2013 Blog Continued from part ONE........................

August 4th 2013. Trimpley Vintage Rally.

Sunday August 4th.  I took the Morris truck with the blue Supercar on the back to the Trimpley Vintage Rally. Last year this show was cancelled due to the exssesive wet weather we had.  I got in at 9.45am and parked up along the other Commercials. The weather was windy with threating clouds to start with.

I did managed to get around the many car boot stalls that was on site before the rain started to come down, it just got wetter and wetter during the day.

Public were leaving and stalls were packing up due to the wet weather.

I felt sorry for Dave Spruce and his gang from the "Bridgenorth Vintage Machinery Club" who spent a lot of time and money getting this show together, but you can't do nothing about the Weather, can you !

It's like a scene out of the Key Stone Cops !....................ROAD HOGG !!!!!!

August 17th /18th 2013. I took the little Supercars to the Black Country Living Museum for the second time this year. Last time they came here I was driving them around in the Snow and freezing conditions ! Over this weekend the temperatures were around 20 deg celsus. (68 deg F) Which was a lot more comfitable. I arived on Friday lunch time, Unloaded the cars and opened up Broom and Conway Garage for somewhere to keep them over the weekend.

It's very handy to be able to keep the cars in this Garage sharing it with other Vintage Vehicles like Alex Broom's 1948 Sumbeam the Old 1928 Bean Lorry and the new addition of Ray Horton's 1938 Reo Speed Wagon along with my two 1935 Supercars.

As Saturday Morning dawned the weather report was poor to say the lease! Heavy rain showers was predicted during the day which was a shame as Friday was a lovely day with brilliant sunshine.

The whole day was dull and windy but with only a fine drizzle that came and went during the day. I did get chance to run the cars around inbetween the showers, hence to say the Museum didn't get many public around during the day. On the Saturday Night The BCLM had sold pre-booked tickets from 6pm till 10pm. I came back from home to run the cars around for them. There were allsorts going on around the Village, Jugglers, Fire eaters, Stilt walkers, fairground Organs, Steam Traction Engine, Pupet shows plus a Charlie Chaplin look-a-like who was entertaining the long cue of people outside Hobb's Fish and Chip Shop. I was giving free rides to young children around the Village all night untill it went dark.  

Sunday Morning came, and it was a lovley sunny day.  During Saturday I had been experincing clutch problems with the red car ? It's grabbing to early when taking up the drive ? So I stripped it down and made up some new stronger springs for it, this was a slow job but worth doing as I could road test the car after to see if I have it right or not.

We had a lot more people around today, after getting the the two cars running we drove them around the Museum most of the day giving children rides through and around the top Village. This was very popular as at one stage I had a cue of around 20 children waiting for a go !

The Children waiting there turn to have photo's taken sat in the Supercar.

Starting to Load Up...............

The Blue Supercar in front of the Musum's Vintage Speedway ride.

26th August. Arley Vintage show. A couple walking there dog having a good look at the engine compartment in the Morris.

26th August saw Bridgenorth Vintage Machinery Club put on a Vintage Show Event for all the Family.  Bright Sunshine greeted the day, with 21 deg temperature's and NO rain !

Unlike the Trimpley Show a few weeks ago.

A nice turn out of Vintage Cars, Commercials, Tractors, Motorbikes, Stationary Engines, Army Vehicles arived to fill the field full to bursting. The highlight of the day was the giant car boot sale with many bargins to be had (I know, I bought most of them )

31st August. Tipton Canal Clean Up. Just some of my motley crew !

From left to right. Peter Grove, Roger Adams, Chloe, Colin Bennet, Mick Price and Trevor White. all just struggled to pull out a supermarket trolly full of mud !

Saturday 31st August we had the Tipton Canal Clean up in ready for their Festival in a few weeks time. Members from the Dudley Canal Trust bought Bittell along with the joey boat to put all the rubbish. BCNS were also there with their Workboat "Phonix"

This coming month is what we call "Madness Months !" With Boat rallys every weekend till the end of October. (And some of November)

We all had a good day with sunshine and 21 deg heat, We pulled out scrap and rubbish from the Birmingham New Road Bridge hole checking all the bridge holes for underwater obsticles through to Tipton Green. At 1pm we all stopped for lunch which Tipton Community Association provided for us in the Fountain Pub (The Tipton Slasher) This was due to there Neptune Center having some work to it before their rally on 21st/22nd September. In the afternoon we brested Bittell up with the Joey Boat to clean all the weeds from around the wall of Death ! (Well that's what I nick Name it) It's a very famous wall that's been around for around 100 years. By 4.30pm we all packed up.


Phonix loaded up with trees and bushes heading for the skips.

Sunday September 8th at 10.30am. I had the job of towing Bittell and the Flying Scott Joey boat using the John C Brown electric Tunnel Tug to pull them both through the long

2 miles of Dudley Tunnel which took around 1 1/4 hours to do, we are on our way to the Black Country Boating Festival at Netherton.  This photo is taken from the Southern end of Dudley Tunnel (Note the headlamp in the distance) The tunnel gauge is set at this hight because that is the true level of the roof of the tunnel further inside, there is a 2" leaway on this gauge because of fluctuating water levels due to possible heavey rain fall and storms that might accure whilst traveling through the tunnel.

Tuesday September 10th 1.15pm.  After digging the tractor out from the back of my workshop and spending about to days servicing it and giving it a good clean it was ready for the trip back to Canal Cottage. So picking a dry gap in the weather I decieded to go for it. This Fordson Major E27N will only do around 7mph flat out which took around 40 minuits to do the 4 mile trip from the workshop in Lye to Canal Cottage in Dudley. This was to get things in place for the Black Country Boating Festival t Netherton this weekend coming.

Friday 13th September......I did the trip with the tractor from Canal Cottage to the event site at Netherton which took me 15 mins to do. It was a good job I took the tractor to this event as I had to tow a couple of boats up into their moorings in the Bosh Boil Arm which is pretty shallow in places !

Thursday 12th September. The Dudley Canal Trust's "Flying Scott" in the BBC2 Drama set in 1919 "Peaky Blinders"

This scene taken in the BCLM, where an man is executed at Dawn, he fall's into the bottom of the boat and taken through Dudley Tunnel. (Note, the made up cabin on the stern of the boat, )

September 14th/15th 2013. Black Country Boating Festival at Netherton.

Over the weekend of the 14th/15th September we had the BCBF Canal Rally held at Bumble Hole, Netherton. This year saw about 80 boats attend this annual event with plenty of stall holders and the usual table top sales. I took the Fordson tractor along with my Ford Coal Truck, Bittell, Flying Scott and Sagitta from D.C.T. The weather over the weekend played a major part in this show with the better dryer day on the Saturrday, many people took advantage of this and turned up in their thousands especially to enjoy the beer festival, By 3pm I wanted to go and have a pint and had to battle my way thorough the crowds to get to the bar ! But all day Saturday there were mumblings of     " let's do it now because we won't get a chance tommorrow because of this Storm coming in " !

On the Sunday, after the Forcasters had warned the nation that we were in for the big storm with 70mph winds and heavy rain all day ! It turned out to be a drizzly day to start with, moderate wind, the morning turned relativly dry, a few hundred brave people turned out to look around the event up till around 2pm when the wind started to gust followed by the rain that came and went. I had the job of organising the working boat parades each day, On the Sunday I picked up the deputy mayor of Dudley Margrart Aston and her son on Bittell to bring her into the show so she could do the presentations in the beer tent. Before I took the tractor home I had the job of pulling out the Tug NANSON which had been stuck in the mud up the end of the Bosh Boil Arm. Then drove home in the pouring rain ! I thought we were very lucky with the weather today, Al in all it could have been a lot worse !

21st/22nd September 2013. Bittell and Flying Scott at the Tipton Canal Festival.

The Third full weekend in September saw us at the Tipton Canal Festival. I took the Ford Coal Truck and parked it next to the Dudley Canal Trust's Gazebo who were running a Tombola stall to promote the boat trips into Dudley Tunnel. D.C.T were also running boat trips down to Dudley Tunnel for a £1 per head just to show people where we opperate from.

We also took Bittell and the Flying Scott which was moored right outside the Tombola stall. The weather over the weekend was good, with cool mornings and sun coming out during the afternoons to draw the crowds in, I'm not sure of numbers but I would think many thousands had a good look around the many boats moored up and the stalls that were situated around the site.  

Wednesday 25th September. Bought the Fordson up to the BCLM for it's first apperence there.

Wednesday 25th September 2013 I drove the Fordson Tractor from the Cottage at Parkhead up to the Black Country Living Museum in Tipton. The 2-Mile trip took me about 20 minuits to do. Roger Adams gave me a lift back to fetch the Ford Coal Truck which was also in my drive at the Cottage. That took a little quicker to do. I paked them both in the Rolling Mills down on the canlside to keep them both dry for the next six days. From Tuesday 24th September Nick Wolfe and myself starting cutting the weeds back on the off side of the canal arm so that the visiting boats could gain access to their boats when they come in. Thursday and Friday were fairly busy days, shuffling boats around in the right places as the visiting boats were arriving. By Friday night most of the boats were in place.


28th/29th September. The Working Boat Gathering at the BCLM.

A nice veiw of Broad St Bridge from the top of the Lime Kilns

During the weekend of the 28th/29th September it was the turn of the Black Country Living Museum to hold their Working Boat Gathering which is a Bi-Annual event. Over 59 Historic Boats were crammed into the Museum. My job this weekend was Harbourmaster, I had the job of making sure that everybody got their boat in place, which can be a problem due to lack of room ! It's like trying to get a quart into a pint pot !!

By Friday night ALL 59 boats were IN & setteled down for the night.

During the weekend we had allsorts of activitys going on like, BlackSmithing, Fender Making, Signwrighting, Craft Stalls, Tugs Towing Joeys around and a team of us Doing Loading /Unloading Demonstrations using the hand crane to load packing cases onto the boats off my Morris Truck then towing the joey boat out of the Museum using the tugs.

The weather over the whole weekend was great, with cool nights and sunny day's. Public came in their droves to see us perform.

During the same weekend I got the Fordson out to have a go at trying to pull the BIG cast steel Ships Anchor, to my supprise it moved it ! I'm not sure what it weighs but I would guess at around 10 tons !

We also had on show 7 Historic Commercial trucks on show around the canalside which gave more interest.

19th/20th October. Stourbridge Open Weekend at the Bonded Warehouse.

The third weekend in October saw us at the Bonded Warehouse for the 60th Anniversary. Around 60 boats filled the Stourbridge canal arm. Classic and Vintage cars, Traction engines,Fairground Organs and Stationary engines filled Canal Street. We had moved our boats Bittell and Sagitta down the 25 locks the weekend before. On the Friday (18th) I bought down my 1946 Fordson tractor, 1932 Ford A coal truck, 1960 Morris Commercial (With the 1935 Supercar on the back) and my 1961 Classic Porta-Fold Caravan. The weather was a bit strange for the time of year with the tempreture hovering around 16/17 deg c all weekend, the forcast was going to be bad to very bad threating thunderstorms and heavy rain, but as the weekend dawned on the Saturday we were treated to a nice/overcast warm day which realy bought out the crowds, I would think there were many thosands of public around all day until it started to rain heavy at 4pm which washed the end of the event out completly. Sunday, again the forcast was going to be bad but we were lucky again, with cloud and sunny spells with warm tempretures, which again bought out many people to look around, the rain started at 3pm which ment packing up in the wet weather !

2nd November. Just over 74 boats crammed into the Bonfire event.

The Weekend after the Stourbridge event saw us move Bittell via the Staffs and Worcester canal and up through Wolverhampton mooring up at the Black Country Living Museum doing the best part of 43 locks during the two days trip around. Tieing Bittell against the Flying Scott Joey we were in the right place for the following weekend.

Saturday 2nd November. Bittell and Flying Scott go to Smethwick, calling for some fuel at Caggys Boat Yard on the way and moore in the Engine Arm at Smethwick ready for the BCNS Bonfire Bash. Around 74 boats booked in here, Weather not that good with heavy rain showers plus high winds, the Marque was taking a good battering during Saturday.

Sunday 3rd November. Bittell and Flying Scott return from Smethwick via Netherton Tunnel and moore up at Parkhead Locks ready for next weekend.

Sunday 3rd November 2013. Just coming out of the two mile Netherton Tunnel heading back to Parkhead.

Saturday 9th November 2013.. Dudley Canal Trust Open Day at Blowers Green Pumphouse. (Bittell & Sagitta on show)

Saturday November 9th, Dudley Canal Trust with Groundworks organised an Open Day for the Public at Blowersgreen Pumphouse in Peartree Lane, Dudley. 11am till 3pm.

Activitys in the Pumphouse were, Face Painting, Lace plate making, sign wrighting plus artifacts on show. We also had Bittell and Sagitta on show. Plus Electra doing FREE boat trip's along the Dudley Number 2 Canal.

I took the Ford A Coal truck and the Whittiker Dodgem car. After re- modifing the workings of the Dodgem car, this was a good excuse to try it out on the car park of the Pumphouse. Alan Baker bought the Fairground Organ which was playing well all day to give a nice happy atmospheare around the place. 

Weather was raining most of the Morning till about luch time when it stopped and the Sun came out, unfortuatley we did not see many public turn out due to the time of year and the weather !

The 1932 Ford A Truck at the DCT Open Day......Blowersgreen Pumphouse.

Saturday 23rd November. Stone Street Square, Dudley for the Christmas lights switch on.

Saturday 23rd Novermber 2013. I took the Morris with the little Supercar on the back to Stone street Square in Dudley for the Town's Christmas light switch on, this year performed by the Lord Mayor of Dudley at 5.45pm.

I decieded to have a light show of my own by covering the Supercar and part of the truck with flashing rope lights powered by my genorator sat in the back.

The morning was a cold one with white frost everywhere. even some of the canal outside was frozen as it went down to minus 3 deg celsius last night, during the day time it came up to plus 5 deg ! but the day was dry, which is the main thing.

The Black Country Live Steamers were also there with about half a dozen engines all steamed up on show plus Len Cranes Showmans engine " ENDURANCE" was generating all lit up. Mick Price had bought his Scammell along as well. Steve Harbach bought his Fairground Organ and his 3" Showmans engine to put on show.

As it was starting to go dark at around 4pm you could see the lights better, by 5.45pm it was black enough to have the Mayor of Dudley to swich on the Christmas lights around the high street in Dudley.

Just a few of the Black Country Live Steamers in Action on Stone Steet.

ENDRANCE Generating in Stone Street Square.

Not to be out done Lee had his 4" Engine generating electricity to power his lights on his Showmans Engine as well.

Well, that's it for another year till we do it all over again in 2014......Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.