Ancestors Discovered

Tracing Family History: NarrowBoat, Spring 2016

Lorna York

Lorna York describes how a recently unearthed document has led to a greater understanding of her boating family history.

Further research based on the information uncovered in the Heston & Isleworth Journal of Inspector of Canal Boats (see page 12) has confirmed the identity of two boaters in a photograph reproduced in the recently published book Care on the Cut, written by Dr Della SadlerMoore, Christopher M. Jones and myself (currently unavailable).Identifying Caroline The photograph is titled ‘Easter stoppage on the Grand Junction Canal, Stoke Bruerne, 1907’, and is very different from the pretty, posed pictures we often see of boat families. Taken near Stoke Bruerne Bottom Lock, with an assortment of boats from various owners – all, no doubt, waiting to move as soon as possible – there are no traditional white bonnets, clean aprons and roses and castles. From the chimney hanging down the side of the cabin, it looks as though the women have been cleaning out accumulated soot from the stove flue, which is not the cleanest of jobs. On the cabin top there is the usual paraphe…

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