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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Ellesmere Port Waterways Museum and not that fisherman again!

Wednesday 27th

We made it to Ellesmere Port after a 90 minute cruise. The start of the day was glorious and the sun streaming through the curtains got us both up early so we pulled pins around 8.30am. The day was  sunny but warm it was not. If only that icy wind would drop the day would have been very pleasant. Seems odd to be wrapped up in winter woollies and it being nearly May.

Stanlow refinery dominated the skyline

Modern sculptures on the approach to Ellesmere. Of a fishing nature because of the Port perhaps?
On arrival at the Port not a single mooring free. All we could do was wind and then head out beyond the bridge to stop. An offside mooring with picnic tables seemed a good enough place but we had difficulty in getting right into the side. Had a couple of feet to jump to land on terra firma but with Ian's helping hand landed safely.

A very reasonable price of £5.40 for concessions got us into the Waterways Museum and with plenty of things to see, we thought it good value for money. The historic boats were a sad sight, many lying in rows forlorn but not forgotten partly submerged in the water. Whether they will ever be restored all depends on funding. One boat that had been restored was Ilkeston and we were able to view the cabin interior. The 4 Porters cottages taking you through the ages from the 1920's to 1950's, with the changing interiors as the decades passed, brought back some nostalgic memories. Plenty of exhibits to view and we spent a good 3 hours wondering round.

Ilkestons back cabin

Flotilla of historic boats

 A very important historic boat in the process of being conserved was the Mossdale, an old wooden Mersey Flat.

We would have stayed overnight but didn't fancy being outside the museum boundary. Not knowing what the area was like we decided leaving for a rural mooring the best plan of action. So we upped and a-wayed to moor back at bridge 131. On route we saw our nasty Old Git fisherman again. Think he must have taken root as he was back in the same place as yesterday. This time we coasted past not wanting to have abuse hurled at us again. I made a concrete effort to engage him in conversation by saying hello and mentioning the weather. Not a word or a glance came our way just a shake of his head. Oh well some people just like to be grumpy.

And more photos of the museum,

View across the Manchester ship canal and Mersey

Canal basin

Concrete Barge

Locks still in use to the lower basin

Dark skies a looming.

These maybe beyond saving.

Look at that snow yonder and it's the end of April

Below is Friendship an unconverted horse drawn boat, built in 1925 by Sephtons of Sutton, Coventry, for Joe and Rose Skinner who lived and worked on her until 1959. They mainly carried coal from the East Midlands to destinations on the Oxford Canal; for about twenty years to the Morris radiator works at Oxford; and then until their retirement to the Dairy at Banbury. Joe was a lover of animals and was not interested in having his boat motorised. She has been on display in the Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port since 1981, where she is under cover with one side opened for display.

Exert taken form the the history of Friendship An interesting article about the pair is on the 'Canal Junction' Friendship remembered and well worth a read. 

Jo and Rose Skinner

Butterfly seen in one of the boilers trying to get out. It was too far in to be able to rescue

Grebe on the Manchester Ship canal.


Carol said...

Hi Irene, you may be interesting in the following links - we were lucky enough to be moored in Ellesmere basin when Mossdale was being refloated in 2013



Carol, Still Rockin'

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks Carol. Wow! I wondered how she was refloated.You were lucky to be there when that was happening. A very worthwhile project to keep this old boat in the public eye.Xx

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