Colin & Iris

Historical Profiles: NarrowBoat, Winter 2023

Tom Chaplin

Tom Chaplin relates the history of a narrowboat pair and their role in saving the Kennet & Avon Canal

Later story of the boats Unfortunately, Colin & Iris both sank in the Newbury area and, with no nearby boatyards that might have come to their rescue, they were scrapped. John Knill sold out to Samuel Barlow in 1955 and Columba was still in Knill colours in 1959, moored at Braunston. Uranus ended up at Preston Brook under the overhanging roof of the warehouse. Her new owner spent a year converting her but, when the warehouse burned down shortly afterwards, she too was destroyed. The pair Daphne & Roger were finally sold to Samuel Barlow and their occupants, Arthur and Rose Bray, moved with them. Daphne was sold off and replaced by the new Raymond in 1958. Roger, the last working Bushell-built narrowboat, was pensioned off in late 1968 when she was replaced by Nutfield. When Iris was broken up, John Gould gave my father her oil headlamp. Today, repainted and electrified, it sits on the bow of our narrowboat. Maybe this is the last memento of the great pair that saved the K&am…

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