This had me thinking hard for a while. Tony Winn – a man who’s previously helped with matters relating to the Ralph Ferrie story here on the Brownhills Blog – sent me the above, wonderful image today, with a covering note. I knew we’d mentioned this event somewhere before… even thought I may have featured the picture before. Unable to get to a desktop to reliably search the blog, I wracked my brain, to no avail.
I came across this photo the other day and thought it might be of interested to you. It must have been taken about 1957/58 after Charlie Ferrie died.
In memory of him Ralph donated this narrow boat to the Brownhills Youth Club to use. This is a photo of the launch/naming of the boat (that’s Amy Ferrie holding the bouquet).
My guess is that the teenagers pictured should be heading towards their 70’s by now. Think it was taken on the canal in Brownhills as they did own a canal basin at the back of the Station Hotel (Station Garage, opposite the Council House).
Don’t know what became of the boat, or the teenagers, maybe some of your readers do?
I found the answer at the foot of this remarkable post about the Brownhills space rocketeers. The boat was (apparently) launched in 1962 at Ogley Basin, and Tony himself pointed out in the comments to that post:
If I remember correctly, Ralph paid to have the boat made in memory of his father, Charlie, and it was presented to the local youth club (poss Brownhills?) for their use on the local canals. Don’t know what became of it after the launch though.
I don’t think the boat was new, looking at the marks on the hull, but it may well have been a refurb. I’d love to know what happened to it – and someone must know the identities of those kids on there.
Thanks to Tony for his continued dedication to the Ferrie history – he was very significant to the modern history of Brownhills, and his story is often muddied by the kind of rumour and myth that surrounds any such larger-than-life character, which makes it wuite hard to pin down.
Without Tony’s contributions, we’d be very much the poorer. cheers, old chap.
Anything to add? Comment here, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.