Collected Images

EARL and butty Orange at Berkhamsted.

(Dr Roger Butler)

The length of the name, the line of the roof, the sweep of the counter and the “snake-like” decoration below the top guard all combine to enable the conclusion that the steamer is EARL and after a detailed study of the name on the right-hand side and taking into consideration the shape of the stern end, I am advised that the butty is ORANGE.  

Paul Hunter suggested “They’re not breasted nor would you try and navigate in ice whilst breasted and why are they stopped where they are?  My guess is that they left the lock but the steamer found it hard going and only managed to pull the butty just out of the lock - notice the tow rope running through the running blocks.  The steamer then reversed to lie against the butty to wait for a short while.  The butty’s tiller is reversed and the steamer tiller bar has been removed but they don’t plan to be here long as they haven’t made any attempt to moor up.  So, I would guess either waiting for an icebreaker which is expected from the other direction or to raise the steam pressure before having another go.”  This seems to cover what we can see but he concluded “Pure conjecture of course!”

One could further speculate that while EARL was forcing out of the chamber, the wash pushed the ice (and some water) over the bottom gate to freeze in the foreground.


EARL and Warwick at Buckby

(Alan Faulkner collection)

Drawing of EARL, unattributed

(Canals of Britain, D D Gladwin)

Jack Wenlock, crew member on EARL, c 1908

(Alan Faulkner collection)

EARL at the FMC Depot at Belgrave Wharf, Leicester.

(Leicestershire Records Office)

Belgrave Wharf, Leicester, in 2006, from the same viewpoint as above.

(Roger Hutchinson)

Christmas Card by Harley Crossley


Advertising card by FMC, including photograph of EARL


EARL, owned by Charles Court, in his livery and with him steering, on the Oxford Canal in 1929.

(BW192/3/2/2/19/55 and BW197/4/1/1/99)



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