Kirkintilloch Canal Festival

Horse drawn boats were a part of the Kirkintilloch Canal Festival, on the Forth and Clyde Canal on Sunday August 30th, 2009.

The Clydesdale horse Ben had attended a horseboating training day with his owner George Robertson held on June 17th in preparation for the festival. The training day involved 3 HBS members Sue Day (HBS chairperson), Tim Lucey (HBS Scottish rep) and Richard Davies (festival co-ordinator). On this occasion the local motorboat Janet Telford was pulled by Ben, using a bridle at the bow to help the crew control the steering of the boat in the absence of a large rudder. It rained constantly!

Ben tows motorboat Janet Telford at Kirkintilloch. Photo: Tim Lucey

At the Kirkintilloch Festival, Ben pulled three different boats, one at a time, each with the mast lowered. These were White Wing, the 1919 vintage fishing boat, Wee Spark, a one-third scale Clyde Puffer and a steel yacht based on the design of a Dutch inshore fishing boat – complete with lee-board. Again the bridle system was in use to help steerage. Ththe fishing craft would have been horsedrawn when on the canal in the past. A crowd of interested onlookers can be seen watching from the bridge. The sun shone down (well, at least the rain stayed off until mid-afternoon)!

Tim Lucey, HBS’s Scottish representative, went along to keep an eye on things!

Fishing boat being horsedrawn at Kirkintilloch Festival. Photo: Tim Lucey

See Gallery section for more photographs.

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