River Ouse Bargeman (Hardback)
A Lifetime on the Yorkshire Ouse
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The Ouse reaches into the heart of Yorkshire from the Humber Estuary. Until the 1980s, loaded barges made the challenging journey from Hull to Selby, bearing bulk cargoes for the mills of the town. The bargees had to be tough and resourceful; physically strong enough to handle their craft, wise enough to combat the river's shifting currents and savvy enough to deal with those supplying short measure.
Laurie Dews of Selby worked the Ouse from 1937 to 1987, and is now the only man remaining with first-hand experience of a lost way of life. In this book, "River Ouse Bargeman", Laurie's words of wit and wisdom give a skipper's eye view of a barge loaded to the gunwales fighting upstream, unloading at the mill and drifting back with the tide.
Laurie spins many a yarn about a bargeman's social life, too. His first-hand account includes the mysterious river crafts of singling out and penning up, the tricks and tell tales to show where the ever-shifting river channel lay and the camaraderie of life in the close-knit watery world.
In this book, alongside Laurie's account, there is a factual commentary, illustrated by many images from Laurie's collection dating back over a century, and extracts from official documents and maps.
Starting with an introduction about discovering the coal-burning paddle steamers of the Humber in the early 1970s the book continues with a brief history of the ferries of the Humber Estuary, the coming of the first paddle steamer, the Caledonia, in 1814 and the rapid expansion of steamers operating on the estuary It includes personal memories of those who worked on, used and loved the Humber ferries. It especially looks at the paddle steamers, Tattershall Castle, Wingfield Castle and Lincoln Castle, which became the last coal-burning paddle steamers operating a regular service in the United Kingdom.…By Kirk Martin
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