Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Sunday 29 September 2013

Boats and trains ...and horses

The day starts with a leisurely breakfast followed by a dog walk and then it is a stroll up to Shackerstone Railway station ex LMS for a trip down memory lane.  There was a steam weekend that included a heavy horse event at Market Bosworth station; well how could you miss something like that?
Shackerstone station, on what is now, the Battlefield Line.  King Edward VII came though here on his way to visit  friends at Gopsall Park.

 Waiting for our train
 And here she is. A class 2884 built at Swindon in 1939, number 3803 a 2-8-0 Heavy freight locomotive.
 A view from the train as we head towards Market Bosworth
 Arriving a Market Bosworth station we wander down towards the goods sheds where there is a display of vehicles and railway related carts and horse harness etc. demonstrating the work that horses did in relationship to rail freight distribution.  In addition to the carts and paraphernalia there was a farrier ('Oss cobbler') demonstrating the skill of shoeing one of these magnificent creatures.

 Trimming and preparing the hoof for shoeing
 Modifying the shoe to fit the specific hoof.  The farrier has heated the shoe in a mobile gas forge until it is hot and malleable enough to 'belt'/hammer into shape
 Placing the red hot shoe on the hoof ensure a good fit ensuring that the nail holes the farrier has made in the shoe line up with where it is safe place a nail in the hoof without injuring the horse.
 Shoe on, now the farrier is trimming the nails in preparation for the final process of bedding the nails and rasping the hoof.
 Nailing on the shoe
 A horse in boat harness
 A sight that would have been common along the canals over a hundred years ago...now they have to get permission to take a horse on the towpath.

 This draught horse is wearing an unusual bridle and bit it is an Amish (American) bridle
After a couple of hours enjoying the trains and horses we marched up the hill into Market Bosworth and met Brian and dog Ghost in The Old Red Lion.

 Brian and Joe
We caught the 5pm train back to Shackerstone and this trip was in a corridor carriage, the first I have ever travelled in; very 1930's.
 The things these dogs have to endure...
 Ooh look, a corridor!
 Our Loco, 3803
 Then I got a chance of getting on the footplate..wow, first time ever
And so ended our lovely day.  A walk back to the boat, all of 5 minutes, put kettle on and enjoy a lovely cuppa.

Friday 27 September 2013

A visit from a Small Woolwich and...

Joe took the dogs off this morning for a walk - it is 'skinny day' and I think he needed to be fully occupied and not focusing on food, or rather the lack of it.  Anyway off he goes leaving me to a few chores and the preparation of some homemade soup and whilst  I was busy hacking up vegetables a Woolwich bow pulled alongside; our coal delivery had arrived care of Rick on working boat Auriga.

We had four bags of smokeless at £10 per bag (25kg bags) which will do for now, there being still three bags in the hold.  You can contact Rick on 0796 201 3199 or on Ogarugu@hotmail.co.uk or Gravenor Boating Company on Facebook.

 Coal delivered and a chat and off he goes to his next customer and I went back to beating vegetables into submission.  Post lunch and leaving Joe to snooze I went off with the dogs on a circular walk from Shackerstone, to Barton-in-the Beans, Odstone and then back to Shackerstone.  A lovely afternoon in wonderful Leicestershire countryside with well marked public footpaths;it makes such a difference.  Passing through one farm and they had the combine out harvesting oilseed rape and in another they were harrowing.
 Barton-in-the-Beans Baptist church...a village of non-conformists that was the centre of an 18th Century revivalist movement.

 An imposing house, there were several, in Barton-in-the-Beans
 Walking along the edge of a crop of sweetcorn was just too much temptation for Floyd, hide-an-seek time!

Whereas Fletcher plays by the rules and sticks to the footpath.. Good lad


We are enjoying our stay here at Shackerstone, the autumnal weather is a treat and the colour of the leaves on the trees as they move into their reds and golds is just wonderful.  Yesterday evening, standing on the tug deck to make a phone call, a Barn Owl swooped past me and landed on a nearby tree where it hooted its presence for all to hear; magic, just magic.

The village here at Shackerstone is a small farming community with a pub, The Rising Sun, a church, St. Peter's, a wharf and the remains of a motte and bailey castle...but sadly, no village shop.   There is however a shop at a local village, Newton Burgoland - Yes really, that is the name and yet another quaintly named village in the vicinity is Barton-in-the Beans, what a brilliant address that would be to have.  Anyway yesterday morning I headed off on my trusty bicycle to find Newton Burgoland and the aforementioned shop, about two miles from our mooring.  I bought bread and tea and ordered and paid for a newspaper for collection on Saturday.

 The Rising Sun, Shackerstone
 The restored St. Peter's Shackerstone
 Heading for the pub... Fletcher in the lead and Floyd and Ghost bringing up the rear
We were rejoined by Brian and Ghost of Nb. Kyle yesterday so having got respective chores done, Brian brass cleaning, Joe repainting gunwales and me, cooking, shopping and walking dogs, we all headed off for a lunch time pint and a packet of pork scratchings for the hounds.

 Ghost enjoying a little relaxation in the conservatory of the Rising Sun

 Floyd and Fletcher also enjoying the ambiance
 Brian downing a pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord
Joe on the Marston's Pedigree
After enjoying my pint I left the males to their chatting and in the dogs case, sleeping, and went back to Yarwood to finish our lunch, homemade celery and Stilton soup and crusty bread.  They wandered back eventually and we spent the rest of the afternoon chilling and chatting.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

A walk to the end of the line

A typical misty autumnal morning greeted us this morning as we left Yarwood for a walk to Snarestone, the current end of the Ashby navigation.  We being, Fletcher, Floyd and I..
We left Joe preparing to touch up the gunnel's with a bit of raddle paint.

 Yarwood basking in the early morning mist
 Line moorings at Shackerstone
 Birthday Boy Floyd, eight years old today!
 The Boys
 And don't speak with you mouth full
 Southern portal of Snarestone tunnel
 The route over the top of the tunnel
 Northern portal with more mowing going on
 Bridge 61, the final bridge before the end of the navigation
 The original pumping station now a private home
The end of the line... for now

Market Bosworth to Shackerstone

We left our mooring at Market Bosworth late morning yesterday having got the laundry done and the water tank refilled we set off towards Shackerstone.  The previous afternoon a couple of men had been through with a mower and strimmer and you can see the results f their efforts in the photo below.

This is such a lovely rural canal

C&RT have been dredging in places and depositing the silt on the bank side.  Note the 'Danger' notice, DEEP MUD...well 8 inches or so anyway
I came across this chap on the towpath..an American Signal crayfish I believe.  He was very feisty when I bent down to photograph him and though I used my boot to shift him towards the hedge away from the canal I didn't have the heart to harm him - I understand that non native species such as this often end up under a fisherman's boot. 

Having spent time looking at the crayfish I am now playing catch-up with Joe and Yarwood
Moored up at Shackerstone on the 14 day moorings where we are going to stay for a few days.  There is an event on the Battlefield Line Railway this coming weekend that we would like to see, steam trains and heavy horses, a great combination.