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 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, 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.


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