Monday, 5 January 2015

The Power of the Internet. . .to bring back memories

I have a post buried in the depths of this blog entitled How it all Began that gives some of the background to how I became interested in canals and boating and mentions some of my earliest boat trips. Last April, one of the other participants, who I hadn't seen since, left a comment on the blog and introduced himself.

Unfortunately, because I have my settings set to require moderation on older posts (don't know why, I assume that's the default) and because I hadn't updated the email address used for moderation requests, I didn't pick up on the comment until December, and then only by chance.

Luckily, reader Steve was not too upset at the length of time it had taken me to respond to him and was able to supply a lot of information to fill in the gaps in my memory of some of those early trips as well as some fascinating photographs. Steve was on one of my very first boat trips. On a former Fellows, Morton & Clayton wooden motor "Seal", by then converted to leisure use, which had been given to the Salford University Inland Waterways Society by its former owner. (A glimpse at any of the photographs will show that this was perhaps not quite as generous a gesture as you might think, although we were very grateful). The receipt of Steve's photos prompted me to look up some of my own and update the Boat Trip Years site.

Seal only survived one trip in the Society's ownership: a truncated "summer cruise" in 1972 that started in Chester and got as far as Offerton Locks on the Worcester & Birmingham before being forced by mechanical problems to turn round and return to Chester, although in the event only making it to Autherley Junction. I've written about it on my website "The Boat Trip Years" from where there is a link to Steve's and my photos
for anyone who might be interested.

But here are a couple you can see directly.

The Royal Oak (now the "Shady Oak" at Tiverton
Despite having what would now be called a "cruiser stern", Seal retained its traditional controls.
Can you guess who that might be on the tiller?

Steve has also sent some photos of later trips, which I'll share with you later.

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