The Boat That Guy Built

A unique treat. Guy Martin races motorcycles and restores narrow boats. On TV. If you're not watching yet you're missing something truly splendid.

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Hamilton High, for outsideleft.com
originally published: April, 2011
Every stop is truly terrifying. I can see the faces of the dead children. Enough to make me stop saying gaily 'little fingers for little stitches!' Enough to make me stop saying it altogether.
by Hamilton High, for outsideleft.com
originally published: April, 2011
Every stop is truly terrifying. I can see the faces of the dead children. Enough to make me stop saying gaily 'little fingers for little stitches!' Enough to make me stop saying it altogether.

There's little left for this shut in to do, little joy except for maybe now reaching for the remote to ensure I don't miss this weeks pulsating climax to The Boat the Guy Built. Have you, like us, been riveted - in a very late Victorian manner - to this all too brief series?

It's been an astonishing six week odyssey as motorcyle racer Guy Martin and trusty sidekick Mave restored their 19th Century narrowboat, Reckless, to it's, well, former glory and beyond! using only the tools and techniques to hand at the dawn of the industrial revolution. Or so.

Think I've mentioned the charismatic star, the first mate and the boat. Equal billing surely goes to the dark corners of Britain, accessible hopefully only by canal, where goods can still be manufactured in a traditional way. Every stop is truly terrifying. I can see the faces of the dead children. Enough to make me stop saying gaily 'little fingers for little stitches!' Enough to make me stop saying it altogether.

There's a BBC tradition too in these type of shows and still there's nothing quite like it, eclipsing, almost, well maybe, Michael Portillo's Rail Journeys. But that's the vein. The immersion in the richness of a best forgotten history.

What next for Guy and Mave? Well once you get the Isle of Man TT out of the way, they could co-produce and star in the great Narrowboat Detective pilot I have written for them. There's a hint of the Holmes and Watson about them for sure, we could be making a canalside Rosemary and Thyme, without the drama.  With muttonchops like that, after all, Guy Martin would wear a deerstalker well.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00z8jdv

Or maybe soon BBC America if you're out that way (as if).

Hamilton High

Hamilton High was born on Doheny Ave in the gutter, is a poet, writer and observer of popular culture. Likes fashion and cares less for style. He's on the move, he's an alter ego and we hardly ever hear from him.

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Meltdown with Patti, Song & Dance with Yoko
30 from 17: Jason Considers Some LPs
Jason Lewis considers 30 long players that he doesn't always love, though they made their mark. #30 Randy Newman. #29 Cigarettes After Sex
Martin Carthy: I Am Legend
Martin Carthy live at the Garden Cafe
Come on Feel the Oidz
Start Me
Debra Ifill returns with a new poem of...
300 Words From London: Derek Jarman
Lake visits the Serpentine for a show devoted to artist/ film-maker Derek Jarman. He used to garden too but that doesn't get a mention.
Some of our favorite things...