I was also recently able to confirm that the back cabin decoration on Eileen was completed by Maureen Nicoll at Cassio Wharf, Watford, over the Winter of 1991-92.

In his letter Bryan Nicoll, writing this Autumn, added the following information:

” Maureen has, over the years carried out similar work on various other ex working boats. Obviously this includes both ‘Arcturus’ and ‘Sirius’ including at times outside cabin panels, some of which we now have at our home. Maureen, being self taught, was influenced back in 1959 by the famous Frank Jones from Leighton Buzzard, who carried out the complete decoration and lettering on ‘Arcturus’ when I first began passenger-carrying. At his suggestion, Maureen was encouraged to add something of her own to the cabin door panels, such as a tree stump etc. The inside panels on Eileen, for example, include a matching pair of hot air balloons.”

After 20 years of hard wear-and-tear the painted decoration in the back cabin is admittedly a little bashed about, but then that’s our Eileen, she’s a proud and rather battered old workhorse of a boat. Despite the damaged paintwork I think Maureen’s skill shines through undiminished and the back cabin remains both an evocative and beautiful space. I’m not tempted to tidy up the paintings at all.

Here are a few photos of Maureen’s wonderful work on Eileen…

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