I’m very excited today to be able to share some evocative images which, to my mind, capture something of the working reality for the steerers of BCN tugs and day boats. They were taken c.1959 by Max Sinclair, former owner of Stewarts & Lloyds tug Vesta, and it’s with his kind permission that I reproduce them here.

Photo 1. Coombeswood, with Gosty Hill tunnel in the background. It’s rare to see so many S&L cabin day boats in one place, in this image there a no fewer than three on show. A tug is tied up close to the tunnel mouth. © Photo by Max Sinclair
Photo 2. Is that S&L Tug No.1 in the background? © Photo by Max Sinclair
Photo 3. Fascinating detail. Tug No.3 is tied up awaiting orders. There’s a record of S&L fore-end lettering too, and the colour scheme used on the cabin sides of a cabin day boat. Information from this image will be used when finalising Eileen’s repaint. © Photo by Max Sinclair
Photo 4. Loaded with larger bore tubes, an open iron day boat is readied. A steerer holds the boat to the towpath with a long pole/hook. Is the tug (No. 1 again?,) motoring in the middle ground, about to move it? © Photo by Max Sinclair
Photo 5. Max Sinclair purchased Tug No.3 ‘Vesta’  from S&L in 1959. Here’s a photos of her. It’s interesting to compare this image to the one seen in this post… © Photo by Max Sinclair

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