Marce's Barge Blog #3


Extraordinary Barge People...
Barges are ace obviously, but it’s all about the characters. ..

When Vikings sailed down the Ouse a thousand years ago, it’s entirely possible (from the sheer look of him) that Al Hamilton’s ancestors were onboard one of the longboats. At 9 foot 7, he’s big, our Al. And he needs to be, because there’s a lot of talent to fit in there. Part opera-singer, part bass-player, part artisan joiner and all-round Boss, this is the man you’d want if you needed to rig up a quick trebuchet to cull a few feisty Anglo Saxons on your way into Jorvik City Centre (something I’ve been tempted to do myself once or twice). Working 24,000 hours a day, Al has either made, designed or project-managed every single bit of joinery on the barge - basically if it’s made of wood he’s had a major hand in it. Without Al, we’d all be gazing into the hull through big holes in the deck thinking ‘if only there was a natty system of getting from up here, to down there’...And for those of you familiar with the wonder of visqueen (that oh-so-flexible super-substance essential to any damp-proofing job) Al is officially the Vis-king. He claims to be able to make anything from a bit of gaffer and black plaggy roll - which is great actually Al, because we need some toilets.

Hannah West