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A Friend of President

'President' canal boat

Part 2 – Tim Coghlan continues his look back on twenty years of involvement with the last surviving steam narrow boat President, now in its centenary year.

The year 1991 had been something of a spectacular year for President, with the successful reenactment of a fly run from London to the first Braunston Boat Show – in which I was involved – being only one of its many appearances at various canal events, where this fine old narrow boat always seemed to steal the show. But there were mutterings afoot amongst the purists – that President simply processed and posed around the canal system. Some said it wasn’t even a real canal steamer. And perhaps its greatest sin was that the boat never carried – which with barely accommodation for steam coal and crew, would have been impossible beyond token gestures like that Brindley statue.

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