Small "Buckby" Cans

A few years ago we spotted a small decorated can in a local antique shop and purchased it for £35. It was obviously old and not a souvenir. We asked at the shop about its history but all we found out was that it was sold to them by a local family.

Forget-Me-Not Can

We set about discovering what we could about it. I dropped a letter to Hugh McKnight who was writing a column in the Canal Boat magazine and although he had seen similar cans, he sent us a photograph of one, he couldn't really help. However, a discussion with Tony Lewery at a Braunston boat show helped a lot. He had a similar but better painted can with good provenance (as they say on the Antiques Roadshow). Tony's can was once owned by Angela Rolt. She had given it to Tony and had supplied it with a "business" card with her then address in France.

Tony was able to state that our can was probably painted around 1911 by somebody in Nurser's yard. The boat name on the can is Forget-Me-Not. There were several boats of that name so I haven't been able to tie it down.

Forget-Me-Not Can Close-Up

My reasons for this post are firstly wondering if anybody has any clues on our can's history and secondly wondering exactly what were these small cans were used for - milk or perhaps as a tea pot? I remember in the steam engine drivers used to "mash" tea in somewhat similar cans but they didn't have access to stoves.

The can is treasured and has pride of place onboard Albert.