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4E 'Going back to her roots'.

Posted by joe treacy 
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Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
15 September, 2011 17:36
Hi Vossie,

it was a pleasure to have you aboard and the invitation is always there, only 20 miles to Richmond !! Got your txt this morning but unfortunately was not near a computer to post your update. Your pic of WI sorting the problem is good stuff and it's a sign of the times when a fallen tree on the Royal gets this much attention.
I'll finish with a "feline flourish" to match perhaps the forum mood lately ! !

This is the rescued "Longford Moggy", settling in as a comfortable "northsider" !

This is the resident [ and not amused ] "Cosmo"


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 16/09/2011 09:49 by joe treacy.
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
15 September, 2011 18:54
Has that cat got a name yet or shall we call it 4Eeee... ??? smiling smiley Or... 4 F'sakes Eeee!! Get a home! winking smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 16/09/2011 07:32 by AJ Vosse.
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
13 October, 2011 09:10
Hi all,

just touching base to mark what is an important date in the life of the star - 4E. Am on a "blog holiday" and it's nice not to have something to feed but I will return. This thread began - " [i]Hi all,
on Oct.13th 1980 I completed the purchase of 4E where she lay at Ledwith's Bridge on the Royal Canal"[/i]
So today it is thirty one years since that moment of madness and below is a list of dates in her ownership , as accurate as possible for now .

1980 - present - Treacys [ 31years ]
1970 ? - 1980 - Robertstown Muintir Na Tire.
1952 - 1970? - Coras Iompar Eireann
1935 - 1952 - Joe Kane [ Blackwood ]
1895 - 1935 - Grand Canal Company.

So apart from Abbyshrule/Ballynacargy , there is a lot more to dig into. I am still getting feed-back from this period .


PS. The kitten goes by the name "Abby" to honour her place of rescue.
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
13 October, 2011 12:38
Happy 31st Anniversary Joe...!!

Could'nt find the proper "gift" to mark the occasion, so these'll have to do....!!


PS...only 9 more years and you'll have had her longer even than the GCC.

Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
13 October, 2011 13:15
Thanks Mick,

I'm sure there is a significance in the brace of 31's or the locations ?

Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
13 October, 2011 18:50
No relevance in the locations, Joe (that I'm aware of) I just could'nt find a card with a "31" on it....LOL

Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
23 October, 2011 18:06
ROOTS 2 ! ROOTS 2 ! ROOTS 2 ! ROOTS 2 !! ROOTS 2 !!! ROOTS 2 !!!!!!!!!!!

The list above is an extract from a hand-written letter by Michael Moore, a union shop steward acting for canal workers, to his superior, James Larkin T.D. General Secretary, Worker’s Union of Ireland. The date of the letter is October 7th 1950 and it is a plea on behalf of the listed boatmen for work, from the new owners of the Grand Canal Company – Coras Iompar Eireann.
The details include the length of time each had worked on the canal system, ranging from twenty nine to forty five years, so these were fairly senior men in their profession. The Blackwood feeder was abandoned and closed in 1952 and Joe Kane’s beloved 111B bought from him for the princely sum of £200 and hauled out of the feeder line, to become the last trade boat to sail on it before the entrance was dammed. Her Bolinder removed, she was taken to the Royal Canal to become maintenance boat 4E.

4E is now to travel the Royal to Dublin and the Grand to Kildare to build on my knowledge of Joe Kane and his ownership of 111B from 1935 until 1952. This will only be the second time for her to travel this route as from what I discovered so far, her main trading was done along the canal system between Grand Canal Dock and the Shannon. Another list shows 111B carrying 33tons of sundries to Shannon Harbour, 44tons of barley back, and 43tons of coal to Banagher in August 1950. The sum of £43.0.2 was paid to Joe Kane for this haulage. Joseph Kane died on April18th 1963 and was laid to rest in Staplestown cemetery near Blackwood , Co. Kildare.

This trip has a number of alleged problem areas, beginning with the summit level through Mullingar and it’s much discussed water problems , a mini “deep sinking” in the shape of a rock-cut section on the eastern side of the town which is rather narrow in spots. Next is Mc Neads Bridge with it’s difficult underwater profile demanding good water levels to allow “ large ladies” safe passage. The major unknown for bargees is Lock 18 at Thomastown, reputed to be the narrowest on the Royal Canal. 4E would have passed through it in 1952/1953 but has she acquired a larger waistline? Onwards to Louisa Bridge [ sorted !] and the Deep sinking at Clonsilla. All this before the drop into Dublin with “Effin Bridge”, Sheriff Street Bridge, Spencer Dock and the River Liffey crossing into Grand Canal Dock.
This part of the trip will of course be in two stages as “ Effin Bridge” is not expected to be lifted until April 2012 [ unless 4E gets real star status !! ]. There is however the “Winter project” to complete.

To begin this section I will document the journey from where I last left you – in Abbeyshrule. Travelling back to Kilcurry below Lock 39, we had a marvellous day as guests of the Murtagh family who had given me the 1956 photo of 4E with their late mother Philomena and the then baby in arms, Liam. Abbeyshrule again and some pictures with Jim Mitchell who is son of Kit Mitchell and nephew of Tom Rafferty, both of whom were crew men on 4E along with Billy Dunne who lived aboard at that time.

Photo taken with the wonderful Murtagh family during a special day as their guests at Kilcurry. 4E is back at the spot where the 1956 pic was taken and "baby" Liam is on my right.

Three generations of Mitchells, the younger of them standing on the boat their great grandfather - Kit Mitchell, worked on.

Jimmy Mitchell with another son whose fathers have a 4E connection
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
23 October, 2011 18:15
Leaving Abbeyshrule it was across Ballymaglavy Bog and under Ledwith’s Bridge again to enter Lock 38 and climb up to above Lock 36 to overnight in Ballynacargy Harbour. Following morning we climbed on to Lock 29 where we had a photo session . When 4E was being cleaned out in 1980 before the lift out, a Royal Canal lock key was discovered in the bilges which was now to be used at it’s designated lock. A little ceremony was played out with the celebrity lock key

Some friends help with the "de-silting" in late 1980

The restored lock-house at Lock 29.

The lock key from that lock.

In use again.
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
23 October, 2011 18:23
This stretch is a local walking area so the opportunity to tell stories about a boat’s [ or more likely “where have you come from?”] destination and history, give short trips and tours of the boat are plentiful - all good fun. The area is very pretty with locks in quick succession and beautifully restored lock houses

Destination that weekend was at Walsh’s Bridge just below Lock 28 where 4E remained for a week under the watchful eye of Donna and friend [ Mario Luigi ? ] to whom we are grateful.

The following weekend it was the short climb to below Lock 26 at Coolnahay to join the boats dropped below the harbour because of rapidly falling water levels across the summit. There were thoughts of forming the “ Coolnahay three” or whatever , but the hold up was too short - lived to get “bolshy”. Our thanks to the lovely Clare for watching over 4E , that week.


next step Mullingar !!!!!!!!!!!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 23/10/2011 18:32 by joe treacy.
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
23 October, 2011 19:54
Love reading your posts Joe. Great ongoing story, history and photos. smiling smiley thumbs up

[COLOR=gray][i]OceanFroggie[/i][/COLOR] [size=x-small][color=#FFDEAD][i]Noel Griffin[/i][/color][/size]
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
23 October, 2011 21:00
Jeez Joe,I'd kill for a lock key like that. You better be careful where you leave it down. How far are you heading?
Hill of Down?

Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
23 October, 2011 21:20
Great to see things moving along again, Joe....!!

Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
23 October, 2011 21:46
Thanks boys, having a ball ourselves,


Ps . M boats in Meath PJ [ what next ?]
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
23 October, 2011 22:12
Les, Up the canal? PJ up the canal? Miracles can happen. smiling smileythe finger smiley

2012 Cormac's Soiree?


Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
24 October, 2011 05:49
[quote pj norris]2012 Cormac's Soiree?[/quote]

The sequel "Return to Mathew" smiling smiley

[COLOR=gray][i]OceanFroggie[/i][/COLOR] [size=x-small][color=#FFDEAD][i]Noel Griffin[/i][/color][/size]
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
24 October, 2011 09:17
So Mullingar ! !
Got to 4E Saturday afternoon after Louisa Bridge gig and after quick look at levels of summit at Mary Lynches, pushed on to Coolnahay feeling 10" down might be 7 or 8 tomorrow. A quick untie and lock up into Coolnahay and sad farewells to Clare [ wasn't she great on Waterways last night ? ]. Struggled to Ballinea that night and decided to take remedial action. Seven or eight 25 litre drums of water on the bow and indian canoe pushed forward and filled with water would help. To those who think this is madness, eight bales of briquettes stored in the bow will push it down an inch and raise the stern an inch.

Onwards to the outskirts of Mullingar on a wet morning and the Royal does a big "ring road" loop around town and again some lovely restored stonework all around. The start of the loop is tight to the railway and some derelict rail stuff in evidence.

Re: Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
24 October, 2011 10:44
Hi Joe

The level still looks low, in your pictures "Summitlevel005" and "summitlevel006".
I don't know would I have been brave enough to try it at that!
Seems to me, after all the rain and with half the country preparing for a swim, that the Royal should be full to the brim by now. How much wetter can it get?
The Grand must be starting to operate in it's secondary role, as a drainage canal, at this stage.
Woops... the rain's stopped! Better go to work... byeeee!

Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
24 October, 2011 11:42
Agree Duncan but patience is a ......... , 4E is no stranger to ditch-crawling , we took a chance and paid the price, a long slow day. However first bridge into Mullingar and we ground but a bank walker taking pics and another pair lend a hand and we are away again. Next is under Scanlan's Bridge and into the harbour.

So next into a harbour that has to be the best inland harbour on the whole island , just crying out for use- but maybe!

Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
24 October, 2011 12:11
Hi Joe,

If it's any consolation... the Long Level is pretty OK... I'll go out a little later and get a few pictures... mind you, that won't help if you can't get through Nead's Bridge... tongue sticking out smiley

Have fun, please let me know when you're nearing the Royal County... I need to capture some images...

Cheers for now,
Vossie winking smiley
Re: 4E 'Going back to her roots'.
24 October, 2011 13:34

awkward bridges occur earlier than Mc. Neads, the ones in Longford were much more canal friendly. Concrete tubes this end ,but still they used to be much smaller concrete tubes.
First pic is the dry dock which to my eye looks usable and looks like the filled - in entrance to another beside it. "Float 3" was docked here in the recent past.

Look how clear the water is, and as it is a canal going through a town, the inevitable will happen!

This is the quaint little bridge over the Lough Owell Feeder as it spills into the harbour area.

This is Moran's Bridge and phone calls were made at this point as I was nervous of what lay ahead . The detail here is a canal width of 13' 10" inside the bridge and 4E was not looking comfortable here.

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