Thursday, 19 May 2011

An encounter with Saturn.

This morning we were getting ready to set off when a motor and butty hove into view, nothing special it seemed until they drew level,

the butty was Saturn, the last surviving Shroppie fly boat, built about 1906 she was used to carry perishable goods at speed, notice how fine her hull is compared to a normal narrow boat.

These boats worked non-stop, day and night, to their destination, crewed by the pick of the boatmen and with priority over other traffic. She was probably the ultimate development of the horse drawn narrow boat.

Jill even got to peer into her back cabin. As these were not family boats their back cabins were not as elaborately decorated as those, they lacked the feminine touches.

Actually there is little left of the original boat, perhaps just the iron knees and the question arises is she a restoration or a replica? I look at it this way, if she had remained in service instead of laying derelict parts would have been replaced as they wore out so by now all that would be left of the original would be the iron knees ergo she is still the original boat, just that years worth of repairs were all done at once. Faultless logic.
Once they had passed smartly through the lock we followed on and took a gentle trip down to Middlewich. It is lovely countryside but as a photo' of one field looks like any other I didn't bother.

Just took one of this delightfully Dutch Gabled cottage at Church Minshull, it must be one of the most photographed canal side cottages anywhere, but it is very pretty.
Now at Middlewich, shopping tomorrow, good old Tescos, and then? Who knows.

Watch this space..........

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