Summer Boating at Braunston

Picturing the Past: NarrowBoat, Winter 2020

Another delve into the Jack Parkinson collection reveals two views of the Grand Union Canal in 1959

This view shows Battersea exiting the lock, with Virginis in tow, and passing three newly docked Willow Wren Canal Carrying Company boats moored against their base, formally known as the Grand Junction Dock. This site was purchased in December 1954 from M.M. Barnes, trading as the Braunston Slipway Company, together with the old gauging dock on the other side of the bridge, which was used as the company’s dry dock. The three boats are Sandpiper, Coot and Egret.

Sandpiper was originally the iron composite Falcon, built by W.J. Yarwood & Sons Ltd of Northwich for Fellows Morton & Clayton Ltd in 1926 and fitted out at the latter’s Saltley Dock. It passed to Willow Wren in the autumn of 1954 and was renamed Sandpiper before entering service.

Next to it is butty Coot which was originally built as Ursa for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company in 1935 as a Small R …

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