited us to partake of his cheese board, which was more of a cheese table really. There were about 15 different types of cheese, plus bread, pate and biscuits, which was his Sunday night treat for his guests. The beer flowed and we ate like kings, with good conversation thrown in for good measure. I met Nigel, who had bought the famous lock keepers cottage and had done such a magnificent job of restoration.
Moored below Napton Locks.

The problem 'ellum.


Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon this account of your coal run quite by serendipity whilst googling around to check the spelling of what I thought was vellum but have now discovered to be 'ellum. I am assuming you have this right because in the context of your top quality and beautifully written account of your recent trip, it just has to be! Am I right to assume though that the apostrophe preceding the word is a dropped 'v'?

Once again, my compliments on a very enjoyable and informative read.

Paul Truswell
newbie member of the
Heritage Working Boats Group

Anonymous said...

PS ...excellent pictures as well by the way :)

Oakie said...

Firstly, many thanks for your complimentary comments Paul. The word 'ellum is the old narrow boaters derivation of 'helm'. As you probably know, they generally dropped their h's and often modified words to their own vernacular, probably because they mostly could not read and never saw words in print. Typical examples would be Birnigum for Birmingham, chimbley for chimney, also the following terms were common:- bridge 'ole(the gap under a bridge), bed 'ole(where the bed was stowed),soap 'ole(a space for the soap in the cabin), Jam 'Ole (Kearley and Tongue's Jam Factory at Southall.