diary of a victorian horseboat - August 20, 2020In her 'diary of a Victorian horseboat' Kerry Dainty tells the story of her butty, built in Victorian times as a horsedrawn dredger, and now given a new lease of life with a motorized coal boat to tow her.
horse shows - May 31, 2020Kerry Dainty looks back on Horse Shows and how they have changed from 100 years ago to the present. Until the start of WWII working boat horses were strongly represented, but these days the heavy horse category is generally a part of agricultural or horslivestock shows.
the miners of crick - March 2, 2020The little village of Crick is these days best known for the annual Crick Boat Show, thousands of pounds worth of canal related paraphernalia is showcased in an attempt to get visitors to mortgage a kidney and buy some of it. The show is, these days, all about the modern boat, and while the visitors may comment on how picturesque the location is, rarely does the history of it cross their minds.
christmases past - December 1, 2019From almost the moment that the clock strikes midnight on November 30th, Christmas seems to begin. We are bombarded with gaudy decorations and impassioned adverts from shops vying for our money, and the concept thrust at us from all angles is that, in fact, the world is going to come to a halt for everyone to sit and do nothing apart from perhaps roll face-first off the sofa and into a tin of brightly wrapped chocolates.
widcombe lock - June 1, 2019On the 30 October 1880, a 23 year old boatman named Thomas Ames stands calmly in Bristol Assizes. He is accused of murder and if he is found guilty, he will surely hang. In an unusual turn of events, he does not. He is charged with manslaughter and sentenced only to 7 years in prison. He takes this information "stolidly" and leaves walking "firmly". It's like he doesn't care that a child is no longer on this earth because of him, and in all probability, he doesn't.
boathorse - March 1, 2019As long as there has been inland waterway navigation, there has been equine motive power. It makes sense; by water, the weight of the load is significantly reduced. In 1810 someone did the calculations and came to the conclusion that one horse and three men could move as much by water as sixty horses and ten men could by road.