Friday, 20 September 2013

1946 tractor to the rescue of stemmed-up 1951 tug

As things were winding down at the Black Country Boating Festival I was taking a last look at some stands. By the Boshboil Branch I saw that the old Fordson tractor, which I'd been admiring earlier, was on the move.

It wasn't going far. At the end of the arm was Nansen II, a 1951 tug built by Yarwoods of Northwich. I don't know how long this boat had been here, but now it was held fast by the mud. Another boat had tried snatching it free, but without success.

Now it was the turn of the tractor (click on link for an account of its restoration).

I think the tractor would have been up to the task, but, sadly, the stern line was not.

It broke three times; Nick Wolfe was on hand to retie the ever shortening rope.

Despite our efforts (I helped to rock the boat when not taking photos) Nansen II behaved like a true stuck-in-the-mud and would not budge.

Time for the big boys!

It just so happened that a JCB was on site. A strap was attached between a dolly on the boat and the JCB ...

... and in seconds the arm was extended, the mud released its grip, and the boat was free.

And that was that!

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