Imagine being six years old and setting off to work in 1908. I compare my little granddaughter who is five when I think of it. Talking to a friend at work recently I learnt that her late grandfather was a ‘Barge Gypsy’. A what? I asked her.
Apparently Charles Willoughby Garner started work on the Grand Union Canal, just six years old. His job was to guide the horse along the canal bank as it pulled the barge owned by the Bromwich’s, his grandmother’s family. The barge carried grain, coal and wood, presumably towards London as the canal runs 130 miles from Birmingham.
Charles stayed with the family barge until he was fourteen and then moved on to be a tug man on the Thames.
The First World War began a couple of years before and thank goodness he was too young to be called to arms. He had a very important role during wartime, guiding boats in under darkness, and when the bombing was happening he would be away from home for days on end.
Charles stayed on the Thames until he retired aged 68. The Bromwich barge was last seen and catalogued as sunk at the bottom of a Manchester dock yard. I wonder if Charles knew that when he died in 1979. I’m sure he was justly proud of his part in Britain’s maritime history. Thank you to Michelle for sharing his story.
If you have been following Lucid Gypsy for a while you’ll know that I’ve been posting about the restoration of a Thames barge, Vigilant, here in Exeter at Topsham Quay, who knows, perhaps Charles even sailed on her. Yesterday I popped down to check her progress.
Stern in the Topsham mud.
She comes with her own garden!
Looking good on the port side.
Traces of colour to her bow.
Imagine how beautiful she will be in sail, I can’t wait to see her.
Posted in Photography, Topsham, England
Tagged Devon, Photography, Topsham, Boats, England, Thames Barge, Thames Barge Vigilant, Boat restoration, maritime history
Golden tiptoes walk
through pink blossom and daisies
Pink petals fallen
daisies so pure smiling through
Lush grassy background
nature’s finest green canvas
creates perfect foil
Spotted this evening, I was too scared to get close enough to photograph these monsters very well, as it is I will probably be awake all night wondering if I will be mobbed by a million of them when I go out the door in the morning!I know I’m a wuss, but I’m not frightened of heights and other things that scare some people.
A search revealed that they are Misumena Vatia, crab spiders that can change colour to match their backgound, which at the moment is acid yellow, dwarf euphorbia. It was 8.30 pm so not the best light to get an accurate color but they really are the same colour as the plant. Anyway even if I liked spiders (did I mention I don’t?) I wouldn’t like these sneaky beasties because they hide in their camouflage and grab hoverflies and BEES that stop by to feed on nectar. I took one photo with the pruners so you can see just what mammoth giants they are – help!!!
A couple of weeks ago Sandra at http://sandraconner.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/experimental-writing-challenge/ decided to share a friends graphics as an experimental writing challenge. I like the image and had an idea straight away, but it took until this evening to do it. This is the image.
Fun isn’t it? I decided to limit myself to a hundred word flash.
‘I told you this was a daft idea Terry, now look at you.’ Sandra was annoyed; his crazy ideas had got them in a mess again. Green Planet had been her project, her latest phone app, supposed to simulate space travel. Of course Mr Know It All had to take it a step too far. Now there he is swinging out over the edge of the universe.
‘Stuck are you? Well I’m using my last life to jump for it, no more virtual reality games for me,’ she yelled, pointing at the green planet. ‘Knitting apps, that’s where it’s at.’
It’s been quite a while since I’ve taken part in one of Jake’s challenges, asignments and other overloads! I really wanted to do this one and I hope you like my photo.
Perhaps you will join in this week, http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/sunday-post-window/
Thanks WordPress,I just saw this in my notifications! Two years of fun, friendship and learning so much about the world. I’ve added lots of places to my bucket list, discovered things abut myself and amazingly gained more than a thousand followers. For me to keep doing something for two years is quite an achievement with my butterfly mind but the blogosphere has so much to offer that I can’t resist browsing around.
You registered on WordPress.com 2 years ago!
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!
Thanks to all my wonderful followers, I wish I could follow you all as well but it would be a full time job! I do love to pop in when I can and you are so appreciated. I’ve brought you a few flowers!