Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Boat that Guy Built - episode 3

The Boat that Guy Built
Episode 3
16th March 2011

Written as I watch.

The vibes from the boating community are not positive about Reckless Eric / Guy.

I think the problem lies in the title. A good programme should do what is says on the tin, and this one doesn't. Guy isn't really building a boat. In fact he has a part finished sail away and he is using its unfinished elements to showcase engineering solutions from the industrial revolution. Interesting in their own way, but with little to do with the task of building canal boats.

Perhaps the bit that grates any more is the devil may care approached Guy has to boating and health and safety in general. I heard the collective intake of breath during the closing credits of episode 2 when he hauled himself onto a bridge and jumped down onto the roof on the far side. I am sure we have all done similar things, but they are really dangerous and those of us that have survived to be older and wiser wouldn't want to see others trying this for themselves. 

So, episode three - here goes.


So, Its all about cotton this week. Time to build a bed on Reckless, so maybe we will finally get a bit of real boat building. We live in hope. First up its the task of making sheets and Guy's knowledge on the subject? "the thick end of not a lot". Where does he go? - where else other than Richard Arkwright's mill at the end of the Cromford Canal, one of my favourite disconnected sections. Sadly the opportunity to look at this fascinating waterway was completely overlooked which is a huge shame. But what a fascinating behind the scenes tour of the world of Richard Arkwright, even a glimpse at a listed pig sty's and a private jail.


Where does cotton  come from? Not from the back of sheep as proposed by the hapless Guy - oops, schoolboy blunder there! But watching a 200 year old machine make 10ft of cloth in an hour is impressive, with the flying shuttle zipping back and forth at 60 mph. The loom is so rickety its a wonder it can produce such a good end result.


Then its a search for a new mattress and a visit to the Hypnos factory, where we are walked through the history of mattress making. Straw to Horse Tail in the 1500's, then Lambs Wool and on to the open spring mattress in the 1800's before the final refinement of the pocket spring mattress, invented by an Englishman. I like the tufting process - now I know what goes into putting my mattress together. 


Back to the boat and we find Mave hard at work building walls, doors and of course, the base of a bed. Is this really the Boat that Guy built? I'm thinking the credit should really go to Mave.


If you have a bed you also need to be woken up, so an alarm clock is needed. Its off to Derby Cathedral for a swift lesson in pendulum clocks and steeple jacking, progressing to the the story of the Chronometer where £20,000 was offered for a solution to time keeping at sea. John Harrison (another Lincolnshire man) found the solution using a balance wheel. Those early clocks didn't come cheap - they cost 1/2 the price of the boat itself. As for the alarm, a ships bell was fitted to the roof of Reckless - an odd arrangement is you are trying to wake an occupant. But its even more troublesome if they plan to take Reckless through the low Harecastle Tunnel, or even the lower Froghall bore.


So has this episode won over the boating community? By eck chief! I don't think so....

13 comments:

Brian and Diana on NB Harnser http://nbharnser.blogspot.com said...

I shall make sure I don't moor near him if that alarm is going off at 6 in the morning.

Brian

Nb Caxton said...

We have been watching and enjoying in the jaunts off into our industrial heritage though through gritted teeth with the presentation style at times. It's link to boating is but tenuous but the boat canal scenes are nevertheless enjoyable. Guy strikes me as a younger and far less skillful version of Fred Dibnah.

Anonymous said...

I can't claim to represent the boating community but you're quite right, it didn't win me over this week.

And yet I keep watching the pesky programme - because non-boating friends keep asking me about it :-)

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Nick said...

I have ta agree with your comment about not exactly "whats written on the tin", it's what we are all thinking but having said that I'm taken by the programme, I like both Guy and Mave.
I too am a bit older and wiser when it comes to health and safety, I don't seem to bounce anymore - but isn't it fun to watch a younger man act like we used to.
I did cringe about the whole "Doesn't cotton come from sheep" bit, then had a bit of a laugh imagening the mickey that will be taken out of him by his friends - if they are anything like my mates then they wont let that one rest for years.

jonali said...

I've been wondering if the BBC has compensated the (at least) three boats either hit or scraped by Guy in episode 2. Are there any of them looking at this who can tell us. I don't think there will be many boaty bits in any future ones either. That bell was great for waking up your neighbours too, it would not make yo popular I think.

Halfie said...

Another excellent review, Andy, but I think you're being a little harsh on the programmes. I accept that they might not be living up to the title in the strictest sense, but they are at least building things inside the boat. And the series is giving fascinating glimpses into old technology. I'm enjoying it.

Captain Ahab said...

Guys
This is a bittersweet programme. The canal bit is a let down but as a hands on look at the industrial revolution technology it is quite watchable. I will certainly persist to the end.

Schumichael said...

Mr Truth here.

Have to agree with the Captain's assessment of the programme as the crew mwmber who alerted him to it appearing on TV. It doesn't appear to me to really give peoiple much of an idea of narrow boating, nor of building or enhancing a boat. I have had the pleasure of seeing the many developments on NB Wander'ng Bark that the captain has made, be it to bed space, wardrobes or bathroom amongst others. The Boat that Guy Built? More a case of the baot Guy stood on .....

Captain Ahab said...

Thanks Mr Truth.
The BCN Challenge stuff still hasnt arrived but whe it does I think a planning session at the Lazy Hill will be necesary.

Andrew Daykin said...

What about the series about NB Dover

This TV series is now running on the Quest TV channel - at 14:00 each weekday.

Quest is available on Freeview Channel 38
Quest is available on Sky Channel 154

Anonymous said...

Leave guy alone , it's the best thing on tv for ages. I guess the people that moan probably watch eastenders or corrie ,enough said ....

Sue from Somerton said...

Lighten up "princesses"..... it's such a refreshing programme. A proud young bloke "having a go" - at showing off your country and it's wonderful achievements - he's actually showcasing how good the old dart was/is so stop your whinging and don't be so pedantic -were any of you ever young? I wonder. Occ. Health & Safety and the Nanny State have snuffed out your spark - go on, take some risks, have some fun ..Sue from Adelaide, South Australia.

Sue from Somerton said...

Stop moaning about this refreshing programme. Here is a young bloke "having a go" at presenting your proud heritage and showing how great the old dart was/is. Occ. Health and Safety probably wasn't around in your younger days so stop being so pedantic about it now - you come across as a bunch of princesses. Get out there, take some risks and have some fun before you're too old...