A brief history of Owl
Fellows, Morton and Clayton 1928-1948
Between 1922 and 1928 the canal carrying company FMC embarked on an expansion programme. Owl was one of the last of a batch of 30 new boats built for the company by Yarwoods of Northwich. It was completed on 12th December 1928 at a cost of £720.
Owl was steered by members of the Edwards and Russon familes who lived at Sutton's Stop. (Hawksbury Junction).
Albert Russon on Owl with the butty Florence at Knowle sometime in the 1930s.
Jack and Harry Edwards with their father, Bill. (r)
(photos Waterways World)
In 2007 the grandson and great grandson of Bill Edwards visited their old family boat.
In the 1930s a celebrated Russian photographer, Cyril Arapof, took a series of pictures of British working class life, including this posed photo of Owl in Regent's Dock.
The gauging sheet was used to calculate the toll due by measuring the dry side - the height of the gunwales above water. For example, if Owl showed 6.25 inches of dry side, it would pay a toll on 25 tons.
Owl was docked regularly when it would be repainted and sign written. (above)
The manning list (right) lists Owl and its butty Florence alongside Bill Edwards' name.
Shortly afterwards Owl became part of the British Waterways Board maintenance fleet under nationalisation.