Flowers Afloat

Life Afloat: NarrowBoat, Autumn 2009

Hugh Potter

Lily Flowers talks to Hugh Potter about her family’s life on the canals and offers NarrowBoat readers a glimpse into her extensive photograph albums

I was born in 1928 on the boats at Nuneaton under Punchbowl Bridge [Tuttle Hill Bridge 23] by Judkin’s stone quarry. My parents Bill and Mary Westwood had been on the boats all their lives, as had their parents, and were working for Fellows’s [Fellows, Morton & Clayton] at the time. Before that they had a horse boat working for Portland Cement on the Oxford Canal [Oxford Portland Cement Co Ltd operated about ten horse boats from a wharf near Kirtlington]. When my older two brothers and sister were going to school, my mother lived in grandmother’s cottage at Braunston, whilst my father and other relatives worked the boats. I don’t know how old I was when I started taking pictures – we were always taking pictures. My mum and dad didn’t have a camera, but my sister Lizzie and I did. When I was about 5, my parents had the Azalea, with a Bolinder, new from Uxbridge to work with the butty Dorset which we’d had for a long time – it was a …

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