The Barlow Boats

The Barlow 'line' was eventually a blend of the Samuel Barlow Coal Co. and S.E. Barlow which with the passage of time became Blue Line Canal Carrying Company run by Michael Streat from Braunston.  The fleet was renowned on the canal system for the boats paintwork and rope decoration with the crews enhancing their cabins with brass-wear and decorative lace plates.  The images that follow were mainly taken locally and some of the boats that remain are classed as historic and can still be seen on the system.


Drake built in 1957 by S.E. Barlow at Tamworth.












ELSIE - a butty built in October 1956 entering the Blisworth tunnel.












Gertrude was a new butty built in 1945 by Samuel Barlow at Braunston.  Gertrude flying the washing.












Gertrude southbound












Grace built by S.E. Barlow for £841 in June 1951 at Stoke Bruerne












Hood replaced an earlier boat of the same name at S.E. Barlow at Tamworth in 1943.












Hood at Puttenham 2006












Hyperion delivering coal at Banbury on the Oxford Canal, originally built by S.E.Barlow at Tamworth in 1935.












Ian [motor] built Jan 1948 and Iona the butty  was  built in April 1944 at cost of £400 and normally operated as a pair,  at Arm End.












Ian and Iona












Ian and Iona at Stoke












Malta, built in 1943, and Grace operating as a pair, here at Stoke.












Gort, built 1939, now part converted and pictured at Stretton.












Kent, motor, built November 1942.












Hazel, butty, built at Braunston in 1957.












Mosquito, butty, had been called Spica when purchased from GUCCC in May 1943.












Ironside cost £295  and was completed in Mar 1940.












Alec was built  in April 1942 and originally named Winston, pictured here with Ironside












Benbow, motor, originally built in 1938 for the Coronet Canal Carrying and joined Barlows fleet after the Company was taken over.












Uranus was originally owned by John Knill, pictured at Stoke Bruerne with Benbow.












Uranus and Benbow foreends












Raymond was the last wooden boat to be built at Braunston in 1958 and thanks to “the friends” has been refurbished and regularly appears on the canal system. Pictured when built.












Raymond as originally painted.












Raymond cabin repainted 2007.












  Butty Raymond in Blue Line Colours.












Nutfield was a Large Northwich design motor built for GUCCC in 1936 purchased in 1968 by Blue Line and now pairs Raymond to canal events. Pictured here with Corona at Stoke.












Refrew was also a Large Northwich design boat  built in 1936 which was used to replace Ian in 1968. here pictured with Lucy at Blisworth.












Sunny Valley was originally a butty  built for GUCCC and called Northolt.  It was renamed Sunny Valley to appear in the 1944 film” Painted Boats” and subsequently retained the name. (18-02-06)












Sunny Valley.












  Butty Raymond's cratch, 2007












Barlow pair south of the railway bridge before the structure was encased in concrete.












Lucy was originally operated by John Knill but subsequently purchased by Barlows




































  Irene seen here at Stoke Bruerne was originally built for Harvey Taylor at Aylesbury in 1936 but became part of the Barlow fleet following a takeover.












Hardy, butty, built by S.E. Barlow at Tamworth in 1936 passing the willows south of mill.












Barlow pair heading north at Blisworth, approaching Candle bridge, Pondbank houses had not been built.