Boat owners who have not been able to get their boats back to their home moorings because of the breaches on the Trent and Mersey Canal have been taking some interesting and lengthy diversions, many joining convoys arranged by the Canal & River Trust (CRT) along the Manchester Ship Canal.

Recently sixteen ABC Leisure Group holiday hire boats took the long way home to their Anderton base, situated between the two breaches, along the Manchester Ship Canal from Ellesmere Port to Weston Point and up the River Weaver and the Anderton Boat Lift.

Crews consisted of some company staff but were mainly from ABC’s private boat owner moorers.  The run along the ManchesterShip Canal and up the Weaver was completed in record time as the whole flotilla could just fit into the big locks.  CRT staff assisted in the operation.

When the breaches occurred within a few weeks of the end of the season ABC’s Anderton-based hire boats used a temporary operating base at Middlewich, hirers could not be transferred to other of the company’s bases as all boats were fully booked.

ABC’s Anderton Marina manager John Cunliffe, told us that they had excellent help from Middlewich-based companies Middlewich Narrowboats and King’s Lock Boatyard, without which they couldn’t have achieved this.

During the final week of holiday operation hirers returned their boats to the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port to await this return voyage to Anderton.

Thanks to Harry Arnold and Waterways Images for this report and images.

All materials and images © Canal Junction Ltd. Dalton House, 35 Chester St, Wrexham LL13 8AH. No unauthorised reproduction.

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