Horseboating Society Update

HBS had a quiet horseboating year in 2015, due to Sue Day having to attend to family matters as a priority. Sue spent much of last summer 2015 and nearly all this winter 2015/2016 with her mother at her home in Suffolk. Sue writes:
“I have been far away from canals in Norfolk and Suffolk physically, and as a result, even mentally. There are no canals with towpaths for horse use in the area. I last visited home near Manchester in early May and have only just returned home 3 months later in time to prepare for appearance at the National Waterways Museum on Sunday August 14th.
“I am currently committed to helping my mother who has lost much of her eyesight due to age related macular degeneration. She is 94 and lives alone unless I join her.”
In 2015, we fulfilled various requests:
• horseboat Maria attended on the Lower Peak Forest Canal at the 150th anniversary celebrations of the opening of the railway in Marple, Cheshire. CRT chief executive Richard Parry steered Maria over the Marple Aqueduct and up some of the lock flight.
• horseboat Vixen took part in the annual Rochdale Canal Festival giving passenger rides.
• Horses at Work event day at the National Waterways Museum – harnessing demos and horseboating demos with horseboat Gifford
• various boathorse harnessing demos at waterway events
However the major project of horseboat Elland going around the South Pennine Ring had to be cancelled as it would have been very time consuming.
In 2016, HBS has been limited with our activities once again. However there have been several horseboating activities by others – like the Saturn Group and our Midlands HBS rep.
We still hope HBS will be able to be involved with horseboat Elland in some of the 2016 celebrations of the bi-centenary of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
The major activity will be in October, when motorboat Kennet will recreate the inaugural journey on the canal of 200 years earlier. Other boats are invited to join her on stretches, so let us hope Elland can do that, eg near Leeds – Bingley. Watch the HBS website and HBS emails for dates for any activities.

Busy time for Horseboating Society

The HBS has just had 2 lovely days on the Rochdale Canal on Aug 12th and 13th, travelling with horseboat Vixen from Todmorden up to the Summit and over it. Fine weather, good company, beautiful flowering heather on the Pennine hills, stunning scenery, Bilbo working really well, and plenty of appreciation from onlookers as usual. Through Locks 19 – 37. Vixen is moored below Lock 37 at the West end of the Summit at the Summit Inn.

However we still need crew for Elland on the Leeds and Liverpool. We had insufficient crew for Thursday Aug 15th so we are moving Elland on the following dates – Friday Aug 16th, Saturday Aug 17th. Getting into lovely countryside on these two days. Gargrave is charming too.

Vixen will be next used on Wed Aug 28th to introduce a small party of Portuguese equestrian children and their tutors to horseboating. They are visiting the Hebden Bridge Equestrian Centre on an exchange visit. Lynnette Crossley, HBS director, is funding this trip for the students.

Vixen will then be worked back to Hebden Bridge to be part of some filming going on at Hebden Bridge about the Rochdale Canal. The Llangollen horseboats are going to be involved too as the programme will cover 3 canals.

See Events page for dates for which crew are needed in August and September.