2014 Cruise plans

Report by John Cheesbrough

The Cotswolds Canal Cruising Club will be headed both to the North West and to the East this summer, starting with:

The Chester IWA Campaign Festival

IWA Festival

IWA Festival

This begins on Friday 6th June, hosted by IWA Chester and Merseyside Branch, and will be centred on the Tower Wharf area.  The aim of the Festival is to promote the use of the neglected Dee Branch of the Shropshire Union canal as a step toward the eventual new lock connection to part of the River Dee.

More detail of current plans can be seen here.


The club has no less than nine boats already registered for entry to the Festival.   Most of these will be making their way up the Shropshire Union in twos and threes during the last weeks of May, with their usual evening gatherings for the Pimms O’Clock ritual.

After the festival, eight of these boats will be making their way up to Ellesmere Port in preparation for:

A Convoy down the Mersey

Leaving Ellesmere Port, weather permitting, on Wednesday 11th June these boaters will be crossing the Mersey Estuary headed for the Liverpool Docks, with berths already arranged in the Salthouse Dock.   This convoy has been arranged by Mike Carter of the Chester IWA, in conjunction with the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal Co.

Salthouse is adjacent to the famous Albert Dock which is nowadays at the centre of Liverpool’s Arts and Culture district.    The moorings will provide an excellent site from which to explore the city.

Club boats will leave Liverpool on a variety of dates pre-arranged with C&RT North West for escorted cruises through the recently constructed Liverpool Link.

There are quite a number of forms you should have with you:
      A form entitled “Mersey Risks and Notes”
      A “Pleasure Craft Application Form”
      Two copies of your boat’s insurance certificate
      Liverpool Canal Link Terms and Conditions
      Liverpool Canal Link Information Guide 2014
      Liverpool Canal Link Skipper’s Guide
      A Child’s Guide to Underwater Basket-Weaving


The Liverpool Link & the Leeds & Liverpool Canal


The iconic Liver building

This route will take us all past many of Liverpool’s most famous buildings: the Liver Building, The P&O Building, and practically right underneath the new concert hall, before leading us out of the city and onto the beginning of the Leeds Liverpool Canal.



Crossing The Wash

In July, Cotswolds Canal Cruising Club, the Four C’s, will be crossing the Wash. Early on the morning of 25th July, eight CCCC boats plan to depart from Boston heading under the control of one of the local pilots, across the Wash to Wisbech.   This is expected to take about eleven hours, including a short “beaching” stop to await the best tide into the mouth of the Nene.

The lock exit from Boston, the Grand Sluice, promises to be an interesting exercise for eight boats since as a lock it can only accommodate fairly short boats. The trick is to sail the flotilla through at the point when the tidal water makes a level with the canal water and the gates can be opened at both ends.  Sounds easy?

Exit Boston

The eight boats taking part will have come from differing directions, some from Liverpool via the North, some from the same place but via the Midlands and some joining us for the first time from elsewhere.   Eight is the maximum number for boats considered safe by the pilot, so unfortunately we are already on the limit.

The crossing date is subject to the weather, but the tides are suitable for several days so the hope is that we will all be safely in Wisbech on the 25th or soon after.  Several boats will separate at Wisbech to explore round to Cambridge or Bedford, or to return immediately up the Nene, where we plan to link up with other club boats coming from Northampton.

Other Meeting Points

Whilst not planned events, many members have already arranged to meet at other events and gatherings.  These include the Stratford Festival, the Evesham festival, the Saul Boat Pageant, the BCN Explorer Cruise and others – see also “The Nene & Middle Levels” on the Cruises page.