Albert's Maker's Plate
Albert was delivered as a sailaway by Kennet & Avon Boat Builders Ltd to Mike Hurd, her first owner, who fitted her out. Each time I examine the maker's plate the mystery of the code on the plate intrigues me. On the plate is engraved 60 T MD 2YWM 12 94. Most of the code hasn't been very difficult to work out, but the third pair of letters remains a mystery to me.
60 - 60 ft length
T - traditional stern
MD - ?
2YWM - the code of the engine, Ruston & Hornsby 2YWM Mk V
12 - the 12th boat built by the company
94 - the year 1994, Albert's shell was delivered in February 1994
So this leaves me still wondering about MD. Answers on a post-card?
Kennet & Avon Boat Builders Ltd were not based on the K&A navigation, but some distance south at Mere; the company was part of a steel fabrication organisation just off the A303. The boat-building company ceased trading in late 1994 so I think Albert must be one of their last shells.
A search of "Jim Shead" list which is now hosted by the CanalPlanAC site, which gives boats registered to BW and EA, revealed that 10 were still registered in 2013, all with BW. Sadly one K&A 60ft boat, Thistle, was involved in a fire at Honey Street on the K&A in early 2007 and was sold as a wreck and is no longer registered.
Three boats, The James Brindley, Tilly Mint and Chuckle were recently offered for sale. In the recent past Adelante and Halcyon Daze have changed hands.
The boats that are known as being built by Kennet & Avon Boatbuilders and still registered (ten) are:
The James Brinley
Page updated: 4 Dec 2014