I have found so much information on Samuel Barlow that it would fill a book – indeed it has done. Here’s a little summary.
Samuel Barlow, who also traded as S E Barlow, was based at Glascote Basin (also known as Glascote Docks). He was chiefly a coal carrier for the Glascote coal mines. The Basin was later used by the boat-builder Steve Hudson, and is now operated by Norton Canes. According to James Francis Fox (Waterways World 2019), Samuel Barlow’s business was founded in 1870, and grew to over 100 boats, of which around 25 survive today. My own road, Barlow Avenue, by Glascote Locks, is named after Samuel Barlow.
Alan Faulkner, author of a book about the Barlows, wrote an article in a 2006 edition of Narrowboat:
“The Samuel Barlow Coal Co Ltd, which was one of the last companies to trade regularly on the Grand Union and Oxford canals, was incorporated in 1916, but was based on a business founded in the late 1860s. Samuel Barlow was born on 28th August 1847 at Exhall beside the Coventry Canal, the eldest son of John and Mary Barlow. His father was a boatman, and Samuel took up the same profession. In 1867 he married Mary Ann Compton and they moved to Bulkington Lane, Bedworth, where Barlow acquired his first pair of narrowboats and concentrated on delivering cargoes of coal. When the compulsory registration of canal boats was introduced in 1879, four boats – Ellen, Mary Ann, Live & Learn and Friendship – were recorded for him at Coventry. Barlow was an enterprising man and in September 1879 he moved to Glascote, which adjoins Tamworth, in an area where the coal mining industry was developing strongly, as he saw opportunities to expand his business. It proved to be a wise move; …”