Lived on-board Hadar

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Horse Boating in the sun.

Good afternoon.

I have spent a fabulous morning taking photographs of the 'Butty' Angel being legged through Braunston Tunnel and then the butty was pulled along by a beautiful horse named Gypsy Queen. It was so wonderful to see. It made me ponder about how they used to do boating all those years ago.
It took the leggers about an hour and half to leg through Braunston Tunnel, all 2042 yards, 1867 metres. They certainly needed their weetabix this morning.
Gypsy Queen pulled the Butty Angel out of the lock and on to the next lock down the flight. There is something so majestic about this form of transport. It would have been so peaceful on the cut in those days.


Unknown said...

This kind of boating is nothing like what I experience aboard Steadfast. "Leggars"? are these people paid to "walk" you thru the tunnels? I have seen the horse mode was used in pioneer days and is re-enacted in "Canadian Pioneer Village" every summer. Yes, a peaceful, quiet way to mosey down the river.

Keith Lodge said...

Yes you are correct. Leggers were exactly that. A plank of wood was laid across the boat and 2 men would lie on this plank, head to head, and would then walk along the wall of the tunnels, hence the term "legger". The leggers would live close to the tunnel, and as such a new small village would develop around there, unless there happened to be an existing village close from which they could employ young men.