The 63ft six serth narrowboat is now stationed at Bosworth Marina for anybody wishing to book with us at https://midlandmallard.com
About The Midlands!
The Midlands Geography
The Midlands is an area centrally located within England, part of the UK. It currently has no designated administrative area , it therefore, lacks any strict definition. However, it is generally considered to include the counties of Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire. Being as far inland as it is possible to be, the Midlands generally has a temperate climate with generally calm winds and warm summers.
History of the Midlands
The Midlands is considered to be the historical heartland of the Industrial revolution which came about during the period between 1760 and 1820. Incidentally, this period coincides exactly with the reign of King George III. During this period, hand held tools and the human workforce began to be replaced by steam driven machines which were more reliable and could work around the clock. Machines based around the James Watt steam engine were changed to incorporate a circular motion thus replacing the piston motion engines of the past. This enabled industry to create production line systems. Due to these changes, and due to the large number of factories making textiles and popular products of the time, this made the Midlands a significant contributor at the cutting edge of the industrial revolution.
The Midlands Canal Network
The midlands canal network first came into being in the 18th century and was “Cut” to provide transport for the growing pottery industries around Staffordshire and the West Midlands. It was created to provide a more efficient and faster route for commercial goods to be transported. The Midlands Canal Network formed a major navigational highway through the period of Industrial revolution. Canal boats were mainly pulled by horses which travelled on the “Tow Path” built next to the canals. Horses were later replaced by on-board mechanised systems, which again were brought about by changes in the James Watts Steam engine. Some of the steam powered boats can still be seen today making their way up and down the Midlands Canals but are mainly kept under wraps and reserved for special boating events. Most of the canal boats are now powered by even more efficient propulsion methods such as Diesel engines and even hybrid petrol engines using silent electric motors. Later, around 1840, the steam powered train network came into being and began to threaten the very existence of the canal network as transport times were quicker. By 1850, nearly two thirds of the produce previously carried by canal was now being transported by rail.
Things to see and do on the Midlands Canal Network
There are many relics of the industrial revolution to observe throughout the Midlands Canal Network. There are many things to do whilst navigating the Midlands canal network not least of all the pubs and restaurants that festoon the tow paths. Ironically, what had become the bane of the Midlands Canal network inadvertently became it saving grace. As the steam engines rolled on to become the highway of its day , the canal network was allowed to rest and mature. Where once stood a dirty trodden towpath may now contain a woodland. Where once upon a time industry had created pollution, there are unspoilt waters containing large fish. In fact, the water now houses some very weird and wonderful creatures indeed. For example, during the 1990’s, children watching T.V programmes like the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (As it was called in the UK) went out and purchased Terrapins from their local pet shops. Once the children became bored of the turtles and moved onto something more adult, those turtles were discarded into the Canal Network and, survive in parts, to be the size of dinner plates. This is why the Midlands Canal network is worth exploration and why we hope you will enjoy the freedom and adventure that it will bring to you.
You may be wondering where the pictures of boats are on the website!
Fear not, the pictures will be on the website shortly please bear with us.
Will I receive training on a Canal Boat Holiday?
To make your stay as comfortable and relaxing as possible you will receive face to face training and one clear document that will help guide you through your holiday, everything from how to steer the boat to how you make the beds up. You will also receive hands on training as there are some things that will be easier to show you. We will also point you towards the most helpful of tutorials either on line or on DVD before your stay.
There are various ways in which you can prepare for your canal boat holiday, one of which is to watch the “Youtube” video of the “Boaters Handbook DVD” which should help you understand the basics of boating life. This can be viewed by clicking the following button
The Ashby Canal is a Lock free canal so there may only be a few instances that require you to use the on-board winding / lock keys and this will also be explained as a matter of course.
You will receive training before and during your stay on the Narrowboat in the following areas…
1) Safety – How to stay safe when on-board and off the boat.
2) Gas – How to operate the cooker and gas bottles.
3) Waste Water – An explanation on where it goes and how to empty the holding tanks.
4) Fire – Where to find the Fire Blankets and Extinguishers.
5) Heating – Heating controls and operation.
6) Toilets – How to Operate.
7) Electrical – Where they are located and how to keep batteries charged.
8) Sleeping – How to make up the beds and how to configure the layouts.
9) Alcohol and Drugs – An explanation of your requirements whilst in charge of the Narrowboat.
10) Points of interest – Where to eat and drink and other points of interest.
You will also learn how to open and maintain the weed hatch which is located at the back end of the boat just in-case you pick up any obstructions in the water.
A basic Android tablet with the canal route app will be provided on all rentals. This app will allow you to view places nearby in greater detail and will give you a GPS location. In the event of an emergency whereby we have to reach you it will be easier to locate you with this app.
When Hiring a canal boat in the Midlands you will have access to the main artery of the canal network so if you are staying for a while the whole network is accessible.
A Canal Boat holiday on the Ashby canal is the perfect introduction to narrowboat life.
Lets hope 2017 is a great year and the weather stays good for a canal boat holiday on the Ashby Canal.
May your 2017 wishes come true.
Happy new year from MidlandMallard.
Thank you for choosing your holiday with Midland Mallard. No matter which boat you’ve hired or the length of your trip, we’re sure that you’ll have a fantastic time cruising the cut around this largely rural and beautiful part of the country.
Based at the new luxury marina at Market Bosworth, MidlandMallard canal boat holidays will be hiring out a new Narrowboat which will be available from the beginning of the year. Your stay with us will allow you to cruise the Ashby canal network in the beautiful Leicestershire countryside in luxury.
You may even wish to stay in and around the historic town of Market Bosworth, the final battle scene for King Richard iii which is just a few short minutes from the Marina. The Ashby canal actually runs through the old battle lines and there is a visitor centre which is also free. Why not check out the Historic railway or just meander through the countryside which is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and boasts a great many species of wildlife.
However you wish to spend your time holidays won’t be the same again having spent time relaxing and enjoying the scenery around the beautiful Midlands countryside with Midland Mallard Canal Boat Holidays on the Ashby Canal.
We aim to make your visit to the historic Ashby canal network a peaceful and interesting affair so we will be kitting out your boat with all the mod cons including a canal navigation app provided free with every boat hire and WIFI. This app provided on a 7″ tablet will ensure you miss nothing whilst steering the boat down the Midlands canal network.
There are many places to visit on the canal network including some lovely pubs and cafes or if you wish to just relax and watch the hills roll by you can!
Canal Boat Holidays on the Ashby Canal with MidlandMallard will fill you with joyful satisfaction and not least of all knowledge of our historic waterways!
Please feel free to ask any questions you wish by using our comments section below..
Happy Xmas from us at MidlandMallard.
Living on a narrowboat can be a daunting challenge for even the most hardy outdoorsy types but fear not….
Over the past few months I’ve been following the exploits of David Johns, an ex Jounalist who decided to pack it all in and go buy a canal boat to live on.
With no real experience of life on a narrowboat David set about recording (via a series of videos) his experiences from buying a boat to reconditioning a cassette toilet.
During his Vlogs David meticulously explains in his usual engaging manner all of the trials boat life throws at him from lock challenges to tunnel scrapes not to mention the magical chimney submarine.
If you want to know anything about canal boats David will guide you through it with energy and vigour. Check his Vlog out at www.cruisingthecut.co.uk
Thanks my bearded friend Dave Vennor for this great picture of a Shoveler at Sunset…
Keep those Ducks coming Dave great pics! I owe you a cup of tea!
Happy Xmas from Midland Mallard the home of great canal boat holidays.
The Battlefield Line Market Bosworth.
Why not visit Market Bosworth’s old steam train ticket office and book yourself on a journey to Shackerstone. Tickets are around £5 “Bargain!
Below is a picture of the old Victorian train station near Bosworth Marina and beneath that is the still working engine.
Old Steam Train at Market Bosworth…
Shackerstone is known as the home of the Battlefield Line Railway, a preserved steam and diesel museum, that runs trains to Bosworth Battlefield. The railway came to Shackerstone in 1873 and continued providing passenger services until 1931 after which only freight ran on the rails of the Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway. The line was finally closed by British Rail in 1970. The Railway society has since restored the station and reopened the line to Shenton Station the terminus for Bosworth Battlefield.