Ready to Birmingham's Floating Market (just)
Its hard to believe that its just a month ago that we took delivery of the Montgomery - so much has changed!
I do have a bad habit of setting myself overly stretching targets and the preparation of The Jam Butty is a prime example. Originally we were thinking about the Black Country Boating Festival in September as a probably launch event but then along cane the Floating Market and the schedule was advanced.
I figured I could get it done but has no idea how close it would be. I have spent most of my spare time working on the butty and crucially we managed to arrange for the sign writing this week.
This week I spent Friday and Saturday on the task and progressed to the point that the butty is fit for purpose, albeit with quite a lot of bits and bobs to be finished off later on
Most of Friday was spent constructing an adjustable floor which allows the trading platform to operate at 6", 12" and 18" above the waterline, depending on the height of the adjacent towpath. The floor rests on two side rails held up with cut down lock gate bolts rescued from the skip at the Bradley works and the middle rests on the top plank. This top planj rests on a ladder like contraption at the front end and Dan came up with the idea of an extendable box within a box to offer a stable and sturdy adjustable rear support.
The raised floor at max height
Saturday was then a day devoted to painting and the manufacture of some sheeting to cover the hold. I recycled the heavy duty tarp used to protect the paint from the rain and fashioned side cloths which look rather stylish when raised. Then there is the main tarp which goes over the top and provides most of the protection.
I also fixed the security bolts to the cabin and the attachments for the front fender.
The paint on the bow flashes is a bit of a nod to Ernie Thomas, who ran a huge fleet of day boats and was the founder of the basin there we moor. He used two yellow crescent moons and a squashed diamond shape in the middle but in his case the background was red, not green as I have used. I dont suppose anyone will ever notice this but its a nice touch I think.
The Jam Butty, coming to a canal near you!
The elum (tiller) defeated me. It came painted Raddle Red and I simply ran out of time to get it completed. This aspect will have to be a work in progress for a few weeks.
So there we have it - The Jam Butty all ready for its first outing on Thursday when we head into Birmingham via the Wolverhampton 21. I have every expectation that it will be the head turner we plan as several of the moorers at Calf Heath have come over to me to show me their photos of Montgomery, almost as if its a new grandchild!