Friday, 2 May 2014

Ice Breaker - 29th April

Motored on to Sutton Wharf where we moored on the Official Landing Stage adjacent to the services and then walked up to the Bosworth Battlefield site. There is a large visitor centre with 8 separate rooms explaining the battle together with a restaurant and other interesting activities. A short walk takes one up to the memorial with a crown atop of a lance. Next to this is a board explaining the battle and a window through which you can look out onto what is thought to be the site of the battle between Henry Tudor and King Richard 111, a Plantagenet. There are also great views across the chequer board fields to Stoke Golding Church and Dadlington.

A Bosworth Battle

We returned via the disused railway line to the canal and thence back to Sutton Wharf where we decamped to the Cafe for Lunch. We had Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas and Ham, Eggs and Chips. Both were delicious and we were too full to have a pudding but  decided to take one of their large freshly made scones back to the boat for afternoon tea.

In the car park we spotted this modified Volkswagen emblazoned with “The Old Gasworks”

B Sutton Cafe

After lunch we travelled through Stoke Golding and moored up near Bridge 22. Jimmy and I walked across the fields and up the hill to the Higham on the Hill village stores for a paper and milk and passed their lovely church with fine views across open countryside.

C Higham on the Hill

Returning to the boat I chatted to the guy on the boat we had moored next to. The boat, Nb. Pelican is a 103 year old converted wooden Icebreaker which he has lovingly restored. It is made from Oak Planks on Oak Frames and  would have been pulled by 4-6 horses or it has even been known to have 16 horses pulling when the ice was very thick. The boat was designed to ride up on top of the ice and its weight and the rocking of the men on board would break the ice. The working boats would then follow on quickly behind before the ice had chance to re-freeze.D Pelican

The Icebreakers would work with ice up to 12 inches thick and the most dangerous aspect was if the boat should ride up onto the ice and it not break, as the boat would just carry on skidding across the ice endangering the men and horses working it.

Early on the boat was converted to a motor drive and an extra 3 feet counter added to the stern. It had several engines in its life but it is now fitted with an 11HP Bolinder single cylinder engine which had a choice of handle or cartridge starting.


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