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Was Tom Beech a canal boatsman?

Ian Hendrie 27 Apr 10 - 10:00 AM
Ian Hendrie 04 May 10 - 11:10 AM
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Subject: Was Tom Beech a canal boatsman?
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 10:00 AM

There is a song 'Tom Beech's Last Trip' is in the Mudcat database and also on the Songs of the Inland Waterways web-site. It was written by David Blagrove.

As the person responsible for the waterway songs web-site, I was contacted by someone, surname Beechey, who was researching their family history. They had found ancestors named Beechey connected to the canals but not a Tom Beechey (or Beech). The question is 'Does the story told in the song have any basis in fact and was there a boatman called Tom Beech or Beechey?'. Obviously David Blagrove could provide the answer to this question but I have never been successful in contacting him and I did hear recently that he was unwell. So, can anyone else help?

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Subject: RE: Was Tom Beech a canal boatsman?
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 04 May 10 - 11:10 AM

David Blagrove kindly provided an explanation to Beechey's descendant mentioned in the previous thread to the effect that the song was based on a story remembered in the 60s/70s and, though there were boatmen called Beech/Beechey around at that time, the connection of the two was more a case of artistic licence than historical certitude. So the true story of the boatman dying when the canal froze over has yet to be unearthed.

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Mudcat time: 24 March 10:24 PM EDT

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