(THIS DIARY ENTRY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED ON 25/3/2012)
Here's a great shot by Cliff Astles showing narrow boats on the Trent & Mersey canal at Croxton in the early Spring sunshine.
Cliff tells us:
The photo was taken on the Trent & Mersey and the boats shown are heading towards Northwich and have just passed the Croxton Lane tip and the aqueduct over the River Dane. Close by is the 'boat's graveyard' and a large flash, or lake. We called it 'Swan Lake'.
It's a very good spot for families with children, particularly at this time of year when there are many wild birds nesting. The house in the background is the one featured in your articles about the Croxton Lane weir or 'water fall' (Croxton Hall Farm - Ed).
As you know water from the Dane was used to run a mill for the for the grinding of flint to be transported by canal to Stoke-On-Trent where it was used for glazing pottery.
After this entry was first published on 25th March, we received this comment from Kerry Dainty which tells us all about the boats in Cliff's photo:
My Dad is steering the lead boat (Ariel, a 1935 Midlands & Coast Canal Carrying motor boat) and my boyfriend is steering the butty boat (BCN 108, an 1883 Birmingham Canal Navigations Day boat, affectionately known as 'Joe'.
Both boats are currently working as part of Longford Canal Services and Linnet Shipping.
Many thanks to Kerry for this valuable information - Ed
Here's another picture, also by Cliff, showing the helmsman on that second boat. It's wonderful to see a boat like this still doing the kind of job it was built for:
ROVING CANAL TRADERS' ASSOCIATION - LONGFORD CANAL SERVICES
(you may like to Google LINNET SHIPPING. We found a link, but unfortunately it was not working)
You can see more of Cliff Astle's photography here
SEE ALSO: CROXTON LANE CANAL BRIDGE 1970s
CROXTON WATER FALL (follow the links to the associated entries)
First published 25th March 2012
Amended and re-published 28th March 2012
Reformatted and re-published 25th March 2018