This is quite a sad picture, with a happy ending.....
These old working boats were once an important part of out transportation system, carrying wares from town to town - city to city along our canal networks. They were worked by the Bargees, who had very hard lives up and down the canals, negotiating the locks and tunnels, open to the elements.
The wives and children often travelled along too, it was a way of life, Cliff's Grandfather and my great grandfather worked in this way, and one of Cliffs Grandfather's working boats has now been restored . The Saturn as it is known, is often on show at variaous times during the season, and Cliff's Dad had an input into the restoration from his memories on the boats with his dad.
These have now found a life and can be seen at the Black Country Museum, I like the way the lovely painted patterns remain, in the traditional way that narrow boats and barges are still painted today - yet they are now often just as a holiday home - a sample of a life now past.