Bear with me, I'll try to explain.
When I started reading whatever was available about Pete Townshend some two years ago, I came across his Dutch barge. That detail stood out for me, given my special interest in the subject. Here is that barge, in front of Pete's Oceanic Studios.
Erik-Jan Geniets, one of the faithful commentators of these blog pages, wondered how so many Dutch barges ended up on the Thames. Fugitives in the 2nd World war? Just imported by aficionados? Hard to say, but my guess is the majority were just imported. Erik-Jan sent me a link to a Dutch page about an eel barge, photographed near Custom House in London at the beginning of the 20th century. Closer inspection of the image shows that the hull is of the same type (tjalk) as Pete's barge. This mooring was reserved exclusively for eel barges.
A search with the words "eel barge" resulted in a 1984 message about Pete acquiring his... eel barge! It is very, very improbable that his barge was ever used for that purpose, they were built of wood, not steel. More likely Londoners of that era referred to Dutch barges as eel barges. But then again I don't know the complete background of this particular vessel.
Needless to say that Pete and eel are connected: Eel Pie Productions, but also the liner notes of Quadrophenia, where main character Jimmy recounts:
"...and when the telly finished he’d storm out of the house like a lunatic to get to the Eel and Pie shop before it closed. He’d come home with enough for an army. I never liked the eels..."
I wonder if Pete will be interested in reading this. It's not your usual list of things he knows about himself, I think...
Guest of the week
A very elegant barge of the type 'luxe motor'. Luxe because they were much more comfortable than the sailing barges of that era, motor to distinguish them from those sailing barges.
The name Nieuwe Zorg means new concern. Holland is a country of calvinists, you know...
Yet we find a traditional frivolity, painted on the bows.
Photos Koos Fernhout