Wool by Water

It is a good many years since any commercial cargoes of wool where carried by canal into Whaley Bridge, if ever?

For the next couple of days, Friday and Saturday, 6-7th August things are changing as a cargo of wool arrives in Whaley Bridge, followed by a visit to Buxsworth Basin, on Sunday the 8th on the narrowboat “Patty Ann”.

A Lancashire couple, Colin and Carole Wareing, while cruising on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal up in Yorkshire, fell into discussions with fellow boaters and knitters and Carole established that there was a need for a service

bringing wool to knitters by water on the inland canals. As knitting has once again become the thing to do, this is service that has become greatly appreciated as a lot of the traditional wool shops that used to be in every town and indeed village along the canals of the country have long disappeared.

Carole had quite a stock of wool on board Patty Ann as she designs and creates her own knitwear, so it didn’t take much to contact a wool producer, J.C.Brett’s and last June Patty Ann took on her 1st cargo of wool

from their warehouses that are situated close to the canal in Bingley, West Yorkshire. They have returned for further cargoes and also get supplies delivered to them at a convenient bridge or wharf.

What has surprised Colin and Carole was the amount of small villages and towns they moored in where the local land based knitters really appreciated their wool being brought to them so now they are trying bring wool into the city.

This year Patty Ann, which has become known as “The Wool Boat” is cruising the canals of Cheshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire, bringing the wool by water, either as wool and yarns for knitters or as finished garments ranging from fingerless gloves to Boatman’s Ganseys as traditionally worn by the working boatmenwhen the canals were the freight arteries of the country.

The boat will be moored in the canal basin at Whaley Bridge to supply a range of wools from 4 ply through double knitting,

chunky and Aran wools, along with patterns, knitting needles and anything you would need for creating your own garments, and what Carole doesn’t carry on board she will have a contact for somewhere in the world of wool.

The boat will be open from 11 to 5 daily and all are welcome to come and have a browse and a look at the Wool on the Water Boat.

If you can’t make it over these dates “Patty Ann” will be in Marple on the following Sunday and Monday.

Carole can be contacted on 07931 356204 to find out where Patty Ann will be over the summer or if you need more information. There is also more info about us on our website, www.colinandcarolescreations.co.uk

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