Jam ‘Ole Run 2002

By Peter Andrews
(All photos by Peter Andrews, except where shown)

The Jam ‘Ole Run was the name given to the journey from Atherstone to Brentford carrying coal from the mines to the Kearley and Tonge jam factory by pairs of narrowboats. Many of the boats were based at Braunston. The trade ceased in October 1970 but the run is periodically re-enacted by some of the original boats along with other old working boats. There was a re-enactment in October 2002, the first since Raymond had been rebuilt.

RayJam The photo shows Raymond with Nutfield in the Jam ‘Ole during their working lives. (Photo: D.Attwood).
RayinJam In the old days, the boatmen were paid by the load and so they did not waste time, often starting at 4.30am and continuing until 9 at night. Sometimes they earnt extra by shovelling the coal out themselves.They took just over a week for the round trip (depending on loading).The image is a photographic reconstruction of what the entrance to the Jam ‘Ole may have looked like in 1970.
DSonRay2 In 2002, Raymond was towed by Nutfield, as she had been on the last working run in 1970. They left early one Saturday morning with Raymond being steered by David Suchet
and . . .
RndBend . . . swept round Braunston Turn on their way North to Atherstone with a team from Carlton TV on board. (They were filming for the next series of Waterways, due to be shown in 2003).Atherstone was, traditionally, one of the places where coal was loaded for transport to many factories in the London area, including the Jam ‘Ole.
ToBtkLk By the following afternoon (Sunday) they were back in Braunston heading South for the lock flight.
InLk3 Note that the boats have different liveries. Raymond was built at Braunston by the Samuel Barlow Company. They sold out to Blue Line. So we have Raymond in the Barlow’s livery and Nutfield in the Blue Line livery.
JHLk2 By the following Saturday they had been to the Jam ‘Ole and were coming back Northwards down the Braunston flight.Entering Lock 2 …
JHLk1 … in Lock 1 …
JHBr … leaving the Bottom Lock …
JHTow … almost home!
JHTeam And here is the team that took the boats on the Jam ‘Ole Run. They are Iain, Kate, Liz, Blair, Laura and Peter.