Saturday, 13 October 2012
Wool barge trip
The restored 'short boat', The Kennet, which I have mentioned before on my blog, recently made a historic 27-day journey from Liverpool to Saltaire along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, retracing the 200-year-old trade route along which wool used to be transported from the docks to the mill. It was to commemorate the third year of HRH Prince Charles' Campaign for Wool, intended to help, support and grow the wool industry. The barge was carrying three bales of wool, from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and picked up a fourth bale, of British wool, at Skipton along the way. The bales were unloaded at Saltaire and will be blended, scoured, spun and woven into Commonwealth tweed jacketing in West Yorkshire.
The boat's arrival time wasn't publicised and sadly I arrived too late to see the bales being unloaded. However, the boat remained moored in Saltaire for a while after, so I did get a photo. Typical of the broad barges that transported goods, The Kennet was built in 1947 specifically for trade on this canal and was fully refurbished this year, so that it now looks very smart again. It will be used as an educational and training resource along the Canal, to promote understanding of the history of our waterways and to teach traditional skills.