Jump to content

Coombeswood Canal Trust D of E Residential

Featured Posts

I have just finished a week of boating on the BCN with the CCT/BCNS owned ex-GU pair Atlas and Malus. The primary work of the boats these days is undertaking Duke of Edinburgh Award Gold Award residential courses. Thankfully for me this qualifies as valid voluntary work for me to be able to take leave to skipper one of the boats for a week each year.

The trips require the crews of up to 10 young people to camp in the hold and make the best of the provisions they are given while learning to work as a team on helping to work the boats. They also spend a day helping out at the Black Country Living Museum. The itinerary involves starting at Hawne Basin on a Monday lunchtime and moving to the Black Country Museum where the boats are allowed to moor on the museum  arm and be exhibits for 36 hours while the candidates do their work in the museum.

On Wednesday lunchtime the boats are then moved to the Titford Pumphouse where the candidates spend the night. This involves working the pair up the Crow (Oldbury locks) which is challenging. Thursday is down the Crow and Smethwick locks to Birmingham for a visit to the Libarary and a look at the Staffordshire hoard followed by overnight at Icknield Port. On Friday it's back to base at Hawne and go home.

The boat skippers don't get to stay aboard as the youth workers that run the courses have to do that. Overall it's great fun and introduces young folk to boating (and the delights of the BCN) while developing them as people.

I am one of the least experienced crew on the boats and my co-skipper was also fairly inexperienced on the boats (even though he is a luminary in the BCNS). Hence it's also a learning experience for the skippers especially as I have spent much more time on the butty Malus than I have on Atlas in the past. Mistakes were made and no-one is under the pretense we are expert in the ways of moving working pairs. I did at least manage to turn the breasted pair at Old Turn junction yesterday and outside Hawne Basin this afternoon with an audience for both. Just for once the cock-ups were out of the gaze of the public.






  • Greenie 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You did the manoeuvre at old turn very well, especially as the hire boat coming out from the Farmers really got in your way.

Nice picture of my boat and my dog sleeping on the front!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

You made it back safely then. I'm sure it is a much valued experience for the D of E participants and they probably don't know how good or bad the crew are doing.

Possibly true but they are probably wise enough to know that when the motor turns left at a junction the butty shouldn't go straight on.

Overall though I sharpened up my rope work on the butty compared to last year but that bloody great motor doesn't go round corners like Vulpes. A couple of times it simply didn't go round at all on the Dudley No 2.

And we passed the Moomins on the Old Main Line and that's Vox Stellarum in the picture at Brum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.