Locking Through Stoke Top

Traditional Techniques: NarrowBoat, Winter 2016

We follow the progress of a pair of Blue Line Carriers Ltd’s boats negotiating Stoke Bruerne Top Lock during the latter days of commercial carrying in the 1960s.

This sequence of photographs was taken towards the end of the 1960s and shows Blue Line Canal Carriers Ltd’s boats Renfrew and Lucy descending Stoke Bruerne Top Lock on the Grand Union Canal under the command of Bill and Rose Whitlock, and Rose’s cousin Laura Carter. Serving as a stage-by-stage illustration of the locking process, the eight images provide an interesting insight into the traditional techniques employed by working boat people when operating a motor and butty pair.…

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