Real Ale Festival 2017 and Narrowboat Hire

This years Market Bosworth Rail Ale festival is nearly upon us!  Why not spend the weekend living on-board our luxury narrowboat just a stones throw away from the annual festival based at the Market Bosworth steam train station?

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Real Ale Festival 2017

Serving up 80 Real Ales
Over 30 Ciders & Perries
Pimms Bar
Featuring Steam Trains
Live Entertainment – Dr Busker and Natalie Nightingale
Traction Engines
Morris Dancers
Hot/Cold Food
Children Welcome

Book a six berth narrowboat with friends or family and enjoy the festival.  Or why not take a steam train up and down the Battlefield line and visit the historic site of Bosworth Battlefield?

Click here to contact us and book your stay for three nights four nights or a full week.

The Midlands Canal Network

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.

Pictures

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Xmas MidlandMallard.

Happy Xmas from us at MidlandMallard.

Living on a Narrowboat

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

Xmas Quackers

Thanks my bearded friend Dave Vennor for this great picture of a Shoveler at Sunset…

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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.

 

Market Bosworth Steam Train

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.

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Old Steam Train at Market Bosworth…

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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.