History of BADSEY
27 Jan 1936 The Grand Union Canal Carrying Co Ltd ordered from Harland&Wolff Ltd of Woolwich, 24 pairs of the Type F Motor, to be known as a Large Woolwich Town Class, and a Butty, both to be constructed in all mild steel plate.
8 Sep 1936 Badsey was delivered with Butty Barnes at a cost for the pair of £1,363-5s.
This included a National 2DM diesel engine no.46646,
a Brunton Gearbox with 2:1 reduction gear number E/7976/3
and 3 blade left hand 24” x 17” propeller,
The new owner allocated Badsey a GUCCC fleet no.108 and the British Waterways Board gave it index no 68474.
27 Jan 1937 Health Registered at Brentford allocated no 619
19 Feb 1937 Gauged on Grand Union with GJC gauge no 12674.
20 Jul 1937 Health registered at Rickmansworth, allocated no. 165.
1939 Badsey was operated by Jack James through WWII carrying Guinness between Park Royal (London) and Birmingham. He won the contract by being the fastest boat to complete the route. The Guinness history book says the contract ceased after a heatwave caused the barrels to burst on one run and on another, a big freeze delayed delivery for weeks when an ice breaker broought Badsey and other boats to Hillmorton to await the thaw.
14 Sep 1944 listed as paired with the butty Balham
7 Aug 1946 steerer James reported by Hatton lock keeper for “persistently drawing paddles before entering locks and closing one gate only, leaving the other for wastage of water to close” and for giving “offensive replies”
1 Jan 1948 Nationalisation: the GUCCC fleet joined the South Eastern Division carrying fleet as part of the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive.
Jack James gave up Badsey to become lock keeper at Stoke Bruerne where he established the Canal Museum (amongst the many canal treasures that Jack exhibited there was the brass tiller from Badsey - a fact now sadly denied by the present incumbent).
Whilst helping brother John start a now famous tourist trip on the Regents canal, Jacks son Noel proposed to Rene Carter in Maida Vale Tunnel and they eventually took over Badsey.
26 Jan 1959 Badsey listed paired with butty Leo steerer Noel James
15 Feb 1960 listed paired with butty Pallas, steered by Noel James.
1962 Captain was father of Eddy and Percy Hambridge
24 July 1962 Badsey is photographed with butty Argon loading from the ship MV Sirius at Limehouse.
1963 Badsey operational within the SE division. A Petter PD2 engine was installed July 1963 - one of 25 pairs leased to Willow Wren Canal Transport Services Ltd
1966 Badsey with butty Capella run for Willow Wren by Ken&Vera Ward with daughters Delma&Daphne.
1967 Badsey paired with Willow Wren butty Greenshank, steered by Percy Hambridge. Carried grain and tomato puree from Brentford to Birmingham and Cadbury cocoa beans from Limehouse.
1968 Badsey paired with Alperton steerer Percy Hambridge
BADSEY IN RETIREMENT
April 1970 Badsey was repossessed by British Waterways and left in a very sorry state in the Wendover Arm.
July 1971 sold to Malcolme E Braine a boatbuilder from Norton Canes for £587.
1972 sold to James Yates of Norton Canes - Fitted with Perkins P3 engine.
July 1973 and then on to David & Jill Humphreys as a Camping Boat paired with Barnes.
July 1980 sold to David & Julia Vickers, Godalming with Barnes.
May 1988 sold to Pete & Donna Harrison, Bristol with Barnes.
Back cabin re-skinned by Graham Wigley, Birmingham and all painted surfaces taken back to
steel / wood (except engine room sides) and returned to G.U.C.C.Co. Ltd. wartime utility livery.
Half height running gear swapped with full height running gear off BARNES).
1990 sold with the butty Barnes by Warwickshire Fly Boat Co to Toby and Jonathan Ombler.
They helped Badsey star in the 1991 TV Christmas Day Special of “Minder”
with steerer George Cole and had great fun until the TV producer kept from them his intention to ram
Badsey into a concrete wharf with such force that its bows can be seen on the video to leap out of the water.
According to Jonathan it completely missed a wooden ramp they had built and caused damage to the hull and
the cabin for which the TV company refused to compensate.
May 1993 Badsey and Barnes sold through Digby Cull.
Oct 1993 Ownership transferred to Phil Speight, Ellesmere Port.
1997 Phil replaced the Perkins P3.144 Engine (serial number 1129710) with a Perkins P3.152.
During this period, Phil also decorated the cabin interior with his famous style of traditional painting
and this still survives in great condition to this day (2018).
Aug 2003 sold(sadly without Barnes) to current owner Ian&Lesley Lauder. New bottom fitted at Brinklow and then moored as flagship of Badseys Café Bistro (formerly BW Oxford Canal office at Hillmorton where Badsey used to moor) and where Rene James (Noels’wife) advised on the restoration.
It was meant to be (or is Jack James still at the tiller?) :-
Quite unknown to each other, in very same week that the Lauders brought Badsey to Hillmorton to where they had just moved, Tony and Paul Redshaw bought 4 scrap National engines in Gloucester with the intention of restoring them at their workshop in Hillmorton (they later moved to Braunston).
They started restoring one for Badsey when by sheer coincidence,
another of their four engines was found to have engine number 46646,
listed by Harland&Wolff as the engine originally installed in 1936 in Badsey!!
That engine is now restored and reunited with Badsey
What were the chances??