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« Moving from my country pile | Main | Curious cows revisited »

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


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Just for a change, you're right, Andrew. It is indeed pure snobbery to bicker about whther a boat is a barge or not. Who cares? Certainly not the person you're sneering at.


You can't go wrong if you just call it a 'boat'.

Jason King

A couple of weeks ago I was dismayed to see a narrowboat that's actually been named "Longboat".

Andrew Denny

Jo: Good point.

Jo Gilbertson

Personally I think its a barge and always was to those who worked them, and only became more closely defined in more recent years as others here have stated for social- (or dare I say it snobbery) reasons?

Would an train/driver state he drove an engine or train or would he be specific and state that he drove a narrow gauge, Stephenson guage or Broard gauge engine in normal conversation?

I think its only when you don an anorak that it becomes a point of differentiation

The great thing is boats and waterways are being talked about by normal people in mainstream media and we should tread carefully to avoid scaring them off by beeing seen to be a small community of boating geeks

Bob Hallam

I believe that "longboat" was used (only) in and local to Gloucester to describe boats (of the narrow variety) coming down the river from Worcester.

iain smith

Also i know the narrowboats or is it Narrow boat, as a Longboat which is not to be mistaken for the Viking long ship which many boaters deride.

Andrew Denny

Max, you're quite right.  We 'knowing' folk have appropriated the word barge to mean something far more specific than it used to be.  I think it's probably our snobbery at the thought of having our modern expensive 'floating cottage's being classed alongside mud dredger hoppers and ordinary working boats.

Max Sinclair

In fairness to the writer the Kennet and Avon, as the Droitwich, is a Barge Canal.
Many of the working Black Country Boatmen I knew in the 1950's and 60;s called their craft a Barge,a load carrying vessel.However it is much nicer socially to call it a narrow boat, to show the world your expertise.

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