Issue date: 18th June 2013
IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch and the crew of the historic fly-boat Saturn hosted three days of activities in the June sunshine on the wharf at Wheelock, at the foot of Cheshire Locks. Access was given to the historic stables on the wharf, which remains in almost exactly the same condition as when last used by working boat horses over 50 years ago. These have not been opened up to the public for over a decade but owners CRT gave the organisers permission to use them for this special event.
On Thursday 7th June and Friday 8th June around 90 children from the local primary school came in groups to undertake a range of activities on the wharf, in the stables and on board Saturn. They learned about canal carrying, horse-boating and life afloat for children of boating families a century ago. A film about horse-boating made in 2002 and largely shot in and around the stables was also shown.
A Waterways Community Day was held on Saturday 8th June, with Branch members talking to local people about the Cheshire Locks Project and other branch activities in our area. The branch was joined by the Trent & Mersey Canal Society which had its own displaysl. Saturn was open to the public and an impromptu gathering of a number of working boats en route between festivals at Etruria and Middlewich also took place. All agreed that it had been a very successful and enjoyable three days.