Winter 2016 - Issue 44

You can purchase this magazine from our online Shop.

You can read the articles in this and all other NarrowBoat issues online by becoming a NarrowBoat subscriber.

Current NarrowBoat subscribers can fully search and read the digital editions of ALL issues of NarrowBoat online. Including those that are no longer available in print. Simply log in

Cover Image

Subscribe to NarrowBoat magazine

Front Cover: On a pleasant autumn day in 1935, iron composite motor boat Elm and butty Ash are underway with full loads on the East Midlands waterways. The boats have spotless paintwork, having recently been delivered new from prolific boatbuilders W.J. Yarwood & Sons Ltd of Northwich.

The Winter 2016 issue includes the following features.

Famous Fleets

Thomas Bantock & Co

Tom Foxon details the activities of a small canal-carrier that largely served the railway industry from 1852 with docks at Oldbury, Hawne, Withymoor and elsewhere. Chris M. Jones also explores the origins of the company’s iron-boats.

You can view an excerpt here.

Picturing the Past

Barging to Bishop's Stortford

Chris M. Jones looks at how the Stort Navigation once formed part of a vital cargo route between east Hertfordshire and London. The 14-mile navigation, opened in 1769, gave direct connection with the capital via the Lee Navigation.

You can view an excerpt here.

From the Archives


Joseph Boughey looks at how the social history of the waterways can be explored on - a website dedicated to boating ancestors that has been set up by two enthusiasts with boating ancestors from Runcorn and the Thames.

You can view an excerpt here.

Historical Canal Maps

Kensington Canal

Richard Dean explores the Kensington Canal, one of London’s lost waterways. Image courtesy of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

You can view an excerpt here.

Working the Waterways

Aspects of Wooden-Boat-Building

Chris M. Jones examines the small boatyards that produced and maintained large numbers of working craft.

You can view an excerpt here.

A Broader Outlook

Broader Outlook: A Long-Lost Country Wharf

Robert Hamilton traces the forgotten history of the Cambridge Arm of the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and its terminal basin. The arm fell into disuse 140 years ago, though the remains of it can still be uncovered.

You can view an excerpt here.

Art of the Waterways

Early Ron Hough Decoration

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.

You can view an excerpt here.

Time and Place

Sailing Through Sprotbrough

Chris M. Jones examines an early 20th-century photograph of a keel under sail on the Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation. The photograph is dated 22nd November 1905 and shows the 1879-built craft Alboro heading downstream along the Spotbrough Cut near Doncaster.

You can view an excerpt here.

Traditional Techniques

Locking Through Stoke Top

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.

You can view an excerpt here.

Working the Waterways

Halfway House

Chris M. Jones studies images of second-hand craft that were operated by L.B. Faulkner in their previous owners’ liveries until they could be repainted in his own colours.

You can view an excerpt here.

Time and Place

Shooting Old Belgrave Bridge

Chris M. Jones examines a World War I-era image showing cargo-carrying at Belgrave on the River Soar. The image captures a rare view of the location and some of the traffic that regularly plied the route between Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

You can view an excerpt here.