Friday, 27 November 2009

I have a little list.....

....of boats built by Ken Field at Aldridge Boat Builders on the Daw End Branch of the Wyrley & Essington Canal in the early to mid 1990s. Its a select list of only 15 boats but it includes Starcross - I found it on Jim Shead's excellent site.

I've managed to track down some of the other boats built at Aldridge Boat Builders, mainly those that are for sale and therefore advertised on-line. They do bear some similarities to Starcross as you can see. Here's Starcross for starters.

Now here's Thomas Ryan - built in the same year (1991)

Starcross has identical port holes on the front bulkhead, which you can't see from the photo above as they are hidden under the cratch cover.

Ruby Ann is currently for sale at Norbury Wharf and was recently repainted in a very similar style to Starcross.

And then there's Hebe II - not the prettiest of Ken's boats perhaps but no doubt someone's pride and joy. It's also for sale here.
Many of the boats on the list have names they share with other boats and the only other one I've been able to positively identify as an Aldridge boat is Pallas Athene Also for sale, here

Starcross has a builder's plate that carries serial number "3" and I've often wondered how accurate that is. From the registration numbers Jim Shead quotes its sixth in line with 31209 "Moments" the lowest compared to Starcross' 50504. However, "Johno" and "Jasper" appear to share number 49356 and "Blue Moon" and "Lisa Marie" are both listed as 49867.

"Moment" looks to be in a different series to the others, which range from 49356 to 53560 so if you take out Moment and assume that at least two other boats in the list have the wrong number recorded against them perhaps Starcross was Ken's third boat after all?

I've been very happy with Starcross since I bought it five years ago but I'd be very interested to hear from any owners, past or present, of the other boats built at Aldridge.


Captain Ahab said...

Well Jim, from the sample supplied Starcross is most certainly the prettiest of the group and its hard to imagine how she could be more loved.

Starcross said...

You've made her blush!