Friday, 13 December 2013

Old Waterway Photograph (4)

Collecting postcards, or Deltiology as it is known, is a fascinating hobby. Our recent history has to a point been documented by postcards. It's curious in a way even with all the wonderful advances in technology. It's hard to believe that the good old picture postcard is still with us and still going strong. I did a posting on collecting old photographic postcards. Which gives some simple background information about what is an interesting hobby.  Click Here
This is the fourth in our series of old waterways postcards and photographs. Narrowboat 'Cactus' is working with a full load of passengers as a trip boat at Colwich Lock on the Trent and Mersey canal. The photo dates from the late 60's early 70's.

Cactus was the first of an order for ten similar craft, built by W.J. Yarwood and sons Ltd at their River Weaver shipyard, Northwich, Cheshire. Launched on 19th March 1935, final cabin works, engine fitting and complete rigging was undertaken by her Owners, Fellows Morton and Clayton Ltd. She worked as a 'City' boat, towing a butty boat, mainly between Birmingham and London until transfer to the British Transport Commission in 1950, following FMC's voluntary liquidation. 

After trading for British Waterways, Cactus was purchased by the present owner in 1963, eventually to be converted as a 46 seat passenger trip boat, until 1989. During this period one of her operational highlights was to carry HM Queen Elizabeth II, during the National Garden Festival at Stoke-on-Trent in 1986.

In the late 1990's Cactus underwent complete re-conversion to her original 1935 specification and condition, with 15hp single cylinder Bolinder semi-diesel engine. Twice judged 'Best Working Narrowboat' at IWA National Rallies, she is presented as a unique example of her marque.

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