Wednesday 4 September 2013

Origins of Montgomery

Origins of Montgomery
September 2013

I don't know about you, but if I acquire something a bit old its not long before I start wondering about its origins. I guess I like to place things in a historical and geographic context.

The decision to purchase Montgomery and add some new / old bows is one such case. The Montgomery stern isn't too difficult and a question posed to the CWDF guys soon revealed an image of how she looked in her last incarnation:

There was a life before this when she was a 30 ft butty and hopefully I will turn up a photo in due course. Someone is bound to remember her.

However, the new bows are more of a riddle.

Again, the Guys on CWDF came up trumps and were pretty confident that they were the stern of a Hickmans boat, not dissimilar to one shown on Laurence Hogg's photo taken in Teddesley in the late 1970's.

 This image shows how the stern of a day boat was commonly removed to allow a motor to be added and the second image shows the Josher'esque bows which are very attractive and would make a good front end for any reconstructed working boat.

My thanks to Laurence Hogg for permission to use these images.

In the main these redundant sterns will have been sold for scrap so the challenge is to find other examples. I saw one at Shardlow on Cygnet and the bows look very similar to those we have created:

As for the provenance of the bows,the consensus is that they were built by Braithwaite and Kirk in about 1912, presumably in their works by the Wednesbury Old Canal (Ridgeacre Arm) just beyond the point where reeds have clogged the channel. Whilst very different in style, it appears that they shares a pedigree with the illustrious Kildaire, the other half of the President combo.

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