Stoke Bruerne 1976 - more information

In January 2012 I posted about four photographs of Stoke Bruerne. I took them in spring 1976, just a few years after we had moved into South Northamptonshire. One of the photographs (above) was of working boats moored up by David Balgove's house. I noted that the working boat was Seaford, a Yarwood's Town Class built at Rickmansworth in 1936 and that she had recently appeared in the BBC Four film "Golden Age of Canals". I couldn't identify the boat on the inside of Seaford although it appears to carry the Blagrove name.

Recently Bob Derricott, the then owner of Seaford, got in touch and I am pleased to add his comments to the photograph. He supplies some fascinating information.

"The boat lay in Stoke Bruerne late March/early April having loaded at Atherstone with 17 ton 7 cwt of Daw Mill nuts on 19th  March 1976 for Blagrove, Warwick & Co. and was taken away 9th April 76. On the trip back we passed Lynx, owned by Keith Christie, loaded with coal for B & W Co. in the locks at Braunston."

"The wooden butty in the background is Elton belonging to Blagrove & Warwick. At the time Dave Blagrove & Tony Warwick at the time operated a coal sales business around the local villages and Keith & myself were able to do a bit of loaded boating by delivering supplies to his wharf. Looking at my log for that trip I see that I earned £30.40 but it did pay for the diesel & some beer."

"The bit of film used in the "Golden Age of Canals" was taken June 1975 when we were again loading for B&W Co.. Not too long afterwards Keith, Tony & myself came together to operate as Midland Canal Transport with all three boats painted in a similar livery."

Details of Elton can be found on the Wooden Canal Boat Society web site. Some of the background to this period of carrying can be found on the South Midland Water Transport pages on the Alvercote Marina Group web site.