Early Ron Hough Decoration

Art of the Waterways: NarrowBoat, Winter 2016

Another look through Patrick Rawlinson’s photo collection reveals some early decorative paintwork by the late Ron Hough. Hough was a legendary signwriter and waterways artist, and the images are colour painting from the 1950s.

This sunny image sets the scene at Buckby Bottom Lock at Whilton, with two coal-laden pairs tied up by the Spotted Cow public house. These boats are motor Moorhen and butty Kestrel owned by the Willow Wren Canal Carrying Co. Just behind is a British Waterways’ pair. Moorhen was formerly Fellows, Morton & Clayton’s motor Briar, built in May 1935 at its Uxbridge dock, and was acquired by Willow Wren in June 1955. Kestrel was formerly Elizabeth, from the Wyvern Shipping Company fleet and joined Willow Wren in June 1956. Moorhen was a wooden craft but Kestrel was all steel, built at W.J. Yarwood & Sons yard at Northwich. She went new to the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company late in 1935, becoming one of its Middle Northwich Star class boats and named Scales. …

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