THE PIG LIVES ON TO CRUISE ANOTHER DAY
The Fal was made for British Waterways around 1959, at EC.Jones of Brentford as a butty to be towed by a powered motor narrowboat such as the Admiral Class.
Some 13 boats known as River Class were built andnamed after three-lettered rivers such as
Cam, Fal, and Yeo. They were bluff-bowed with a Dutch design and pushed water in front front of them, not cutting the water as the older canal narrowboats did so well.
The boats were known as ‘Blue Tops’ due to the fibreglass coverings over the holds but the people working the boats named them ‘Pigs’’ as they were difficult to steer. They were part of the British Waterways fleet, working between the south and Birmingham, often carrying coal in one direction and cement in the other.
The Cosnetts found evidence of both cargoes when they chipped away and renovated her hull, many, many years ago.
The big freeze of 1962-3 forced the demise of the BW fleet and the sale of many boats, and the
Fal went to a boatyyard at the top of Tardebigge Locks. It was here that the Fal was cut into two as the era of canal boat holiday hire arrived.
The front section was used as the Barracuda with a square stern counter and the rear section was used as the Seeker, which was moored at Kinver.
The Fal became a family favourite and enabled the Cosnetts to enjoy many adventures on the waterways network. When the Cosnetts left the waterways, they took with them their passion for travel and switched to four wheels. But the
Fal lives on; it was partexchanged for their new motor home and has undergone an £80,000 overhaul at Bluepoint Marina.
She is almost finished and ready to go to her new owners, who have snapped up a piece of canal history.