Bargain Canal Trip: Ashton to Middlewich

Via Chris Leah.

In June, Wellbeing Boat Hazel will be travelling from Portland Basin, Ashton-under-Lyne, to Middlewich, Cheshire, to take part in the annual Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival.

Hazel will leave Ashton at midday on Sunday 11 June and arrive in Middlewich on Thursday 15 June.

She will be skippered by Chris, the famous Ashton Boatman, and towed by 90 year old wooden motor narrow boat, Forget Me Not. The route taken will be via the Peak Forest, Macclesfield and Trent & Mersey canals. It is a one way trip.

Public transport back to Ashton, if you need to collect a car, is fairly easy. There will be trained crew to deal with navigation of the boats, though you will be welcome to help with steering and lock working if you wish to.

This auction is for the back bedroom aboard Hazel which can be configured as a single, a double, 2 bunks or a double with bunk over. The boat has a 5 star kitchen and a bathroom with wetroom shower and flushing toilet. Wheelchair access is not possible to this bedroom but the lift is useful for accessing the boat if you find steps difficult.

Hazel is here to raise your spirits, come and join us for this wonderful trip.

 

Crew Induction Day – Wednesday 7 June, 2017

If you are thinking of volunteering as crew, this is a good time to start.

All current trainee crew are required to attend an induction day if they haven’t done so before, it will count towards your CCC (Community Crew Course), BHC (Boat Handling Certificate) or CCBM (Certificate in Community Boat Management) training, when we have full NCBA (National Community Boats Association) accreditation.

If you want to attend but can’t make this date please reply anyway as we may be having another session on a Saturday in July.

RSVP please to atc@wcbs.org.uk (this will forward to Phil, Tony & Claire)

Schedule

  • 9:00am Registration
  • Volunteer Crew Agreement
  • Volunteer crew training record
  • Volunteer questionnaire
  • Medical form – Sealed (what ambulance services need to know when carting you away)
  • Medical form – Open (what the Skipper needs to know)
  • DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Form – fill in now or later
  • Photo Consent Form
  • Hand Out Crew Handbook
  • Membership Form (not essential but volunteers are encouraged to be members as well)
  • (anything I’ve forgotten)
  • 10:00am Start
  • Intro to Society
  • Intro to Hazel Project
  • Society’s Expectations of Volunteers
  • Volunteers Expectations of Society (ask!)
  • Vulnerable Adults/Volunteers Policy
  • Equality & Diversity Policy
  • Safeguarding
  • Crew Handbook
  • Guided Tour of Hazel
  • Operating the Wheelchair Lift
  • (anything I’ve forgotten)
  • 2:00pm Finish (canal time – i.e. very approximate time)

The induction will be on Hazel in Portland Basin. Lunch included, please inform us if vegetarian etc.

 

AGM Reminder and Invitation

If you are interested in our Society or would just like to find out more, we should like to invite you to our AGM which is being held in our shop, 173 Stamford Street Ashton under Lyne at 12 noon on 23rd April so please come along and meet us there. To ensure there will be enough cake, please email general@wcbs.org.uk with numbers.

Anyone can come along, but only paid up members can vote (join on the day). If you would like to be part of our team then please send your name to us before the meeting so we can include it in the voting. To see what opportunities there are please look at the Vacancies page which you can find on the home page of this website, under our photo.

Thank you

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If you’re feeling the love already this year why not celebrate Valentine’s along the peaceful setting of the Ashton canal on board Hazel the Wellbeing boat followed by a lovely meal at the Boundary Inn, Audenshaw.

Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 1pm & 4pm and Tuesday 14th February 6pm departure from Portland Basin, Ashton under Lyne

Tickets £20 per person including 2 course meal at the Boundary Inn.

For further details contact Claire on 07860 944969

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An invitation from the Hazel Project

Hello, and seasons greetings.

I’m writing to invite you and your colleagues for a brew and a look round on Hazel, our beautifully restored narrowboat. She’s been accessibly fitted out with the aid of Big Lottery to work as a wellbeing boat, offering respite and adventures for people living with poor mental health. But thats not all she can do! she can be a space for workshops, meetings, creative inspiration…We are very keen to find innovative ways for her to work for the whole community and collaborate with organisations or individuals who can make use of her as a unique – and mobile –  resource. We can bring her anywhere theres a working canal – so Greater Manchester, Cheshire, and up into the Pennines along the Huddersfeild Narrow are all possibilities.

You dont have to have a doctors note to be able to benefit from some time on the canal either – Hazel is availiable for private hire for work socials, family or friends days out, or just some peace and quiet for one or two people. She also has berths to sleep overnight for a longer adventure. if you really get into boating, then there are opprtunities to volunteer aswell and learn how to narrowboat the old fashioned way 🙂

So if any of that sounds like it could be useful to you, either personally or professionally, do come down and have a no pressure look round. And if you can’t make either open day, Claire and I may be able to meet you there another time – just get in touch.

Click here come-and-have-a-look-on-our-lovely-community-boat for more information and contact details

 

Bollington Historic Boat Gathering 14th – 20th Sept. An Epic Journey

Our Hazel crew member, Tony Hewitson writes about this trip………….

I have been wrangling the crew for a few months now, but this was logistically the most difficult by far and I thank everyone who helped over the 7 days.

We started early on Wednesday, preparing Forget-Me-Not and Hazel, the first job was to shaft Hazel to Portland Marina to pump out the black water tank. So on top of Hazel with the shaft in hand I started moving her over toward the aqueduct, not realising that Aaron was pulling me round with the line. The shaft got trapped under the boat and I had 2 choices, hold on and end up like a dyke jumper or let it go and fish it out of the cut. I quickly retrieved the shaft much to the amusement of the guys from Still Waters.

Chris had tried to sell space on Hazel for the trip but without success, so at the last minute 2 guys from Greystones called Grant and Chris joined us staying until Friday,

Once we had finished at the Marina we joined up with Forget-Me-Not and we started to head up the Peak Forest Canal, The crew for that day were Chris, Joan Wainwright, Aaron Booth, Phil Hanscomb, Andy Smith and myself. We moored up at Marple Aqueduct. Andy, Joan, Chris and myself stayed on the boats, whilst Aaron cycled home.

The second day was through The Marple Flight and we had a lot of help, thankfully as this is never an easy exercise. We were joined by Aaron cycling from Ashton. George Hewitt a CC who was moored near Hyde Bank Tunnel, Mick Owen with Gary and Kath Bailey, Hazel Mayow who brought Neil Morley who stayed with us until Monday. And not forgetting Tom Blackburn who worked lock side and by his own admission was completely shattered by the end of the day. His sterling work helped Joan and I get Forget-Me-Not through with only one small stem up. He did work really hard. We moored the boats just past the start of the Macclesfield Canal for the night. At this point I had to leave the boats and cycled back home as I had an appointment on Friday. Aaron also cycled back and returned on the Friday

After checking the boats at Portland Basin I cycled up the canal rejoining them at Bollington, Just had time to say hello to Chris when he headed back to Ashton and said goodbye to our guests from Greystones, Aaron set off again back home, that boy is fit! Leaving Joan, Neil and myself on the boats. We had a really lovely evening and I recruited Neil to the Hazel crew.

Next day, Chris arrived with the van and Aaron arrived, as always, by bike, we set up some tables and put out the leaflets, signs and Anne Riley’s artwork. I again donned the Victorian boaters garb, I also ran a slide show of the pictures of the Hazel restoration on my laptop. There were lot of people walking dogs and Aaron had the brilliant idea of putting some water out for the many dogs that were being walked. Chris and Joan showed people around the boat I mostly sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather and sold some most of Anne’s artwork with 2 of the items heading to Madeira. We even showed a lady who was visiting from The Falklands around the boat. Barry came with his brother to show him the boats.

The new pictures of the restoration on the side of the boat brought over a lot of people, when steering the butty you can see people stop and look at them as you go by.

Later in the evening we were joined by Maxine Bailey who stayed for the rest of the trip. We said goodbye to Aaron who again cycled back to Ashton.

We were surprised on the Sunday morning when all the other historic boats began to leave, We had believed it was a 2 day event but I was only the Saturday. We didn’t care I dressed up and we set up our stalls and again we showed people around the boat.

In the afternoon we were joined by Christine Roberts and Lesley Smith

At the end of the day Chris took Joan  home and Neil, Maxine and I enjoyed a chilled evening on the boat. Over the weekend we took around £90.00 selling almost all of Anne’s work and hopefully made some good connections.

On the Monday we headed a little way along the Macclesfield Canal to wind in a very silted winding hole, with the engine cooling intermittently working. and headed back to Marple with Chris, Neil, Maxine and myself crewing, I had to head back home in the evening having a rather scary ride home down the towpath in the dark. We also said goodbye to Neil. I caught them up the next afternoon just after Forget-Me-Not had got down the Marple flight, There was a lady from Towpath Talk taking photos for an article she had been interviewing Chris for, we were joined by Hazel and George to help through the locks.

With Chris, Maxine and myself on board we moored once again at Marple Viaduct and prepared for a wellbeing trip with Macclesfield Mind the following day, but that’s another story.

I would like to thank everyone who in anyway helped make this trip an unforgettable experience and if I have forgot anyone I do apologise.  And of course there are volunteers that work mostly at either The Heritage Boat Yard and Portland Basin such as Clare and Barry.

 

Can you help us?

Saturday 10th September 
                   The Wooden Canal Boat Society will be at Portland Basin Museum                for a Tameside Heritage Open Day.

Can you please help the Wooden Canal Boat Society at this event ?

  • Talk to the public about the work we do and the history of our boats.
  • Tell the public how they can support our efforts ………………..

                     > by volunteering to do some work on the boats or background admin work                                     or becoming a Council of Management member
> by donating their money (membership, sponsorship, donations or using our                                  fundraising methods)
Thank you; if you’ve any queries email general@wcbs.org.uk.

WCBS is taking part in The National Trust’s Heritage Open Days events.

If you live near to Ashton under Lyne please can you volunteer to help us

man an information stall and show our boats off to the public.

Contact : Tony Hewitson – hewitson.tony@gmail.com

Thank you.

OUR EVENT – Wooden Canal Boat Society Heritage Boats

The Wooden Canal Boat Society boats, Portland Basin Boatyard, Portland Street South, Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, OL6 7SX

The Wooden Canal Boat Society have 6 heritage wooden canal boats based at Portland Basin. All of them are over 100 years old and were used in various places around the country during the canal system’s industrial heyday. Normally, due to volunteers working on the boats, we cannot allow public access.
We have rescued these and restored them, to differing degrees, for use in the community.
Our pride of the fleet is Hazel who has been completely restored and is now working as Tameside’s well-being boat for those suffering poor mental health. You will be able to see her in her modern state.
You will be able to see the back cabin on Forgetmenot as it would have been with a family living on her while she worked the canals.
You will be able to talk with our volunteers about the boats, their industrial past and their current work in the community.
Suitable for all ages as long as children are accompanied. Disabled access available on Hazel.

Opening Times

  • Saturday 10 September: 1100-1600
  • Sunday 11 September: 1100-160

Directions

Brown road signs are all around the area directing traffic to Portland Basin Museum. The canal is behind the museum and can be accessed separately. By bus, the 330 bus, Stockport to Ashton, stops opposite Asda and there is a small footpath leading down to the canal (not signposted but the only footpath) From Ashton town centre on foot, go along to Lidl, cross the road and follow the sign posts or find the footpath as above.

Organised by

Anne Louise Black

Anne Louise Black

https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/wooden-canal-boat-society-heritage-boats