Whilst commercial trade was rare, it still existed and some coal was being transported along the Grand Union. The above photo is of an unknown a working pair running empty on a short rope. These are no carefully restored hobby boats but the real thing, bashed and scarred with a "full" waterline clearly visible on the hull (thats something you rarely see today). Judging by the way thay are coming past they took no prisoners, and expected pleasure boats to "get out of the road".
Well secured mooring pins were the order of the day, as I recall.
Can anyone put a name to the motor boat? The colours on the bows are distinctive.