They were black mainly. Dark
and the cabins had the name on E. HARLEY & SON. That was
Grannie Harley’s and I think it was Henry Harley, when
Grandad Harley had the boats. I remember the boats on
the canal - FELLOWS MORTON & CLAYTON - you’ve seen them
with those lovely coloured jugs. The ‘boaties’ lived in
the boats. FELLOWS MORTON & CLAYTON, they’d got some
lovely rolling stock. Those people, although they’d only
got a cabin the width of this room, the things were
absolutely spotless. The big copper jugs would shine and
they wore special clothes. It was unimaginable that they
could be so beautifully clean.
(FELLOWS MORTON & CLAYTON were
founded in 1889 and ran a sizeable fleet of canal boats
until the dissolution of the firm in 1947.)
I should think that Uncle Tom’s
firm ran until the early 1950s, then of course
everything went. I don’t know what became of the firm
It was 1815 it was supposed to
have started. On the side of the house at Cleveland
Wharf there was lettering. The date was on there. It
said HENRY HARLEY, COAL MERCHANTS, ESTABLISHED IN 1815.
Dad used to say that his grandfather owned part of
Sackville Street - it’s now O’Connell Street, Dublin. I
suppose he sold it and then set up in the coal business.
The thing I feel so cross about.
There were two portraits of Titus and Mary Ann Harley,
done in pencil by a local artist. I think it was
Phoenix. She’d got a little shawl tippet, as they used
to call them. The pictures went with a lot of the stuff,
when Mother moved with Pickfords. They went in store.
That was one thing I was very cross with Brother about.
He wouldn’t help me to see and select what we wanted. He
didn’t seem very interested, but he said to me on many
occasions that he was cross about those pictures,
because I’m sure they’d be worth some money now.
(Henry William Harley was born in
Wolverhampton on 3rd March 1856. He married Eleanor
Williams - Grannie Harley in AV’s account - on 11th
September 1881. Titus and Mary Ann were Henry’s parents.
Titus moved to Wolverhampton some time in the 1850s. He
is listed in the 1861 Staffordshire Directory as a
general carrier at Bilston Road.)
There was another picture. Grandad
and Grannie Harley had a farm out at Bushbury. It was a
big farm and there was a pond on this farm. They had
boats on this pond. There was an oil painting of Grannie
Harley and they’d got a St Bernard dog. There was my Dad
and Auntie Elsie in one boat rowing and Jesse in another
on this pool in the grounds of this farm.
Mother knew where the picture was,
but there again that picture went for storage. It was a
beautiful painting. It was in a gold frame.