First seen in a popular publication that had adverts for both boats and planes for sale, Phyllis was in Inverness and advertised as; "A loverly old barge that needs a little work"........ Really!
Phyllis was under the constraint of a detention order issued by the MCA from 1991 when her previous owner had intended to take her to sea without any knowledge of what that actually meant and Phyllis just wasn't in a condition to be able to leave Inverness. She later sank and was pumped out and re-floated by the local marina so by 1998 she was in an even worse situation. The trip down to the Humber had to have some serious consideration. The first problem was that she was not allowed to leave Inverness, however the shipyard had closed down and there was no longer anyone on the Caledonian Canal who could undertake work on such a scale. A plot was hatched and arrangements made to tow her down to Buckie (to avoid red tape we neglected to tell the MCA) where she could be hauled out and the work to satisfy the MCA could be undertaken. On arrival at Buckie the yard pulled her up the slipway and we arranged a surveyor to come along and look at her, In the mean time the man from the MCA who had issued the detention order found out that she had gone from Inverness and came looking for her. Not a happy bunny!!
Back in Lincolnshire we waited for a call from the surveyor to let us know what work we needed to have done in order to satisfy the MCA requirements. The call eventually came and it wasn't good news, " he said she's scrap" said Kath after putting the phone down. After some years dealing with old barges and being involved with Amy Howson for the HKSPS I didn't believe that Phyllis couldn't be saved, so off we went to Buckie. To cut a long story short, the machine the surveyor had used to measure the plates on Phyllis was not calibrated properly and had therefore given the incorrect reading. With help from a surveyor friend who knew about these things and who also agreed to go up to Buckie and speak to the MCA we eventually got some relevent measurements of her hull and an agreement with the MCA. Work was also agreed on and duly started by the yard that would enable her to begin her voyage home to the Humber.