Heather Bell Post War

One Boat's Story: NarrowBoat, Autumn 2012

Jeff Parrott

Following on from the photographs of Heather Bell at Tipton in Summer NarrowBoat, Jeff Parrott continues the boat’s story after the end of the Second World War

Christopher March had spent most of the war years at sea with the Irish shipping firm Kelly’s. He began as a deckhand with cargoes of coal from the Clyde to Ireland and ended up with runs to the D-Day beaches and a master’s ticket. After the war, he returned to the solicitors’ practice founded by his father, which continues to this day. In June 1946 he purchased Lambourne, a large wooden butty built in 1936 for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Co by Walker Brothers at Rickmansworth. He took both boats to Tipton to be re-‘weighed’. Heather Bell was given a new BCN number 2253, and Lambourne 2252. He used Heather Bell to tow Lambourne to Nurser’s yard at Braunston for cabin repairs and repainting, and she was registered at Daventry on 23rd July 1946, No 541. Daphne was also keen to continue trading after the war, but struggled to fit it in. Cargoes were increasingly scarce and by 1950 she was married, based in Cambridge, with three children under thre…

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