Tom Rolt steers the narrow boat 'Cressy'

"To step down from some busy thoroughfare on to the quiet tow-path of a canal, even in the heart of a town, is to step backward a hundred years or more to see things in a different and perhaps more balanced perspective."
From Tom Rolt's book Narrow Boat.

'Cressy' was a narrow boat which Tom Rolt bought in 1939, and adapted and fitted to make a permanent home for himself and his first wife, Angela. He had had his first trip on 'Cressy' with his uncle and cousin ten years earlier.

After he bought 'Cressy', Tom and Angela Rolt made a journey of some 400 miles along the canals of central England. He got to know the network of canals and the life and culture of the people who used them.

You can read about Cressy's journey in Rolt's classic book on canals, Narrow Boat. See also the map of 'Cressy's' journey, which was retraced by narrow boat 'Heron' in 2010, as part of the Rolt Centenary celebrations.

Cressy had a long association with Tooleys boatyard at Banbury. It was here that Tom converted Cressy to his specified 'design for living' and over the years the boat was maintained by the Tooleys.

© copyright Sonia Rolt