Boat Index Registration Numbers

If you trying to identify a narrowboat or find out when it was built, a good place to start is its CRT registration number. Narrowboat spotting is also, reputedly, quite an addictive hobby! Note that historic narrowboats may additionally be registered with the Register of Historic Vessels. There are currently over 1,300 vessels on their

All About Smok

Smok is a 60 foot narrowboat built by Amber Boats in Poland in about 2005. Amber Boats Ltd was incorporated on 18th December 2002. Tom Smith from Evesham Marina (sadly deceased in November 2016) wrote about Amber Boats on the Canal World forum in May 2007: Amber Boats was started in 2002 by a guy

Pte William Hutchins

William Hutchins was born in Devizes on June 8th 1877. William’s mother, Martha, nee Dally, didn’t have the best start in life. Her mother died when she was only a year old. At the age of 16, in 1855, Martha and her sister Mary Ann were convicted of stealing a muslin de laine dress, which

Pte Stafford Hope Venton

Stafford Hope Venton was born in Taunton, Somerset, in 1892. He was the only child of William Venton and Beatrice Maud, nee Pidgeon, but he may also have had a half sister, Alice, who was born before Stafford’s parents married. Thus far I have been unable to trace a birth registration for her, but she

George Hawkins – Drowning or Suicide?

George Hawkins was born in Melksham and married Elizabeth Ada Douse in 1872. They had eight children, five boys and three girls. From the 1870s until the early 1890s the family lived at 42-43 Northgate in Devizes, where George ran a registered slaughter house and butcher’s shop. By 1890 he was advertising the business to

Devizes Bathing Place

The idea of a bathing place in the canal for the youth of Devizes first cropped up in 1870. A particular supporter of the scheme was Mr Charles Clarke, who was in the habit of walking to the railway bridge below Foxhangers to swim. He took it upon himself to contact the GWR and negotiate