Article and images by Jonathan White
A ‘Gathering of Historic Boats’ took place in Audlem on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th July 2018.
On the Sunday the event accompanied the Festival of Transport held on the nearby Audlem Playing Field.
There were twenty-three historic and colourful ex-working canal boats from across the Midlands and North West.
Several of the boats made a special effort to get to Audlem due to canal closures – such as the embankment collapse near Middlewich in March, where the canal is expected to be reopen by Christmas after an investment of up to £3 million.
The boats were moored along the bottom three lock pounds of the Audlem flight of locks on the Shropshire Union Canal.
There was also an opportunity to board some of the boats.
Boats on display dated from the 19th century and 20th century, and included a BCN maintenance boat from 1889, fly-boat ‘Saturn’, working boat ‘Buckden’, and ‘Lindsay’ which first went into service in 1960.
There was also steam traction engine ‘Avellana’ on display.
The Canal & River Trust, which looks after and brings to life 2,000 miles of waterways, had an information stall at the event.
Despite a mixture of wet, windy and sunny weather over the weekend the event was attended by several hundred people.