Last days of traffic at Banbury

Time and Place: NarrowBoat, Summer 2016

We study a late 1950s photo that shows the final era of canal carrying to Banbury in Oxfordshire, and featuring Samuel Barlow Coal Company Ltd’s motor-boat, Hyperion, with a load of coal tied up against United Daires Ltd wharf.

Banbury was at the centre of a large agricultural region in the south Midlands covering much of Oxfordshire and west Northamptonshire, and many of the businesses serving that industry lined the eastern bank of the Oxford Canal, as shown here. From the last quarter of the 19th century, Banbury went into a period of gradual decline and stagnation due to a depression in agriculture, which did not recover until the 1920s.Boat The motor-boat Hyperion, owned by Samuel Barlow Coal Company Ltd of Birmingham, is tied up against United Dairies (Wholesale) Ltd wharf with a load of coal. The boat was built by Harland & Wolff of Woolwich as an iron composite ‘star class’ motor for the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company and was delivered in May 1935. It was sold to S.E. Barlow of Tamworth in November 1947. When S.E. Barlow was taken over by the Samuel Barlows on 1st February 1957, Hyperion was one of the remaining boats absorbed into its fleet. Later that year she was fitted with a…

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Last days of traffic at Banbury featured image