Immi's 16th Birthday Pen
NB Saturn Oak and Chrome Premium Ballpoint Twist Pen
(A donation from the sale of this pen will be gifted to The Shropshire Union Fly-Boat Restoration Society, the Custodians of NB Saturn)
EUROPEAN OAK - Quercus robur
Usually straight-grained, the heartwood of European Oak varies in colour from light tan to brown. Quarter-sawn pieces show attractive flame figuring. The wood is fairly hard, heavy and dense, clean but with the occasional knot. European Oak is a beautiful timber and with an oil finish, the grain will turn a deep golden brown.
This particular piece of oak (probably English rather than European) is just a little bit special though. It is one of the large bow mainframes from the Shropshire Fly Boat Saturn. The days of the fly-boats began with the success of the Bridgewater and Trent & Mersey canals in the 1770’s. Up until the heyday of the fly boats cargos had sedately plodded up the towing paths (Haling Way’s in them thar days) at three miles per hour or so but the new Fly Boats with teams of four men and two horses regularly galloped their loads of perishable goods at ten miles per hour.
Built in 1906 for the Shropshire Union Canal Carrying Co. at Tower Wharf, Chester, Saturn was used for the fast carriage of cheese from the producing towns of Cheshire and Shropshire to the major markets such as Manchester.
Saturn is the last horse-drawn Shropshire Union Canal Fly-boat in the World – originally built to travel non-stop, day and night. Over 100 years old, she has been fully restored to her former glory; not only to preserve her for posterity but to educate present and future generations about our waterways, narrowboats and horse-boating.