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Boating Through Boxmoor

Historical Profiles: NarrowBoat, Winter 2019

Christopher M. Jones

Chris M. Jones reveals the history behind two boats running light through Boxmoor Locks

Taken on a bright sunny day, this scene at Boxmoor Bottom Lock 64 on the Grand Junction Canal shows two of L.B. Faulkner’s boats running northbound with empty holds, with the distinctive spire of St John’s Church in the distance. One interesting feature of the lock is that the ends of the balance beams of the lower gates are still in a rough hewn state. Perhaps this was done for economic reasons to save extra work squaring them off, but it gives them a rustic look. This was sometimes seen at locks on rural canals in the 19th century. L.B. Faulkner L.B. Faulkner was based in Linslade and he was a contractor for road-making materials with steam road rollers, as well as a brick-maker and owning threshing and other agricultural machinery (see NB Spring 2010). In canal circles, however, he is best known for his fleet of boats, which mainly carried coal, sand, bricks and roadstone. Due to the nature of these cargoes, a number of his boats were without cloths, as shown with this…

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