The Euphrates Packet by Phil Clayton Recorded by The Light Side It’s not just for coals, you know . People may go, you know. Along the canal into Birmingham town. Smooth as the water flows. At four miles an hour she goes. The Euphrates Packet, a craft of renown. Leave Factory Bridge just past eight in the morn, You’ve not been to Birmingham so fast in your life. Through T ipton Green, Dudley Port, Spon Lane and Smethwick The Euphrates Packet sails as sharp as a knife. Derry down, down, down derry down. The packet boat sails on three days a week, To the Waggon and Horses close by Friday Bridge You’ve a half day in town to do all you need Till five in the evening and the return voyage. Derry down, down, down derry down. Chorus No jolting or jarring like you get with the stage, The Packet is smooth and your journey is gay You may meet Miss Austen or handsome Darcy So put on your finest and join us today. Derry down, down, down derry down. It’s only a shilling in the second class booth A mere sixpence more if you travel first class. Disport in the bows with the ladies and gents Or stand on the roof with the other riff raff. Derry down, down, down derry down. Chorus - Derry Down In 2019, on the 200th anniversary of the opening of the original Birmingham Canal into the town, Phil Clayton put together a musical, Birmingham Lads .... and Friends, telling something of the history of the canals in the Birmingham and Black Country area. Although focusing on the BCN itself, it started from a song he’d written for the 2012 Golden Anniversary of the ‘Battle of Stourbridge’, The Lions of Stourbridge. Over the years Phil added more songs, mixing contemporary songs, of which this is one, and more up to date canal standards to make an hour long show supported by much visual material. The group The Light Side performed the musical for the BCN Society’s celebratory cruise into Brum marking the anniversary at the Crescent Theatre’s Studio. The show is available on DVD and can be viewed on this website.
One of the most successful carriers and boat builders in the Black Country was Thomas Monk whose business began at a small boatyard at Tipton. He was born in Stourport on 13th April, 1765 where his father had a boatyard and built barges for use on the River Severn at Lower Mitton. Thomas came to Tipton in about 1790 and built a boatyard and dock next to the old BCN mainline. The Tipton boatyard flourished. There were soon around 130 boats carrying all kinds of goods between the Midlands, North Staffordshire and London. Thomas was credited with the introduction of cabins on canal coats. The boats became known as 'Monkey Boats', a name that was eventually applied to all boats on the canal that carried a cargo. Around 1820 Thomas introduced a passenger service between Factory Bridge at Tipton and The Wagon and Horses at Birmingham. He built a specially designed boat called 'Euphrates', a fly boat with rounded sides and a keel so that it could travel quickly through the water. It was of lightweight construction with a wedge shaped front. The horses travelled at an unbroken trot and were changed every few miles. 'Euphrates' became known as the 'Monkey Fly Boat' and was captained by a local man, John Jevan. It operated a two-hour passenger service to Birmingham on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, leaving Tipton at a quarter past eight in the morning, and returning from Birmingham at 5 o'clock on the same day. It called at Dudley Port, Oldbury, Spon Lane, and Smethwick. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays it was available for private hire, and excursions. In 1830 the service was extended to Wolverhampton, running daily along the old main line. After the building of the new main line, 'Euphrates' also ran from the Packet Inn at Wallbrook to Birmingham through the newly built Coseley Tunnel. The boat continued to carry passengers until the Stour Valley Railway opened in 1852. It was then stored at William Monk's yard at Selly Oak. Thomas Monk senior died at Tipton on 3rd August, 1849 and is buried in St. Thomas's Churchyard, Dudley. The business survived until the 1930s. The above passage was ‘borrowed’ from the very interesting and informative The Annals of Tipton (Canals) website.
The Euphrates Packet by Phil Clayton Recorded by The Light Side It’s not just for coals, you know . People may go, you know. Along the canal into Birmingham town. Smooth as the water flows. At four miles an hour she goes. The Euphrates Packet, a craft of renown. Leave Factory Bridge just past eight in the morn, You’ve not been to Birmingham so fast in your life. Through T ipton Green, Dudley Port, Spon Lane and Smethwick The Euphrates Packet sails as sharp as a knife. Derry down, down, down derry down. The packet boat sails on three days a week, To the Waggon and Horses close by Friday Bridge You’ve a half day in town to do all you need Till five in the evening and the return voyage. Derry down, down, down derry down. Chorus No jolting or jarring like you get with the stage, The Packet is smooth and your journey is gay You may meet Miss Austen or handsome Darcy So put on your finest and join us today. Derry down, down, down derry down. It’s only a shilling in the second class booth A mere sixpence more if you travel first class. Disport in the bows with the ladies and gents Or stand on the roof with the other riff raff. Derry down, down, down derry down. Chorus - Derry Down In 2019, on the 200th anniversary of the opening of the original Birmingham Canal into the town, Phil Clayton put together a musical, Birmingham Lads .... and Friends, telling something of the history of the canals in the Birmingham and Black Country area. Although focusing on the BCN itself, it started from a song he’d written for the 2012 Golden Anniversary of the ‘Battle of Stourbridge’, The Lions of Stourbridge. Over the years Phil added more songs, mixing contemporary songs, of which this is one, and more up to date canal standards to make an hour long show supported by much visual material. The group The Light Side performed the musical for the BCN Society’s celebratory cruise into Brum marking the anniversary at the Crescent Theatre’s Studio. The show is available on DVD and can be viewed on this website. One of the most successful carriers and boat builders in the Black Country was Thomas Monk whose business began at a small boatyard at Tipton. He was born in Stourport on 13th April, 1765 where his father had a boatyard and built barges for use on the River Severn at Lower Mitton. Thomas came to Tipton in about 1790 and built a boatyard and dock next to the old BCN mainline. The Tipton boatyard flourished. There were soon around 130 boats carrying all kinds of goods between the Midlands, North Staffordshire and London. Thomas was credited with the introduction of cabins on canal coats. The boats became known as 'Monkey Boats', a name that was eventually applied to all boats on the canal that carried a cargo. Around 1820 Thomas introduced a passenger service between Factory Bridge at Tipton and The Wagon and Horses at Birmingham. He built a specially designed boat called 'Euphrates', a fly boat with rounded sides and a keel so that it could travel quickly through the water. It was of lightweight construction with a wedge shaped front. The horses travelled at an unbroken trot and were changed every few miles. 'Euphrates' became known as the 'Monkey Fly Boat' and was captained by a local man, John Jevan. It operated a two-hour passenger service to Birmingham on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, leaving Tipton at a quarter past eight in the morning, and returning from Birmingham at 5 o'clock on the same day. It called at Dudley Port, Oldbury, Spon Lane, and Smethwick. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays it was available for private hire, and excursions. In 1830 the service was extended to Wolverhampton, running daily along the old main line. After the building of the new main line, 'Euphrates' also ran from the Packet Inn at Wallbrook to Birmingham through the newly built Coseley Tunnel. The boat continued to carry passengers until the Stour Valley Railway opened in 1852. It was then stored at William Monk's yard at Selly Oak. Thomas Monk senior died at Tipton on 3rd August, 1849 and is buried in St. Thomas's Churchyard, Dudley. The business survived until the 1930s. The above passage was ‘borrowed’ from the very interesting and informative The Annals of Tipton (Canals) website.