Birdswood – The Year In Review (2015)

Birdswood - the year in review

Birdswood, Cromford, Derbyshire,UK

MARCH 2015

It was good to see someone again after a long cold winter. I was beginning to wonder if I’d been forgotten about. Some of the nice ladies spent a day giving me a full scrub down and all my brass was polished. The old life rings were replaced with some Orange ones too, funny colour I think… With Easter coming that meant just one thing…My old friend Chelsea the Horse would be back. To my delight the people organised a practice run so I got to say hello sooner than I had thought. This went well and I felt new people steering me. I could feel them shaking in their boots! The season kicked off with a special trip for Mother’s Day and the warm fuzzy feeling began to grow inside me again as I started to please everyone.


It’s still cold out here but at least we are seeing lots of passengers and people are happy. Easter was the first public Horse Drawn trips and Chelsea was in a really good mood. She seemed to have a real spring in her step. Approaching the Leawood Pumphouse I could see the black smoke billowing from the tall chimney and felt the slight rock of the swelling water beneath me. Up the steps came the men from the pumphouse who waved over towards me. They were filthy but I was good to see the familiar faces. Several people stopped to watch me arrive and drop the passengers off and I hesitated just long enough for them to get pictures of my good side!


The Vintage Austin Register came for a trip and arrived in their special cars. They were a beautiful sight all lined up in the car park. If I had known I would have had my brasses polished! The gentlemen were appreciative of my heritage and wanted to learn all about what I’d been doing through my life. Its great to hear people telling your story.  Oh My, the birds are super busy building nests and chatting away about the new children who will be joining them soon. One couple of Coots were saying how worried they were because last year they lost their young to the large pike. I overheard them talking about making a high bank in the water this year so the babies could climb out the water quickly if they needed to. It’s a great plan I think, such a cruel thing is nature…When I go past the nest of eggs and babies I slow down so I don’t disturb them, I do like to see the new babies around the water. Its turning into a beautiful canal again now as the flowers are starting to reappear and the colour is back in the trees and meadows.


The trees are green and the chicks are chirping….Such a wonderful time of year to be on the water. Where else would I be? The charters have increased and so have my days. I am now running 4 public trip days till the end of the summer. Father’s day. It’s so nice to see the love people have for each other and how they like to celebrate being parents. I took 12 lucky daddy’s on this special Sunday. There has been a lot of measuring of my window frames and they even took one out for a while, I felt very exposed! I wonder what they are up to now?


This is the busiest month for me as so many groups and organisations want to take a trip and have parties. The charters are different from the public trips because everyone knows each other and they all chat and laugh as we are going along. It creates a lovely atmosphere and a great advertisement for those missing out on the tow path. I was dressed up really nice by Vix who laid the tables with table cloths and added vases of carnations as a group had requested a Cream Tea trip. The ladies who joined us were so pleased I thought we would have tears.  A couple trips were complimentary to say thank you to the WRG’s….strange name but lovely people. The Waterways Recovery Group come along to help the Bosses restore the canal, one day I hope to get a bit further. It looks so pretty beyond the planks…..


I like August the best, the sun shines and lots of people come out to see me. The special treat is that I get to catch up with Chelsea twice! She allows me to have a rest and its such fun being pulled through the water at such speed. She’s got much more horse power than me! The whole month flies by with visitors from all around the world. Places that I’d not heard of before like New Zealand, USA, Spain and somewhere called Sussex….the people talked a while about secret tunnels and bottomless pits, sounds like a great place to explore. The month was a simple month apart from a water leak at the beginning. Sitting one lunch time between shifts the crew were saying that vandals had removed the end stop planks which retain the height of water I need to travel. I understand the impact of this has meant that the water levels will remain very low now as there isn’t enough rain to refill the canal. I just sat screaming at them because we have an active steaming pumphouse on the canal and that could bring us water. But as usual they can’t hear me. I do wonder about these humans sometimes!


And breathe!! That’s the busy times over and back to running just 3 public trips. We had a visit from the MCA and they asked lots of questions and looked around all my nooks and crannies, I didn’t mind too much till they asked to see my bottom! This will happen in November so I’ll fill you in soon about that. The best event this month was the Pirate day. Lot of children can with their adults dressed in costumes and we played games, I even hid the treasure for them. They searched for a long time and were happy to be rewarded with the chocolate coins. Our youngest passenger of the year joined us and I loved having little Tommy who was just 7 weeks old. He didn’t disturb us too much. Some of the little ones spilt sticky juice on my floor and one even fell asleep. I hope they all have special memories of this trip and come back soon.


Chelsea popped in the first weekend to work her magic and we had a chance to make plans for the end of the month. The World Heritage Site people have a special week called Discovery Week. Lots of events happen apparently and since coming to Cromford I was included in this. It’s a nice way to finish the season off as well.  I’ve been hearing about all the plans for a crane to come and lift me out, I remember the last time two and a half years ago. It tickles when they drag the straps under my belly but being hung in the air is really scary. The company, Walkers are very gentle with me for which I am grateful. I’m sure everything will go to plan and all be over sooner than I know it. I’ll finish now as I need to get my beauty sleep ready for all the disturbances I’ll have to put up with over the next few days. At least I still have Santa to look forward to. He always brings more fun and laughter.

2017-05-09T08:38:55+00:00January 17th, 2016|News|0 Comments

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