Crick Boat Show

Visited Crick Boat Show yesterday (by car) under threatening skies but the weather managed to stay dry.

There were the usual trade stands but each year there is always something new to see. This year's upcoming accessories trend appears to be LED lighting. Most of the chandlers, and many of the smaller accessories companies, were offering them. Last year I replaced a number of incandescent lamps on Albert with LEDs but I am waiting for the day when a replacement for the 2D fluorescent tubes in Albert's main lights is offered; that will significantly reduce our energy use. I notice that one company is already offering LED replacements for straight tubes. I hope it won't be long before the range is extended.

Dark clouds over Crick Show

We also visited some of the antique dealers and craft stalls at the show. It was good to see that Lockside Antiques were back at the show. Maggie just had to purchase a brass scoop. I gather it will be used for flowers. I resisted buying yet another brass knob.

On another antique stand (Phil Dovetil) I found a magnificent Polesworth (Lees & Atkins) back cabin door panel. It had been sold for £350 so it was going back home to Polesworth. I gather the new owner appeared to know how important the panel is - that's why he paid the price. It appears that the panel was discovered at Charity Dock. Good to see it's going to a good home.

Back cabin door panels from Lees & Atkins, Polesworth

On the boat front, this year's offerings appeared to be more up market than of recent and also there were a number of traditionally inspired boats. Steve Hudson even had a seventy-footer with accommodation under cloths. One boat builder had decided that false rivets were important and had them "in spades" all along the cabin sides but with none on the hull - the usual location.

False rivets along a cabin side

Although there were big queues for most of the new boats, with appointments required, the small number of historic boats were quiet.

Queuing for the Barnowl Narrowboats exhibit

We briefly looked over President & Kildare but had a long chat to Sean on Laplander - the 1830s Birmingham Canal icebreaker now converted to steam. Evidently the sockets for the mast, which is where the crew held on to provide the rocking motion to break ice, are still to be seen below the floorboards. We first saw Laplander in the mid 1990s when we were on our way up the Hatton flight. As we entered a lock she was leaving and gave us a friendly toot on the steam whistle.

Ice Breaker Laplander

The steam engine on Laplander

Laplander has a riveted iron hull that is not symmetrical and is powered by a Clarkson boiler and Bailey single-cylinder engine with slip-eccentric reverse direct-driving a 24” x 48” propeller. Cruising speed is only 200 rpm. She burns oil and has a small pre-heater/boiler in the back cabin for starting. Water is fed from the canal. Sean recalled that in the late 1990s the heavy duckweed infestation on the North Oxford caused him great difficulties. We remember how bad it was around Ansty and Newbold and how for weeks afterwards we found remnants on the weed in our front gas locker. Our discussions concerned how Laplander was converted to steam and how she is not symmetrical. Because she has a pointed counter she needs a series of anti-cavitation plates below the water.

This was my first post with photos from my new Nokia N8 phone which replaces my trusty, but now slightly battered, Nokia N95. With an impressive 12 mega pixel camera, that also has HD video, my first impressions are positive. I resisted the temptation to go towards iPhone on the basis that, above all, I love having a good camera always in my pocket.