There were other things beside boats.

There were other things beside boats.

I visited the event on 3 May, a Saturday and hence a shopping day and therefore, I imagine, less people would visit. I was right! So some realistic historical photos were possible.

In fact, I reckon there were three or four times as many Black Country Living Museum staff and tug boat exhibitors than visitors. Good! So I can get some photo shots which, with the early 20th century backdrop of buildings, depict perhaps what it was like in those days for tug boats towing and shunting day boats or “joeys) (powerless carrying boats). I was not disappointed.

The sunny and warm weather was also conducive to bringing the canal scene to life and esoteric beauty for canal aficionados.

A total of 15 tug boats were present from local and distant sources. Their build dates dated from 1880  (Coventry) to 1954 (Nanson).

In addition there were 10 day boats and “joeys”.

The tug boat pros showed great skill in maneuvering their towed joeys and day boats around the site. One chap decided to show his skills in reversing his tug to tow his “joey” into its mooring location and having to navigate a right angle turn en route. Impressive, and no doubt necessary in some situations, but extremely difficult to do.

One thing I learnt while watching the action was that whatever it takes to make a manoeuvre – poling, legging, pushing and pulling by hand and foot – is used to coax the wayward vessels to eventually move in the required direction.

You can get a flavour of the action from  the gallery below.

(How to Get the Most Out Of the Photos.)