In 2017 the Rally is returning to Stourbridge. The dates are 19th to 23rd July. The location is the Bonded Warehouse, at the end of the Stourbridge Town Arm. Our hosts are the Stourbridge Navigation Trust.
Stourbridge is synonymous with glass, so appropriately one of our craft activities involves that material. This will take place at the Red House glass cone, it involves working in the glass fusing studio to design and decorate a glass tile with Bullseye glass. Participants will also be treated to a guided tour of Red House and a demonstration of glass blowing.
Slightly nearer the moorings is the Ruskin Glass Centre and Webb Corbett Visitor centre on Wollaston Road, Amblecote (access from the last bridge over the Stourbridge Arm). Formerly the factory for Royal Doulton, the site now provides workshops for a thriving community of craftspeople in both traditional and contemporary glassmaking, together with other crafts. You can learn about the history of glassmaking in Stourbridge and see the whole glassmaking process from start to finish, including blowing, cutting, kiln work, stained glass and lamp work. There is also an excellent café which serves an exciting and affordable menu of breakfast, snacks and hot lunch dishes, using locally sourced organic produce. This is open from 8.30 am (except Sunday and Monday).
Speaking of food, we are not providing breakfasts this year at the Bonded Warehouse. However we will be serving a Sunday tea to provide you with sustenance for the Register AGM.
The Friday craft session is production of shiny greetings cards. The shiny bit comes from old CDs, so bring a few of those with you. On Sunday morning you can try some bomb making. No, not the explosive type but bath bombes! A popular session will be that on Friday afternoon when Keith Hodgkins will show more of his extensive collection of aerial photos of Black Country canals (and railways). For the technical workshops, we are running Cylinder Heads again by popular demand. Hopefully we will have a session on lubrication oils and a practical introduction to scumbling (wood graining). The one big change from previous rallies is that we will start on Wednesday evening. The opening event is a buffet, this will be held in the function room of the Duke William on Coventry Street. Note, because of licensing restrictions we can not accommodate under 18’s at the buffet – sorry. Thursday is a rally whole day out – a visit to the Severn valley Railway. Travel from the Town station on what the locals call the tram to Stourbridge Junction, then by train to Kidderminster. There is plenty of time to travel on the SVR steam trains to Bridgnorth and to include a visit to the Engine House exhibition at Highley or the riverside town of Bewdley. After the rally is a Black Country convoy cruise. Ian McKim Thompson is arranging this. It includes visiting Dudley Tunnel on the trip boat with a meal at the Gongoozler restaurant at the Portal at Tipton Also a visit to the current terminus of the Dudley No2 canal at Hawne basin, where a barbeque is planned. The final destination is the town arm at Walsall, where we spend two nights. Visits to the excellent New Art Gallery and other museums are setup for the day. Hence the aim to pack two Town Arms with RN boats, Stourbridge one weekend and Walsall a week later! The rally bar will as usual feature several local real ales – some brewed less than a mile from the warehouse.
Finally, just a reminder that is our tradition we have a raffle. Please bring along anything suitable as raffle prizes.