Canal Boat - - Feature -

Get­ting a loaded boat started from a lock was hard work for a horse. Pul­leys could make it eas­ier – and de­vices pro­vided for this pur­pose can still be found. This pic­ture from the Worces­ter & Birm­ing­ham shows a ‘block­ing hook’: a loop on the end of the towrope would be hooked over this, the rope would run back to a pul­ley at­tached to the boat’s tow­ing mast, and then to the horse – giv­ing a two-to-one ad­van­tage. Af­ter the first few yards, a tog­gle on the rope would lodge against the pul­ley, the rope would slip off the hook as the boat passed it, and the horse would carry on tow­ing the boat as nor­mal.

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