Nutfield & Raymond – Bringing heritage and photography together …

Last Sunday; 13th May, Nutfield and Raymond played host to a group of photographers from “TimeLine Events”. TimeLine Events, bring heritage and photography together to recreate scenes from a past era.

Retired working boats Nutfield and Raymond provided perfect subject matter. Even better, the pair are based in Braunston, a place of special historic importance in the history of the working boats and families of the canal network. Braunston was a central hub of this old transport system, being home to the Nurser family and dockyard. The village church was a place that drew the boat families together for weddings and funerals and came to be referred to as the “Cathedral of the Canals”.

Nutfield and Raymond showing off their amazing colours in the sunshine.

Painted Boats

The pair of boats looked magnificent in the spring sunshine, showing off all of the hard work that has been done by members of “Friends of Raymond” over the winter months to restore these fine old boats to their colourful best.

Handling a Pair of Working Boats

Handling a pair of working narrow boats takes skill and practice. The motor boat (Nutfiled) tows the un-powered butty, (Raymond) while travelling along the “pounds” of the canal. To pass through the wide locks, the two boats need to be alongside each other. This is a skillful maneuver; remove one strap at the correct time, use the power of the motor to give the butty just enough momentum and direction, remove the second strap allow the butty to slide alongside the motor in the lock chamber. Of course when the lock is ready, the boats have to be “singled out” again, so that the butty can be towed.

Will, Clare and Phoebe play the roles of working boatman and family.

Luckily, Friends of Raymond, have some experienced steerers. The pair were very skillfully worked for the day by Will Hewitt and his family, who have a lot of experience handling a pair of old working narrowboats.

Journey Through Time

The photographers joined the boats at Braunson marina. The stoves had been lit in the back cabins of both boats, the smoke from the chimneys creating an authentic industrial atmosphere.

Boats at Braunston Marina – photo courtesy of Nick Scarcliffe, another very skilled steerer.

The pair worked up the Braunston flight of wide locks, providing plenty of photo opportunities. FoR members had to skillfully keep out camera shot, while working the lock paddles and gates.

To pass through Braunston tunnel, the group of photographers had to be on board the boats, as there is no footpath. Once inside the tunnel, they had the challenge of working with very little light and we look forward to seeing their creative flair in the resulting shots.

Inside Braunston Tunnel – photo credit David Pond

At Norton junction, the boats were “breasted up” (tied together) and made the turn for home. A break for lunch allowed for a visit to the local pub for refreshment.

Lunch Break for the FoR crew.

For more information about Time Line Events visit www.timelineevents.org

Preserving our heritage, keeping Nutfield and Raymond in such good condition and true to their original livery, build and style takes work and funds.

If you are interested in becoming a “friend”, getting involved, or making a donation to the trust, it would me much appreciated. If you have fundraising experience, WE NEED YOU, please get in touch.


Antique Stove For Sale

A very generous supporter has offered us a Guidwife antique stove to sell to raise much needed funds. It has now been listed for sale on ebay.  The auction ends on 25th April 2018.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Antique-Guidwife-Stove-with-removable-gas-conversion/173271501274

 


Raymond Latest News

Here is the latest report from our roving reporter Nick Lake:

Raymond is now in the wet dock at Braunston Marina. Peter Copeland managed to solve most of the jigsaw puzzle posed by the remaining bits of cupboard and shelving and, with a few modifications, got everything to fit. So Raymond’s cabin has, at last, got a familiar look about it. I think Peter reckoned there are a couple of puzzle pieces missing and one bit left over. We’ll consult with Pete Boyce on that when he’s back.

Nick S took the cloths etc off while Peter and I skived off to Gongoozler’s for a sausage sandwich, and when we returned Raymond was back to normal – but we did bring Nick a cup of tea for his trouble!

There are several bits of rot in the cants and top bends at the fore end, if Raymond can stay under cover, we’ll have a chance to do some filling, rubbing down and undercoating ahead of Will Hewitt doing (at least some of) the repaint on the docking weekend on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th April.

If you are able to help at the Docking Weekend please contact Diana at


Raymond Cabin Work Update

The finished deck in the hatches and the stern cupboard, and one of the drain holes, both of which are now in place.

Pete has cleaned out and secured the drain pipes and we will be using a flexible drain-clearing rod to keep the pipes free from muck (if you have one in your garage not being used are you able to donate it to us?). Later in the summer when the boat is fully dried out, Pete would like to refit the dam to prevent water running back under the cabin floor but for the time being there’s no water sloshing around under the floor as Graham went over on Friday and pumped it all out.

This picture shows the cabin floor with the new floorboards in place.

The following pictures shows the new sheering on the port side, the tongue and groove lining Pete Boyce has fixed to the sheering on the starboard side above where the side bed will go. At the top of the picture you can see he’s left the Anser pin nut exposed so it can be retightened when necessary. He’s done the same on the other side as well. Pete says that’s how they were on nb Lucy, we can cover them with removable patches and scumble over them at a later date if required.

What a difference a day makes!

Pete has busted a gut in the last 24 hours to get as much finished. The pictures show the side bed and the shelf for the stove in place and also the new boards that Pete’s fitted either side of the step. There is a view of the cabin from the hatches which shows the carcass of the table cupboard in place – the rotten bit that Pete was repairing is on the side below the stove shelf.

All that’s left to be done next weekend is to get the shelves, doors and drawer in – which Pete assures me probably won’t be entirely straightforward! Pete says there are few small “making good” jobs to do, like filling in some small gaps between the cupboard and the sheering. The final picture shows the tongue and groove lining on the port side above the stove shelf.

With the help of Pete’s boat Rat, we moved Raymond down to the towpath by the marina entrance. Raymond will need to stay there until Thursday.


Special Guest – David Suchet CBE

We are delighted that David Suchet CBE will be at the helm of Nutfield and Raymond at this year’s Braunston Historic Boat Rally Parade on Saturday 23rd June at 11:00am.

David is best known for his role as Agatha Christie’s Poirot for 24 years which earned him a British Film and Television Award (BAFTA) nomination. He is also a renowned in theatre work and is a published author.

Suchet also has a long association with the waterways and is vice-president of the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Trust.  He was also officially voted in as chairman of the River Thames Alliance in November 2005.  At the July 2006 Annual General Meeting of the River Thames Alliance, he agreed to continue being chairman for another year. He is a Patron of the River Thames Boat Project.

We look forward to welcoming David aboard…

Photo source: Wikipedia


Raymond Restoration Update

Nick Lake visited Tess Wharf this week to meet Pete Boyce for an update on the work being carried out on Raymond.  The work will cost at least £2500 and is due for completion before the National Boat Share Show at the end of April 2018.

Here is Nick’s report:

The work’s coming on well – despite the inside of the cabin looking like a wreck (Pic 1 & 2)! The beams to support the deck in the hatches are in place (Pic 3) and Pete has repaired the rot in the shearing and knees (Pics 4 & 5). He’s also made new bearers for the step and was about to fit them (Pic 6). The next stage will be to fit marine ply on top of the framework, covered with a sealed membrane to keep the water out, and fix the deck planking on top of that.

One tricky problem Pete had encountered was that the T-stud was loose (I think it’s been loose for as long as I’ve been involved with FoR, like the starboard-side Anser shackle). It should have been a simple matter of tightening up the nut, which is at least accessible while the cupboard is removed (Pic 7). But the problem was that the bolt and its nut sit in a recess cut into the stern post with room only to get an open-ended 1¼ inch in (Pic 8).  Peter Copeland came to our rescue.  He was at Stowe Hill on Thursday and they very kindly offered to lend us some spanners. So, after a rummage through Stowe Hill’s bucket of old tools, I was back at Tess Wharf with a handful of rusty spanners, one of which fitted perfectly. And with a bit of scaffold tube for leverage… job done!

So many thanks to Pete (B) for his undeterred efforts and Peter (C) and Rob at Stowe Hill, for helping us out!

Pic 1: View to stern from Cabin

Pic 2: Wider view of cabin looking towards stern

Pic 3: Beams to support new deck and rotted timber replaced

Pic 4: Rotted timber replaced

Pic 5: More rotted timber replaced

Pic 6: New beams in place to reinstate the original step

Pic 7: T-stud tightened (view from below)

Pic 8: Pete Boyce still smiling despite the seemingly never ending discovery of rot! The good news is that his feet are on the boat floor, not the bottom of the canal….

Thanks for all your hard work Pete.

Photo Credits: Nick Lake


Trevor Maggs Funeral Service

A funeral service for Trevor will take place at Rainsbrook Cemetery and Crematorium, Ashlawn Road, Rugby CV22 5ET on Tuesday 20th February at 2.30pm.


Annual General Meeting Reminder

This year’s Annual General Meeting will be held at Braunston Marina on Sunday 4th February 2018, starting at 3pm.

All Friends and prospective Friends are welcome to attend.

For more information or apologies, please contact Robin Bishop by email at  secretary@friendsofraymond.org.uk


Sad News – Trevor Maggs

We are sorry to learn that Trevor Maggs past away this weekend.

Trevor had been a life long member of Friends of Raymond, towing Raymond in the early days to all the shows before we acquired Nutfield.  A couple of years ago we asked Trevor to take Raymond to the Rickmansworth festival as we were having work done on Nutfield, Trevor jumped at the chance and really enjoyed himself.

Thank you Trevor for all that you had done for us you will be truly missed by everyone.

A true gent of the cut.

Rest in peace Steerer Maggs

Photo courtesy of Nick Scarcliffe


Nutfield Restoration Work Update

August – November 2017

Nutfield was moved from Braunston Marina to Brinklow Boat Services (BBS) on the North Oxford Canal (www.brinklowboatservices.com) in August 2017.  BBS have been commissioned by the Trust to carry out remedial work on the hull and the manufacture and installation of new wooden gunwales in readiness for the fitting of protective cloths.

The work was planned in order to ensure the condition of the boat is maintained at a satisfactory level necessary to ensure the future of Nutfield is secure for years to come.  The fitting of cloths will provide both weather protection for the hold area and a covered area for the crew, particularly for those who sleep on-board during long boat moves and events.

The total cost of the work is circa £8000 which has been funded by existing Trust funds, private donations and a significant donation from the Northamptonshire branch of the IWA in memory of the late John Faulkner.

Hull Maintenance

A number of heavily corroded pieces of hull have been replaced to ensure that the integrity of the hull is maintained and that the condition meets with the requirements of our Insurers.  The process involves cutting out the corroded metal and welding in a new section.  This approach is preferable to “over plating” for both constructional and cosmetic reasons.

Once the cutting and welding work was complete it was time to grit blast the entire interior of the hull and baseplate to remove all the old paint and excess rust.  A professional grit blasting company was commissioned to do the work, our energetic Volunteers kindly assisted with removing approximately 3 tonnes of grit once the process was complete.

The freshly prepared hull surface was treated with two coats of high specification two part epoxy finish in a traditional red oxide colour.  This coating provides a high quality finish that will prevent corrosion for many years and will keep the interior looking smart.

Gunwales Replacement

After consideration and expert advice it was agreed that the existing oak gunwales were too narrow to accommodate the proposed new cloths.  Once the they were removed, BBS started the process of “truing up” the hull using the existing tensioning chains and acrow props where necessary.

When the hull was deemed to be as “true” as possible, the new gunwales were produced from iroko wood (an African hardwood which is very durable wood; iroko does not require regular treatment with oil or varnish when used outdoors).  The installation was completed using waterproof flexible sealant and coach bolts.  All coach bolt heads have been capped in wood to ensure a high quality finish on the top surface.

The new gunwales have been treated with a black pitch finish and fitted with rings in readiness for the fitting of cloths.

New Cloths (Future Planned Work)

The fitting of cloths will provide the necessary weather protection ensure that the work described above is protected and long lasting.

We have a costed proposal for the cloths and fitting (including new planks) which is approximately £4500.  This work will be commissioned when the Trust has raised the funds as there is insufficient money available at this time.

If you are able to support us in raising the £4500 required, we would be delighted if you could make contact with our Treasurer, Nick Lake.  Contact details can be found here.

Our thanks goes out to all Friends, Donors and Sponsors that have made this work possible and we look forward to your continued support.

Picture Credits: Brinklow Boat Services 2017


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