Monday, 29 November 2010

Eel Pie Island open day

On a complete whim on Sunday, we got a bus down to Twickenham & Eel Pie Island, to find that it was one of the very few weekends when the little artist's enclave opens up and they sell their wares:

There's various gallery/work spaces - some seeming more like the former than latter in various sheds, and in one case a landbound wooden boat. There was some interesting art to be seen, but of course I was more fascinated by the spaces, the shapes (although wondering why some of the more insubstantial looking places hadn't been throughly insulated with slabs of kingspan), and the sourroundings; on the edge of a working boatyard and around a dry dock, there's even a bridge section from a pretty large ship placed centrally. I'll indulge myself with a few pictures, but I should point out it's all open next weekend too, and worth a visit.

Humping wheelbarrows, especially for Carrie:

Once back on the mainland, eating chips and looking out back at the island, we spotted a largeish fox pottering about, looking a lot heathier than the usual skinny foxes to be seen on the city streets. Eeli pie island must be ideal - lots of quiet gardens, riverside life, and a quick trip over the bridge to Twickenham High Street's back alleys...

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Harry's books

These are the two books I can find written by Harry Hanson, both in the 70s. 'The Canal Boatman 1760-1914' is a detailed, heavily referenced work published in 1975, adapted from his MA thesis at the University of Manchester. It's a sociological work, really, and an interesting read. Inevitably a lot of the written record is about misdemeanors, but it certainly challenges some of Rolt's romanticisms of life on the water.

'Canal People' is a popularised version, in a very typical David & Charles style, who published it in 1978. The first book has a very few photos, there's more in 'Canal People'.

Whilst I have no evidence other than circumstantial that this is the same Harry Hanson, it all seems to fit - and it's even possible that the David & Charles money paid for Lyndon to be built in the first place. A nice thought.

Incidentally, Jim Shead's site lists two other boats built by John Else - I'd better make sure on getting the license next year I add that info on, and make it a third.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Urk for sale

I suspect we all see boats occasionally that we would love to have, whatever practical or financial circumstances - Urk is one such, first seen around Little Venice, and then on Saturday whilst hitchiking a ride on Herbie from Ware to Hertford (and having a lovely time too). Seeing a for sale note in the window caused a bit of a 'what if' moment; if anyone has forty grand and is wondering what to get me for the festive season, I wouldn't say no... I'm a fickle type, though, and in a very Mr Toad type way seeing the lovely and much loved broads cruiser 'Gaia' in Brentford today turned my head too... ;-)

Anyway, here's a vague view of the lovely rear cabin bulkhead of Urk; who could resist?