Dudley’s Parkhead Festival, usually bi-annual, was back in September after a 4 year break. The Horseboating Society was there!
Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th September:
Horse-drawn boat demos were given up and down the locks, but a special demo took place at the top lock, demonstrating the use of the ground-level pulley wheel to send the boat out of the lock while the boathorse walks in the opposite direction along the lock-side.
This had been previously demonstrated on several occasions by Jayne Bradley, HBS Midlands rep, with her Clydesdale horse Prince. This year it was done by horse Polly (probably 3/4 Shire), owned by Jane Muntz-Torres, by arrangement with Jayne Bradley. Jane keeps Shires and cobs in the Midlands. Jane Muntztorres acted as crew on the HBS journey in 2008 to the IWA National at Autherley Junction, Wolverhampton. The team working with horse Polly also included Ed and Holly Parrott. The harness belongs to Jayne Bradley, and was copied from the set at the Black Country Living Museum, and is now on loan to Jane.< The boat was a BCN dayboat provided by Bernard Hales. Steerers were Bernard Hales or Francis Stapleton. Both men keep their joeys at the Black Country Living Museum. Francis provided his dayboat for Buddy to pull through Netherton Tunnel in its bi-centenary year. Something special about the occasion was the coming together of the 3 HBS area reps for the first time at an event where horseboating was taking place: Sue Day as Northern rep, Jayne Bradley as Midlands rep and Rick Muir as Southern rep. [caption id="attachment_56" align="alignnone" width="480"] The towpath is narrow beside the locks, but Polly coped well, especially considering how crowded it was with all the visitors. Photo: Rick Muir[/caption]
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