Martin and Jennifer Grundy bought Beatty in April 1968 to cruise the waterways with their family. Their first trip was from Brewood to the Narrow Boat Owners Club Easter Rally at Norbury on the Shropshire Union Canal.
Martin Grundy was the chairman of the IWA Liverpool National Rally in 1968; Beatty carried the Mayor of Sefton and other guests for the official opening.
At the 1970 Guildford National Rally, Beatty won the Lionel Munk Trophy for ‘Best Converted Narrow Boat’.
Owing to the poor state of the cabin, it was only possible to save the moveable cabin fittings such as the table cupboard, drawers and cupboard doors. The boatman’s cabin has since been refitted by Nick Grundy and these items have been replaced.
Interestingly, the Yarwoods plans for Beatty had indicated portholes in the engine room but these had not been fitted originally. During the rebuild, David suggested that it would be a good idea to add portholes. Having seen the plans, this was agreed to.
Right – In 1996, Beatty was added to the National Register of Historic Vessels , Certificate No. 122.
Left – Martin Grundy steering Beatty at Saltersford on the River Weaver. This was taken after crossing the River Mersey from Liverpool Docks to the Manchester Ship Canal en route to the IWA Salford Quays National Rally in 1998.
Beatty has travelled most of the connected waterways available to her. She has been as far north as York and as far south as Godalming, to Bristol in the west, Cambridge and Boston in the east.
From about 2002, there was increasing concern over the thickness (or otherwise) of the elm bottom boards of Beatty. It was decided to replace the worn-out elm with a new timber bottom in opepe, a tropical hardwood with excellent durability when submerged in water. This preserved the integrity of the original construction even though it would have been easier to replace the bottom with steel.
At the end of 2005, in order to allow access to the bottom, the fit-out in the conversion was carefully dismantled, three tons of iron ballast was unloaded and the engine room fuel tanks were drained and removed.
Beatty was dry-docked at Worsley for six weeks in February and March 2006. Malcolm Webster of Malkin’s Bank Canal Services renewed the bottom, including most of the keelson, in opepe supplied by Barchards (J.B. Timber) of Hull. The section of keelson under the engine room and boatman’s cabin is still the original pitch pine.
With the gutting of the living quarters, it became apparent that there was serious deterioration of the timber cabin, especially the gunwales. After much deliberation, it was decided to ‘bite the bullet’ and have the cabin replaced in steel.
The boat was taken to Brinklow Boat Services in August 2006. After carefully measuring and photographing the old cabin, Simon Wain replaced it with a steel replica which was completed in the summer of 2007. The new cabin retains the distinctive lines and style of the original 1960s conversion. The windows were custom made by Caldwells of Wigan to suit the unique shape of the cabin. The new cabin was painted in Beatty’s original colour scheme by Oxon Boat Painting Co.
Beatty remained at Brinklow Boat Services until December 2008 for fitting-out by Rex Wain, David Gunby and others at the yard. The layout of the original conversion has been retained with some minor improvements. Most of the fittings are new but it has been possible to incorporate the old mahogany bunks, now over forty years old.
In April 2007, Martin Grundy died but Beatty remains in the Grundy family, now in the care of Nick and Liz Grundy.