30 HP. Bolinder in the engine room of “Adder.”
Blowlamp is pointing at the “Hot Bulb Plug”.
The silencer is as big as the engine. Max.
The first canal boat’s to be fitted with engines to replace horses came
into existence in the early 1920′s.
Very quickly the Swedish Bolinder established a reputation for strength and reliability.
They were two stroking Semi Diesels of 9, 15 and 30 horsepower.
starting was by heating a steel bulb, like a sausage sticking out of the cylinder head,with a blow lamp until it glowed red. Then a spring loaded pin was pulled out from the front of the flywheel, a couple of priming strokes on the feed pump, and then a smart kick on the pin to spin the engine. Too much fuel and it could backfire and break your ankle, the thirty horse model could throw you against the cabin wall, or if you accepted the advice of the old boatmen you opened the double engine room doors and were shot out for a soft landing in the canal.
The drive was direct without any gear box, to reverse the boat you slowed the engine until nearly stationary and then reversed the injection position with a smart pull on the lever and the whole contraption reversed.The sound was marvellous and could be heard for miles, the huge single piston would shake the boat so you literally danced along the canal.
My 9hp Petter had a simple epicyclic gear for reverse and was very popular on the Severn. “Vesta” was equipped in 1935 with a twin cylinder National engine, still hand started with a decompressing crank handle. On a winters day I would finish up hanging out of the doors exhausted. This was the first boat with a dynamo for battery charging giving us electric lights to replace the oil lamps.
I also had a 9hp Bolinder which we used to run in the garden until I gave it to the boat museum, we could dance it up and down the drive on sleepers.
We were Bringing “Adder” through Wolverhampton when the water flow failed with leaves sucked through the filter.We had to remove the cylinder head and scour out all the water ports. To keep the cylinder clean we stuffed it with a large sack. By the time we finished reasembling the engine it was dark and just as Eric lit the blowlamp I asked if he had removed the sack.”I thought you had done it” was the response, “Oh well here goes” After an extra ten minutes on the blow lamp he gave it a mighty kick, followed by a masive bang and Wolverhampton saw its first atomic cloud emerging from the vertical exhaust pipe. It was another twelve months before we opened it again.
A few Bolinders came here before the First World War, Cadbury’s were
very forward thinking and may have used one.
The first motor boats had the engine on the cabin top with the shaft over the boatmans head to an outdrive in the rudder, a lethal set up in every way. There were dozens of steam boats but with heavy engines,large boilers and the coal, half the boat was taken away from cargo carrying.
The soot in the tunnels was terrible and had to be swept with brushes the diameter of the tunnel. Max.
In the Tardebigge, Bromsgrove dry dock having new Elm bottom planks, stacked in the hold, fitted.
Max surveying Petter engine.
The old Landrover looks like it has seen better days, could those rear tyres be nearing replacement?
1935 National 2D in Vesta’s engine room.
This shows the progress in 20 years of motor boats. Max
Riverside Avenue of Limes at Pitchcroft.
A pleasant hour can be spent along the riverside, observing holidaymakers cruising up and down in a huge variety of boats, there are seats provided if you need a rest. A favorite spot for fishermen.
The Limes provide shade in summer and shelter from the rain.
The riverside track has become quite muddy after the recent rains, a little maintenance wouldn’t go amiss.
26/09/07 Have just been informed by City parks department that a hard surface will be provided on this track within the next three months. Will post a photograph if this happens.
Looking upstream towards the Boathouse.
Barbourne brook terminates upstream of the Boathouse. The old Keepax ferry is in the centre of picture.
The racecourse is irrigated with a sprinkler system, trouble is can also sometimes water the walkers.
China waste was dumped on Pitchcroft when the old Worcester Porcelaine factory was closed, this material gives excellent drainage and provides a good turf.
The Swan at Worcester.
The well supported Swan Theatre opened in 1965 is run by a small staff of professionals and over 200 volunteers. This successful theatre provides entertainment from Shakespeare, to musicals and contempory productions. The Swan adjoins Pitchcroft, but is accessed from Severn Terrace and the Moors.
Viaduct from Pitchcroft.
Footpath improvements at Pitchcroft. (November 04)
In order to facilitate construction of a new tarmacadam surfaced footpath, several Limes were recently felled, adjoining car park on Pitchcrofts eastern side.
The new walkway has been given an ornate iron fence to separate it from car park
The path, which begins at the main entrance gates, leads to the northern end, and finishes near waterworks road. Although the rough track near the riverside is still of the compacted earth variety.
A number of replacement Lime trees have been planted to eventually compliment existing avenue.
Worcester racecourse is the oldest in Britain, horse racing on Pitchcroft, began in 1705.
In Todays Worcester News 8/3/06, Headlines state 18 days to build a new Pitchcroft.
A huge 1 million pound revamp of existing Grandstand, refurbishing and installing CCTV. cameras. 100 new stables will be constructed. The old Trainers and Owners bar will be replaced with new.
Do not know how this will benefit other Pitchcroft users.
It is unlikely to happen nowadays as the power stations and sewage works warm the water. Max.
The old Grandstand Hotel was built in 1823 and demolished in 1974.
The present Grandstand opened in 1976 is on the site of the old hotel. Worcester City Council planned to build the new one, twisted to line up with the racecourse but were stopped when it was pointed out that they didn’t own the Common. Arena Leisure, who run the horse racing facility is only supposed to run 12 winter race meetings annually. Twelve annual meetings is an ancient right, they have run 17 summer events for the past two years and 20 this year. The ratepayers are entitled to an annual haycrop of some value so all racing should stop by April 1st. Arena should be penalised. The Civic Society should stop this abuse. Max.
Did a German Bomber make the big hole on the riverbank?
John Phillpott wrote this article in Worcester News June 16 2007
I bumped into a boater by the name of Andy the other day and he came up with this interesting little snippet.
There is a lagoon cut into the riverbank just below the Slip at Barbourne known as the bomb hole.
I’ve always thought that this bay was far too large to be caused by an explosion-but in fact, this is exactly how it stated life.
Apparently, a German plane followed the line of the Severn to make a bombing run on the old power station, which used to stand near the main River Bridge.
The pilot must have loosened one bomb prematurely, for it fell way short and blew a gap in the bank.
This was subsequently enlarged by the landowner and became a marina of sorts.
I’ve always believed that the only bombs to fall on Worcester during the Second World War were during the infamous Meco raid. If you know anything about the origins of the Bomb hole, please write into the letters page.
Max replied with this factual information.
Letter to the Editor from Max Sinclair.
Hole in riverbank not caused by a bomb.
A very large willow tree collapsing in the 1940 flood (Seven Days, June 16) caused John Phillpotts “Bomb Hole” in the riverbank below the Northwick slip.
As it twisted out of the ground, its large root ball carried several tons of soil with it into the river.
It then rolled down river to the city Road Bridge,
The Army was called in to destroy it with explosives, as there was fear the bridge would collapse.
Mr Morris from Pitchcroft subsequently excavated the site to create boat moorings.
The only bombs north of Worcester were a stick of three in a field at Hindlip, which caused me to fall off a chair in my Ombersley Road home.
Â Lower Broadheath.