One of my main reasons for attending the show this year was to look at the Stewarts & Lloyds tugs on parade to help clarify in my own mind the colours we’ll use when re-painting our Eileen in September.
There were three tugs (the Reginald, Vesta & Pacific) attending Braunston, each with their own version of a S&L livery. I like the fact that historical research need not result in conformity, but rather that historic information can be interpreted in different ways by different owners. I suspect that the differences in livery detail also reflect a reality seen on the ground; fleets such as S&L would not have been as stringent about corporate identity as companies might be today. Whilst the use of standard company colours would have been encouraged it would then have been left to individual painters, working in different yards, to interpret the company information (the company name, tug name, fleet number etc.) in their own way.
Steve Bingham, from the Dudley Canal Trust, had said to me previously that he wasn’t intending to bring Bittel down to the rally this time but that John Pattle had the right colours on Pacific and hopefully he’d be able to help us to source the correct colours for Eileen. And he could!
In fact, typical of the generous spirit so often found across the waterway community, John couldn’t have been more helpful. We spoke on the Sunday and this week I phoned him to follow up our conversation and he was able to confirm that he’d used an old coach enamel called ‘Tekaloid’ on Pacific, and that he thought it was still available from specialist paint companies such a Technical Paint Services or Breakwell’s. The two main colours are indeed called Grass Green and Brilliant Red as Steve had mentioned, see HERE.
Breakwell’s have confirmed that they can provide the paint – at a good price – so I’m ordering a couple of tins to try out on Eileen’s rudder/elum before committing to the full purchase.