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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.